I come from a family of wakeboarders. My parents own a wakeboard school in Florida, and my bigger brother, Jerry, is a wakeboard champion.
But I’ve to be honest; I never liked wakeboarding and was never comfortable with the sport.
See, after more than 20 years of pain learning and maintaining wakeboard tricks, I lost my love of getting slammed every now and then. I still occasionally like to get punted by double-ups, but the slams are horrible.
Plus, I never really never figured which foot to put in front of a wakeboard and didn’t like the idea of being connected to the board with the boots and bindings.
Fast-forward, my younger son, Jerry, 15, picked up a wakeskate board on clearance from Dicks Sporting for 20 bucks.
Of course, I knew it went against the grain of my family, but out of curiosity, I tried it and can admit it was a blast.
I mean, jumping the boat wake on a wakeskate is a riot and doesn’t feel like anything else I’ve tried on the water.
The biggest benefit is it brings back the joy of learning new tricks without the pain of being attached. For me, not being attached really helps in building the skills I need for any water sport.
Sure, you get to crash a lot on a wakeskate board, but that’s part of the fun. I’ve been there with the feeling of tearing my manhood more than once, but so far, it’s like a wake-up call more than an actual injury.
You get stretched so hard to the point of OMG, I’m gunna die, but then, you find yourself floating on the water uninjured.
Overall, I can say my new addiction to wakeskating has brought all the joy of learning back, instead of getting frustrated.
Now, if you need to get into wakeskating, I’m here to guide you.
In the guide below, I’ll review some of my favorite wakeskate boards. I’ll also share a detailed guide on how to select the best wakeskate for your needs.
Table of Contents
The Best Wakeskates For The Money
#1 Ronix Rove Karver - EDITOR'S CHOICE
We start our list of the best wakeskate boards with a new option for Ronix, the Rove Karver.
I like this wakeskate board because it comes with a lot of tricks of the trade, including a continuous blended rocker and Karver removable fins that let you strip off everything from the deck.
The included three wakeskate fins are deeper than any other boards I’ve tried, coming in handy for extra traction. This gives me more board control when riding and improves the overall grip, making it easier to hold and edge and boost my tricks.
They also offer more stability, similar to that of my favorite longboard, so I can always enjoy an effortless cutback without risk of injury or a fall. They are great for beginner riders looking to do a few more tricks on the waves.
Ronix has also stripped everything off this board, giving you more surface area to play around with. It’s great for beginners with wobbly feet.
While still on the deck, I would like to point out that it feels solid, making it rather heavy, at least for most wakeskaters.
While it’s still a decent option for some jumps and turns, I wouldn’t recommend this deck for maneuverability. The lighter and more compact boards are best for this. But the good thing is its sluggish and stable design is in line with what beginners and intermediate would be looking for in a wakeskate.
The other bag of tricks that I really love with this board is the blended rocker design.
For me, at least, it allows the wakeskate board to ride like a skateboard, only that I’m in the water. It also enhances the carving performance, allowing you to cut through the water like a champ.
Overall, the Karver is an awesome board and a good choice for beginners and intermediates who don’t want to struggle with using grip tape.
#2 Liquid Force Focus Wakeskate - High-Quality Wakeskate
The Liquid Force Focus Wakeskate goes above and beyond what most wakeskates offer. This is because it serves as a high-quality deck for an average price.
The Force Focus deck comes loaded with incredible features that go a long way to offering hours of endless fun and enjoyment on the water.
For starters, it’s made of a 9-ply wood material construction.
What’s the benefit?
It’s highly buoyant and extra stable for beginners. The core material helps the Liquid Force board stabilize over the water, making it easier to balance.
The EVA foam wrapping the wood core eliminates the need for a grip tape. You can use the board as is as it has adequate traction and grip and won’t allow you to slip, even when wakeskating bare feet.
Plus, the wood core is nice on my feet, offering comfort, with or without shoes. For me, at least, I can enjoy wakeskating bare feet without the worry of getting blisters, injuries, or anything.
What about water performance?
Liquid Forced doesn’t disappoint either.
First, it has two deep fins for traction, and this helps the skate glide easily through choppy waters or even the big boat wakes.
Secondly, the wakeskate board features a single concave design with handy Liquid rails.
