| Written by Hayden Lusk |

Maybe you are a veteran boat rider interested in trying something new, or a newbie in the water sports world, the sport of Wakeboarding branches out in multiple aspects of the water sports world. Here’s a little inside scoop on the multiple branches of the sport we all dearly love


Maybe you’ve seen it out on your local lake during those “family bonding” weekends, or maybe a time or two on tv during your morning coffee, the sport of Boat Wakeboarding has been around way longer than some of us have been alive. It’s the most common type of wakeboarding, some can argue it’s the easiest to learn. It consists of being pulled by a rope and handle, usually 70-75ft long, connected to the tower of a boat. Pulled at around 20-25mph, wakeboarding behind a boat is one of the faster aspects of wakeboarding. Riding behind a boat also allows you to jump the waves created by the boat called the “wake.” The more weight in the boat, the bigger the wake!  



Also known as “Park wakeboarding,” this type of wakeboarding consists of a network of towers high above the water suspended by a cable that moves around in a circle or rectangle type shape. That cable has “carriers” attached to the cable above, these carriers pick up your rope as it swings around the starting tower. Wakeboarders line up at the starting dock and wait for their turn to ride, and after a few minutes the cable is full of wakeboarders carving, hitting plastic (or man-made) rails, and off kickers. Imagine a skatepark but floating on the water! This way of wakeboarding is one of the more accessible ways to wakeboard, not requiring thousands of dollars in boat rental, and lake accessibility. 


Winching is the newest form of wakeboarding. It's the wakeboard equivalent of street skateboarding. Riders find waterways and natural features, then use a special “spool like” winch to pull themselves from one point to the other, combining both aspects of cable wakeboarding and boat wakeboarding. Wakeboard winches have brought wakeboarding to places you never thought possible. Winching has revolutionized the sport by making the wakeboarding experience available to anyone and anywhere. The wakeboard winch can be set up almost anywhere, which has made wakeboarding accessible to a much larger audience. 




The biggest difference between these two styles of wakeboards is the material they consist of.  Since a Boat wakeboard is only meant to contact the water, it is built differently than a cable board. The base material is not reinforced to protect against contact with anything but the water's surface.  A boat board is also made from lightweight materials which makes it easier to get air on.  Boat boards often feature molded-in or removable fins which help the rider edge back and forth behind the boat.
 A cable-specific wakeboard, or Park wakeboard is made to be more durable.  A cable board will have a smooth and flat base which allows the board to slide freely along plastic or man-made features. Many park wakeboards will also feature channels or chined edges to make the board easier to grip the surface of the water or features.  The base of the board is constructed using materials that are meant to encounter features and rails, which helps the board withstand the ramps and rails of a cable park.  Cable boards also feature reinforced sidewalls to help limit the damage on the board's edges caused by some cable park features. It is important to know the difference between a boat specific wakeboard and a cable specific wakeboard. 

February 13, 2024 — Hayden Lusk

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