Everything after wakeboarding. A guide for Surf Expo Orlando [The Best Orlando Golf Courses]

What is Surf Expo Orlando?

Surf Expo Orlando is a the time of year to unveil a preview of whats in store for next year’s wakeboards, wakesurfers, boats, and everything else that floats on water. While Surf Expo is undoubtedly a good time for the product junkie, there’s also considerable down time to explore Orlando. If only you knew a local who could show you around 😏

So after you’ve had your share of Surf Expo stories, take a look at the map of our favorite places to visit after Surf Expo Orlando.

A local’s guide to recommended Golf Courses, Disc Golf, and other spots to visit while in town for Surf Expo Orlando

 

Open in Google Maps Here.

Not into golf? Try these other spots:

  1. Whirly Dome: Played indoors, this game plays like a mix of bumper cars, basketball, and lacrosse. Inside Tip // Surprisingly fun game and they have a decent selection of beers and cocktails for post game recovery.
  2. K-1 Speed: An indoor, high speed kart track. Inside Tip // K-1 has the fastest karts in Orlando (45mph)
  3. Magnolias Bar: A solid bar with a late 20s & early 30s crowd only a few blocks from Wall St. with a solid selection of craft beers, good music, and great bartenders. Inside Tip // The upstairs [if open] is a good space for billiards & a more private atmosphere with a small bar.
  4. Will’s Pub or The Social: Fantastic smaller music venues for local bands as well as larger touring acts. Yes, there will be PBR’s abound. Inside Tip // The stage at Will’s is tall and their speaker system is powerful so expect good viewing and loud music.
  5. Humanoid Custom Build Factory & Shop [coming soon]: Come kick it lakeside with us. Want to build a custom board with a Bloody Mary in hand? Covered. Want some time behind the boat? Covered.

Want more recommendeations? Message us on our Facebook page for more spots.


Boat Wakeboards

The Top 8 Wakeboard Boats Of All Time

If you follow the wakeboard industry for some time it doesn’t take long to understand wakeboard boats and the manufacturers of wakeboard boats dictate much of what happens with the future of wakeboarding.

Wakeboard boat companies sponsor the events and fund most of the bigger budget wakeboard films. Wakeboard boats pay for the majority of the advertising wakeboard and wakesurf publications rely on. Wake boat companies financially support pro wakeboarders or wakesurfers with the majority of their income [besides energy drink companies]. They even lobby the government to support broader recreational boat use. And well, you get the point...

wakeboard boat companies fund much of the wakeboard industry. From this, the wakeboard boat reviews you find online tend to be closely tied to the ‘the flow of money’.

We decided to deviate from the standard and pick our top 8 wakeboard boats of all time.

We selected boat performance characteristics that most wakeboarders would look for, void of financial incentives. Naturally, we focused on overall wake size and the performance to produce the endless wave. In other words, we're focusing on the boats that create big, beefy wakes.

After driving and riding behind most wakeboard boats, talking with pro wakeboarders, and watching the wakeboard boat industry adapt to wakeboarding’s progression, we bring you our unofficial picks for the best wakeboard boats of all time. Here are the captains of the chop in chronological order.

Correct Craft: 1997 Sport Nautique

1997 Correct Craft Sport Nautique Wakeboard Boats

  • History: first wakeboard specific boat model. This boat offered the first wakeboard tower, called the Flight Control Tower.
  • Why: a new hull design combined with increased engine power.
  • Wake: clean through the peak of the wake, steep, and solid.

This boat was considered the first wakeboard specific boat model that used Correct Craft’s patented Flight Control Tower. With the overhead new tower, Nautique could remove the water ski specific poles and pylons found on other boats at the time. This freed up more floor space for wakeboarders to drop in ballast bags and increase the amount of weight in the boat. Riders saw larger wakes and some serious 90's air time

Even though this boat was released as a center mounted inboard ski boat, this was a bold release showing Nautique’s commitment to wakeboarding. The hull shape paved the way for the legendary Air Nautique models. The GT-40 351 engine provided enough low end torque to add more weight and create a bigger wake size. The Correct Craft / Nautique shape gave the riders a steep transition and hard lippy wake that launched the rider straight up.

Mastercraft Wakeboard Boats: 1999 X-Star

1999 Mastercraft Wakeboard Boats X-Star

  • History: boat released with V-drive placement [rear mounted engine].
  • Why: the V-drive helped create the best wake shape between the three major brands at the time. (Nautique, Mastercraft, Malibu)
  • Wake: happy medium. Not a steep face like Nautique, not mellow like Malibu of the same time.

With this release, Mastercraft moved the engine from inboard (center mounted engine) to V-drive (rear mounted engine). The engine placement added more weight to the back of the boat. Since V-drives were slightly larger boats, this also gave them more storage elsewhere. What did wakeboarders do? We filled them with more water, of course.

Famed wakeboarder Parks Bonifay helped make this wakeboard boat popular with his double up segment in the wakeboard film Shafted. Go watch it. You’ll get some of the most meaty double ups ever created at the time with this wakeboard boat. The '99 X star gained popularity as the official tow boat for the X games events back when yellow hair dye was all the rage.

Mastercraft Wakeboard Boats: 2004 X-Star

2004 Mastercraft Wakeboard Boats X-Star

  • History: ushered in a new era of ‘pickle fork’ hull designs.
  • Why: the pickle fork hull design led to major design breakthroughs.
  • Wake: large size with wide transitions. Most like snowboard transitions of this time period.

The demand for larger wakes with more ballast meant wakeboard boat companies had to experiment with different hull and bow designs. This led to the creation of Mastercraft’s pickle fork bow design, which gave the Xstar it’s iconic spaceship-on-water appeal.

While we're not sure how Mastercraft created the name pickle fork, The X-star hull and bow design was a major advancement for wakeboard boat companies at the time. As wakeboarders filled more ballast in the boat, the need to alter hulls and engine torque was apparent. It was common to ride behind boats where the wake would curl over from too much weight.

With this release, Mastercraft had found a breakthrough. They discovered the pickle fork and wider boat overall (beam & bow) could create wide and crisp wake transitions. A wider boat could also carry more ballast weight without pitching over to one side when turning. Wakeboarders used longer ropes, rode faster, and went bigger with the release of this boat.

