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Fish209

New to wake surfing - Versatile Board(s) suggestion?

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Fish209

I'm in the process of getting a boat. I'm working with a seller right now on a 2009 Wakesetter VLX, but even if something happened for any reason to cause this to fall through, I'll be getting something similar. If I end up with this one, I will be adding some plug and play ballast in both rear lockers (probably, 910lb bags in each from Wakemaker). I will also have a Nauticurl wake shaper.

With this type of boat/wake, I'm looking for suggestions on a decent, reasonably priced board (or boards) to start with? None of us are going pro so 1.) versatility (works okay for a wide range of people), 2.) price 3.) performance would be my criteria in that order.

Here's the mix of surfers as I see it now before we even have the boat :)

75% - 16-17 year old boys and girls. They haven't surfed before, but they are all a really athletic bunch so I'm sure they'll pick it up quickly.

15% - 12 year old girls that haven't surfed before. 

10% - Male adults looking to give it a try.

 

What board(s) would you suggest I look at for us to get started?

 

 

Thanks in advance!!!

 

 

 

Edited by Fish209

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riot138

I picked up a hyperlite broadcast for my first season which was last summer.  It was the 5'4" version.  Everyone who rode it from young to old ended up surfing ropeless on it and I even pulled off my first 360 on it.  It worked great for me.  I am now in the process of looking for the next level board more specific to my size and needs. I am glad I bought that board and have it to keep as a a boat board.  I also picked it up used and it was nice to not cringe when I would hand it over to complete newbs because I picked it up so cheap.

Edited by riot138

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Pat502

Fish 209 we’re in the same boat.  We purchased an 05 VLX at the end of summer just in time to put it up for the year and have been researching wakesurf boards.  I learned to surf on a skim style board behind an 04 LSV and I will say I can ride with the rope but that’s it.  The minimual wake and advanced board makes it tough for a novice like myself.  I’ve read a lot of good things about the hyperlite broadcast and I think that will be our starter board come spring.  If it doesn’t work out keep looking and get what you want.  Don’t settle!   There is an enourmous amount of great information on this sight and many people are eager to help.  

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shawndoggy

I've tooted this horn a bunch in the past 5 months, but the victoria factor PCX is durable enough to put in your racks, super easy for newbs to ride, and won't ever hold you back as you progress (the Victoria Agent might be slightly better for complete newbs.... I've never ridden one tho). "Production" boards are 2x as heavy and 2x as slow.  The CWB Tsunami gets recommended a lot in that respect, and we do keep one around for days that we bring out really really unathletic people.  Or days when we have littles on the boat that I want to ride doubles with.  Just scan craigslist or FB Marketplace -- the tsunami should show up there eventually.

A couple of VERY broad generalizations: first, unless your ladies are real heavy, or your dudes are real skinny, do your self a favor and get a smaller board for the girls.  Something for the 130 and under crowd and something for the 175 and up crowd.  If you are going to have some people over 200, you probably need three boards (especially if the bigger guys (let's assume they are guys) are fat/unathletic).  Heavier folks really struggle on boards that aren't properly sized for them (can't get any push) and the same is true for small people on a too big board (board is too fast, can't drive the rail into the wave to turn/control speed).  Your 12 year old girls should NOT be riding the same board as your full grown men (unless they're very large girls or your dudes are jockeys).  If I were trying to decide whether to get a "big" board or a "little" board first, I'd go little -- the kids will learn and get good way faster with something appropriately sized, and let's be honest, sadly, many many adults are far past their athletic primes.

second, IMHO this is a case where you can save money by spending money to get decent boards off the bat.  I am assuming that you really want to be able to surf behind the boat and not get drug around with the rope in one hand and a beer in the other (we see lots of those peeps at our lakes.... and i think in that case board choice really doesn't matter).  In the old days before I ponied up for a "good" board I would go through 3-4 cheap boards a season, buying them and selling them, trying to find something good.  And what I learned is that they are cheap for a reason (not fun to ride).  I expect my current quiver will be good till I break something.

Being that you are in NorCal, you have a great resource with WEST facebook group.  I see nice boards pop up on that feed pretty regularly.

In short -- just spend the money.  Don't cheap out on crummy boards.  Everyone will get better much faster with decent boards to ride.  

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Fish209

Awesome advice guys. I'll take a look into some of the suggested boards.

Newbie question - What is the difference between a skim and surf board? Shows how much I know :)

Thank you!!!

Edited by Fish209

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shawndoggy

From a middle aged desk jockey hack's perspective....

skim boards are loose and tend to "slide" more.

surf style boards are more buoyant (or at least have more volume) and have longer fins that allow you to pump to drive them for speed.  They tend to get more air than a skim.

