So, you have decided you like wakesurfing.   It’s fun, you’re outside, with friends, tunes are going.  We agree, we love wakesurfing too.  How could you not love an endless wave?  You’ve tried your friends’ boards or maybe you’re in your local board shop or boat dealer and you look at the board wall.   There’s a lot. A lot a lot.  All different shapes, sizes, colors, some have 4 huge pointy fins, others one super tiny flat looking one.   “What is all this stuff and what should I get?” That age old question of what type of wakesurf board should i buy?

Well…. You might have read a few reviews online.  Your friends will have opinions, even your significant other will tell you they like the look of that one.    Good thing for you, looks don’t matter.   We want you to get the right board for your size, ability, and what you want to do on it.

The 3 types of wakesurf boards

  • Hybrid 
  • Surf 
  • Skim


We will start off with hybrids.  They are great all-around boards that are perfect for learning on.  They are stable, forgiving, hold an edge well, when sized properly they are super easy to keep up to the boat with.  They are your overall utility knife.   We love hybrids and teach each and every one of our beginners on it.   Truth be told for some a hybrid is all they will ever want to ride.  Hybrids combine the more forgiving characteristics of the other two types.  They are super stable side to side (not tippy) and depending on how they are set up with the fins they should track super straight (won’t feel slippery). 

 Hybrids should allow you to set the board up with a combination of 1-5 fins depending on the make or model.   A single fin in the back will make the board pivot from the tail of the board while adding fins to the side locations will add for some more stability and bite while on the face of the wave.  Remove that rear center fin and the boards pivot point will move further away from the tail to the location of the 2 fins located on the side giving the board a looser feeling.   Looser doesn’t necessarily mean the board will feel slippery.  The larger the fins on the side the more holding power you will have on the face of the wave.    Play around with a few setups.   Hopefully your board comes with a few different fins for you to try and experiment with.


Surf style boards look and have similar characteristics of what we would see in the ocean.  2-5 fin setups depending on the board model and the manufacturer.   Surf style boards should have a minimum of two 3.75” or larger fins.  Some models allow for “side bites” or smaller fins around your main fins as well as smaller trailer fins for added bite.   Some even allow for a full quad setup.  It’s all personal preference but if you’re competing there are clearly defined rules on equipment.   

Surf boards want to go fast.    Big airs, super aggressive carves, slashes, surf style boards love to be put on edge and go.   In comparison to the hybrid these boards should feel “tippy”.   To be aggressive these boards are designed to go from rail to rain in an instant.   It takes some getting used to but when you get the hang of it you will see just how input sensitive these boards are.   What does that mean for you?  A little effort goes a long way.  These boards are designed to be ridden a certain way and when you give it input at the correct times it is magic.     With the larger fins the board will want to track straight and will hold better when standing on the face of the wave. 


Skim boards have a thinner profile, sharper rails and have one or no fin.  The fin is located right on the tale of the board and is usually long with a shallow depth.  This allows the board to feel very loose and playful. Still shoulders are the name of the game when riding a skim.  Easy to spin and break the tail free these boards feel very stable rail to rail but will feel slippery on the face of the wave.  Tricks such as 360s, shove its, 180’s are what these boards are all about. Comparing it to a surfboard, skim boards don’t like to be muscled. We’re not saying you can’t muscle them, it’s just that it takes a bit to get there.  Be patient while changing edges as your edges play a super important role in you not slipping out and falling on your face.  

Super playful, the learning curve on a skim board is amazing.  These boards are designed for skateboard style tricks.  Once you get used to riding it with the fin at the back turn it around for a new challenge and learn to ride it revert>.  This will open up a world of possibilities for you and is an important foundation skill.