Purchasing wakeboarding gear is great fun, especially if you’re just starting out in the sport. It can, however, be somewhat daunting and challenging to know what you need to buy to stay safe but also to be comfortable and able to move freely when you’re out on the water.
It always pays to look a little bit cool out there on the board. Still, looks aren’t everything. It’s best to be practical at the beginning and move on to more advanced wakeboarding gear and equipment when you are sure that you’ll be sticking to wakeboarding and practising it regularly.
Many wakeboarding centres hire out equipment but with you not knowing who’s been in gear before and how it’s maintained we recommend getting your own kit!
Here are a few ideas about what to get for your wakeboarding sessions. These are the essentials so to speak, and although it might not look like you need much, if you purchase these items, you’ll be well prepared for your wakeboarding sessions, and you’ll be doing flips and tricks in no time!
Get Yourself A Wetsuit
Worn by all wakeboarders, including beginners, wetsuits are an essential piece of gear. The waters around the UK are cold, even inland lakes and reservoirs and on the warmest of summer days, it’s nippy.
There are many different wetsuits you can buy yourself, including sleeveless, short-sleeved, short legs, long-sleeved and there are also various thicknesses you can choose from. Winter wetsuits are usually 4mm – 5mm thick and summer wetsuits are generally between 2mm and 3mm thick. The thickness measurements refer to the thickness of the Neoprene wetsuit material that will cover your body. It works by catching a layer of water between your skin and material. Your body heats up this thin layer of water which serves as an insulator, maintaining your body temperature even in the coldest conditions. Winter wakeboarders can also use neoprene gloves to keep their hands dry and warm too.
There are wetsuits with cropped legs and arms for warmer weather. For your first wakeboarding beginners session, your instructor will inform you of which wetsuit you should wear.
Make Sure You Get A Buoyancy Aid
As with other watersports, it’s a sensible idea to wear some sort of life jacket or buoyancy aid. All wakeboarders wear them, and if you are going to a wakeboarding centre, they’ll most likely be required. A buoyancy aid will keep you afloat while in the water so if you come off your wakeboard, you’ll float up to the top minimising the risk of you getting stuck under a wave of backwash. Buoyancy aids can keep you above the water with little effort while you’re waiting for the boat to come and pick you back up.
If ever you were to come off your board and get injured, your buoyancy aid would be there to keep you afloat if you are unable to do so yourself. It’s an essential piece of kit that shouldn’t be brushed off as being uncool, unstylish and unnecessary.
If you’re a beginner – you’ll want to get yourself a standard buoyancy aid. More advanced wakeboarders will probably prefer wearing an impact vest. Impact vests are not as buoyant as regular aids; however, they do provide more protection for the border, especially those riding at higher speeds and doing plenty of stunts and tricks. They offer more protection when hitting the water or other obstacles they’re training on or around.
Invest In Good Headgear
As with buoyancy aids, helmets are an essential piece of safety equipment for wakeboarders. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced wakeboarder – it’s a good idea to protect yourself against potential dangers of hitting the water.
Because you’ll be travelling at high speeds, there’s a higher chance that you’ll lose grip and come off your board, crashing into the water or hitting obstacles that you’ve been training on and around. It’s vital to protect your head as you would do when riding a high-speed motorcycle. It would help if you got used to wearing a helmet, so when you’re on the water, it becomes second nature to have it on while enjoying the sport.
Wakeboarding helmets have been designed specifically for water sporting activities – this means that it’s always best to buy these types of helmets rather than wearing the one you wear to cycle to work in! Standard sports helmets are heavy and bulky whereas water sporting helmets are lightweight and offer some buoyancy to support the wearer in the water rather than weighing their head down. If your head goes under the water, a watersports helmet will allow the water to flow through and out, preventing them from getting clogged up with water.
Buy A Wakeboard
Choosing the right wakeboard is an essential part of participating in the sport. There’s far more to it than just selecting the one with the coolest designs and graphics.
Things you need to consider when buying a wakeboard:
- What size to go for
- Should it be single
- What graphics do you want on your board?
- How heavy should your board be?
- Do you need wakeboarding boots?
For beginners looking for a wakeboard, we recommend starting with a lower-priced board or one of our beginner wakeboards just in case you’re not 100% committed to the sport after the first few goes, at least you won’t have shelled out for a pro board!
Wakeboarding boots are also known as wakeboard bindings. They are the part of the board that attaches your feet to the board so you can stay on longer when being towed. There are many types of bindings you can choose from some are simple, while other designs have detachable boots that you can walk to the board wearing. Comfort is one of the most significant aspects of wakeboarding boots you should consider above all else as this is what’s most valuable when ensuring you get the best ride from your wakeboarding experience.
We hope our quick guide to choosing what gear you need for wakeboarding was helpful if you need more help just drop us a message or take a look at our online store to buy your wakeboarding gear online in the UK today.