Best Wakesurf Boards of 2020

Did you know that wakesurfing is one of the most dangerous (and fun!) wake sports? Because you don't use a rope, it's really just you and your board. This means that choosing the right wakesurf board is going to mean the difference between having a great time, and wiping out.

Wakesurfing is is one of the newest wake sports, only having been around officially since the late 1990s. 

There are an almost infinite number of boards available so choosing the best one for your needs can be tough!

Best VAlue

Liquid Force Primo

  • Hybrid style
  • Durable & lightweight
  • Affordably priced
  • Largest board handles up to 250 lbs
Most Fun 

Hyperlite Buzz Wakesurfer

  • Skim style board
  • Very responsive ride
  • Great for beginners or experienced 
  • Great airtime

So how do you choose a wakesurf board?

We have taken the time to review a handful of boards to help our readers make the most informed decision.

This buyer's guide is designed to help walk you through the wake surf board purchasing process so you can guarantee yourself that you are making an excellent purchase. 

More on that later...

Here's a summary of the boards in this guide in no particular order! They are all great for different reasons. If you want to learn more, feel free to click to jump to details.

Product

Summary


Driftsun Rukus Wakesurf

Overall Rating - 4.5/5

Best for intermediate riders. This board will stand up to the adventure, but tide you over while you build your skills. 


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Ronix Marsh Mellow Thrasher

Ronix Marsh Mellow Thrasher 2

Overall Rating - 4.5/5

Built for speed, durability and cost effectiveness. It's soft top design means it is light and fast, but isn't as expensive as other premium materials.


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O'Brien Fx2 V2 Wakesurf Board

Overall Rating - 4.5/5

For agressive surfers, the FX series was introduced in 2018. The board has quickly become a favorite with experienced surfers. 


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Hyperlite Buzz Wakesurfer

Overall Rating - 4/5

Bridging the gap between surf and skim, this board is great for begineers and advanced riders as well. 


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O'Brien Censor Wakesurf Board

Overall Rating - 4/5

Great skim board with a wider deck. Has a skate-inspired ride when on the waves. 

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Byerly Action

Overall Rating - 4/5

Durable yet light, this board can take a beating. Designed for stunt tricks. Hybrid design mimics the loose feel of a skateboard.


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Airhead Charge Wakesurf Board

Overall Rating - 3.0/5

Perfect for the beginner and those new to the sport. Economical choice for the family.


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CWB Heavy Duty Extra Grip Connelly Ride Wakesurf Board

Overall Rating - 5/5

Great for trick riding. Foam core helps increase air time. Great for spinning tricks.


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AIRHEAD Pfish

AIRHEAD Pfish Skim Style Wake Surf Board

Overall Rating - 4/5

Less expensive than Ronix, but still a great choice for beginners and experts. Steady ride and known for being just as good as boards twice the price.


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Driftsun Throwdown - Editor's Choice

Driftsun Throwdown Wake Surf Board

Overall Rating - 5/5

A fan favorite in the wake surfing community. Fast, responsive riding. Good for up to intermediate level. Easy to use, stable but FUN.


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Hyperlite Shim Wakesurfer 

Overall Rating - 3.5/5

 The Shim delivers both skim and surf style characterisitcs. Perfect for intermediate to advanced riders. 

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AIRHEAD BONZAI Wakesurfer

Overall Rating - 4.5/5

Easy to get up on, the Bonzai has a classic shape good for beginners and intermediates. Great for smaller waves and bigger people.


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Ronix Koal Classic Longboard

Ronix Koal Classic Longboard Wave Surf Board

Overall Rating - 4/5

Surfboard inspired shape allows for greater buoyancy and stability. Sized to be a good fit for large and small riders alike.


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Liquid Force Primo

Overall Rating - 5/5

This is a downright incredible board. It is extremely durable and lightweight. Has a 3 fin setup so you can shred one day, and cruise the next. It'll hold up for years of fun. Best for intermediate-experienced riders.


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Now that we've got that out of the way, lets learn a bit about how to choose the best wake surf board for your particular needs. 

Here's what you need to know.

What is Wakesurfing?

