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Help selecting board

 
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flagatorclearwater
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Joined: 17 Aug 2012
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City: Clearwater

PostPosted: Aug 17, 2012 11:44 am    Post subject: Help selecting board Reply with quote

I'm brand new, with one lesson under my belt (but I got up twice! Very Happy)

I want my own board. I've been researching all day to learn what I need. I want to confirm if I'm understanding the issues.

I'm 51, 5-10, 195, athletic. Maybe I'll get more ambitious, but all I want for now is to be able to get up, stay up, and not get hurt. No tricks - just cruising along and maybe eventually crossing the wake back and forth. If that changes (maybe I'll start reverse-aging?), I'll buy another board.

Apparently the more surface area, the easier it will be for me. Seems I should go for a 140 or longer?

It seems a "continuous rocker" would be best, but there don't seem to be many boards that advertise that feature clearly. I see "aggressive continuous rocker", "progressive rocker","subtle 3-stage rocker", "mellow rocker pattern", "free-style shape". It's hard to make sense of it all. I gather that I want to avoid a full-blown 3-stage rocker. I do not want a "loose", slippery ride. What about these seemingly "hybrid" boards? Would they be OK, or should I just insist on a continuous rocker? If so, seems the options are pretty limited.

It seems I want rounder rather than sharper edges, but I don't see any boards that advertise round or sharp edges. Seems like most either say nothing about edges or say "variable edge"?

Concave hulls seem like a good idea.

Since I want a conservative, controlled, "cruising" ride, it seems the more fins the better, the longer the fins the better, and the deeper the fins the better?

As for bindings, it seems that as long as they fit well, go above your ankle and give you firm support, you're good?

This is harder than buying a car!

I'd appreciate any guidance. I'd like to stay in the $300 zone, so I probably need to focus on gently used older models.
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GnarShredd
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Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 2310
City: St Pete.

PostPosted: Aug 17, 2012 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're off to a great start, sounds like you're educating yourself a LOT more than most people. Now, ready for a novel?


in regards to rocker lines, you've basically got it covered. I usually recommend continuous boards for beginners but it's not a huge issue. Really a personal preference thing but continuous boards seem to be more forgiving. Most boards that would have been considered 'continuous' have gone more of the way of being a 'hybrid', so take a look in to those if you have any trouble finding true continuous decks ("Aggressive continuous, progressive rocker, & mellow rocker" kind of all describe what you'd be looking for, Wakeboard companies like to use a butt-load of marketing terms to hype their product and it gets ridiculous sometimes).


You'll see hybrid rocker a ton currently and that's usually comfortable for a lot of people. In theory it's got some of the characteristics of both a 3-stage and a continuous all in one package (for example, a 3-stage hybrid will have a continuous center curve with 3-stage sections vs a traditional 3-stage that is bascially flat in the middle with the nose/tail showing a clear change in angle from the middle).


Many boards also now feature rails that are sharp in the tip/tail and mellow through the center (this is the variable edge you're seeing). The idea is to be a little forgiving on the water and to prevent hang-ups on rails, but they still bite in the tip/tail when you turn. I wouldn't worry about that so much to be honest, of all features this isn't so important in my opinion.


On the fin-front, big fins=bad habits! With huge fins you're more likely to cheat a proper edge. If you're not planning to jump the wake and are looking for a board just to get up and carve around on, it's not as big of a problem though. Behind the boat I personally like boards with molded-in fins and an optional removable center fin. I never ride with the center fin in (but some people do) but I feel like these style board offer a great option for beginner-advanced riding. With the fin in you have tracking and a little bit of a cheat to start but once you're comfortable riding just take out the center fin and rely on the molded fins and you're good to go!


My favorite board behind the boat is the Liquid Force Witness (to be fair, I'm a Liquid Force fanboy though Cool ). Hybrid 3-stage rocker, molded fins, and a joy to land on. I'd recommend the 140 for you. At least check out that shape and its features for a very rider-friendly board and see what you can find with similar features from other companies.