I’m not a big fan of this design as it doesn’t rock as much as other designs. But it’s a good design for beginners, thanks to its unmatched stability.
Advanced riders may feel cheated on because it won’t allow them to make spins and hops, but it is a great choice for those still learning the ropes of wakeskating.
Another thing you should note is Liquid Force comes in two different design sizes; 42″ and 44″. One can support 145+ pounds, while the other supports 170+. It’s this versatility that makes this wakeskate a good option for wakeskaters across the wakeskate board.
Plus, it’s relatively affordable, so it’s a great option for beginners and those planning to advance their skills later.
#3 Ronix Electric Collective Wakeskate - Best Wakeskate for Intermediate and Expert Riders
Our third pick, the Electric Collective Wakeskate, is yet another selection from Ronix.
As its name suggests, this wakeskate is just as electrifying.
It’s made with a smooth and explosive lift, a hybrid rocker, and a Paulownia top deck- it’s the perfect choice for advanced riders and intermediates.
With an EVA foam on the top deck and two long fins below, the Electric Collective Skate has everything you need to stay stable on the water.
Meanwhile, a three-stage rocker design helps the skate move easily over the water, keeping you from taking a dip or slamming into the water.
It also features a kicktail, and when paired with the concave sintered grind base design, the Electric Skate makes up for the ideal skate for riders looking to pop up on waves to do jumps, spins, and tricks without sacrificing too much on stability.
Plus, the concave/kicktail for skaters provides more control while slicing through the water.
Keep in mind Ronix insists that this board is only ideal for expert or intermediate riders. It’s also a great choice for wakeskaters looking to buy a second wakeskate once they’ve moved past the novice stage.
Another important thing to note is this skate has a maximum recommended weight limit of 180 pounds, so it may not be a great choice for larger riders.
#4 Ronix Boomstick Bi Level Wakeskate - Budget Wakeskate
The Ronix Boomstick is slightly lower on the price spectrum but doesn’t sacrifice too much on the quality.
Even better, it’s versatile and functional, whether behind the cable or boat.
It’s also designed by Reed Hansen, so you know it’s built with wakeskaters in mind.
One of Ronix’s signature features is the skatey, eco-friendly, and super saucy bi-level design.
The benefit of this design is it’s easier to land on the bolts, and it creates a more consistent, quicker swing weight than your normal single-level skate.
Yet, the design doesn’t sacrifice stability and is perfect for wakeskaters taking a drop.
And that goodies don’t end there!
Ronix Boomstick sports a lively Paulonia bottom deck and a stiffer Maple top, and a hybrid rocker. Simply put, it offers the most grip to the wake, so it’s easier to lift higher and sit deeper in the water.
And since one of the deck surfaces sits above the water, I find it easier to recover after a drop.
Another benefit of the bi-level design as beginners will benefit from unmatched stability while also providing the necessary riding performance for the advanced users.
Raonic Boomstick’s performance is also nothing short of incredible, and the way it handles the water makes it perfect for everyone from beginners to experts.
It’s also a great option for both the smaller and larger riders.
Other features that we really like on this wakeskate include an EVA top deck surface, ABS sidewall, 2 fins, and molding.
The 14 pounds weight is also quite useful in guaranteeing a stable yet maneuverable ride at an affordable price.
But something to note is over time, there can be a separation between the two levels. You need to constantly tighten the screws that hold the board together.
#5 Hoverboard 42″ Wakeskate White by Ronix - Most Versatile Wakeskate
Few wakeskates can match the performance offered by the Hoverboard White by Ronix.
Personally, I admire this wakeskate board because it works as hard as I do, giving it’s all, whether flipping or gliding.
The board’s deck surface reeks of quality, thanks to a solid wood construction that assures durability, regardless of frequent usage.
Plus, the wood top utilizes a high-quality grip tape, so it’s easier to execute tricks as you ride. You don’t have to worry about losing a footing or even losing the board because of the exceptional grip.
Controlling the Ronix is also never an issue because of its Late Arc Rocker. It makes it effortless to perform an ollie on water or get in and out of the water like a jet ski.
Plus, it’s lightweight, and at only 35 pounds, you shouldn’t have an issue maneuvering in the water, whether you’re an elite skater or beginner.