Malibu Wakeboard Boats: 2005 Wakesetter VLX

 

2005 Malibu Boats Wakesetter VLX

  • History: trademark ‘backwards tower’ and Power Wedge
  • Why: consistency of wake size with driving performance.
  • Wake: predictable wake shape with wide transitions. Stays clean with heavy ballast

As the evolution of bigger boats, larger wakes, and longer wake transitions took shape, it also left some unresolved issues for the rider and driver. Inconsistent wake sizes were common. Different ballast systems offered among wakeboard boat companies through the span of 3-4 years made it even more particular difficult to dial in a wake size. For drivers, as extra ballast was added unevenly, it also made the boat difficult to turn.

In 2005, the Malibu VLX design solved much of that. Even though Malibu didn’t use the pickle fork front, the wakeboard boat had a large ballast tank, good performing engine, and big wide hull design that also made the boat easy to turn. For most wakeboarders, this meant less ballast configuration in order to create big, wide wakes with consistency without much setup time.

Malibu Wakeboard Boats: 2006 Wakesetter 247

 

2006 Malibu Wakesetter 247

  • History: largest cabin area at the time (17 passengers).
  • Why: built for large lakes and waterways.
  • Wake: longest transitions at the time and massive size if weighted to the max.

The Malibu Wakesetter 247 was one of the largest pure wakeboard boats ever released at the time. It also pulled double duty as a great party boat. The shear size made the boat sit high in the water and take a long time to get on plane and up to speed. That caused the 247 reputation to suffer among industry pros. That was until Jerry Nunn got his hands on the largest engine and prop Malibu offered. With huge amounts of ballast and the right 247 model package, pros like Jerry, Keith Lyman and Shaun Murray were regularly busting out some of the biggest airs wakeboarding had ever seen.

The ideal setup is long and straight waterways with minimal turning. The larger boat meant wakeboard companies developed a recipe to stack bigger wakes on longer transitions.

2007 Correct Craft Air Nautique 210

2007 Correct Craft Air Nautique 210

  • History: improved hull design after 7 years of successful hulls
  • Why: Correct Craft’s flagship boat. Really versatile boat for wakeskating and wakeboarding
  • Wake: Great transition with nice lip at the top for straight-up pop

The Air Nautique 210 was considered a midsize boat which made it agile and fun to drive. It also made it easy to trailer around the lake. The wake size was anything but midsize. These boats pump out nice lippy wakes perfect for both wakeboarders and wakeskaters. Nautique took notice of their popularity and in 2010 released the Air Nautique 210 Scott Byerly edition. This is a great all around hull design 10+ years later.

2012 Correct Craft Super Air Nautique G23

2012 Correct Craft Super Air Nautique G23 Wakeboard Boats

  • History: Biggest wake ever produced [Most hyped release].
  • Why: The amount of NBD tricks landed behind this boat wake.
  • Wake: Long transitions, large in size with nice lip at the top for great straight-up pop.

The Nautique G23 has had a big impact on wakeboarding on many different fronts. As far as design goes, most wakeboard boats used waterski boat hull designs as a starting point. With the Nautique G series, Nautique designed everything from scratch, from the hull to the prop pitch. Nautique said they had a ‘game changer’ and the G23 had major industry buzz with a distinctive design. While we agree, it was also game changing in terms of price as well. The boat easily topped out over 100k and competitors followed suit.

The Nautique G series is still the gold standard in wake size when it comes to wakeboarding. The boat has massive torque to pull heavy ballast while still keep everything clean through the top of the wake. The G23 wake is responsible for pros laying claim to firsts in wake to wake double flips, 12s & 14s. The proof is in the pudding with the G23.

2014 Axis Wake Research A24

2014 Axis Wake Research A24 Wakeboard Boats

  • History: Full featured wakeboard boat without the big budget pricing
  • Why: Economical functional design
  • Wake: Long and wide with consistent transitions.

The 2014 Axis A24 was a mid priced wakeboard boat without the modern tech features common in many of today’s boats. The dash was controlled by basic metal toggle switches instead of digital touch screens. The interior carpet snapped into place. The use of metal and glass was minimal throughout. The ballast tanks were kept very simple.

The only thing that mattered with this boat was ballast tank and wake size. The A24 was built taller with minimal interior features so adding extra ballast to create a giant wake was simple. The taller, rugged looking exterior allowed the boat to turn through chop without taking in water from adding so much weight. The right combo of price, power, and performance makes this one hard to beat.


How to Buy a Wakeboard

How To Buy Wakeboards: The Definitive Guide [4 Important Questions To Answer Before You Buy]

How to Buy Wakeboards: The Definitive Guide

How to Buy a Wakeboards | Chris O'Shea | Method

Don't get sold on new a wakeboard this summer because the seller has 'your size' in stock or is running a sale on wakeboards. This is the definitive guide you will need this summer to help you find the most important answers before you get your wakeboard on the water this summer. Having the perfect wakeboard model for your style and skill level leads to performance and progression on the water. Progression means learning new tricks and all the enjoyment that comes along with it. That's why we strap a wakeboards on in the first place! Choosing the right wakeboard can significantly decrease the frequency of hard falls that cause fatigue as well. Like many other activities, fatigue is a major contributing factor to injuries on the water. Choosing the right style of wakeboard is everything for fun and progression out of the water this summer.

Now, before you start daydreaming about unboxing your new wakeboard, you need to factor in several key components before pulling the trigger. The basic factors are riding environment, body type, riding style & performance preferences.

First, where you are going to wakeboard?

How to Buy a Wakeboards

This may seem like a no-brainer for some people. However, if you are new to wakeboarding, you should know there are two distinct types of riding categories / genres [riding environments]. Each of them are quite different. First, we have boat riding - sometimes called wake riding [or riding behind a boat]. Second we have cable riding - sometimes called park riding. To add to the complexity, there are additional riding styles or niches that exist within cable park riding.  And, of course, rather recently there are wakeboard designs dedicated to each specific riding category or a 'crossover' between the two.