Wake surfing erupted to the surfing scene in the 1950’s when a couple of teenage boys decided to see what would happen if one was pulled behind a boat on a surfboard, and from there it has become a popular past time of many water sprits enthusiasts. Back at it’s arrival, a regular surfboard was used for wakeboarding, but as it grew in popularity and more demand for the sport rose, companies started designing boards made specifically for wakeboarding to improve the ride. From there, the demand for the best wakesurf board grew.

Currently fifteen different companies produce and design boards for wake surfing, and a variety of styles now exist on the market. The wake board has come a long way from its original origins. Now boards are formulated for different types of rides. Whether tricks are the specialty or just a fast, slick ride on the water. 

Styles of Wakesurf Boards

There are three styles of wakeboards to choose from, and for the beginner, deciding about which one to invest in can appear daunting. But each style of board is designed for a specific purpose in mind. The three wake surf board styles on the market currently are the surf style, the skim style, and the hybrid models.

Slingshot Gnarwhal Wake Surf board

Surf-style Wakesurf board

Surf-Style Wakesurf Board

The surf style of wake surf boards is designed after the traditional surfboard. These boards have a higher buoyancy than the other two styles, because of its longer fins and thicker body, and it ideal for those who are beginners in the sport. The surf style board is also ideal for having a wake surfing experience like average surfing, as it is good at catching and riding on waves. Also, able to reach high speeds and is said to have an ‘explosiveness’ factor. This model is also able to suit larger sized riders.

Skim-Style Wakesurf Boards

The skim style wake boards are thinner and shorter the its surf style cousin, this style is suited for more advanced riders who enjoy performing aerial tricks. Since it is a lighter board it is recommended for use with smaller sized riders. With its smaller fins and thinner body, this style of board is not built for speed, but the shape makes it perfect for performing skateboard inspired tricks.

Ronix 2017 Koal Classic Fish Wake Surf Board

Skim-style Wakesurf Board

Byerly 2017 5.2 Speedster Wake surf

Hybrid-style wakesurf board

Hybrid-Style Wakesurf Board

The third style of board available is the hybrid. Like the name suggests this style is based off components from both, the surf and skim style wakeboards. These models contain the best of both world, with the speed and sturdiness of the surf style, yet the maneuverability of the skim style. The Hybrid is suitable for all levels of wake surfers, and sizes.

Wakesurf Fin Options

While three options of body are available, there are also multiple other choices that can be made when purchasing a wake surf board. A major one is the fins used. Often an overlooked aspect when purchasing, the fins can greatly improve the quality of the board and ride, and play an important part in getting the best out of the board type purchased. There are four fin styles available and they are, the single fin, the twin fin, the thruster, and the quad style of fin. Each has their own unique purpose.

The single fin setup is, as it states, a single fin, that acts as a rudder for the board. It offers stability, hold, and control, but ca not help generate speed, so this style of fin is recommended for those who wake surf with larger waves.

The twin fin is a double finned board and has been compared to a ‘skateboard on the water.’ It offers a fun, exciting ride, and is best suited for smaller waves.

The thruster is a tri finned board, and is the most popular among wake surf board users. The center fin offers control, while the two side fins generate speed. This setup is perfect for all conditions of wake surfing.

The quad Fin is built for speed. Its four fins, two on each side, offer a fast and loose ride and allows the board to shoot down the line during a ride. It is best suited for wake surfing with big waves.

There are many options of wakeboard in each style available, listed below is the top rated boards for each style, Surf, Skim, and the Hybrid.

Best Wakesurf Boards By Type:

best wakesurf boards

Here's a quick preview of how the rest of this article is broken up. First you need to decide what type of wakesurf board you want, then you can choose the one thats the best for you

Skim Style

  • Hyperlite Broadcast
  • Airhead PFish
  • Driftsun Fifty Fifty
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    Byerly Speedster
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    Ronix Hex Shell

Surf Style

  • Ronix Honeycomb Powertail
  • Slingshot Gnarwal
  • Ronix Koal Classic
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    Driftsun Throwdown
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    Ronix Marsh Mellow

Hybrid Style

  • Liquid Force Primo
  • Phase Five Model X
  • Byerly Action
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    Liquid Force Super Tramp

Best Skim-Style Wakesurf Boards

Hyperlite Buzz Wakesurfer

Pros

Cons

  • One board, but accommodates various skill levels
  • You can customize fins
  • Foam slab increases durability
  • Fins are extra

Bridging the gap between surf and skim, the Hyperlite Buzz comes in two sizes. If you are wanting more maneuverability grab the 48-inch board. The 52-inch board will give you more push than the smaller board.