Each of the two fins measuring 0.80 inches are quite handy in providing you with the boost as you glide on the water.
I also have to admit I’m quite in love with the meek yet striking style on the bottom deck.
Best Wakeskate Boards Buying Guide
Even if you’re in for casual wakeskating, choosing the right board is crucial.
The size and shape affect how you ride through the water. It also affects how well you can balance on it and perform tricks.
In the section below, I’ll share some actors to consider when selecting the best wakeskate board.
Grip Tape Vs. Foam
One of the important elements of wakeskating is the grip.
Generally, grip tape offers better traction than foam.
But foam materials can be a great choice for beginners as they offer sufficient grip if you’re not doing tricks. Foam boards are also made from cheaper materials, so they’re generally inexpensive.
People newer to wakeskating are likely to choose boards utilizing EVA foam core material with epoxy resin.
The biggest benefit of the EVA foam is that it’s not as rough as grip tape if you wipe it out.
Wakeskate Board Shape: Concave Decks or Flat Decks
Flat wakeskates are ideal for beginners and those who haven’t mastered balancing and stability on their boards. The flat decks are also inexpensive.
On the other hand, avid riders prefer the concave boards because they land in the water. This is important when trying to do tricks.
Keep in mind that the concave shape varies between boards. Boards with more concave have greater pop, and they’re perfect for doing tricks and catching air. The downside of greater pop is there’s less stability. Beginners should try boards with less concave.
Another option is the bi-level skate.
The only contact points between the top and bottom board come from where the two are attached with this design.
A bi-level skate is a great option for riders who prefer the feel of skateboarding.
With an upper deck sitting above the water, riders will find it easier to maneuver and do tricks.
The three rocker types for boards are:
1) Continuous rocker
Continuous rocker boards have a smooth shape, perfect for catching turns and speed.
They’re also ideal for popping up on waves because they catch a good amount of air and make it easy to plan your trajectory.
2) Three-stage rocker
These boards have three distinct planes on the bottom of the board.
I’m not a big fan of these boards, as they can be more sluggish and less controlled.
3) Hybrid rocker
The hybrids are common in the market and are a blend of our first two rocker types.
Their smoother design provides better stability and allows the board to handle waves better.
The most important core materials for boards are wood and foam.
Wood offers great buoyancy and will keep you above the water while riding.
On the other hand, foam and composite core have extra features like moulded rails and kicktails. This may affect the overall riding style and performance and will require some expertise when choosing these designs.
Generally, taller and heavier riders should opt for a bigger board and vice versa.
A bigger board is accommodative for plus-size users.
How you plan to use your wakeskate board also affects the board size.
For example, larger wakeskates are perfect for getting wake to wake, while a smaller board is ideal for doing tricks and maneuvering.
Some avid riders usually feel the need to have multiple boards. One board can be used to cut through water and glide along on still mornings, while another might be used for having fun and doing tricks on the water.
Best Wakeskates Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What’s the difference between wakeboarding and wakeskating?
A: Both are water sports where a rider on board is towed around by a boat.
However, in wakeboarding, a rider is attached to the board. It’s great for beginners but limits the number of tricks you can do.
Wakeskaters aren’t attached to the board and rely on the grip to hold the board. It’s easier to perform tricks aboard.
Q: Do I need to wear shoes while wakeskating?
A: You don’t need special footwear while wakeskating.
But everyone wears shoes while wakeskating, especially when doing tricks.
I always recommend wearing shoes because it’s possible to bring your foot down too hard and cut it open on a fin or sharp edge of the board.
There’s special footwear for wakeskating, and I would recommend them if you plan to wakeskate frequently.
Q: How fast does a wakeskate board need to be pulled?
A: Generally, wakeboarders usually travel at around 12 mph, while wakeskaters are towed at around 15-25 mph.
Moving at faster speeds is necessary for a continuous wake, and this makes it easier to do jumps and tricks as you reach higher speeds.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best wakeskate boards is the Ronix Rove Karver.
I would recommend this board because it comes with everything you need to have a fun experience on the water.
From the design, rocker profile, material to shape, the Rove Kraver has all it takes to float on the water, and it’s the only thing that will keep you going for hours without fatigue.