Behind a Boat / Off A Wake Wakeboards (we suggest: Circus, Cameo)

View: 'boat wakeboards'

How to Buy a Wakeboards Toeside Air

What type of wakeboard flex do you want?

Wakeboards designed for riding behind a boat typically have a stiffer flexibility from the nose of the board to its tail.  If you take your hand and push on the center of the board, you'll notice it is harder to flex when compared to a park specific wakeboard. Today, we see a range of stiffnesses which will indicate how responsive the board will feel under a riders feet. This could be a desirable attribute for more advanced, aggressive riders. It may, however, work against newer riders unfamiliar with the mechanics of wakeboarding (i.e. hard falls).

A stiffer board is historically more desirable for boat riding because it produces a more energetic 'pop' or response off the wake. Why is that?

Imagine having a rubber band in your hands and snapping it against a hard surface. The thicker [or stiffer] the rubber band, the more force that needs to be exerted to pull it back between your fingers. This causes a more impactful snap and louder 'pop' upon release. The same analogy applies for the energy released at the wake when riding a wakeboard with a stiff flex profile. Also, a stiffer wakeboard can hold its rocker line better during landings. This will keep the board from smacking flat against the water, killing speed in the process and resulting in hard landings.  There are some drawbacks to a stiffer board- like decreased faceplant forgiveness. However, overall a stiffer wakeboard profile is generally preferred for boat riding.

View: Flex Wakeboards

Choose A Shape

How to Buy a Wakeboard Circus WakeboardBoat specific wakeboards also have more base contours or features that help direct and control water flow along its base and edges. These affect how the wakeboard rides on the water. If you really want to get nerdy, this is where hydrodynamics come into play. In short, a board's base design can influence factors like board speed, edge hold and pop which will affect how aggressive or playful the board will feel when riding behind a boat. 

What's Your Fin Setup?

How to Buy a Wakeboard Bomber FinsFins [skags for you throwback riders] are also a major influence in wakeboards designed specifically for boat riding. They are either bolted on with screws or molded into the base. Fins can dramatically affect how a board rides in conjunction with a board's base. In general, moving the fins towards the nose and tail of the board and outwards will make the board hold its edge longer through turns. Holding the edge longer creates more leverage and pop off the top of the wake.

Cable Park Wakeboards (we suggest: Pinewood Club, Automator, Team Meme)

View: cable 'park wakeboards'

How to Buy a Wakeboards Mitch Langfield Rail

Cable park specific wakeboards have evolved over the years due to the growth of cable park construction and the development of features being built within the parks [see Sesitec & Unit]. As riders request more advanced cable park features, we see an increase in park specific boards coming to market with very minimal base designs. These minimalistic wakeboard bases are built with a playful flex and designed exclusively for riding ramps [kickers], rails, pipes, and other technical park features. We commonly refer to this style of riding as park riding.

[cable] Park Wakeboards Shape and Flex

How to Buy a Wakeboards Nick Dorsey Valdosta BoardslidePark riders use the perimeter edge of their wakeboard to create speed and control. This is different from relying on the base channels and fins, like boat wakeboards do.  As we dive further into the finer details of park riding, you'll discover subtle variances of base designs and board flexes in park specific wakeboards. Typically, this category of boards is built with a softer flex profile and more minimal perimeter shape overall. A softer flex gives riders improved control on park features and a more responsive feel when riding on hard park feature surfaces. Minimal base contours are desirable for park riding because they create less friction or hangups with park features. Less friction makes a more durable design.  This leads us into wear factor. 

What's Your Wakeboard Wear Factor?

How to Buy a Wakeboards Valdosta Bob SichelIf a wakeboard has a completely flat bottom, this lowers the friction generated between a park feature and your board base. This is due to an equal distribution of weight over a larger surface area. This helps keep the heat generated from friction much lower on a flat board base. A wakeboard built with channels or contours on the base [concaves, spines, or channels] will have a higher concentration of friction [pressure] in the area the base hits the park feature. So, this concentration of friction will cause the base to heat up faster in those areas, and over time result in more wear on the base.

Wakeboard Friction

I know what you are thinking - Heat?! While riding on water? Yes! In the sun, park features dry out quickly and you aren't guaranteed to hit wet surfaces consistently to keep friction heat low, so wear and tear is inevitable. Your best alternative is to minimize friction by choosing a high quality sintered board base that best suits your riding style [and buy some of our wax]. So, a wakeboard built with minimal base contours will outlast a board with more base contours because of friction and the resulting wear factor it causes.  This assumes both wakeboards are built with the same base materials.

Another significant factor to note is cable parks build features with different materials and shapes which greatly contribute to friction generated on a wakeboard's base. Transfers from different surfaces and falls during riding can greatly affect the areas of wear on your board's base too!

What's Your Style?

Finally, within the category of cable park riding we have a style of riding that originated before riding park features became popular. This style emerged because cable parks were in operation well before riding cable park features came into popularity. A rider would initiate tricks around the turn of a cable because...well there weren't features and 'getting air' was fun! With this style of riding, wakeboarders prefer a mixture of base contours to load line tension from the cable in order release their edge. The cable then pulls them up and off the water and into the air. This leads us into a category of crossover boards which are an option for riders who enjoy both boat wakeboard & cable park riding.

Oli Breumland Wakeboards Valdosta Slash
(creds: O'Shea)

Crossover / Hybrid Wakeboards (we suggest: Oracle, Huxtable, iO)

View: crossover wakeboards

You can probably guess crossover wakeboards are designed to ride in both riding categories. Their bases and flex profiles blend both wake [boat] specific and cable park specific board designs. They are generally characterized by middle-of-the-road flex patterns with more simply contoured bases. Crossover wakeboards are desirable for riders seeking a strong edge and soft landing behind a boat or on a cable. These boards are still built playful enough and have strategic flat spots on the base to maintain responsiveness and control when riding in the cable park or park features.

How to Buy a Wakeboards Kaesen Suyderhoud Big Air

An important factor in these boards to consider before purchasing is how often you ride park features. If you ride park features frequently, the board's performance behind the boat will suffer as the base wears. Wear lines will start to develop across the base of the board perpendicular to the riding direction. They are easy to spot! This will make the board feel slower and less responsive as the wear increases. We highly recommend building a quiver of boards dedicated to a specific category of riding. This will help you discover a much quicker path to progression and it's money well spent. However, if it's not in the budget, crossover boards are a great way to enjoy all aspects of wakeboarding.