Made from fiberglass, the Hyperlite deck will perform on the waves year after year. Monocoque construction integrates the top and bottom glass into one piece. This generates a durable board that will prevent delamination from side impacts. The handmade foam slab interior will keep going wave after wave.

A tri-fin system can be designed and customized to your preference. From beginner, to intermediate, to advanced the Hyperlite Buzz will perform will form well in the water no matter your skill level.


Airhead Pfish Skim Style Wake Surf Board

AIRHEAD Pfish Skim Style Wake Surf Board

Pros

Cons

  • Incredible value
  • Offers a steady ride with good footholds
  • Great for beginners
  • Lower quality materials cut cost, but also cuts overall durability

A more affordable option is the ‘Airhead Pfish Skim Style Wake Surf Board’. Though less expensive than the ‘Ronix’ model mentioned beforehand, this board is still a fan favorite and widely popular among wake surfers, beginners and more advanced surfers. This board offers a steady ride with good footholds and on the Airhead website, it is described by stating “You’ll be doing air reverses and shove-its in no time!” and, “Our test riders have liked it better than boards that sell at twice the price.” It is one of the best wakesurf boards for beginners.

The ‘Phish Skim Style’ is available In one size and holds up to one hundred and seventy five pounds. It is one of the most popular boards on our list.

>> You May Also Like: Best Paddle Boards For Beginners

Pros

Cons

  • Economical way to try wake boarding
  • Great for the family
  • Good for beginners
  • Not a high-end board

The Charge by Airhead is a full foam wake surf board. While this board is not the top-of-the line, it is a great way to introduce you and your family to wake boarding. This board won’t break the bank while you are learning about the sport.

You will find that the Charge is quick to accelerate on the waves. A feature that you find in higher priced boards, the Charge has a removable three fin system. This setup will provide agility when turning and more control for the forward movements.

Newcomers to the sport will appreciate the deck and its soft and grippy EVA pad that provides comfort and steerability. The board also has a 4-inch nose rocker and a backboard kicker. The Charge is a great way to economically try wake boarding for yourself.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to maneuver
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy and strong
  • Can be too thick for some racks

The Driftsun Rukus wakesurf board has a hybrid surf style that keeps intermediate and advanced surfers in mind. Designed with precision and style, the 4 foot six inch board has composite construction and carbon fiber vector netting.

The built in fins will help you to keep your momentum though the waves. With a total of four fins, two surf and two trailing, their placement will give you greater control moving in a forward motion. If you prefer, you can remove two fins for even more control.

The hand finished EPS foam core has a rigid natural wood stringer. You will feel comfortable on the diamond machine cut EVA traction pad on the deck of the board. It sheds water quick. A hybrid surf style board, the nose is squared and the Driftsun has a rocket tail. The Driftsun will have you wanting to be on the water all the time!

Pros

Cons

  • Design based on rider feedback
  • Thinner, concave body helps to ride the rails better
  • Lighter board gives more maneuverability for tricks
  • Low quality construction to keep the price down

Available in two colors, orange and green, and with two size options, this wake surf board by the company ‘Ronix’ tapped into the minds of the best wake surfers to formulate and design this model. Able to suit all levels of riders, the core of the ‘Ronix Hex Shell Skate Skinner Board’ helps take off any downtime from a ride, by having a thinner, more concave body, to be able to ‘ride the rails’ more efficiently.

Instead of building a board that keeps you on top of, or separate from the water, ‘Ronix’ decided to give this board a lighter feel and make the rider and the water work in unison as a team.

The board can be bought through a variety of retailers in both sizes, four feet three inches and four foot nine inches, and is available in neon green or orange. 