 

 

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Cole2001

Start with a board that’s definitely easy to ride but not the cheapest piece of plywood you can find. I would recommend a phase 5 model x, super stable, not too slow but not fast, over a year you’ll want something better but it will be a great boat board. 

I don’t recommend starting people out on a surf style board, it’s totally different and the speed can be unmanageable. Plus super fragile. 

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shawndoggy
14 minutes ago, Cole2001 said:

I don’t recommend starting people out on a surf style board, it’s totally different and the speed can be unmanageable. Plus super fragile. 

Agree 100% . At least "real" surf style boards.  I've heard tell that newbs can ride the slow surf style stuff (ronix powertail) pretty well.

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BLSousa
4 hours ago, shawndoggy said:

From a middle aged desk jockey hack's perspective....

 skim boards are loose and tend to "slide" more.



@shawndoggy that is a really nice looking goofy wave, perfect for a skim run!  Is that behind your T22?  If so, I would love to know what your speed, wedge, and ballast setup was?

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BLSousa

Once dialed in, your boat will put out a nice wave but you will probably need to add a few inches in board length compared to someone surfing behind a new LSV.  Broad tail boards give you more push than pintail boards. Similarly, broad nosed boards are less susceptible to burying the nose (pearling).  New riders tend to bury the nose a lot when learning to balance their weight to stay in the pocket of the wave. A 3” or taller fin will help the board track and be easier to learn to turn without it slipping out.

On our boat the board that is the favorite for all the adults to go from their first attempt up to carving the wave is the Ronix Blender. The Blender is similar to the Ronix Powertail that shawndoggy spoke of but with a wide, square nose so it doesn’t bury the nose as easily. These things make it easy to learn and progress on.   The down side of our blender is that it says not to let it sit in direct sunlight.  

Kids tend to learn better on a wide skim style board.  We have the 3’9” phase 5 scamp for the kids and it has never failed. It is wide and rounded with out being overly buoyant. This seems to let riders from 100-130 find their balance and progress quickly.

We have used a number of boards over the last couple of years and these two have worked for newbies behind our boat the best. I still love the blender and so does my wife who is around the same size as I am. 

Hopefully someone with a ~2009 VLX will chime in with experience on how much push to expect out of your wave in comparison to other boats. That way you will be able to narrow down your board lengths to try.  To put that in context, I have a 17 22’VLX. Our 4’7” blender is great for 170-195 lbs behind our boat.  Behind our friends ‘18 23’ Xstar, the 4’7” blender has too much push for me and is better suited to 190-210 lbs.  

 

 

Edited by BLSousa

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shawndoggy
9 hours ago, BLSousa said:

@shawndoggy that is a really nice looking goofy wave, perfect for a skim run!  Is that behind your T22?  If so, I would love to know what your speed, wedge, and ballast setup was?

wedge down, factory ballast full, and probably 450 in each rear sack.  speed 11.

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Fish209
On 12/1/2018 at 7:32 AM, shawndoggy said:

Being that you are in NorCal, you have a great resource with WEST facebook group.  I see nice boards pop up on that feed pretty regularly.

 

Thanks shawndoggy!!! What group would this be? Nothing comes up when I search facebook for a broad term like "WEST". I'd love to find some gently used boards in my area.

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Fish209

Thanks guys! Man...almost too many suggestions. I was hoping there might be one obvious unanimous choice :)

 

I've seen the Hyperlite Broadcast mentioned often when people ask for a good board (and a few times in this thread) for people starting out. Looks like there's two sizes. 4'8' and 5"4'.  Some mention the smaller size and some mention the bigger size. What should I consider before deciding on the right size?

 

Thanks!

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goodmatt78

I was in this situation and wanted a single do it all board...I ended up getting the slingshot butter bar.  It was a great choice and now that I have tried other boards, I still prefer mine.  It's fast and really easy to get up on and go ropeless, even with stock ballast, wedge and suck gate.  You can also remove 2 of the fins for spins.

I think this board kinda blends traditional and skim...but might be considered a skim.  Also, skim style sink a bit more which make it easier for beginners to get up on....but are also faster, so you don't need a huge wave....best of both worlds.

 

Edited by goodmatt78

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dcarl
37 minutes ago, Fish209 said:

Thanks guys! Man...almost too many suggestions. I was hoping there might be one obvious unanimous choice :)

 

I've seen the Hyperlite Broadcast mentioned often when people ask for a good board (and a few times in this thread) for people starting out. Looks like there's two sizes. 4'8' and 5"4'.  Some mention the smaller size and some mention the bigger size. What should I consider before deciding on the right size?

 

Thanks!

Look at the rider weight recommendation on the board specs.