What is your weight AND height? Size Up! 

Wakeboarder Weights

Historically, choosing the correct size wakeboard was based on weight alone. Wakeboard sizing guides allow you to select your weight and it shows your ideal wakeboard size range. Weight is an important factor in choosing your board size because it's important boards give you the surface area to make you float! If your weight places you in between size ranges - the higher side of one size range and the lower side of another size range - we'd highly recommend you select the larger board size. A larger board size will be much more forgiving with softer landings since the increased surface area will float you higher in the water while riding. Having said all this, not many people know that your height can also play just an important of a role when selecting your wakeboard size.

Wakeboarder Heights

Your height can affect your balance on the board both nose to tail and edge to edge [much like your weight]. If you are above average in height when compared to your weight and you select a board that is on the lower size range, your center of gravity is higher and imperfect landings will cause more falls. This is due to smaller boards having narrower stances which force you into unbalanced positions when riding. It's also important to remember that a smaller board will lose speed very quickly and make you work much harder when edging.

Conversely, when your height is shorter when compared to your weight [common for most wakeboarders], riding a board that is too large will make edging and turning feel sluggish. Larger boards are wider edge to edge. Sizing down is an option, as long as you don’t sacrifice speed because your board is too small. In general we always recommend having a board too large is always better than having a board too small. We won't get into too much detail but we have another article that goes into depth on this topic [ link below]

To make it easy when selecting the ideal wakeboard size for your height and weight, we've created a new wakeboard sizing app that factors in both height and weight.

The Ultimate Wakeboard Enhancer

 

There's plenty more to explore when selecting the right wakeboard size and we've created a separate post for it.

view: Choosing A wakeboard size

how to buy a wakeboards trevor bashir in deep thought

Third, what kind of rider are you?

Okay, so by now you know what type of environment you'll be riding in. You've selected your ideal wakeboard size. Now you've got to do an honest self-assessment of your wakeboard skills. There are 3 basic skill levels. They are as follows:

Noob, Newbie, New (You forget to check your equipment and need some help with the fundamentals)

We suggest: Oracle, Huxtable, iO, Cameo

If you are just getting your feet wet, try to find a wakeboard that has forgiving features. These include variable edges, canted rails and rounder tip and tail shapes. All these things decrease the chances of catching a hard edge while riding. Remember just because a wakeboard is good for a beginner doesn't mean you can't ride it through advanced ability levels. There are features on each wakeboard that caters to a wide variety of skill levels. In fact, as riders typically progress in skill level, they'll often find less features in a wakeboard make for a smoother ride.

Weekend Warrior  (Decent bag of tricks and your set might get you a contest podium spot in the 90's)

May we suggest: iO, Cameo, Team Meme, Automator, Pinewood Club

As you learn, the performance of your board should improve linearly with your progression. You’ll want to try a few boards that have more aggressive performance features built in. These features will look and perform more 'sharp' so you can build speed quicker and hold an aggressive edge out on the water.

Advanced, I've Got Skills Yo!  (You know what a Double Indy Tantrum or 270 back lip transfer looks like...you also forget to check your equipment)

May we suggest: Circus, Team Meme, Cameo, Pinewood Club, Automator

Leverage your experience to help you pay close attention to the material, the build, and the shape of your wakeboard. This way you can tweak the performance based on your riding style. The board's build, material layup, and shape will offer large differences in performance.  You'll factor in durability, flex, pop, and swing weight. Hopefully by now you know what to look for depending on what where you're riding, your wakeboard size, and your skill level.

Finally, what kind of performance characteristics do you prefer? 

Understanding the basic theory behind performance characteristics will really help you dial in that perfect board! It all starts by selecting your riding environment, body type, and riding style.

Characteristics that affect speed & response:

  • Wakeboard Rocker type - Continuous, 3-Stage, or Blended 3-stage

  • Wakeboard Sidecuts

How to Buy a Wakeboards Chris O'Shea TurnRocker directly affects the speed of the board as it rides on top of the water. The more rocker, the more water the board will push. This will make the board feel slower as more rocker is added.

This begs the question, if adding more rocker is slower, why do we bend boards? The short answer: more rocker produces more explosive pop. The more rocker in the tip and tail of the board, the more energy produced off the wake. A more upward trajectory off the wake is created as more rocker is added. However, counter intuitively adding more rocker is not always the answer.

Speed is affected by float as well. Float is related to overall shape of the wakeboard.

Herein lies the challenge; pop high and lofty or pop far and fast? We like create an ideal blend of speed and pop aimed at the performance you’re expecting from a wakeboard geared for a specific aspect of riding. Overwhelming as our rocker theories have evolved, we find the variances of a continuous rocker give much more to riders of all abilities vs. 'three stage wakeboards'. Our focus has been trying to find the perfect blend of rocker which works in conjunction with shape & sidecut for each wakeboard. We've written an article about why you shouldn't rely on a wakeboard's rocker exclusively. sidecut is just as important.

Characteristics that will affect wakeboard flex

Wakeboard Shape

Usually, when people think about the "shape" of a wakeboard, they interpret it as the board's perimeter outline. The word shape is also meant to include the top and bottom surfaces and contours of the wakeboard. Along with thickness, materials, and rocker, shapes also affect the flex profile of a board. All these other flex variables aside, a flat base and flat top wakeboard has a softer flex profile when compared to a wakeboard with contours along the top & base.

How to Buy a Wakeboards Wakeboard CoreLet us explain: first, visualize a thin sheet of aluminum alongside a corrugated piece of aluminum. If you bend the piece of flat aluminum, the sheet would bend easily and without much resistance. Now take the corrugated piece of aluminum and try to bend it across its corrugations - like you would flex a wakeboard. The corrugated sheet would flex very little. When you introduce angles into a flat surface, the angles reinforce and strengthen the surface creating stiffness & rigidity. This is why thin pieces of corrugated cardboard can hold weight exponentially greater than their own. 

