It amazes me when I see wakeboarders handling a rope attached to a powerful boat like it’s harmless.
New surfers are the worst, coiling rope on their wrists to pull themselves into the sweet spot of the wake. It’s dangerous!
See, if you’re an old hand in wakeboarding or any water towing sports, I’m pretty sure you’re aware of injuries that come about with using the wrong wakeboard ropes and handles.
Riders losing fingers, suffering broken arms, dislocating shoulders/elbows, and worse.
Personally, I had a bit of a rope incident, nothing serious, though. I was wakeboarding when I felt my arms slide through the triangle made by the handle and the two pieces of rope connecting to the mainline.
When the slack came out of the wakeboard rope, the rope yanked my arm, but luckily, I slipped out before any serious damage.
But I ended up with a sprained arm, from my elbow to my hand, and for a couple of hours, I couldn’t move my hands. I could have been a lot worse.
While that didn’t stop me from getting into the water again, I became choosier when selecting my wakeboard ropes and handles.
In fact, I now consider the wakeboard ropes and handles as important as the board itself because they’re crucial in preventing injuries from happening when wakeboarding.
More importantly, the right wakeboard rope and handle combo will improve your overall performance and ensure that you catch more wakes and improve your performance.
Now, based on extensive use and experience, I’ll share some of my favorite wakeboard ropes and handles in the market.
Check them out and see what they have to offer to make a wise purchase decision.
Table of Contents
The Best Wakeboard Ropes and Handles For The Money
#1 Airhead Dyneema Thermal Wakeboard Rope - EDITOR'S CHOICE
I waited until I got two good weekends on the lake before I wrote this review.
And honestly, I’m getting to like the Airhead. It is comfortable to use, floats well, and has a great performance, especially when taking off from the water.
I love it, and here’s why:
Features and Benefits
I’ve to admit my first attraction to this wakeboard rope and handle was the color.
I’m a color person, especially the bright colors, so the Airhead Dyneema’s bright green sits well in my books.
Aside from aesthetics, I love the color as it makes it easy to see the rope when I’m surfing late in the evenings when visibility is poor.
My other appeal to this boat is that the handle floats. While this seems like a trivial benefit, it’s important for me because it makes retrieval easy after the boat has circles in preparation for the next pull.
Finally, I love that Airhead is super long, coming at 70’. And not only that, it features adjustable sections, so it’s easy for me to adjust the rope to the wake’s “sweet spot.”
As its name suggests, Airhead Dyneema Wakeboard Rope and Handle utilizes Dyneema, a stronger fabric than steel.
The material gives a new meaning to sturdiness as I’ve used the rope for numerous sessions, and it looks and feels new, just like I bought it.
A friend who has three teens informed me he has been using his all-time for the last two seasons, and it holds up well even with lots of abuse.
It’s a great buy for the money that will serve you for long. I’m pleased with the sturdiness.
Ultimately, the real test of any wakeboard rope is on the performance, particularly the pulling ability.
Fortunately, the Airhead Dyneema Rope doesn’t fail in this department.
I immediately felt a huge difference on my first attempt in the water compared to my old poly E rope.
It didn’t give any stretch or bounce as true woven ropes do.
Instead, it has an instantaneous and crisp response. The zero stretch Dyneema line has no give to it, so riders of all levels can perform well in the water.
The ultra-responsiveness is a big benefit for me as I can navigate the sharp corners and choppy wakes with greater efficiency.
Secondly, the pull of the water is effortless and so much better than with other ropes. This is not to mention the responsiveness is amazing when cutting or hitting the wakes.
Inflexible and Durable
Airhead Dyneema rope is thin and lightweight.
I thought it would be a problem, but it’s actually a plus as it’s easy to use when cutting on the wake and not having to deal with a heavy line. I’d buy it again because it works.
It doesn’t compromise on the strength either because it’s rigid and inflexible, boasting massive 2,000 break resistance.
Simply put, it’s unlikely to break on you and is the perfect solution to the wide range of different problems posed by wakeboarding.
Handle-Wide EVA Grip Material
Dyneema rope has an awesome handle that enhances the feel while riding.
It’s of good size, 15” width, and ultra-comfortable.
The width is perfect for anyone who uses the rope, while the padded grip with black diamond is bumpy enough to prevent a handle roll.
