Wakeboard ropes and handles are not as simple as they appear because they are not all the same. Selecting the best product for your use is as important as choosing the best wakeboard.
Wakeboard ropes and handles have the power to make you perform at your best potential or to have your face planted in the water. It is because these wakeboard accessories are where you rely on your safety and ability to perform as you ride.
If you do not have any idea about the best wakeboard ropes and handles to purchase from a store, learn some of the best products and some tips on how to buy the best product for you.
Top 10 Best Wakeboard Ropes and Handles Reviewed
- Hyperlite Team Handle w/X-Line Mainline
- Airhead Wakeboard Rope 15-Inch EVA Handle
- Airhead Bling Stealth Wakeboard Rope
- Airhead Watersports Rope EVA Handle
- Airhead Spectra Thermal Rope and Handle
- Airhead AHWR Wakeboard Rope
- O’ Brient 4-Section Poly-E Rope and Handle
- Nash MFG 5-Section Rope and Handle
- Ronix Combo 2.0 Wakeboard Rope and Handle
- Proline CWB Connelly 65
- Rope Length (Foot): 70
- Handle Length (inch): 15
- Material: Braided dyneema
The Hyperlite Team Handle w/X-Line Mainline is a mid-range product that focuses on providing stable grip and durable construction.
It is a 70-foot long rope with x-line configuration and silicone coating, with a 15-inch handle.
The rope is 12 strands of braided Dyneema. Dyneema is a durable material and famous for its inability to stretch, which is beneficial to pro wakeboarders.
The Hyperlite Team Handle w/X-Line also features the anti-roll system and stability foam buoyancy plugs.
|Handle floats||No handle pads|
- Rope Length (Foot): Three sections: 45, 55, 65
- Handle Length (inch): 15
- Material: low-stretched, UV treated, 16-strande buoyant rope
Airhead Wakeboard Rope 15-Inch EVA Handle is one of the most affordable wakeboard ropes with handles that you can buy. Whether your skill is a beginner, intermediate, or a pro, you are free to use this rope because of its adjustable length of 45-foot, 55-foot, or 65-foot.
The handle with the EVA-wrapped grid has finger guards and an aluminum core that floats in water.
It also comes with a rope keeper.
|Adjustable length||Not durable|
- Rope Length (Foot): Five sections: 75, 70, 65, 55, 45
- Handle Length (inch): 15-inch aluminum core with EVA squid grip and full-finger protectors
- Material: polypropylene with spectra core
The Airhead Bling Stealth Wakeboard Rope focuses on style, durability, function, and quality. Beginner up to professional-level riders can use this rope that allows you to have fun under the sun as you wakeboard.
The Airhead Bling Stealth Wakeboard Rope has five sections with four adjustable belts. It is a kind of product that is not only high in quality but also stylish to flaunt. The Airhead Bling Stealth Wakeboard Rope shines under the sun and glows in the dark.
The braided rope offers no stretch even with a 2000-pound weight. The handle feels comfortable to the hands because of the finger protectors and EVA grips.
|Break strength of 200 pounds||No foam for buoyancy|
|Glows in the dark|
- Rope Length (Foot): 75
- Handle Length (inch): 12-inch aluminum core wrapped with EVA rubber
- Material: 16-strand, pre-stretched, UV treated rope
The Airhead Watersports Rope EVA Handle, 1 Section is one of the inexpensive wakeboard ropes with handles that you can buy from stores. It is a versatile product that you can use for skiing, wakeboarding, and kneeboarding.
The Airhead Watersports Rope EVA Handle, 1 Section includes a rope keeper and a floating handle.
|Floating handle||Not durable|
- Rope Length (Foot): 70 with five sections
- Handle Length: 15-inch EVA grip with 5-foot bridle
- Material: spectra
Because Airhead Spectra Thermal is a spectra-made material, it provides zero-stretch. Aside from using spectra material, it is also thermal coated and has protection against the UV rays. The spectra line is stiff and rigid that resists twisting and knotting. Aside from that, it has a 2000-pound break.
Airhead Spectra Thermal’s handle comes with two foam floats and PVC tubing that make this product durable. It is thin and easy to hold.