Surf Style Boards

Pros

Cons

  • A great board for the money
  • The board is fast and fun for advanced riders
  • Modern surf style shape
  • You will need to supply your own fins

The O’Brien has a fast and aggressive profile with a modern shape. The thick rails on the FX V2 allow the board to sit high on the water. This makes the 54-inch board extremely maneuverable. It will seem effortless to drive down on the wave while minimizing nosedives.

Hand-shaped epoxy construction gives a light weight feel and high buoyancy to the board, making it more responsive. Carbon stringer are added the length of the board to give it more snap and responsiveness. Any FCS style surf fin will fit in the five-fin option of the board.

You will be able to set up the board in multiple fin configurations to suit your riding style. A stepped tail and concave base help speed up the board as you transition from rail to rail. Definitely a board for those advanced surfers in search of with high performance.

Pros

Cons

  • Pintail design gives you more control
  • Light weight
  • Great board for the money
  • Works best in large waves

Surf style riders like to carve into a wave. Skim style riders prefer to do more spins and get air. The Hyperlite Shim wakeboard will allow a rider to do both. It features a shorter shape which is ideal for rotations. It also has a fast rocker which will get you where you want to go when carving.

Built in mellow tail channels give the rider more control regardless of the style of riding. This hybrid board has three removeable fins included so that you can vary your riding. With an EPS core, the Hyperlite’s Dura-shell construction has woven glass that stands up to the waves year after year.

The machined EVA traction deck will keep you on top. Geared toward intermediate to advanced riders, the Hyperlite will work great for a beginner, too.


Ronix Koal Classic Longboard Wave Surf Board

Pros

Cons

  • Lightweight, buoyant gives a laidback ride
  • Very durable board
  • Longboard style is great for steady surfing
  • Comes with a center fin, but others have to be purchased separately

Another high quality board from the water board company ‘Ronix’, the ‘Koal Classic Longboard Wake Surf 2018 Board’ is a high quality laid back model.  It delivers a lot of push with its light body, and holds a very buoyant surfboard inspired shape. This longboard style wake surf board handles all sizes of waves perfectly and with ease, and is great for novice riders and even professionals.

The ‘Ronix Koal Classic Longboard’ can suit all sizes of riders, being composed of a lightweight core, that also increases durability and strength. The board comes equipped with a center fin with options to buy more and customize the board to personal preference. It is also available in two sizes, those being four feet and ten inches, and five feet and two inches.

If you value stability and control, this may be the board to consider.

Driftsun Throwdown Wake Surf Board

Pros

Cons

  • Amazing value, best on the list for the money
  • Adjustable quad fin set up
  • Extremely versatile, you can curve and cruise all on the same board
  • Not many design options, but overall a really solid board that's worth every penny.

Holding onto a strong five out of five star review reputation, the ‘Driftsun Throwdown Wake Surf’ is a fan favorite among the wake surfing community. This surf style board features a kick flip back end, and a quad fin setup, to deliver a fast and responsive ride. The fins can also be adjusted if needed.

Measuring in at four feet and eight inches, this board is ideal for wake surfer up to an intermediate level as it is easy to use and very stable, allowing learning to come quickly and easily. It is also a stronger board being able to hold riders up to two hundred and fifty pounds.

The Driftsun Throwdown has gained the editors choice due to its sheer versatility and quality. You can carve and cruise on this board without problems. It's forgiving enough to hone your skills but fun enough to still have a blast with tricks.


Ronix Marsh Mellow Thrasher 2

Pros

Cons

  • Quality construction for its price range
  • Soft top design means it's lightweight and fast
  • Great for picking up and keeping speed
  • A smaller board that isn't stable for big riders

The design of this board will catch your eye right away, but apart from the graphics, the actual construction of this board is just as unique. It's lightweight, but also incredibly resilient. These two qualities usually do not go hand in hand with wakesurf boards in this price range.

The Thrasher wakesurf board has a soft top design, meaning the board is lightweight but also very fast. In addition to just being an overall sturdy board, this soft top style also means you won't ding the gel coat of your boat.

Another significant feature to note about the soft top design is that it brings down the cost substantially. Fiberglass boards are known for their light-weight design and speed, but they come at a more significant cost and are not always the most durable.

