Wakeboarding can become an expensive sport when we add up all of the equipment. Ropes, handles, buoyancy vests, helmets, foot bindings, and the wakeboard itself. Not to mention the fuel for your boat.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all these costs when you first get into the sport, especially with the huge array of wakeboards available.
Deciding on which board to get will further confuse the situation when you realize all your choices.
With different sizes, rocker styles, base designs, fins, rails, and the tips and tails, it becomes difficult to know which cheap boards are worth your time and which are garbage.
Some of the leading wakeboard brands include Ronix, Hyperlite, Liquid Force, Connelly, Obrien, and Body Glove, just to mention a few.
Because of all the options, we have compiled a list of the best budget boards on the market that will leave you carving up the wakes on nothing less than quality.
In order to keep prices low and help you stock up on your gear without breaking the bank, all of our choices remain under USD 400.
Top 7 Best Cheap Wakeboards Reviewed
- Ronix Vault (Best Overall)
- Liquid Force Trip (Best Budget)
- Liquid Force Timba (Best High End)
- Hyperlite Baseline
- Hyperlite State 2.0
- Connelly Steel
- O’Brien System
1. Ronix Vault (Best Overall)
An incredibly light wakeboard with edges on both the heel and toe sides designed for edging, this entry-level board is great for tricks and will see you through your intermediate stages of wakeboarding.
|Easy to use for experienced riders||Thin profile can be tough for new riders|
|High-quality hold and control|
2. Liquid Force Trip (Best Budget)
Designed with a non-aggressive shape, the trip is an ideal board for both beginners and experts alike.
The Trips continuous rocker and D-I-S-C Hull make this budget board perfect for learning how to get some air while keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket.
|Provides a fast and predictable ride||The boards edges my shed fiberglass over time.|
|Great value for money||The board is heavy, especially for beginners|
|Easy to learn on||Not ideal for heavier riders|
3. Liquid Force Timba (Best High End)
The Liquid Force Timba is a wakeboard to be reckoned with. This high-quality budget board is an ideal all-rounder, perfect for both parks and being towed behind a boat.
This board is perfect for intermediate/ advanced riders, but will not make a new wakeboarder’s life too difficult as they learn the ropes of the sport.
|The flex in the board softens landings||On the higher end of the price spectrum|
|Great for beginners|
With a continuous rocker and a wider base, this board is ideal for anyone trying to make quick progress with their wakeboarding skills.
You can expect this board to be one of the smoothest rides out there with landings as soft as jumping on a sponge.
|Great for learning and advancing skills||Not as durable as other Hyperlite boards|
|Carves through the water with ease||Not ideal for aggressive wakeboarding|
|Flexibility creates soft landings||Not ideal for professionals|
|Easy for beginners|
This asymmetrically shaped board has been specifically designed to balance out the forces exerted by the boat.
With its uniquely designed toe and heel edges, and toe side foot risers this board is easy to maneuver and is ideal for all skill levels.
|ABS sidewalls with molded-in fins make it durable||Not as durable as other Hyperlite boards|
|Multiple size options are available||Landings tend to be hard and rough|
|Offers great pop off of the wake||The board is on the heavy side|
|A great board for beginners||Slower than most boards|
Although it finds itself on the upper end of your budget, the Connelly Steel deserves a place on this budget list.
The perfect cheap wakeboard for the more advanced boat wakeboarder, this board makes use of a variable 3 – stage rocker with a deep center channel that gives the expert rider optimum control.
|Designed specifically for boat wakeboarding||3 - Stage rocker slows down the board|
|Easy pop due to the exaggerated rocker line||Not ideal for using in a park|
|Great for expert and pro riders||Not suited for beginners|
A perfect cheap board for your kids to join you for your day on the lake or in the park, the System from O’brian is sturdy, lightweight and easy to control due to its continuous rocker.
This is the perfect board for your kids to learn on and quickly advance their skills, both behind a boat or in a park.
|A cost effective way to introduce someone new to the sport||Not great for adults and taller riders|
|Continuous rocker makes handling predictable||Suitable for parks but not ideal|
|Extra buoyant foam makes standing up easier||Not ideal for heavier riders|
|The perfect first board for your kids|
What to Look For When Buying a Cheap Wakeboard
We know buying a wakeboard can be a long and tough process, especially when you have a tight budget and perhaps are not entirely sure what you should be looking for.
Before you put that credit card in the machine, consider the points below and decide for yourself if you are making the best choice.
Consider Your Budget
Before diving into brands, quality, and the style of board you want, you should consider how much you are willing to spend.
There’s no point in browsing through available wakeboards and finding the perfect one, only to discover that the board you have fallen in love with is far out of your price range.
Set yourself a price limit and keep within the range while you are doing your research to prevent disappointment.
Decide Where You Will Be Riding
The next factor to consider is where you will be using your board. If you tend to lean towards being towed behind a boat then you should filter out any boards that are made specifically for parks.
