Besides your skills, the next thing that adds to the fun and excitement in any watersport is the one you have in your quiver. It could be your best performing longboard for surfing. Or, for wakeboarding, your most efficient wakeboard.
With the many names in the wakeboarding industry, the challenge lies in finding the brand that suits your wakeboarding needs.
Luckily, there is one that caters to what you need. A name that has long been standing since the 1990s. They have more than enough tenure and experience in this field, and they are improving year after year. This brand is O’Brien.
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Founded in 1966, O’Brien Watersports is a world leader in the manufacturing and distributing water sports towable and accessories. Although it was founded in 1966, it wasn’t until the 1980s that O’Brien really blew up as the go-to brand for watersports.
O’Brien Watersports had this trailer that gets towed from tournament to tournament. This constant transport gave exposure to the company as the trailer was used for many different things. O’Brien’s boys allowed organizers to use it as a registration spot, scoring, and running orders for the boys.
Fast forward to the 90s and the present day, O’Brien remains one of the few wakeboard manufacturers who are still standing firm in the market. O’Brien takes pride in the diversity and performance of their products.
Everything you need, from beginner boards to accessories, you will find in O’Brien. No wonder why well-known and celebrated pro levels like Cory Teunissen, Jeff Langley, are Tarah Mikacich carry with them an O’Brien in every ride.
Best O’Brien Wakeboards
O’Brien Watersports strives to provide everything a wakeboarder needs. It doesn’t matter whether behind the boat the rider takes laps from or enjoys features at cable parks or sketchy waterways; O’Brien Watersports has the right wakeboard for you.
It is essential to O’Brien that they deliver the right board for every kind of water situation and any skill level. The team also considers that there are riders who are as young as ten who are highly involved in this watersport. With that, they are ready with kid friendly boards, too!
|Fins||Boat or Park|
|O’Brien Fix Wakeboard||Blunt 0.8||Park|
|O’Brien Exclusive Wakeboard||Flank 0.7||Boat|
|O’Brien Indie Wakeboard||Finless||Park|
|O’Brien Format Wakeboard||Flank 1.1||Boat|
|O’Brien Stiletto Wakeboard||Blunt 0.8||Park|
|O’Brien Shota Valhalla Wakeboard||Flank 1.35||Boat|
|O’Brien DZ Wakeboard||Finless||Park|
|O’Brien Hooky Wakeboard||Flank 0.7||Boat|
|O’Brien Sob Wakeboard||Finless||Park|
|O’Brien System Wakeboard||Attack 1.4||Boat|
O’Brien The Fix Wakeboard
- 142 cm / 56” x 43.6 cm / 17.2”
- 146 cm / 57.4” x 43.6 cm / 17.2”
- 150 cm / 59” x 43.9 cm / 17.3”
- 154 cm / 60.6 x 43.9 cm / 17.3”
- (Fix 142) 2.9 Progressive
- (Fix 146) 3.1 Progressive
- (Fix 150) 3.3 Progressive
- (Fix 154) 3.4 Progressive
- (Fix 142) 20 22 24
- (Fix 146) 20 22 24
- (Fix 150) 21 23 25
- (Fix 154) 21 23 25
- (Fix 142) Up to 220 lbs
- (Fix 146) Up to 240 lbs
- (Fix 150) 150++ lbs
- (Fix 154) 160++ lbs
The trend in park boards come as “the bigger, the better.” This style is the reason that O’Brien tweaked the Fix in terms of thickness profile and board length to improve in the flex parameters. The changes made The Fix Wakeboard even better than it already is.
You will feel loose and flowy, resulting in a reduction of fatigue. The less exhausted you become, the more quickly you can align your next trick. Launching off kickers or pulling a technical trick on the rails will be just as breezy.
Its progressive rocker profile enhances the vertical pop making it more predictable than other traditional and three-stage rocker. You get the maximum flex with its paulownia wood core. Plus, the impact-resistant urethane rail sidewalls that wrap the entire board will keep you worry-free. Park abuse means nothing to this beast.
|High-density polyethylene base endures any season||Shallow channels for grip|
|V-Loc tip and tail cushion landings significantly|
|The most flexible board in O’Brien’s lineup|
O’Brien Indie Wakeboard
- 136 cm / 53.5” x 43.2 cm / 17”
- 140 cm / 55.1” x 43.7 cm / 17.2”
- 144 cm / 56.7” x 44.2 cm / 17.4”
- (Indie 136) 3.01 Progressive
- (Indie 140) 3.16 Progressive
- (Indie 144) 3.35 Progressive
- (Indie 136) 19 21 23
- (Indie 140) 19 21 23
- (Indie 144) 20 22 24
- (Indie 136) 90 to 170 lbs
- (Indie 140) 140 to 220 lbs
- (Indie 144) 170 to 250 lbs
Indie Wakeboard is the park rat’s wakeboard of choice. Built with a park-specific shape, this wakeboard is a sure-fire to give you the flexibility and responsiveness on the cable. All thanks to its effective channels that have a center tunnel running a significant length of the board.
