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Tips For Buying A WakeskateBy: Manacubus and Dave Barousse
Generally when new people get hooked on wakeskating and decide it is time to purchase their own wakeskate, they all seem to have very similar questions about what board to buy. These same questions are also very common on our message boards. While researching about wakeskates, Manacubus (site visitor), decided to compile all of the information he found and put it all in one place. We felt that Manacubus did a great job with his findings and wanted to feature his report for others to read while researching the perfect wakeskate. While reading, keep in mind that this article is based soley on Manacubus' experience. There is no correct formula for finding the perfect board, but the items listed below should give you all of the information you need to make the best possible decision.
Shoes or bare feet?
Firstly I wanted to know about shoes. This would influence whether I got a foam top or a grip-tape top. I found that basically everyone wears shoes, for good reason, in that itís possible to land on a fin and slice your foot open.
Grip-tape or foam?
Foam or grip-tape is a personal preference, but most people seem to think that grip tape offers a better feel, and is grippier than foam. Foam also tends to squeak underfoot. Also, coming from a skateboarding background, I really like the idea of grip (plus, I rode a gripped demo board and liked it). So, I knew I wanted a grip-tape top on my deck.
Concave or flat?
Everyone loves concave boards. They apparently land better in the water and offer a better ride. Most people dismiss flat boards as a good option for beginners. Concave decks are, however, very expensive compared to flat decks.
Wood or foam-core?
If you choose wood, you essentially get a big skateboard deck. If you choose foam-core (like a wakeboard), you essentially get a smaller wakeboard without bindings. This one is interesting. Thereís lots of people in each camp. Composites offer funky features (see the Hyperlite Gateís moulded rails and kicktails), whereas wood is fairly bland by comparison. They obviously float and ride differently too.
There were some very interesting posts on the commercialisation of wakeskating, and how the big companies are coming on board to make a quick buck, without knowing (or caring?) how to progress the sport. This argument speaks to me, and definitely influenced my purchase.
A bigger board will assist in getting wake to wake, whereas a smaller board will help with technical tricks. You should also take into account your weight when considering board size. A heavier person is going to want a bigger board.
So, after taking all of this on board, what did I buy? I went with the 2003 Cassette Linear Perspective 40 Grip. This is a really small (40 inch, or 101cm), grip-top, flat, wood board made by a quality company with an excellent reputation. Because it was last yearís model, I got a good price on it. Obviously, this is just my personal preference. Because everyone is different, you'll have to decide for yourself what is the right board for you.
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