Because of the spectra coating, the Airhead Spectra Thermal has a long lifespan. This rope is advisable for those who want to have better control in performing tricks.
|Spectra-coated for durability||Does not have a rope keeper|
|Great for maneuvers||Difficult to coil for storage|
- Rope Length (Foot): 70 with four sections: 70, 60, 50, 40
- Handle Length: 15-inch EVA phat grip
- Material: 16-strand, 30 filament-rope
The Airhead AHWR has four sections that aim to accommodate the different riding styles and skills of wakeboarders. It has a handle with 4-inch finger protectors and foam floats.
The handle with the leverage of 6-inch TPR makes doing tricks more manageable.
The Airhead AHWR has vinyl that protects the harness from wear and abrasions.
This product comes with a rope keeper.
|Comes with rope keeper||No grip on second handle|
|Two handles||Not durable|
- Rope Length (Foot): Four sections: 75, 70, 65, 60
- Handle Length: 15-inch floating aluminum-core
- Material: Poly-E
The O’Brien 4-Section Poly-E is perfect for kneeboarding and wakeboarding. The EVA grip is comfortable to hold, and it provides better traction.
The handle that can float ensures that you will not lose your rope in the water. It also has flexible caps for a better grip.
The mainline is poly-e-made, which provides low stretch. You can adjust the length into four sizes. This product is for professionals who want to be free from inhibitions from performing their tricks.
The O’Brien 4-Section Poly-E is available in yellow, blue, and red.
|EVA grip with excellent traction||Still long for some users|
- Rope Length (Foot): 75 with five sections
- Handle Length: 15-inch aluminum with three adjustment pins
The Nash MFG 5-Section Hydroslide is best for wakeboarding and kneeboarding. This rope provides stability, but what most riders love is the excellent grip it provides.
The Nash MFG 5-Section Hydroslide features five braided choke sections that wrap and unwrap with ease. The handle features the power grip with finger guards that provide better traction.
The Nash MFG 5-Section Hydroslide is UV resistant and meets the WSIA standard.
|Stable to use on the boat||Difficult to store|
#9. Ronix Combo 2.0
- Rope Length (Foot): 65 with four sections
- Handle Diameter (inch): 1.15
- Material: poly-e
The Ronix Combo 2.0 has a stylish embroidered grip and 1.15 shank diameter with 3 mm end caps. It has EVA with inner padding so that it will float. The Ronix Combo 2.0 is available in different colors, and its mainline is polypropylene-made with low stretch.
|7-inch pencil float||No UV protection|
|Comfortable grip||Not durable|
- Rope Length (Foot): 70 with four sections: 70, 60, 50, 40
- Handle Length: 15-inch EVA soft-molded foam
- Material: poly-e
It is affordable, and its construction is poly-e with solid pull and low stretch, making it an ideal rope for beginners. It has a tractor grip with hexagonal ends that is an improvement of 25 percent from other rope handles, and it reduces handle roll.
The handle floats in the water. It is available in green, red, and cyan.
|Reduced handle roll||No UV protection|
|Enhanced grip area||Not durable|
Our Favorite Wakeboard Ropes and Handles
There are several wakeboard ropes and handles available on the market. They may all look the same, but experienced riders know that they are not. Slight changes in the ropes’ elasticity, length, handle, and the like can affect the riders’ performance. Even the material used for their construction can affect the ropes’ flexibility that can make or break the riders’ ability to maneuver some tricks.
If you do not know which product to buy, you can start by doing further research on the mentioned products, such as the Hyperlite Team Handle w/X-Line Mainline. This rope is a top pick because of the Dyneema material used for its construction.
Dyneema is one of the best materials used for the ropes’ construction that does not stretch, which is an ideal type for professional riders. It also has an anti-roll system that adds to its durability.
Difference Between Water Ski Ropes and Wakeboard Ropes
Many people, especially novice riders, do not know the difference between water ski ropes and wakeboard ropes. Although novice riders may use a water ski rope as they learn wakeboarding, they must know the difference between the two.
The primary difference between water ski ropes and wakeboard ropes is their elasticity. The water ski ropes are stretchable up to three percent.
The wakeboard rope may have a little to no stretch, especially the spectra-made ones. Non-stretchable ones are beneficial for wakeboarding because these provide a stable ride and accessible way to do tricks. Some have T-handles that are perfect for maneuvering.