Alliteratively, there is no point in looking through boat-towed boards when you will only be making use of your wakeboard at a park.
If you like to move between the two, of course, the best option is to have multiple boards, but as you’re likely on a tight budget, you may want to consider a hybrid board.
Hybrid boards tend to fall right in between park boards and boat boards in terms of flex. This means they are great for locking into presses but are still good at popping off of a wake.
Consider Your Skill Level
Buying a wakeboard that suits your skill level is important. As you are on a budget, buying a board that is designed for a level that far surpasses yours could be a disaster as you don’t have the cash to buy a second one.
You should try and find a board that is well-balanced for both advanced and beginner riders.
These boards will often have a camber rocker which allows for smooth weight transfer but still maintains a high level of precision.
The size of the board will also make a difference here as bigger wakeboards are more stable and easier to control, but are difficult when attempting to get some air.
On the flip side, a smaller board will be easy to control in the air but may be difficult to stand up on for beginners.
As you’ll likely have only a single board, you should try and choose a size that best balances both of these aspects.
Keep in Mind Your Riding Style
If you’re the type of wakeboarder that always has the same foot in front, a single tip board may be your best option.
Single tips have a narrower front and wider back, unlike twin-tip boards that are rounded on both ends, allowing you to switch feet and directions with ease.
Twin-tips are often a good choice for budget buying as they allow the possibility of advancing to switching your feet, even if this is not something you’re familiar with.
Don’t Ignore the Reviews
Reviews from others that have tried out a board are a gold mine and you should never ignore them.
This becomes even more important when buying a cheap wakeboard. Price often indicates quality, but not always.
A wakeboard at the upper end of your budget may seem to be your best choice, but the cheapest board could have the best reviews.
Listen to what others say before you spend your hard-earned cash. It could be the difference between buying the perfect budget wakeboard and buying absolute trash.
Let Quality Be the Final Deciding Factor
After considering all other factors, if you’re still not 100% sure about what to buy, then look at quality to make your final decision.
Although you’re on a budget, buying a low-quality board could end up more expensive in the long run as you’ll likely need to replace it often.
Quality is everything with wakeboarding and it should always be the final deciding factor when comparing boards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still, have some questions? The FAQs below might be exactly what’s on your mind. Take a look through them and you may find that everything you are still wondering is answered.
What Size Board Should I Buy?
Choosing the correct size wakeboard is not a perfect science, however, there is a rough guide that relates your weight with the board size.
Keep in mind that a slightly bigger board is better for new wakeboarders as they are more buoyant and provide better stability.
|Board Size||Body Weight|
|130cm||27-59kg / 60-130lb|
|134cm||40-77kg / 88-170lb|
|138cm||60-95kg / 132-209lb|
|142cm||80-115kg / 176-254lb|
|146cm||100kg+ / 220lb+|
If you find that your weight fits into more than one category, it may be best to choose the larger board if you are new to wakeboarding, and the smaller board if you are more advanced.
What Is a Rocker?
The rocker is simply the curve of your wakeboard between the nose and the tail.
The rocker plays a large role in how your board performs and is an essential aspect of wakeboards.
Without a rocker, your board would simply be a flat plant that would not ride well, likely sink, and be difficult to turn.
What Rocker Style Is Best for Me?
Choosing which rocker is best for you will come down to your experience and skill level.
A 3-stage rocker is said to provide the most pop but is a slower ride. This rocker style is great for beginners as the board is slower and easier to control when moving over the wakes.
Continuous rockers are a single rounded rocker. Continuous rockers are the fastest rockers as they create very little friction between the board and the water.
Although they are faster, they do sacrifice some pop which makes them best for intermediate to advanced riders.
Hybrid rocker / Blended Rockers are exactly what the name suggests, a mixture between a continuous and 3-stage rocker.
Hybrids aim at taking the best of the two main rocker styles and creating a perfect board that fits somewhere in between.
Hybrids are perfect for the budget wakeboarder as they allow you to experience both speed, agility, and the possibility for easy air.
Do I Need Multiple Wakeboards?
Having different size wakeboards with multiple rocker options is the most ideal situation. Similar to surfing, different boards and styles are better in different conditions.
If you are at a park, a park-designed board will last longer and provide the most fun, but taking the same board behind a boat may seem limited.
That being said, not everyone can afford multiple wakeboards, and that is okay.
If you are on a budget you do not need to have more than one wakeboard, but the board you buy should be well suited to all the situations that you will be riding it.
If you like to jump between parks and boats, then choosing a hybrid board is a great way to keep the costs low while making the most out of your wakeboard.
Wakeboarding can be an expensive sport, but it does not need to break the bank. Many high-quality wakeboards on the market will not cost you more than USD 400.
These boards are perfect for new riders that do not have the budget to buy multiple boards or who are not sure whether wakeboarding is a sport for them.