If you want to encourage your kids to take up water sports, wakeboarding is the best way to go.
It’s a simple water sport which is easy to learn, a lot of fun and it introduces younger kids to the water.
Wakeboarding is all fun and games if you provide the right equipment, but if you give a child a 12-foot wakeboard, it’s going to be harder for them to learn. You don’t want that, do you?
The sport of wakeboarding is a growing trend, and more and more parents are taking to the waters with their children. It’s an adrenaline-fuelled water sport which can provide hours of fun.
If you are off wakeboarding with the children in tow, you need to be taking a decent child-friendly wakeboard with you.
Today, I am covering 5 of the very best wakeboards for kids which are available anywhere on the market right now. These products will help your child learn the ropes of wakeboarding quickly and help spark a real interest in water sports.
Child-Friendly Wakeboards Give Kids the Best Possible Start
Anybody who was given an adult-sized wakeboard as a child will know this to be true! I’m sure many of you have fond memories of being given a huge board with wrap bindings that were too big and life jackets which fell off when you hit the water.
Today, thankfully, there is a wide range of child-friendly wakeboards on the market. By investing in one for your child, you are helping them get the best start with their wakeboarding journey.
The best wakeboards for kids are suitably sized and have been designed with a smaller person in mind.
Children are shorter, weigh less and have different safety considerations to adults, and all of this is reflected in a child’s wakeboard design.
Most wakeboard brands have learned that children respond better and learn easier with extra buoyancy, a dampened rocker and a shorter board.
Children’s boards are not just adult boards which have been scaled down; they are designed specifically for junior wakeboarders who need a little extra help to get going and learn the ropes.
3 things to look for when choosing the best wakeboard for kids
Your child’s safety is your number one concern when picking out a wakeboard, and there are three key things you need to keep in mind.
1. Wakeboard length
This is by far the most important feature of a child’s wakeboard. A shorter wakeboard is generally slower as they require more energy to be pushed through the water, however, shorter wakeboards are much easier to spin around and maneuver. For children, learning how to control their wakeboards is much more important than how fast they can go.
Longer wakeboards are much easier to ride on and, in some ways, easier to learn on, however, they are a lot heavier meaning your child must work a lot harder against the weight of the board when they take to the air. Longer boards will also glide easier along the surface of the water and are good for learning tricks.
I recommend starting a child on a small wakeboard first, but it is up to you!
The Child’s Ability
There are a lot of different children’s wakeboards which target different levels of ability. Although anyone can ride any shape or size of wakeboard as long as the board itself is big enough for them, beginner riders do not always need beginner boards and advanced riders shouldn’t be put off riding beginner boards.
The important factor when it comes to ability is choosing the right size for the individual. Ability level does play a small part in the choice though; if a child is completely new to wakeboarding it is probably a good idea to avoid buying anything too advanced.
Many wakeboards, designed for children, have added buoyancy, but not all of them do. Manufacturers will usually state whether they have made their wakeboard with extra buoyancy.
It’s a good idea to buy one which has had extra buoyancy added to it for children who are newer to wakeboarding as it will help them grow accustomed to the water and prevent the wakeboard from tipping over while they’re on it.
Remember, it does not matter how good a board’s buoyancy is – your child is likely to fall off while they’re learning. To negate the dangers of this, ensure that they wear a life jacket at all times.
Wakeboard base shapes
There are four major wakeboard base shapes, with each one performing slightly different to the other.
- Concave wakeboards have dents on the bottom which help create lift and suction so that the board sits higher in the water, sort of like a hovercraft.
- Channels on the bottom of some wakeboards act as fins and help to break up surface tension before the rest of the board hits the water.
- V-shaped spines on the base create softer landings and help the board roll from edge-to-edge.
- Featureless bases leave all the performance and work to the shape of the wakeboard and the rider alone.
Which rocker should a child start on?
I recommend that beginner wakeboarders – both children and adults – start out with a 3-stage rocker which has rounded center tails.
This type of board will provide you with a smoother, less aggressive ride on the water and help you progress while still learning the basics.
Boards, which have been designed for beginners regardless of age, will provide a more stable ride which helps you get used to the sport. As your child gets better at wakeboarding, there is no reason why they can’t progress to a continuous rocker.
The next step up from a three-stage rocker, the continuous rocker, offers a smooth and predictable ride where you can easily transition into different turns.
After this comes the hybrid rocker and five-stage rocker. You can think about these later, though. Right now, you only need to know that they exist! It’s likely your child will want to progress to these types of boards as they get older and more skilled.
Wakeboarding VS Wakesurfing?
There is often confusion between the two.
Wakeboarding and wakesurfing both use wakes and waves to provide a ride like that of surfing, but that’s where the similarities end.
The primary difference between wakeboarding and wakesurfing is that wakeboarders strap their feet to the board, whereas wakesurfers ride freely standing on the board.
In addition to this, wakeboarders hold onto a rope which is always connected to the boat. This boat pulls the rider along. Wakesurfers, on the other hand, use a rope to stand up on the board and gain traction before letting go and surfing on the waves made by the boat.
They are two completely different sports which require two completely different boards.
The 5 Best Wakeboards for Kids
Below are my top five picks for the best wakeboards for kids available on the market right now.
This list is continuously updated as new products enter the market and outdo each other. At the time of reading this, these are the best boards available.
Hyperlite 2017 Divine Jr.
Hyperlite has created a board which truly caters to the newbie child wakeboarders. The company has gone to great lengths to provide a board which meets the needs of smaller children.