If you've got any questions or my rambling confused you even more, feel free to ask more questions. Always stoked to have people in the sport!
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flagatorclearwater
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Joined: 17 Aug 2012
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PostPosted: Aug 17, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow thanks for taking so much time for your response! I like the suggestion of the molded fins plus the center fin to start, with the option to remove it when I get better. I know Liquid Force is a good brand. What do you think of the Trip? There's a guy with a like-new 2012 146cm for $125. The Liquid Force website describes it as having an "aggressive, continuous rocker", it has a "Double Inside Single Concave" hull, four "Molded-in, Warped Long Based Side Fins" and a removable center fin. Seems like a good choice and at $125 a great deal. $100 should get me good bindings and I'll be set. Or is 146cm too long?
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GnarShredd
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Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 2310
City: St Pete.

PostPosted: Aug 17, 2012 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If he's for real, that's an absolute steal for a current-season board. Have you seen pictures?

As for the board itself, Trips are super-solid for almost all levels of rider. It's a shape that's been in their lineup forever and for good reason, I'd definitely recommend it. You'll be ok on a 146 but it's not ideal. It is big for you and if you get in to spins/bigger tricks the size may hurt you a bit due to the swing weight vs. your size.

For that price and just getting started though I'd say snap it up. If you find it is too big for you then you can probably sell it for what you bought it for for at least the next season (assuming it's still in great condition) and if you can't sell it, the Trip series always has killer art for a nice wall-piece!
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GnarShredd
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City: St Pete.

PostPosted: Aug 17, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For bindings, just look out for anything 2009 or later (The newer the better). Liquid force and much of the wakeboard industry changed their bolt patterns from what used to be standard at 8" spacing now to 6" spacing roughly around then so new boots will match the new board better. Don't worry too much about this though, all boots will fit on all boards, for example if you have 8" mount boots and a 6" mount board (which the trip should be) then you'll be slightly limited on stance options, but they'll go on no problem and you'll still probably find an option you like.
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flagatorclearwater
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Joined: 17 Aug 2012
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City: Clearwater

PostPosted: Aug 17, 2012 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again. I will definitely get that Trip. It will be a while (if ever) before I try spins or tricks. I'm an old man! I probably want to wakeboard like I snowski. No moguls; just cruise the blues and enjoy. The extra size might even make it easier for me to get up consistently. I will try to find newer bindings. I'd like to have maximum flexibility on my stance. I used my instructor's CWB board last weekend and it was set up with a super-wide stance. My left hip joint hurt so bad Monday morning I could barely walk. I know the wider the better, but I can only stretch so much.
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GnarShredd
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Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 2310
City: St Pete.

PostPosted: Aug 17, 2012 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

flagatorclearwater wrote:
I know the wider the better, but I can only stretch so much.


Not true. Wide is good but a good test is this. Jump to flat ground from a couple feet off (off of 2 or 3 steps or something) and exaggerate absorbing the landing by squatting a bit, all in one motion. Where your feet end up is where your stance should be.
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flagatorclearwater
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Joined: 17 Aug 2012
Posts: 4
City: Clearwater

PostPosted: Aug 18, 2012 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I'll try that. I know I won't land as wide as his bindings were set. Having my own board will be great. Actually I'll have two. In addition to the Trip, I had made an offer on a 2009 CWB Faction 144 and the guy accepted. Also seems a good choice: continuous rocker, variable edge, 4 bolt-on fins, tip-to-tail center spine. Their site says it has a smooth flat bottom, but doesn't that contradict the center spine? My understanding is that having something to "break up" the bottom (a spine, concave profile, etc.) makes landings softer, right? Anyway, I'll try both and see which feels better. I'm sure I can resell either because I'm in them right. Another question: when I snowski I wear a helmet and knee braces (had surgery on left years ago). Even though I'm a conservative skier they've saved me from injury many times. Seems like the risks wakeboarding are about the same. I see videos of trick wakeboarders wearing helmets, but out on the water nobody does. What do you think?

I'm pumped to go out next weekend. Thanks again for all of your help!
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