Overall, the Airhead Dyneema has been a great wakeboarding rope, at least for me.
The only Achilles Heel I noticed with the rope is that it’s a little stiff, making managing the rope a bit challenging.
The flat shape of the line seems like a failed marketing ploy because the rope tangles constantly and is a pain to coil up and put away.
Otherwise, everything else works pretty fine.
#2 Pro Wakesurf Rope - Best Wakeboard Rope and Handle for Professionals
Our second pick, the Pro Wakesurf Rope, is a high-quality and reliable wakeboard rope that promotes a reliable and effortless performance behind the tow.
It feels significantly more premium than other wakeboard ropes and handles on the list, and it’s not a surprise many professionals love it.
Features and Benefits
This wakeboard rope and handle from Swell is designed with performance in mind.
It ensures your time on the water feels memorable, comfortable, and fun.
Keep in mind that it’s best suited for the professionals, but if you’re a beginner learning new jumps, you can also consider this option.
Adjustable Wakeboard Rope Lengths
One of Pro Wakesurf’s selling points is the adjustable rope length.
I like how the thick braided blue-gray rope is segmented into different sections.
The detachable lengths are handy for dialing the distance between the boat and not having to worry about the unsightly coil wrapped around the tower.
Plus, it has a good length of 24 feet, and this is long enough to use even on wakeboards with towers.
Performance- 3/4” Main Line
Swell uses a ¾” floating mainline, which is beneficial in numerous ways.
First, it offers an embroidered grip and safety.
It doesn’t break as most ropes do and will even stay afloat above water. The foam buoyancy plugs keep it floating, so there’s no way it could get sucked under and into the prop.
While Swell states that this is their lighter weight tow rope, I found it still heavier than most of the ropes on the list.
But on water, you’ll actually discover it’s a good thing because the thick line stands up to a lot of abuse. More importantly, it adds a bit of inertia, especially when tossing the rope back into the boat.
Soft Grip Handle
Holding the Pro Wakesurf Rope feels nice and comforting.
This is because of the nice neoprene material covering the handle.
It gives the assurance of a safe and better grip.
For me, the softness makes the tug of the boat bearable. It doesn’t leave my hands with blisters or anything like that.
Plus, it features a robust sublimated stitched grip that looks durable and seems like it’ll stand the test of time.
I’d highly recommend!
#3 Seachoice Seachoice Reflective Wakeboard Rope - Most Versatile Wakeboard Rope
I needed a wakeboard rope that I could use on my different water applications, but few had the strength I needed.
After a frustrating search, I was recommended to Seachoice, and it seemed like I hit the jackpot.
It’s heavy-duty, extremely reliable, and will take on any task you throw at it.
Features and Benefits
My biggest draw to Seachoice was strength.
It’s exactly what makes it so versatile and ideal for use in different applications.
The Seachoice wakeboarding rope offers a minimum breaking strength of about 1,000 pounds, so it can support as much weight as you can throw at it.
For me, at least when I’m not riding behind the tow, I can use it for towing inflatables and PVC tubing.
It’s the ultimate definition of strength and won’t break on you.
The rope’s strength comes from the choice of material.
This option utilizes 16-strand polypropylene, which is more resilient than most materials.
It’s not only durable, but it’s also designed to resist rot and mildew, so it easily retains strength compared to other materials.
It can also stretch 2 to 3 percent of its length when exposed to heavier loads, but it easily goes back to its original size when the load is removed. It offers just enough flex for absorbing the shock of cutting through boat wakes.
Seachoice comes with a whopping 75 feet of the tow rope.
It’s the longest I’ve come across, extending the limits to where you can enjoy catching the wakes.
And the good thing is it comes in several sections of different lengths, perfect for wakeboarders to find the sweet spot in the boat’s wake.
Seachoice’s handle is ultra-comfortable, forgiving, and feels nice on the hands.
It doesn’t leave you with red hands and will provide a sticky grip, even when your hands are sweaty.
It’s plush, but it also remains sturdy, thanks to the heavy stitching.
Safety and Protective Features
For great convenience, the manufacturer has added several features to promote effortless use.
For example, it features a reflective tracker, which improves the overall visibility of the water.
They’ve also added a rope keeper to ensure it remains coiled and kept out of the way when not in use.