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JWBeav

We have the 4’8” and it is plenty for people up to 180:  Also have a Hyperlite Quad (biggest size) that is a very forgiving board with a bit more of a surfy feel and good for a beginner.  Going to pick up a Phase 5 Ahi this year for a more advanced surf board.  Like anything, all the brands have great boards, call Wakemakers if yo have any questions....those guys are awesome!

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BLSousa

Hopefully @isellacuras will chime in here. He has a 2012 VLX that has the same hull as the 2009. He would be a great source of information for both boat setup and board selections for your crew. He is also only an hour north of you. You might be able to sweet talk him into some on the water instruction :) 

Edited by BLSousa

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isellacuras

Yeah @Fish209, hit me up. I'd be happy to help you get all set up. Like @BLSousa said, I'm right up the road and have the same hull and also use a nauticurl. I, similar to @shawndoggy like the feel of two dinamically different boards so i ride a Victoria Captain and a custom soulcraft voodoo.  I really think you need to ride a few to figure out what you like. Coming from a big guy, having a board that works for your size is really important.   I struggled the first year or two riding boards that were too small and it was less fun. I bought and sold on Craigslist til i knew what i wanted and then bit the bullet and ordered new. I keep a quiver of boards for different shapes, styles and skills. I have a phase 5 scamp, Victoria debut, inland surfer fly boy, soulcraft SOS, Victoria Captain and a soulcraft voodoo.  I have bought and sold a half dozen others along the way. There is a phase 5 oogle on Craigslist down in the east bay that is worth picking up.  It rides a lot like the Victoria but is a tad less responsive (equally slippery). The oogle is one of the many i bought and sold and i really enjoyed that board which is what made me ultimately select the Victoria which is better for my size.   PM me if you want to come out with me or when you get your boat, I'd be happy to head down that way. Also, I'm a member on west and can get you set up if you need help. If you search W.E.S.T. on Facebook it should pop up. Stands for wake experience Sacramento territory and is a great resource for events, finding thirds, for sale stuff and so on. 

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granddaddy55
On 12/2/2018 at 2:36 PM, JWBeav said:

We have the 4’8” and it is plenty for people up to 180:  Also have a Hyperlite Quad (biggest size) that is a very forgiving board with a bit more of a surfy feel and good for a beginner.  Going to pick up a Phase 5 Ahi this year for a more advanced surf board.  Like anything, all the brands have great boards, call Wakemakers if yo have any questions....those guys are awesome!

Run the Ahi as a twin , with possibly smallest rear fins in front fin beds, the 56” Ahi is a total Dog, get the 53, it’s a sports car, you will love it, if you can get it without front EVA, it has the hump ridge in middle I hate though luv the board.  Get a blank wake ballast pad with no wax and put Mrs Palmers on it. Fir a performing board the Ahi is stupid durable as its armored

the 56 Ahi isn’t as bad as the St. Bernard of a Board the HL Quad, May be the worst Board I have ever  surfed 

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Peebalz

@Fish209 Did you decide on a board yet?  We bought an axis a20 last year and went with the LIquid Force Fish.  We taught probably 5 adults and 10 kids this summer.  It isn’t super expensive and comes with a surf rope too.  I took the fins off and it was still a little too bulky to do many tricks on once you figure it out, but it is a great start board.  EVO.com has great advice on buying boards and you can call their 1-800 number and they can walk you through all the options, sizes, and boards.  Great website and company.  Hope this helps.

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Fish209

I went with a Phase 5 Scamp (size 3'9") for the lighter/younger kids and a Hyperlite Broadcast (size 5'4") for the heavier/older ones as well as adults.

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shawndoggy

scamp is a great board for teaching littles!

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MustGoFast
On 11/30/2018 at 10:39 PM, riot138 said:

I picked up a hyperlite broadcast for my first season which was last summer.  It was the 5'4" version.  Everyone who rode it from young to old ended up surfing ropeless on it and I even pulled off my first 360 on it.  It worked great for me.  I am now in the process of looking for the next level board more specific to my size and needs. I am glad I bought that board and have it to keep as a a boat board.  I also picked it up used and it was nice to not cringe when I would hand it over to complete newbs because I picked it up so cheap.

I bought the same board last year; it was my first board.  I learned and progressed quickly on it so did my wife (we were both ropeless in the first month and opened up our range of motion all summer long, by the end I was attempting spins (failing)) and I was able to teach several friends to ride and a couple to drop the rope - I'd highly recommend it for that purpose and I'll be keeping it around for the friends and casuals to ride going forward.  Note I bought a prior year closeout broadcast with surf rope for like $175 in total.

That said, this year I wanted a more agile board to advance on; so I bought that --> I'm not sure I would do anything differently knowing what I do today, but you might want to expect the same result....

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