Now apply this concept to a wakeboard. Adding contours that initially appear to be cosmetic actually introduce a new flex profile for the shape. Adding a big step down along the perimeter of the board is a good example of that. This same concept applies to each unique shape when we add in channels and concaves. In our designs, this concept not only creates a unique flex profile but also an identity to each shape. 

Wakeboard Core Thickness

Core thickness is a simple concept. You can look at the thickness profile of a wakeboard by viewing it at eye level from the side. The areas that are thicker will be stiffer. The thicker the material the harder it is to bend. Most wakeboards will be stiffer under foot then taper to a thinner profile towards the nose and tail of the board. How much the board tapers from center to its ends depends on what type of riding the board is designed for. Boat specific wakeboards will stay a little thicker on the nose and tail for more stiffness. Inversely, cable specific boards will taper to a much more thin profile. 

Wakeboard Density

How to Buy a Wakeboards Core TypeThe density of core materials can vary and greatly affects the weight of the board. Higher density wood cores weigh more but are more durable and lively overall. Lower density foam cores weigh less and are typically not as durable without adding a substantial amount of reinforcement material.  The fibers of a wood core are intertwined creating a structure that won’t break as easily. This is part of the reason we use wood cores exclusively. Foam is made of tiny little bubbles. Each bubble is linked together at smaller points of contact. These points are not bonded as strong like the fibers of a wood core are. Small fractures occur within these microscopic contact points over time much quicker than wood cores.

From a performance standpoint, a heavier core will give the rider additional swing weight. This may make the board harder to maneuver in the air. This mobility depends on where most of the weight is distributed in the core thickness profile. A lower density core will lower the swing weight overall. It may also make the board feel lighter on your feet depending on the reinforcements used.

Wakeboard Layup

How to Buy a Wakeboards LayupThe layup refers to the resin [glue] and fiberglass reinforcements used to laminate the layers of the wakeboard together during the manufacturing process. The layup process involves a multitude of components to select before we even start building. We have the core components, resins, fiberglass, topsheets, reinforcement composites [more fiberglass & carbon fiber], and even the type of ink.

These all affect flex and performance in some way, some more than others. Epoxy based resins are most commonly used in wakeboard manufacturing and can vary in strength, flex and weight. Some resin systems cure to a very brittle state making a wakeboard feel more stiff. Others have a final curing process that will flex more to give a board softer feel. This, combined with the reinforcements, adds to the final outcome of a board’s final strength, flex and weight.

Trevor Bashir How To Buy A Wakeboards Van Jib
(creds: O'Shea)

Now you know...

Congrats for reading this far. You now know more about how to select and buy the right wakeboard than most people selling wakeboards. Our goal is to arm you with the right info, cause there is a lot of conflicting info out there. We encourage you to demo or try as many shapes as possible. As you start to explore the different riding categories, you'll find what you like best. We hope to see you out on the water enjoying the progression that follows.

Check out our shop and see what works best with your riding style — or customize one of your own! Need more help deciding? Learn more about why we like Flex wakeboards, use M6 Binding Inserts, how to choose your size, or even how to edge better. Enjoy!

Interested in learning more? Comment and let us know what questions you have.
If you enjoyed this post please do us a favor and share it someone you know.


Wakesurfing on a budget: Ever tried ‘Dronesurfing’?

Wakesurfing on a budget: Ever tried 'Dronesurfing'?

Don't have the cash to buy a $100k+ boat? Riders committed to wakesurfing on a budget have turned to drones as their new tow vehicle, dubbed 'Dronesurfing.' Fun? Sure looks like it! Sustainable? That's debatable. Keep reading to see how this wakesurf hack has developed and where it could take us.

How did drones make their way into wakeboarding?

Drones have been making headlines into pop culture for some time now. We've all seen it. Companies like Amazon use drones to make deliveries. Some people even race them. They're being integrated into our daily life and business practices. Privacy debates aside, drone technology is developing every year to make them stronger, more powerful, and more user friendly.

Big budget movie studios initially used drones as an inexpensive camera rig. After companies like DJI made drones more consumer friendly, they gradually began the transition into the hands of specialized wakeboarding & surfing videographers. Don't believe us? Just watch a few edits in X Games Real Wake Videos and see if you can spot their use.

What is dronesurfing?

Tech site The Drive reported that events like drone racing are becoming popular with the first season of the Drone Racing League broadcasted to over 28 million people in the US alone. Let that audience size sink in for a minute. Yes, video is indeed the path to exposure...

With drones quickly becoming capable of heavier payloads and larger camera rigs, there's another drone development that recently surfaced on the web - Wakesurfing with Drones A.K.A. 'Dronesurfing.'

How it works:

While not exactly 'surfing', it's an intriguing video. Skimboarding is a mini version of surfing. Skimboarders run across the beach, hop on a skimboard, and use their momentum to catch incoming beach waves. While most skimboarders catch one wave, 'dronesurfing' pulls the skimboarder across the water, using power created by the drone and initial momentum created by the skimboarder. Dronesurfing is not like surfing wave sets. It has more in common with kitesurfing or kiteboarding. However, Instead of using the wind and a kite to pull a surfer, the drone tows a surfer across the water. This allows skimboarders to move away from the beach and use their board in areas that were previously inaccessible. Much like kiteboarders...

What's next for drones and wakeboarding?

With cable systems helping wakeboarding to survive [or some might say thrive]. Is dronesurfing a viable alternative to wakeboard boats and cable systems in the near future?

What's on the Market:

Well, as of now only one drone is powerful enough to have accomplished dronesurfing successfully.  Freefly’s ALTA 8 flying machine.The drone was originally created for lifting heavy cameras used in professional filmmaking. ALTA 8 has the power to pull a weight of around 200 pounds which is enough to pull the average surfer. Pocket Lint revealed that the ALTA 8 is powerful enough to do four tows per battery pack with each tow lasting around 30 seconds.

The ALTA 8 is not powerful enough to pull a person from a stationary position. Not like a kite or cable system does at the moment. In the dronesurfing video by Freefly the surfer does a sprint start to generate the initial momentum. What it lacks in wind power it makes up for in function. The ALTA 8 not only pulls the surfer across the water, but also tracks and films the rider simultaneously.