Perfect for first-timers, this board is easily maneuverable and predictable, exactly what children need when they are taking to the water for their first wakeboarding sessions. This board is lightweight, buoyant and will give more nervous children the confidence they need to just go for it.
The board itself rides and tracks nicely, providing ample opportunity for the rider to progress as their skills do.
Hyperlite has created this board with the same durable and quality materials that the rest of their adult series are made of. Coming in a size of 119 cm, it is the perfect size for most children and it features graphics to help younger riders stay entertained.
- Made from the same quality materials as their adult boards.
- Has extra buoyancy to provide younger riders with confidence.
- A price tag which won’t break the bank.
- Only one design available
- Currently only one size available, but 119cm is usually enough.
Ronix Vision Boys’ Wakeboard
Ronix has an entire team of staff whose sole purpose is to design products for junior wakeboarders and kids interested in water sports. Ronix is truly a company which validates children participating in water sports and their products are second-to-none.
One of this team’s best products is the Ronix Vision wakeboard which has been carefully created to provide the very best possible wakeboarding experience for junior beginner riders. It boosts confidence and helps juniors learn the ropes.
The ride provided by this wakeboard is very smooth and controllable thanks to the rocker. Kids who want to try their hand at a few tricks will find jumping with the board to be a breeze. Even in choppier waters, the Ronix Vision remains stable and smooth thanks to fins on the bottom.
Although the board only comes in one design and is marketed towards boys, there is no reason why girls can’t use it, too!
- Provides the rider with command and control over the board.
- Very buoyant and made from high-quality materials as standard.
- Includes a vertical heelside rail for extra stability.
- Only one design and size available at the moment.
Slingshot Sports 2018 Supergrom Wakeboard
This is the very first kids’ model released by Supergrom and it has only recently been released this year. However, this shouldn’t put you off; Slingshot has put a lot of research and development into their agile Supergrom board.
This wakeboard is built to the same standards and from the same materials as their models for adults, so you can have confidence in knowing that this board is durable enough to be used by a beginner child wakeboarder.
One of the best features of this board is how easy it is to control. In some respects, this board mimics that of a snowboard so if your child has some experience on the slopes, they may find using this board easier than most others. It is a very predictable board which is easy to control and maneuver.
The board creates a very loose feel when it’s in motion and fins can be bolted on for extra traction when riding. The Supergrom flexes very slightly; lightweight riders will be able to feel the energy coming from the board.
Coming in sizes of 115 and 125cm, the Supergrom is suitable for any sized child.
- Made from durable, high-quality materials which don’t break easily.
- Fins can be attached and detached according to preference.
- Great for children transitioning from other board-based sports.
- The soft flex may not be loved by all beginner riders.
- There’s a limited range of designs.
CWB Charger Wakeboard
The CWB Charger is a unique board that can be altered as the child’s ability improves over time. This adjustability means that you don’t have to shell out on a new board as the child in question gets better, a huge pro in my books!
A decent size for most children, especially those between five and eight years old, weighing around 100lbs, the board has a very solid fin which helps stability and steering. The board also has bindings included.
The fins are detachable to provide for extra maneuverability. This is exactly how the board can be adjusted to suit improving skills. As a child gets better, they will have a wider scope to control the board better and removable fins allows for this.
Its shape has been specifically designed to help children learn a proper technique and the three-stage rocker plays a subtle role in helping children get the basics of wakeboarding down.
- Detachable fins are by far the best feature, making the board adjustable.
- Perfect for very young riders who are completely new to water sports.
- A strong and resilient board which can take a battering.
- Only suitable for much younger riders.
- Tends to be outgrown rather quickly as children advance.
Liquid Force 2017 Fury Kids’ Wakeboard
The Liquid Force Nemesis is a great board for children who have already participated in other water sports and have a natural talent for them! Liquid Force designed this board with children in mind who are likely to progress quickly when they are introduced to wakeboarding.
How? Because the board has been designed in such a fashion which makes the ride a bit more punchy and aggressive. Although it’s nothing compared to an adult board, it is more than enough for a child with water sports experience.
Even though the board is a little more aggressive, it is still very easy to control and keeps younger riders stable throughout the ride. It’s a great middle-ground board for children who are not quite ready for the real thing just yet.
It comes in sizes between 115 and 125cm, has a cool design and is made from durable materials. The 115cm model has a “mellow” rocker, the 120cm model has an aggressive one and the 125cm has a hybrid rocker. There are also fins on the front and rear.
- Suitable for children with a natural talent for water sports.
- Comes in three sizes and ride styles.
- Includes a vee-tip channel.
- Although the board has fins, these cannot be detached.
Can’t Decide? Here’s my Top Pick for the BEST Kids’ Wakeboard
I have covered five of the very best wakeboards for children available anywhere on the market right now.
Personally, if I were buying a wakeboard for my child, I would have to go with the Slingshot Supergrom model.
Yes, it is the very first kids’ wakeboard ever released by the company, but the fact that they have a team dedicated to producing child-friendly products says it all. They are providing a well-researched, quality product.
The Supergrom provides effortless control and stability, is a very durable board and has a pretty sweet design. It’s priced well too.
If your child has had any experience on a board before – be it a skateboard or snowboard – they will find taking to the water with the Supergrom a breeze.
It’s a great beginner-level board which can easily be used by your children when they surpass the point of being beginners.
The right board for your child, however, depends on them! This is a decision you have to think carefully about; what’s right for me might not be right for you.
You can’t go wrong with anything which has been included in this article.