This affordable, lightweight, fast and durable board is an excellent choice if you want speed on a budget.

Hybrid Style Boards

Pros

Cons

  • Extremely versatile, can be used for almost all purposes
  • One of the lightest but stable boards you can buy
  • Vacuum sealed construction
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    Can handle up to 250 lbs
  • Can be tricky for beginners to control right off the bat

The Liquid Force Primo is probably the best wakesurf boards ever made. It doesn't really fit into a single category because it is so versatile. Depending on the set up, it can function as a skim, hybrid, or surf style board.

It is incredibly durable while also being extremely lightweight. It is one of the lightest wake surf boards out there that can still handle light and heavy riders alike. There are 3 sizes to this model, 4’5”, which can handle up to 180 lbs, the 4’9” which can handle up to 200 lbs, and if you’re a big dude, there’s a 5’1” option which can handle up to 250 lbs.

It comes with a 3 fin setup. You can configure it with a twin set up for more drive down the line, or if you want a more laid back ride, you can go with the single fine.

What really makes this board stand out is its vacuum sealed compression construction. This makes the board pretty near bullet proof, while still being extremely lightweight. It is a great board if you want an incredibly fun, aggressive ride sometimes, and a relaxed ride at other times.

O'Brien Censor Wakesurf Board

Pros

Cons

  • Light weight gives increased buoyancy
  • Can be used skim style
  • Carbon fiber makes board lighter
  • Bad for beginners

This board is a true skim style board. The O’Brien Censor has sharp edges and a flatter, faster rocker line. The deck has been widened so that the rider gets more float, push and easier spins.

The Censor is both light and strong due to the 100% carbon layup. This composite takes the weight and volume out of the board making the board more responsive. The outline of the Censor is based on the classic pintail shape.

With a concave deck and full length machined EVA pad, the board provides a skate-inspired feel to the ride. Three fin options lets you customize the fins depending on the ride you are after. FCS compatible inserts will accommodate any FCS style surf fin to fit the board.

Pros

Cons

  • Lightweight, durable board
  • Great for tricks/stunts
  • Hybrid design gives a loose feel on the water
  • Can't hold heavier riders

The ‘Byerly Action Wake Surf Board’ is a light, yet durable board, and can withstand a beating without damage. It is the best wakesurf board for tricks. Designed to perform stunts and tricks on the water, this hybrid provides a looser feel on the water, Mimicking that of a skateboard.

The board can hold up to five fins, and it is recommended to use all five for maximum control, but four allows a ride with less drag.

You can customize your ride by switching up fin placement, making this board great for someone who wants to fly smooth some days, but other days wants to do big tricks.

Pros

Cons

  • Light weight at just 12 pounds
  • Removable pins
  • Shatterproof design
  • Not for experts

A very well engineered board for both beginners and intermediate surfers, the Connelly Ride is designed to provide you will a sturdy board to learn on. While there will be faster boards, the Ride will give you the opportunity to get your “sea legs” in style.

The polyurethane resin core and compression construction will not absorb water over time. It can stand up to all of the use you will give it. Light weight at just 12 pounds, you will find it easy to carry in and out of the water.

The board can accommodate a wide range of weights from an 80 pound ten-year-old up to a heftier 245-pound adult. That makes this a great all-around board to have for family and friends. The two-piece EVA pad is grippy and comfortable. There are three skater tail fins to help you control the Ride. Built with an impressive level of quality, the CWB Connelly Ride will be your go-to wake board.

Choosing The Best Wake Surf Board

Choosing a new wake surf board can require a ton of research. There are a variety of different styles for different types of riders, along with a broad range of quality and pricing options. If you are a beginner, a surf-style board may be the best option as they tend to be more buoyant and forgiving. Skim style and hybrid models are more suited for experienced surfers.

We hope this review helped narrow down the options for the best wake surf board for your needs. Let us know what you think of our review in the comments section below and share your thoughts on these awesome boards!

Side Note: If you're interested in wake surf boards, you may also be interested in other water sports. We have an updated review on the best fishing kayaks under $500. If you're interested, read our article about it to learn more.


Summary
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Wakesurf Boards
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