Popularity and Tech:

Surfing, wakeboarding, and digital technology is becoming more closely linked each year and has become an important part of promoting each activity. Surfing site Club of the Waves believes that the media has had the biggest influence on surfing’s popularity. From surf movies like Point Break to online gaming developers like Slingo producing their own surfing game Wild Water, the media is constantly promoting the surfing across multiple platforms. It's without a doubt digital technology has made wakeboarding and surfing much more accessible.

Here to stay?

Whether dronesurfing will actually take off is up for debate. The equipment isn’t cheap enough for consumer appeal at $18,000. However, like all technology, the price will come down as the technology advances. We wouldn’t be surprised if in the next decade we saw more wakeboarders and surfers using drones for something other than filming. If companies like Freefly can make drones powerful enough to pull a surfer from a stationary position, they might have the potential to overtake kites & portable wakeboard cable systems. All we know is that drones are here to stay and will be inextricably linked kiteboarding, wakeboarding, and surfing one way or another in the future.

Guest post by: Isabelle Potter


10 Day Holiday Giveaway

Humanoid Holiday Wakeboard Giveaway Contests

Humanoid Holiday Wakeboard Giveaway

At Humanoid, we're always in the spirit of giving. We like to keep them short and simple...

First and foremost, we're selecting 10 - yes, 10! - entries to win a 1 of 1 Custom Series wakeboard build. That is 1 lucky entry a day for the next 10 days.

Now this is a good way to start off the new year!

How do you enter?

Head over the the Custom Board Builder page and look for the Free 10 Day Wakeboard Giveaway Board Builder app.

You can also reach the Board Builder Giveaway by clicking here.

Then, submit a complete build and your in the running. That's it! We'll be announcing winners on Instagram, Facebook, and at the end of the Giveaway via email so make sure you are signed up.

Good luck and Happy Holidays! Stay tuned!

UPDATE 12/16/18 WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Thank you for the 1 of 1 Custom Board Builder submissions! We'll be showing off our 1 of 1 Custom Series builds in the coming weeks on Facebook. They're pretty awesome!

And a big congrats to the winners below!

  • 1st day - Tom M. from Creedmoor.
  • 2nd day - Fabian A. from Fuquay Varina, NC.
  • 3rd day - Christina K. from Regina, SC.
  • 4th day - Shay C. from Tempe, AZ.
  • 5th day - Keith F. from Miami, FL.
  • 6th day - Kory Hogan Monroe, MI.
  • 7th day - Caleb J. Shasta, CA.
  • 8th day - Joerg K. Austria.
  • 9th day - Andy M. Poolesville, MD.
  • 10th day - Kate C. Frisco, TX.

What do I do if I didn't win?

Didn't see your name here? Don't worry! We love giving back to our customers and fans. It won't be the last giveaway. Another way to stay in the loop, is to follow us on Facebook too. We'll be sure to keep you current on all the giveaway details as soon as they're released. Stay tuned!


Top 10 Recommended Lines On Kaesen Suyerhoud's Unit Wakeboard Lines Feature

Top 10 Recommended Lines On Kaesen Suyerhoud's Unit Wakeboard Feature

kaesen suderhoud unit wakeboard

We are pleased to announce the signing of pro shredder Kaesen Suyderhoud today. Kaesen and our crew go way back to the good ol’ days of the Wakeboard Camp in Clermont. He arrived in the summer of 2007 and made an immediate impression on everyone on Lake Minneola.

“I was living in Florida for the first time working at the camp. I still remember when Kyle Schmidt rolled up one day with a crazy looking prototype of the first board shape, I think it was eventually the Oracle board. It looked pretty different but fun so I was intrigued. I guinea pigged the first few runs on the proto. Time flies!

I’m excited to be a part of such a small, motivated team of friends that I’ve known for such a long time. It’s been cool to watch their journey unfold and now become a part of it.”

 

Kaesen has a long list of film & photo accolades. He rides with a silky smooth style that translates from snow to water effortlessly. He’s put in the time to showcase his creative vision of wakeboarding wherever he rides. Kaesen keeps a lighthearted, funny & positive vibe. He fits in with our team. He’s built a name for himself by discovering unexpected & hard to find riding spots and then crushing it.

Instead of releasing a ‘run of the mill’ announcement we collaborated with Kaesen to bring you the top 10 recommended lines on his Unit Parktech Signature Series feature.

There’s plenty more to come from Kaesen. The future looks bright!

The Stats
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 185 lbs.
Home Town: Redding, CA.
Stance: regular
Instagram: @kaesenthewake

The Spots
Velocity Island
Shasta
Area 52
Whiskeytown
Valdosta
Shredtown

The Setup
Langfield Pro Wakeboard
Odyssey Boots


Finding The Best Wakeboard Company. Riding Notes Explained.

Is Finding 'The Best Wakeboard Company' The Best Way To Buy & Sell Online?

Text and numbers alone don’t translate very well for choosing the best wakeboard.  The best wakeboard company guides an online buyer with size charts, flex meters, graphs, and specs for reference.

That’s fine and dandy but sometimes you just need a quick reference. This is where riding notes help.

Short verbal cues are known to help with visualization and memory. We like to use visualization for helping with wakeboarding. So why not help wakeboarders when buying online?

Even the best wakeboard company has struggled with language when it comes to describing how a wakeboard rides. It just ends up confusing the average wakeboarder. That’s no bueno.

A wakeboard’s shape & construction give the wakeboard characteristics that are surprisingly complex in combination.

Distilling these characteristics into something meaningful that wakeboarders can use to make a online purchase is not easy.

We are starting with something a bit different.

Riding Notes

As we thought more about how to quickly guide wakeboarders to the best wakeboard for their style, we looked to outside the industry for inspiration. For us, we quickly found that in the wine, liquor, and beer industries.

They refer to a tasting guide called ‘tasting notes’. Just like it sounds, tasting notes are used by judges to score a particular brand of alcohol for a variety of things like aroma, acidity, structure, texture, and balance. Scoring is supposed to be objective when judges score the flavor characteristics.

