In today’s world of wakesurfing, the variety of boards to choose from can be intimidating, confusing, and really difficult for people to justify a decision of which board to buy. Within this article, I am going to break down the main aspects of wakesurf boards and what sets them all apart from one another. To start off, there are two types of board designs on the market. One is surf style and the other is skim style. 

How to Choose Wakesurf Boards

There are many shapes available for wakesurfers to suit different riding styles and abilities. The majority of wakesurf boards are a combination of the skimboard and surfboards. They fall into three main categories: the thruster-style surf shapes, the skim board style shapes and the hybrid shapes. Hyperlite, Ronix, and Phase Five are the biggest names in Wakesurf boards and we have them here. 

Check out the newest advancement in wakesurf boards from Ronix with the Ronix H.O.M.E. Carbon Pro M50 Hybrid Wakesurf Board

Surf Style Wakesurf Boards

For surf style boards, they are going to feel most similar to surfing ocean waves at the beach. Surf style boards are going to be generally thicker/denser and have more volume. Surf style boards will also usually have big, soft rails. Soft rails will make it more difficult to break the board loose on the wave.

Keep in mind that surf style boards are directional and made to cruise the wave with the fins locked in the water. As a rider progresses, it's breaking the board loose that makes it a fun challenge. Surf style boards tend to have more rocker to them, especially in the nose, when compared to skim style boards. More nose rocker will make it less likely for you to nose dive the board.

Skim Style Wakesurf Boards

As for skim style wakesurf boards, they are a whole different ball game. Skim style boards are going to be your boards for surface tricks ie. surface 360, pop-shuvit’s, etc. Skim style boards more often than not will have sharp rails, similar tip and tail design, and very little rocker to them. Also, skim style boards will have a lot smaller of a fin setup. The smaller fin setup makes sense and works because you don’t need a big fin when you have sharp rails because those rails are acting as fins.

The reason skim boards have the similar nose and tail design is because they are designed to be ridden backward, sideways, and really anyway you want. If you're trying to learn 180’s, 360’s, and anything involving the board spinning, you would have a pretty difficult time learning if you were on a surf style board.

Now to explain why skim’s have little to no rocker in them. Skimboards have way less volume than surf style boards. That in return will make it quite the challenge for the rider to stay in the wave. To break it down, skimboards don’t like to float as well as a surf style board would, and to allow skimboards to maintain speed, they need their sharp rails, and little to no rocker, to keep them up to speed in the wave.

Which Wake surf Style Board is More Difficult to Ride?

Is Surf style more difficult than skim style or is skim style more difficult than surf style?

From personal experience, I would have to say for someone who is just getting into surfing that really has no background in ocean surfing—or any board sports for that matter—I would put them on a surf style board. It’s a no brainer to me! Your traditional surf style board is going to have a much bigger fin setup; therefore, keeping the board locked into the water, and making it effortless for the rider to keep the board in control and in a straight line. Surf style boards are just so much more stable on the water, and overall the best option for someone getting into wake surfing.

Check out our guide on How To Wakesurf here.

Want to know more about Wakesurfing? 

In our Ultimate Guide To Wakesurf Boards, we go more in depth about the sport, wakesurf board types, and picking the right wakesurf board for you.

If you have questions or concerns before going to purchase your board, feel free to call or visit our San Diego Wakesports Unlimited location!

San Diego Shop: (858)-277-5757 
689 El Cajon Blvd.  El Cajon, CA 92020

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We would be happy to steer you in the right direction, and get you out on the water!