#4 RAVE Sports Elite Wakeboard/Kneeboard - Most Adjustable Wakeboard Rope and Handle
I was looking for a rope sectioned to utilize the different lengths in wakeboarding, and the Rave Sports Elite seems to be exactly the right rope for me.
It’s quite adjustable as I intended and has numerous other features that promote ease of use and reliability in water. I’m glad I made the purchase.
Features and Benefits
What I like most about this purchase is how it’s characterized by convenience, thanks to the adjustability it offers to users.
For example, the mainline has three removable 10-foot sections, and I can’t express how happy I am with this setup.
It allows me to craft a wakeboard experience that is truly unique to my riding style, and I can always get in line on the position I feel most comfortable about.
The other benefit of the Rave Sports Rope is that it is a true ‘no stretch’ rope.
It doesn’t have any give as with most other ropes, and it helped improve my performance and confidence behind the boat.
Cutting away from the wake is smoother while popping off the wake gets more predictable.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Rave Sports is done out of nylon.
At first, I had my reservations with the material, and I thought it wouldn’t stand up to the rough usage and abuse.
However, the rope proved me wrong because my entire family used it over the course of last season, and it performed well without breaking or fraying.
So far, it holds up pretty strong, and I don’t see any durability issues. It appears this rope will last for a long time.
Another feature that stood out for me on this rope was the Elite’s 15” aluminum core handle.
It’s a unique choice consisting of an EVA-raised diamond grip for an easy-going and straightforward wakeboarding experience.
While the handle’s design is seemingly trivial, it goes a long way to enhance the water’s level of control.
You profit from the good grip, better control, and easy use.
#5 Hyperlite SG Wakeboard Handle W/Xline Mainline - Best Wakeboard Rope and Handle for Beginners
Our final pick is a pick from the Hyperlite Team, the SG Wakeboard handle rope.
It’s an incredible mainline rope that has a lot going for.
A lot of users love this rope for its ease of use, performance, and reliability.
Features and Benefits
One of the things that stood out for me was the ease of handling this rope gives.
I mean, it comes with a smooth and secure feel to it, thanks to the silicone coating on the handle.
Coupled with the proprietary anti-roll system, you’ll find it easy to handle the rope on the water as you never have to deal with tangling problems.
Plus, the grip is soft and comfortable, even after several uses. I’d buy it again for sure.
Also, I hate to admit it, but I love the color, especially the color green, which matches with my green boat.
As with any high-quality wakeboard rope, the Hyperlite Rope is taut and non-stretchable.
It doesn’t give as with the regular ropes, and I found it quite handy when taking off the water.
It also improved my overall performance on the water, and I managed to take on the wakes with greater confidence.
In terms of specifications, the Hyperlite Rope is packed with numerous features to promote ease of use, even for beginners.
For starters, the 70’ X-Line features buoyant memory foam, so it’s hardly impossible to lose this rope as it’s designed to float.
Secondly, it comes with a generous 15-inch handlebar length that gives you ample room and enough space for properly handling the rope. It also has a rope keeper for easy storage.
Best Wakeboard Ropes and Handles Buying Guide
I’ll share everything you need to know about purchasing the best wakeboard ropes and handles in the section below.
But first, let’s see what you need for wakeboarding.
What Do You Need for Wakeboarding?
Wakeboarding isn’t complicated.
All you need is a motorboat/ jet ski, a board, and the best wakeboard rope with a handle.
But today, we’ll focus our attention on the ropes and handles.
Ropes are also used in other sports, but the make and type of wakeboarding rope are different.
Usually, ropes for water sports are strong enough to provide the needed force for carrying out different maneuvering tasks and stunts with ease. The element of safety is also kept in mind.
Why Do I Need a Wakeboard-Specific Tow Rope?
The best wakeboard rope differs from a rope used in other watersports.
So, if you want to wakeboard, you need to invest in a quality wakeboard rope.
The wakeboard ropes are different because wakeboarders need the rope to pull off their tricks as they’re propelled through the water. It means it has to have virtually no stretch at all.
Otherwise, a stretchy rope will have you struggling pulling off tricks, and if you’re a beginner, it’s definitely going to make the learning process longer.
