Wakesurf Resources


From surf style to skim style, length options, tail styles, nose styles, and shapes, deciding which wakesurf board is right for you can be an imposing task. We are here to help you understand what type of wake surfer you need! 

There are three different styles of wakesurf boards: surf, skim, and hybrid. Determining which style you want is the first step in finding your first or next wakesurf board. We'll discuss each board style and help you find out which wakesurf board is best suited for you. 


Surf style is the most popular option when it comes to wakesurf board style. Most of the surf style boards closely resemble the boards you would see at the beach but are shrunken down and specially designed to surf a boat's wake. A surf style board is the most user-friendly as they are stable, catch the wave easier, and generate speed quicker. They often can help have an easier time staying in the wave, especially for beginners. We recommend that most beginner wakesurfers get a surf style board as they are the easiest to learn on. Advanced riders enjoy surf style boards thanks to their quickness and high-speed maneuverability, ideal for big turns, slashes, and airs. Although not designed for doing all the spin tricks that are possible on a skim style board due to their smaller size and small fins, surf-style boards are more than capable of doing 360's and many other tricks. If you are looking for a board that floats well, is stable, and can keep you in the wave but also has room for improvement and the ability to throw some nice slashes and big airs then surf style boards are for you! SoulCraft, Ronix, and Liquid Force Surf boards are some of our favorite surf style boards. 


The most playful of the three board styles, skim style boards are preferred among those looking to do tricks behind the boat. A skim style board is typically smaller in size than a surf style board and has smaller fins, creating a more slippery feel on the water that is ideal for spins, airs, and skate-inspired board tricks behind the boat. If you are comfortable riding on edge like you would on snowboards, skis, and wakeboards then you will be right at home on a skim style board. The traditional style skim fin is small and slippery but being able to hold your edge on the wave can help give you some stability in-between tricks and airs! Ideal for wakesurfers that are comfortable riding, skim style boards are best suited for intermediate-advanced wakesurfers. 


Hybrid boards come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some hybrids are the thickness of a skim style wakesurf board but have the silhouette shape of a surf style board with a dual or tri fin setup! Other hybrids can be the thickness of a surf style board creating a lot of flotation but has the silhouette of a skim board with a single fin set up! A great example of a hybrid wake surf board is the Phase5 Hypsta! This board offers a skim style thickness and edge, with a surf style silhouette and fin set up! You'll get more traction out of this board than a traditional skim board but still keep a little bit of the skim style playfulness! Hybrid style boards are a great option if you want a lil taste of everything or if you don't really know what you want!



This fin setup is most common on skim style boards but can also be seen on some cruiser/longboard surf style boards. Skim boards typically have one small fin in the rear, where a cruiser/longboard style surf board would have one very large fin. Acting very much like a rudder for the board, the single fin offers stability, hold, and control but can break free easily for spins and lipslides. Small single fin setups on skim boards can be slippery but are a whole lot of fun once you get it! Best suited for medium-large sized waves. 


Best described as a fun, playful ride with enough hold for surfy turns while still being easy to spin 360's. Some surf/hybrid style boards come stock with only two fins but most boards will have three fin boxes. SoulCraft surfboards are some of our favorite boards to ride with a twin fin setup, they are stable and easy to ride but carve like a dream and have the ability to throw some awesome slashes! Take out the center tail fin and ride your board as a twin fin. A great performer in waves of all sizes. Twin fins will be much more stable than a single fin setup while giving you some more push in the wave. 


The most popular fin setup for good reason. Most surf style wakesurf boards will come standard with three fins. This is called a "thruster" fin setup. The outside fins help generate speed down the line while the center fin offers stability and control. In most cases the side fins are curved to help generate more speed, while the center fin remains perfectly symmetrical for stability. A lot of traditional ocean surfboards come with thruster fin setups, this tried and true fin setup is awesome for anyone who wants more speed and stability for their riding. The center fin is usually smaller than the two side fins while also being perfectly symmetrical.  A versatile setup, the fins can be removed to ride it as a single or twin fin as well. This setup excels waves of all shapes and sizes.


The quad fin setup is only found on surf style boards. It is all about speed, allowing the wakesurfer to pump and generate speed using the fins. Can take out two of the four fins to ride it as a twin fin too. Rides great on bigger sized waves.


The most common tail shape on surfboards, a bigger, wider tail will catch the wave easier and get more "push" for dropping the rope and surfing the wave. The extra "push" from a square or big, rounded tail typically makes for quicker acceleration and increased overall speed. A fantastic option for those that don't have a huge wave behind their boat.

A smaller, more rounded tail shape will be more responsive turning and have a looser, more playful feel on the water. Round tail shapes are found on all styles of wakesurf boards but the skim style boards will have a much smaller, more pointed round tail shape that is ideal for spins and tricks. The round tail shapes are great for medium-large sized waves as they don't have the same "push" as a big, square tail shape.

The fish or swallow tail design has been very popular in surfing for decades now and we are starting to see more wakesurf boards with this tail shape. The wider tail gives it a good amount of push while having impressive responsiveness in its controlled turns. A great option for smaller, mushier waves that don't have lots of push. 


On a wakesurf board it is the rail that affects how water flows past the board and ultimately determines how it rides in and out of turns. A thinner, sharper rail will generate more speed and responsiveness while a thicker, more round rail gives a board a more stable, consistent feel. Learn below how each rides and which one is the best fit for you.


The full rail is found on most surf style boards. Very user-friendly for riders of all ability levels thanks to its stability and consistency throughout turns. The softer, fuller rail holds onto the wave better, making it easy to stay in the wave's "sweet spot" and sustain speed.


The hard rail is found on most skim style boards. The harder edge cuts through the water easier for increased board speed breaks free much easier for spins. Doesn't have the same hold as a softer, fuller rail so it feels more loose and slippery while surfing.


A blended rail is somewhere between a full rail and a hard rail design. Found on many of the hybrid style boards. A good universal option that is stable and user-friendly but playful enough to spin the board for 360's.


A wakesurf specific rope and handle is a must-have for safety reasons. The wakesurf ropes are typically around 25 feet in length, the perfect length for getting you in the sweet spot of the wave. The handles are smaller as both hands aren't needed at wakesurf speeds and it helps prevent a rider's arms, legs, or neck from getting caught inside the rope. Having a smaller handle also means it is easier to toss back into the boat when you are ready to surf without it! 

Since the goal is to drop the rope and surf the wave without it, you don't need anything crazy. The main factors to consider when choosing a wakesurf rope & handle are the length of the rope, the handle type, and of course the color/style. Follow makes some awesome looking small handled surf ropes! 


If you are still feeling lost after this information or have any questions feel free to give us a call at 425-298-4705 or shoot us an email to info@thewakeshop.com and we we will help get you into the right board!