This series of step-up channels around the rails set the board to execute tricks effectively without sacrificing any of its knack on the features. The ultra-durable impact base and dura rail sidewalls help to give you a worry-free and enjoyable time at the park.
O’Brien drew their continuous rocker line to kick the tip and tail upward slightly. This tweak allowed the board to ride fast across the water since it gave the ability to increase rocker height without expanding the board’s belly, resulting in a vertical pop with more predictability than 3-stage.
|Series of stepped channels provide traction to finless ride||Has less flex than The Fix|
|Lock into rails with tip-to-tail center tunnel|
|Impact-resistant urethane rail|
O’Brien Stiletto Wakeboard
- 132 cm / 52” x 42.9 cm / 16.9”
- 136 cm / 53.5” x 43.4 cm / 17.1”
- (Stiletto 132) 2.53 Progressive
- (Stiletto 136) 2.72 Progressive
- (Stiletto 132) 21 23 25
- (Stiletto 136) 22 24 26
- (Stiletto 132) 90 to 170 lbs
- (Stiletto 136) 140 to 220 lbs
Stiletto is that wakeboard you need to get that soft flexing style while getting you an explosive pop. One of the most responsive boards, Stiletto combines the soft-flexing layup with performance creation to make the most fun, playful, and reactive wakeboard.
The high performance freeride feel it gives you takes you to a new level. Its smooth and transitional flex outline makes the board steady and firm enough the be between your feet as you set yourself for an explosive pop off the kickers.
O’Brien’s Stilleto has a soft and flexy tip and tail that extend effortless pressing and reduced impact. It has a concave base that keeps the board riding high on the water while reducing drag and lessening exhaustion. That means you’re charged up all day!
|Sidewalls protect the core from any hazard you throw its way||Not a suitable one for beginners|
|Softer flexing board that doesn’t sacrifice power and pop|
|More vertical pop than a Continuous Rocker|
O’Brien DZ Wakeboard
- 148 cm / 58.3” x 44.5 cm / 17.5”
- 152 cm / 59.8” x 44.5 cm / 17.5”
- 156 cm / 61.4” x 44.5 cm / 17.5”
- (DZ 148) 3.16 Progressive
- (DZ 152) 3.27 Progressive
- (DZ 156) 3.43 Progressive
- (DZ 148) 20 22 24
- (DZ 152) 21 23 25
- (DZ 156) 21 23 25
- (DZ 148) 140++ lbs
- (DZ 152) 150++ lbs
- (DZ 156) 160++ lbs
Dary Znebel took the lead when O’Brien thought of expanding the SOB size range. There is no doubt about what Dary can do. He turned heads in recent years with his one of a kind approach to park riding, and since SOB is his wakeboard of choice, he was the perfect guy to fill in the much-needed insight.
The tweaked sizes retained the same SOB feels that riders appreciate and love. But, it improved the board’s overall park performance. The board highlights a thinned out all-wood core with a modified top deck. It is contoured to allow the core change and build an even more progressive tip/tail flex.
Dary topped off the improvement with an implemented lift – Catch Free Edge lets you have fun buttering around the park while never getting hung up on your favorite features. This wakeboard is Dary Z’s every wakeboard wishlist, and we’re sure are yours too!
|Explodes off the water, softens landings, and presses feature with ease||Not suitable for people weighing more than 160 lbs|
|Straighter edges help in tracking|
|More kicked up tip and tail|
O’Brien SOB Wakeboard
- 136 cm / 53.5” x 43.4 cm / 17.1”
- 140 cm / 55.1” x 43.9 cm / 17.3”
- 144 cm / 56.7” x 44.3 cm / 17.45”
- (SOB 136) 2.72 Progressive
- (SOB 140) 2.91 Progressive
- (SOB 144) 3.1 Progressive
- (SOB 136) 19 21 23
- (SOB 140) 19 21 23
- (SOB 144) 20 22 24
- (SOB 136) Up to 170 lbs
- (SOB 140) Up to 220 lbs
- (SOB 144) Up to 250 lbs
SOB is the board made for every wakeboard fanatic that wants a fun, forgiving, fast, and floaty freeride. Designed by Sean O’Brien himself, it envisioned to gear toward the park ride. It’s subtle yet substantial bottom contouring allows for an added control on the water with an improved sliding ability on its rails.
It has a soft and refined flex pattern that makes it a perfect park performer. This pattern does more than just grip but stores energy so you can explode off the wake. The squared-off tips are excellent for pressing, jibbing, and ollie power.