Quality wakeboard-specific ropes and handles are a game-changer, though. They help beginners learn and provide a much more enjoyable riding experience by improving the overall handling.
However, not all wakeboards are created equal. When it comes to choosing the right wakeboard tow rope, you need to consider several factors, which we shall look at below;
How To Choose the Best Wakeboard Ropes and Handles
Wakeboard Rope Materials
The choice of a wakeboard material determines the overall strength, longevity, and performance of a rope.
Some of the common materials used include:
Poly E is a low-stretch rope material, which is more forgiving and inexpensive.
It stretches two to three percent of its length under normal riding load.
The give in Poly E helps in absorbing the shock of cutting through the boat wake. It benefits the beginners but can be detrimental for the more experienced wakeboarder.
Dyneema is strong as a wire, and it outperforms many synthetic ropes, especially regarding tension-tension fatigue and bending-bending fatigue.
It’s also resistant to saltwater and has high UV rays & abrasion resistance.
Thermal coated spectra line is a fiber that is 10x stronger than steel.
Surprisingly, it’s also ultra-lightweight, so it floats effortlessly. It’s also durable and has zero-stretch.
Wakeboard Rope Length
After considering the material, the next crucial element is the rope length.
Usually, the typical length ranges from 55 to 75 feet. The specific length of the wakeboard rope depends on your experience, boat wake, and personal preference. A good wakeboard length for beginners starts at around 65 feet.
Generally, the more experienced riders use the longer ropes as they generate more speed into the wake and catch more air as you pop off the wake. The longer the rope, the longer distance and more time you spend in the air.
On the other hand, the shorter rope places the experienced rider at the narrower sections of the wake.
Wakeboard Handles- Solid Grip
Wakeboard handles have evolved to accommodate the needs of every wakeboarder.
Some of the elements to consider on a wakeboard handle are:
Weight and Materials
Handles are usually made out of EVA, aluminum core, or carbon fiber.
As the material gets lighter and stronger, the price goes up accordingly.
The hide-wrapped handle is also a great choice. It offers an excellent grip.
Usually, the handle material for the best wakeboard rope and handle is stamped with a texture to increase the grip.
Handle Length and Features
Most handles are 5-15 inches wide, making it easier to perform tricks, especially those requiring you to pass the handle behind the back.
The diameter of your handle should depend on the size of your hand.
If you’re using the rope with multiple riders, consider a diameter that all can grip.
The V and T handles are usually attached to your main handle and will allow you to pre-wrap the handle behind your back and avoid passing the handle during tricks.
While ability plays an important role in determining the rope length, so does the size of the wake.
Not all wake boats create the same wake size.
You want a slightly shorter rope for the bigger than average wake size, whereas, for the average wake, you want a longer rope.
The towing speed also affects the rope you need.
While beginners will struggle to get up and stay stable at higher speeds, the higher speed where the wake is bigger and cleaner.
If you can manage to wakeboard at a consistent speed of 15-20 mph, you can purchase what is classed as an average rope. That’s about 70 feet.
It’s worth investing in a rope that is adjustable, generally removable sections of 3ft to 5ft.
This way, you can either shorten or expand the same rope depending on your needs.
Water Ski Ropes Vs. Wakeboard Ropes
Water skiing and wakeboarding are two similar water sports, but their ropes differ quite a lot.
One of their main differences is elasticity.
Water ski ropes can stretch up to three percent, while wakeboard ropes have little to no stretch, especially those made out of spectra.
The non-stretchable ropes are beneficial for wakeboarding because they offer a stable ride and an accessible way of performing tricks.
But beginners can always use the ski rope for practicing because they’re more forgiving. Once they start learning the jumps, they can switch to ropes dedicated to wakeboarding.
Best Wakeboard Ropes and Handles Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Can I use a ski rope for wakeboarding?
A: As I mentioned earlier, beginners can still use ski rope when trying to get the hang of the basics of wakeboarding. But once they’re ready to learn the jumps, they should switch to the wakeboard-specific ropes.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best wakeboard ropes and handles is the Airhead Dyneema.
It’s a great option for beginners and advanced riders because it’s forgiving yet has incredible performance.
It’s not an expensive purchase either and comes with everything you would need for a memorable and fun-filled wakeboarding experience.
Plus, it comes from a manufacturer well-known for creating reliable wakeboard products.