We ‘researched’ a variety of alcohol brands for inspiration on how we can apply tasting notes to find the best wakeboard. Our goal was to distill a board’s flavor or style [riding characteristics] into something the average wakeboarder can understand quickly to make a decision for the best wakeboard for him without the use of complicated charts, graphs, or specs.

The result is something we call riding notes. Its simple.

Riding notes are verbal cues that we come up with backed by the scoring data for each wakeboard from the nebula that is created from the score.

They are meant to be simple, quick, and to the point. They help buyers make an informed feeling on what wakeboard rides the best for their style.

ie. This board is smooth. You carry speed through landings and turns are consistent.

Using Riding Notes For The Best Wakeboard

Here’s how riding notes were formulated:

We selected what we thought of as the 12 most important board characteristics to score a wakeboard’s ride. Together, we scored on a rank of 1-5  for each riding characteristic. Together this creates an interesting visual shape, resembling a nebula of sorts.

Here’s the 12 riding characteristics we thought were important for selecting the best wakeboard for your style.

Top 12 Riding Characteristics:

Pop, speed, tracking, edge, turning, air tricks, durability (weight), ollie, pressing, ramps, rails, landings

Remember, like any style, what is appealing for one rider might not be the same for the next.

Review:

When reviewing each wakeboard’s riding notes, you’ll notice a particular board’s nebula shape is sometimes skewed to a particular quadrant. Other times the Nebula is more of a consistent shape throughout.

The consistency of the shape highlights whether a wakeboard has more ‘crossover’ riding characteristics. For this you’d see a more circular shape. For a wakeboard designed for a specific type of riding you’ll see a more abstract shape.

Apply:

We then take each wakeboard’s score and create short verbal cues to come up with what we’re seeing in the nebula of riding notes.

Choose the best wakeboard is all a matter of preference for your riding style. So in other words, there is no right or wrong answer, even if you prefer to rip around on a 1993 O’Brien Apex.

Other Questions To Ask When Selecting The Best Wakeboard For You

You’ve built up a level of comfort with the time you’ve spent on your last board. Stepping out of this comfort zone can be unsettling.

Does the thought of wanting to improve a certain aspect of your riding outweigh the temporary discomfort of trying a new board? What are those aspects of your riding you want to improve?

Reflect back on your riding with your previous board. Was there anything that didn’t perform up to your standards? Try to find a board that excels in these areas and then work your way around the nebula to see if anything else plays to your riding strengths.

You’ve built up a level of comfort with the time you’ve spent on your last board. Stepping out of this comfort zone can be unsettling. Does the thought of wanting to improve a certain area of your riding outweigh the temporary discomfort of trying a new board that improves on those areas? 

Below is each wakeboard’s riding notes score. We referenced this when creating simple verbal cues.

Remember, buying from the best wakeboard company can lead to confusion on what is actually right for you. Don’t take time to get ‘adjusted’. It should feel good right out of the box.

Best Wakeboard Oracle -Nebula
Best Wakeboard O'Shea Pro -Nebula
Best Wakeboard Cameo -Nebula
Best Wakeboard Team Meme -Nebula
Best Wakeboard Obrien Apex-Notes
Best Wakeboard HX-Nebula
Best Wakeboard ML-Nebula
Best Wakeboard Circus -Nebula


Humanoid Wakeboards Warranty: All Good Forever Lifetime & Impact Insurance

Humanoid Wakeboards Warranty: All Good Forever Wakeboard Lifetime Warranty and Impact Insurance

From Day 1 we've experimented with bucking the trend of conventional industry standards. We're always fine tuning, taking great care in what we produce, and being strange. It's in our DNA. Who needs more of the same?

So we sat down and reviewed the last few years of customer data with a fine tooth comb...Wait, no we didn't! We kid, we kid! We know we build the most badass boards after years of hard work and listening to customer feedback. The result is two new programs we are officially announcing today...

Humanoid Wakeboards Warranty: All Good Forever Wakeboard Warranty

The first program is a lifetime wakeboard warranty that we call the All Good Forever Warranty. Yeah, you read that right. Buy a new wakeboard and you'll get the option to extend your warranty for life for under $100. Now, to be clear, this warranty doesn't cover the abuses of everyday riding. It's simply our guarantee to you - when you purchase from us, we place the highest quality materials & care into building your new wakeboard. By enrolling in the All Good Forever Wakeboard Warranty, we'll have your back and cover your ride forever. We seem to think that's a pretty long time.

You talked. We listened. Introducing Impact Insurance

Our second program we call Impact Insurance. It helps spread the good word of industry leading durability that's behind our name. It's pretty simple. Impact Insurance covers catastrophic wakeboard damage.  Here's how this works. Should you damage your new wakeboard with an accidental impact [and we deem it unrideable], we'll replace your banged up wakeboard with a brand new wakeboard. Impact Insurance is $199 and is offered on any of our new wakeboards.

Are we crazy? yeah you're probably right. We are a team out to battle the status quo the only way we know how...by being a bit strange.

To purchase All Good Forever Warranty or Impact Insurance, browse any of our new wakeboards and select the All Good Forever Lifetime Warranty and/or Impact Insurance when adding checking out. Common questions are covered in our All Good Lifetime Warranty & Impact Insurance page. The finer details are addressed in our customer support center.

#Floridastrangest

 


Cable Wakeboard Magazine: The Renovation Contest

The Location: The Bricks in Germany to Hip-Notics in Turkey

After taking home the win last year at the Bricks in Germany, Team Humanoid returned again for Cable Wakeboard Magazine's The Renovation. This year Hip-notics cable park in Turkey hosted The Renovation. If you are new to The Renovation, the event is simple. 3 teams send 3 riders to design, build, and ride wakeboard park features they create.  Each team is given a budget and sent to work with a filmer.  An online audience casts votes in a number of events that include best setup, best line, best photo, and best all around riding.

The Teams: Slingshot, Jobe, and Humanoid

This year the team received warm weather, plenty of sunshine and stacks of new Unit features.  With team riders Chris O & Nick Dorsey recovering from injuries, we sent Mitch Langfield, Trevor Bashir, and Oli Breumlund out to Turkey!  Check out what they came up with and don't forget to cast your vote for best setup! The event goes live at The Renovation's site July 26th at 2 pm et. First up - best setup! Bookmark this page for more updates and behind the scenes action.

