Choosing the right wakesurf board


There's a huge choice of boards available these days - so how to choose the right board for you?

The most common considerations are:

  • Skim or surf style
  • Skill level
  • Your height & weight
  • Budget

Whether you've been learning on a shared board and are ready to buy your first board, want to upgrade to the next level or are an advanced wakesurfer, here are few pointers to help you choose the right Phase 5 board for you. Or scroll to the bottom of the page for our Phase 5 recommendations


Phase 5 boards come in Skim style and Surf style - with hybrid boards like the Fireball that offer a surf/skim fin set of twin or quad fins. When you look in our shop you'll see that each board has a description of its type, its height and weight chart and its fin set up.

So what's the difference between surf and skim style wakesurfing?

Surf style boards are closer to ocean surfing. The boards tend to be bigger both in size and volume and have twin fins (balance between speed and manouevrability) or quad fins (increased control). The shape, position and larger size of surf style fins provide greater drive and more powerful turns but are more challenging to spin. The taller the fin the more stable and controllable the board but the less quickly manoeuvrable.

Skim style boards tend to be shorter and flatter and designed for tricks. They may come with single fin (least drag), twin fin (more drive) or tri-fin (most stable).

Skim riders tend to enjoy longer waves with plenty of pocket for tricks whilst surf riders tend to enjoy a steeper wave (of course at this stage we'll mention just how versatile the Centurion Ri range is at quickly adjusting to all your riders!)

Skill level

In our store, we've tried to give an indication of skill range or specific board characteristics. But often it's a case of finding a board that suits you. In our opinion, once you're confident throwing in the line and carving the wave you will soon outgrow a club board or a soft board and can grow into a more advanced board. Many of the Phase5 boards can span a wide skill range so you can buy a board that you will grow which is still good for learning on. Beginners, first learning how to wakesurf, tend to fare better on surf style boards as these are floatier and have more drive and control. Advanced skim style wakesurf boards can be harder for beginners as they tend to be less floaty and are harder to control.

Another consideration here is the type of boat you're riding behind - if your boat doesn't have a big wave or much push then consider going for a slightly bigger board (in general, the smaller the wave the bigger the board you need, the bigger the wave the more board choice you have).

Height and weight

Yes this does make a difference! Some boards come in a number of different sizes to accommodate different size riders, some support a wide height / weight range and some are specifically built for a purpose - e.g. the Diamond Luv for smaller riders (and popular with the ladies), the Scamp for the kids and the Trident for the big guys. Look for the height and weight charts with each board description.


Let's face it. We get what we pay for and quality boards are not cheap - but they do perform and they do last. Phase 5 build all their boards in the USA to a high quality. For Skim style boards there are two options - the Premium range and the Performance range. The difference is in the construction materials. The Premium boards are generally built from carbon fibre (stiff, lightweight, strong) or GatorSkin (a very strong carbon / aramid glass which makes for a very stiff, fast board). The Performance range is designed to meet a more demanding budget. They are generally made from E-Glass (the most commonly used glass in the surfboard industry) and composolite construction (a very durable molded construction process).  These Performance range boards are superior in quality and performance to the cheap wakesurf boards out there so you'll feel like you're riding a high spec board for hardly more money.

If you're looking for Performance at a lower price - these are the boards to check out: Scamp, Fish, Super Fish, Prop, Oogle, Diamond CL (same shape as the Premium Diamond) and the XB (based on the Premium Model X)

If you want more advice, want to test a board or find out about our demo days then please get in touch - we are always happy to recommend the right board for you.