This board was initially thought to appeal to hard-charging cable riders, but it turns out it is more than that. SOB instantly made it to the list of the best O’Brien Wakeboards and the whole industry.
|Soft landings due to ideal fin setup||Recommended only for those who prefer a slightly tail-heavy approach to the wake|
|Progressive rocker blends|
|Durable dura-rail sidewalls|
O’Brien Boat Wakeboards
O’Brien Exclusive Wakeboard
- 136 cm / 53.5” x 43.1 cm / 16.95”
- 141 cm / 55.5” x 43.6 cm / 17.15”
- (Exclusive 136) 2.3 3-Stage
- (Exclusive 141) 2.4 3-Stage
- (Exclusive 136) 22 24 26
- (Exclusive 141) 23 25 27
- (Exclusive 136) 80 to 160 lbs
- (Exclusive 141) 120 to 200 lbs
One of the surfboards in the market with the widest bellies, O’Brien Exclusive Wakeboard, has the added width to get you the larger sweet spot you need for a better pop off. The exhilarating feeling is accompanied by softer landings, especially when out in the flats.
O’Brien Exclusive boasts a sophisticated channel system joined with inset fins for amplified effectiveness when on edge. This perfection means the rider has a board that can track well but still gives the loose and free feeling while riding flat.
This wakeboard is an incarnation of a faster, more explosive, but smoother through transitions wakeboard. The featherweight core gives a quick and light underfoot while being supported with a 3-Stage rocker.
|Reduces swing weight for more midair control and lighter transitions||Unique but unappealing design|
|Thicker and rounder between the bindings|
|Layered Tri-Axial Glass|
O’Brien Format Wakeboard
- 137 cm / 53.9” x 43.5 cm / 17.11”
- 142 cm / 55.9” x 43.8 cm / 17.26”
- (Format 137) 2.4 Progressive
- (Format 142) 2.6 Progressive
- (Format 137) 22 24 26
- (Format 142) 23 25 27
- (Format 137) 140 to 220 lbs
- (Format 142) 170 to 250 lbs
O’Brien Format Wakeboard is consistent and predictable, making it an ideal board for beginners and advanced riders alike. It combined progressive rocker, delta base, and center spine to provide stability while giving you the playful feel of the water.
The different sizes O’Brien offers for this wakeboard make it the best ride for any skill level type. Remember that the weight can be slightly different for each size. Therefore you have to be sure you can quickly adapt to that weight on your feet.
Its construction made sure it is light enough than most standard cores. This structure allows the wakeboard to carry speed into the wake while having a smooth vertical pop that is, in every sense, perfect for honing tricks.
|Double concave through the midsection||More expensive than other O’Brien boards|
|Decreased weight and easy to control|
|Excellent vertical pop|
O’Brien Shota Valhalla Wakeboard
- 138 cm / 54.3” x 42.7 cm / 16.8”
- 142 cm / 56.3” x 43.2 cm / 17”
- (Shota Valhalla 138) 2.35 Progressive
- (Shota Valhalla 142) 2.5 Progressive
- (Shota Valhalla 138) 22 24 26
- (Shota Valhalla 142) 23 25 27
- (Shota Valhalla 138) Up to 210 lbs
- (Shota Valhalla 142) Up to 250 lbs
If there is one O’Brien Wakeboard that commands respect from riders of all skill levels, it is the O’Brien Shota Valhalla Wakeboard. It was O’Brien’s best wakeboard for 2017 but has time and again proven itself for its superb performance.
Even before the upgraded version, this board already has everything you need. The added features made it even more fun to ride it on the waters. O’Brien improved the high-intensity water sport technology, including a slick and robust impact base, quad integrated fins, broad base, and 6mm inserts.
All these additions make O’Brien Shota Valhalla Wakeboard the perfect complement for all riders. Beginners will find it straightforward while advanced and professionals take them for the roughest and harshest wakeboarding ride.
|Minimum drag and optimal control||Sidewalls design may be improved|
|Thinner and less friction producing|
|Cheaper than other wakeboards|
O’Brien Hooky Wakeboard
- 110 cm / 43.7” x 38.1 cm / 15”
- 118 cm / 46.5” x 38.1 cm / 15”
- 123 cm / 48.4” x 42.2 cm / 16.6”
- 128 cm / 50.4” x 42.2 cm 16.6”
- (Hooky 110) 1.9 Progressive
- (Hooky 118) 2.1 Progressive
- (Hooky 123) 2.3 Progressive
- (Hooky 128) 2.4 Progressive
- (Hooky 110) 18 20 22
- (Hooky 118) 18 20 22
- (Hooky 123) 20 22 24
- (Hooky 128) 20 22 24
- (Hooky 110) 40 to 120 lbs
- (Hooky 118) 50 to 130 lbs
- (Hooky 123) 60 to 140 lbs
- (Hooky 128) 70 to 150 lbs
Hooky is O’Brien’s wakeboard for kids and beginners. But, it doesn’t stop men, women, and advanced riders from riding it. Why? Because that’s just how competitive this board is. O’Brien has a long list of wakeboards that can fulfill needs. Hooky is that board that can carry out everything in one.