The results:

Revovation 2016-Social_26July-final_DSC6027_Stefan_Eigner

2016_06_06_THE_RENOVATION_HIPNOTICS_LennartRitscher_5344

2016_06_06 THE RENOVATION HIPNOTICS_LennartRitscher_5490

"We took the part that has Raph's signature off and renamed it the [email protected]#! rail in duct tape.  We put a solid two days into designing and getting supplies but then weren't allowed to take the Raph apart to do our original design.  This is what we came up with and it lived up to the name pretty quickly!" -Mitch Langfield

 2016

BEST LINE // HUMANOID

2016_06_06_THE_RENOVATION_HIPNOTICS_LennartRitscher_4746

2016_06_06_THE_RENOVATION_HIPNOTICS_LennartRitscher_3969

2016_06_06_THE_RENOVATION_HIPNOTICS_LennartRitscher_4960

BEST PHOTO // HUMANOID

Humanoid_Best_Photo_Mitch_Langfield_by_Stefan_Eigner

"I had my 25th birthday over there because my birthdays in June (always during the season).  I've had my birthday in a bunch of countries.. Most of the time we just go out but this year I think it was Steffen and Denny who organised a cake so that was cool of them! Then we all got drunk and had a sick night at the park!" -Mitch Langfield

BEST RIDING // HUMANOID

 

2016_06_06_THE_RENOVATION_HIPNOTICS_LennartRitscher_3342_web

2016_06_06_THE_RENOVATION_HIPNOTICS_LennartRitscher_6753_web

"The week got pretty stressful at times.. This type of thing is what we do for fun but when you add a time frame, cameras, a language barrier and in the back of your mind you still know it's a contest, everyone's drive doubles! Our team is such a tight team and we are all good mates so we always were turning everything into a joke.   The whole time even when we were stressed we were laughing and drinking beers!" -Mitch Langfield

 

2016_06_06_THE_RENOVATION_HIPNOTICS_LennartRitscher_6998_web

"Denny and Steffen along with all the photographers killed it!!! It's really hard to organize 9 wakeboarders and they kept the ball rolling the whole time!" -Mitch Langfield
FULL VIDEO RECAP

MVP// MITCH LANGFIELD

 

The Outcome: Mitch Langfield Wins

Once the last banger was filmed and the final photo was taken the crew sat together to vote for the most outstanding rider of Cable Magazine's The Renovation

Mitch Langfield threw the most bangers, worked the hardest and probably drank the most beers!

Congrats Mitch! You're a beast.


Tag Your Wakeboard or Wakesurfer The Cheap, Quick & Easy Way

Time to dust off your cheap wakeboard or wakesurfer and give it a little love and shine with some spray paint. That is before you completely destroy it at the next cable park trip or concrete ledge.   In this tutorial we'll will show you an effective way to tag your cheap wakeboard. You can apply this technique to  just about anything you want  - wakeboards, surfboards, snowboards, skateboards, or your girlfriend's tiny dog.

First, the essential tools...

1. spray paint - we recommend you use Montana spray paint.  You can find them for about $9 a can which is about $5 more than you'd be paying for cheap spray paint but I'm willing to spend that cause it dries quicker and lasts longer both in the can and on whatever you spray. It's also a really consistent spray nozzle that doesn't clog.

2. x-acto knife - We'll be using this to cut out our design

3. 1x  manila folder or thick piece of paper - This is what we'll as our stencil

4. Painter's tape - Used to keep our design in place while we cut it out of the manila folder.  You can also pick up some M3 Super 77 spray for a couple extra dollars.

5. Your design - This is what we'll be cutting out.  You can print the design out on computer paper, do it freehand or even place a photo over the top to trace out. Another good option if you have a few extra bucks for printing at larger scale is to use Fedex office.

6. An Old, unused or cheap wakeboard - You get the idea.

Step 1  Prep & Tape Your Design

Get your design after it's printed and tape it to one side of your manila folder or use the Super 77 spray to do so.  I decided to use Jake Pickle's icon because he showed me this technique.  Thanks Jake!

Step 2 Cut out Your Design With X-Acto knife

Cut out your design using the x-acto knife.  This part takes a little practice, especially when cutting around corners and arcs.  It helps to use your fingertips to rotate the knife subtly as you cut instead of applying heavy pressure to direct the knife.  You might need to re-cut parts of the design that didn't get sliced on your first go around.

Step 3 Spray Paint The Design On Your Wakeboard

Now the fun part.  Grab your spray paint, stencil design and tape. Place your stencil on the surface you want to spray, like a wakeboard. We used an spray painted white Oracle wakeboard. Adding a base layer of white before you hit your wakeboard with a spray design is great for making the colors pop. Just make sure you wait until it dries before you add another layer of spray paint.

If you want the outcome clean & precise we recommend taping the stencil securely to your wakeboard.  You'll get a burned or drippy look if the stencil is loose.  Make your sprays short & lighter than you think for precise edges...and use a sweeping motion.  Staying in one spot make the sprays heavy and those tend to smear and smudge as you remove your stencil. If you want a drippy painted look then hold the spray can in place about 2 inches above the surface for 2-3 seconds as you either start or finish the spray technique described above. For the drip effect make sure you spray inside the design, with the stencil removed, or you'll end up with a poor stencil design on your wakeboard....Doh!

That's it! Remove your stencil, grab your shred stick and start wakeboarding.  Your stencil should last for about 20-30 sprays.


Chris O'Shea. His Best Wakeboarding Videos from 2008-2013

Perhaps more than any other rider, Chris O'Shea has paved his own way. His journey has been of speculation and reason, of losses & victory, and of battles & vindications. So with all Chris O’Shea is doing or has done, it can sometimes become lost that he is one of the world’s elite wakeboarders. As proof we put together a collection of old and new footage taken from Box of Fun by Collin Harrington, In-Transit by Josh Robinson, & his Summer Trails Josh Robinson. Enjoy! (and check out Chris' ride of choice)

Live. Chris O'Shea footage 2008 - 2013 from Union Wakeboarder Magazine on Vimeo.