The Difference Between a Boat and Cable Park Wakeboard
A wakeboard is a wakeboard right? Well, not exactly. There are different types of boards for riding behind the cable versus the boat, and sometimes the type of board you have can make a huge difference. Let’s go over a few key points here.
The main difference between a cable board and a boat board is the grind base. The grind base allows you to hit obstacles like rails and kickers without having to worry about the base of your board getting scuffed up and dinged. Many grind bases actually slide better than traditional bases as well, giving you a locked in feeling that connects well with the surface of the kicker. The main difference, however, is the huge difference in longevity between a grind base and traditional base. With a traditional board with molded-in fins you may only get a few weeks of hard cable riding before the points of the fins start to wear through and water starts to penetrate into the core of the board, which will start the delamination process and ruin the entire board over time. A grind base, on the other hand, may have many years of riding and hitting obstacles before it shows serious signs of wear and tear. It really is a huge difference.
The bottom contours of a board meant for riding behind the boat are often detailed, intricate and somewhat fragile. These bottom contours are only made to go through water, so they have channels and molded-in fins that work great for releasing off the wake and landing soft, but as discussed above, they can wear out quickly when hitting obstacles at the cable park. A park board, however, will often have a very simple bottom that’s not as likely to get hung up on rails and kickers. It will also have bolted on fins in many cases, so as the fins wear down they are easily replaced with a new set and you can keep on riding.
A boat set may mean you’re in your bindings for 30 minutes or more at a time, so you don’t have to think about getting in and out of your boots frequently. If you ride cable consistently, however, you want to think about getting a pair of bindings that are easy to slip in and out of, but still have a secure feeling while you’re riding. This is because you’re going to be getting out of your boots and walking back to the cable’s starting dock every time you fall. Trust us from experience, it’s much better to have a set of boots that are quick and easy when you ride cable regularly.
A Hybrid Setup
The best of all worlds is a hybrid park/boat board that takes the best aspects of each type of board and combines them into one beast of a do-it-all board. They will typically have a continuous or progressive rocker along with subtle bottom contours with Urethane sidewalls and a grind base. The grind base doesn’t affect wake riding at all, so there’s no reason not to spring for it so you can safely ride both cable and boat without worrying about damaging your board. The same goes for easy-entry and exit bindings: there’s no reason not to pick them because they make boat riding easier as well.
So there you have it, a quick rundown of some differences between a park and a boat board. Stop in to our newly-remodeled pro shop to hear more about our park boards today. We look forward to seeing you at Ski Rixen, America’s first-ever cable park right in Deerfield Beach, FL. Give us a call or come on out!