Boats designed for wakeboarding come with either inboard or v-drive engines. The boat's speed is determined by the wakeboarder, but it's usually between 18-22 mph. Wakeboarders need a boat speed which is fast enough to help them accelerate so they can land out in the flats, but slow enough so that the boat wake has a defined shape. Riders use the wake of the boat makes as a "ramp" to launch in the air to do most of their tricks. Riders will often fly 10-12 feet in the air when doing tricks. For the biggest boat wake possible, riders usually load their boats up with additional weight in form of water bags. A tower is also mounted on the boat so the tow rope can be attached higher than normal. This allows riders to propel themselves higher off the wakes.
The first wakeboards designed had the overall shape of a surfboard with an obvious tip and tail. Today, boards are made in a "twin tip" design. These symmetrically shaped boards have a fin on both ends, allowing a centred stance that results in equal performance when ridden in the forward, or switch stance, position. The length and width of the boards vary. Lengths range from 50 inches to 58 inches. Width from 14 inches to 17.5. The trend is wider boards for greater lift off the wake and for riding stability. Other variations in board design today include boards with 4 or even 6 fins and finless boards. Wakeboards are made of polyurethane foam, or in a lighter material called honeycomb. Wakeboarders are advised to choose a board which corresponds with their weight, ie. bigger rider should use a bigger board.
The boots or bindings are the "shoes" of the rider. They are rubber mounted on a metal or plastic base plate that is screwed onto the board. Most pro riders prefer their bindings to be very tight on their feet so their feet will not come out of the bindings when riders are performing high-end tricks.
Handle and Rope
Wakeboard handles come in different shapes, textures and lengths for riders to choose from to suit their personal preferences. Most handles today come with a small "cheater" handle so riders can perform wrap tricks. The wakeboard ropes are made of non-stretch materials and are approximately 70 feet long with take-off loops in 5-foot intervals so riders can adjust their rope lengths.
Personal Floatation Device (Life Vest)
These are used by riders to keep themselves afloat in the water and also for protection from heavy falls. The most popular PFD's are made of neoprene.
The trademark apparel of wakeboarders. Usually made of lycra and worn to protect riders from the sun.