Hooky wakeboard targets kids, beginners, and petite riders. It doesn’t just teach the kid to ride, but it helps them achieve the level of fun they are looking for in this watersport. One of its most important features is its tip and tail. Constructed from durarail, it aids in keeping the board damage-proof.
Another important thing about Hooky is its four different sizes. Most of the time, manufacturers would limit to three different sizes per board. But, not Hooky. This sizing is in consideration of kids in their initial learning phase.
|Durarail technology makes it damage resistant||Not recommended for riders above 150 lbs|
|Ideal for kids|
O’Brien System Wakeboard
- 119 cm / 46.9” x 38.1 cm / 15”
- 124 cm / 48.8” x 40 cm / 15.75”
- 135 cm / 53.1” x 42.5 cm / 16.75”
- 140 cm / 55.1” x 42.9 cm / 16.9”
- (System 119) 2.1 Continuous
- (System 124) 2.15 Continuous
- (System 135) 2.25 Continuous
- (System 128) 2.35 Continuous
- (System 119) 18 20 22
- (System 124) 20 22 24
- (System 135) 21 23 25
- (System 128) 22 24 26
- (System 119) 40 to 120 lbs
- (System 124) 60 to 140 lbs
- (System 135) 100 to 180 lbs
- (System 128) 140 to 230 lbs
O’Brien System Wakeboard is what you should pick if your budget is tight, but you need a wakeboard that will offer a wide range of features. This stick allows you to enjoy a multitude of features with an affordable price tag. With a safe and enjoyable water ride over this board, what more will you look for?
This wakeboard is constructed with consideration to make it last for years. Designed for riders of all ages, anyone can fulfill their wakeboarding dreams with this board. It comes with flank fins that are mounted in the center to allow for easy tracking.
The System is a colorful wakeboard whose base can accommodate all feet sizes. It has a continuous rocker to keep the board stable on the water. This stability allows the rider to develop their technique as they improve with their skills.
|The appealing design and unique colorful pattern||Not recommended for intermediates and pro riders|
|Cheaper than most wakeboards|
|Easy to track and control|
O’Brien believes that “You are your unique limit.” This belief is the reason they persevere to bring out the best in each board they produce. Not only that, but O’Brien also has a great group of people who are always ready to listen to every wakeboarding query you have, and they are happy to share with the world anything that beginners can find helpful.
Boat and Park Wakeboards, Which Is Right For You?
The main difference between boat and park wakeboards is simple – the flex. Park wakeboards have lots of flex on the tip and tail to let you press or lock-in on rails. On the other hand, the boat wakeboard has flex but not as much.
Boat wakeboards take up the largest category of wakeboards because more are enjoying wakeboard behind boats than in parks. While you can use them in parks, they are not designed to take the wear and tear from the rails. Plus, you might just need to remove all the fins to keep them from hitting any park features.
The lesser flex of boat wakeboards gives you more pop off the lip of the wake. This design allows the board to take all the rough landings on the wake and in the flats. Some wakeboards are even molded on the bottom to aid in holding an edge as the wake approaches. Plus, boat wakeboards lets you have more fin options.
Park wakeboards have too much flex on the tip and tail to let you press and lock-in. The flex allows the board to absorb flat landings better. Its base can also hold up better against the rails and boxes since they are more durable.
A lot of times, you may not see molded fins in park wakeboards. This absence of fin is in consideration of having to ride park features finless. Always keep in mind that if you are riding without fins, you might get less traction.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Where can you buy O’Brien wakeboards and accessories?
A: O’Brien products are best purchased through authorized retailers, dealers, and at https://obrien.com/. These channels are guaranteed to provide you with only the authentic O’Brien items, and you are sure to get the warranty you need for your purchase.
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G’day, my name is Rach Taylor and I’m the proud Founder of Surf Hungry. I am a former Australian Olympic athlete and Australian representative surf sports athlete. I’ve worked in the surf industry and lived at many of Australia’s best surf spots, sparking a life-long love of the ocean and a passion for surf sports which also rubbed off on my two young sons! I am also lucky to spend a lot of ocean-time in my favorite second home, Indonesia. In addition to SurfHungry I have founded several other websites in my areas of passion, namely coffee and rock climbing, and am also a regular rowing content contributor.