Beginners can use the water ski rope for practicing. However, once they start learning the jumps, they should buy the one dedicated for wakeboarding. Advanced riders, although they can use water ski rope, stay away from it because it inhibits their ability to perform.
Additionally, wakeboard handles are usually 3-inch longer and more comfortable to grip. Riders can hold them without wearing gloves.
The goal of having these kinds of handles is to allow the riders to feel comfortable performing their tricks.
Yet, the water ski handles are smaller, which are usually 11 to 13 inches. These handles are typically rubber-made, and wearing gloves can be necessary. Water ski handles focus on providing a better grip than to make the riders feel comfortable.
The Best Wakeboard Ropes and Handles Brands
If you cannot find the product that you like on the suggested ropes and handles listed here, you can try searching based on the brands. Famous brands will never manufacture mediocre products intentionally. For this reason, you usually cannot go wrong buying branded products.
Here are some of the products where you can look for the best wakeboard rope and handle for your use.
Everybody knows Hyperlite. Upon hearing this brand, many can already associate it with wakeboarding. It sponsors athletes, such as Shaun Murray.
The HO skis founded this company. The first product it released was a compression-molded wakeboard in 1991.
Hyperlite has been in the industry for 27 years. That is why you can trust that it will manufacture only high-quality products. Aside from wakeboard, ropes, and handles, it also sells bindings, vests, and more.
Hyperlite is confident about its products because of its continuous advances from its Research and Development Center.
Airhead is one of the brands owned by Kwik Tek that has been in the wakeboard industry for more than 20 years.
Aside from Airhead, it also owns the Dry Pak, Sportsstuff, and more.
Airhead is famous for creating wakeboard products with 840 denier nylon covers. Aside from ropes and handles, this brand also sells inflatable floats, tow tubes, accessories, and more.
O’Brien has been in the wakeboard industry for over 50 years; that is why you can rely on this brand. Its mission is to provide products for families to maximize the beautiful moments they have together.
O’Brien claims that its passion helped shape the watersports industry.
Ronix is another leading wakeboard brand on the market. It has been selling wakeboards since 1990. The brand takes pride in the combination of technology and style in manufacturing its products. It also takes pride in aiming perfection on its creations.
Ronix is famous for providing customized, stylish products for men, women, and children. Because of its popularity, Ronix has reached 14 countries.
Considerations When Buying the Best Wakeboard Ropes and Handles
Getting the best wakeboard rope and handle can help improve your performance and wakeboarding experience. That is why you can consider these wakeboard accessories as investments.
That is why before you spend some money, learn the features that you must know. The most expensive product on the market may not be the best for you. You are the one who can only figure out the best wakeboard rope and handle for yourself.
The typical rope length that you can buy in stores is 55 to 75 feet. Your goal for selecting the best one for your use is to choose the one that will allow you to do jumps comfortably.
The length variations in the rope are according to the experience level, boat wake, and personal preference.
Beginners should start using short-length ropes that are up to 65 feet, which will provide a short distance to the boat.
As you improve your skills, you can add more length to the rope. More range gives more speed and air that are ideal for pops.
There are commonly three types of materials used for the construction of wakeboard ropes. These are the poly, Dyneema, and spectra. Each has its pros and cons.
What you must remember is that the premium wakeboard rope that professionals use should have zero-stretch.
The Dyneema is as strong as wire. It does not stretch. Dyneema is better than steel and typical ropes because it can withstand fatigue and tensions.
Dyneema is durable because it is resistant to salt-water and the sun’s UV rays. If you bend it, it can withstand rope stresses and tension.
Poly-e can stretch up to three percent of its length, which is best for giving enough flex and absorbing shock. Even though it is not as premium as the other materials used for a wakeboard rope construction, it is the best kind of rope for beginners. Although professional riders stay away from this type of cords, it is more forgiving and less expensive.
The spectra are the strongest among these three. It is 10 times stronger than steel. That is why it is durable, and it does not stretch. Despite its strength, it is lightweight, and it also floats in the water.
Take note that many manufacturers apply some rope coating on their products. It is an adhesive that protects the rope from the sun’s UV rays. It adds to the rope’s durability and prevents it from tangling.
The construction of handles can be EVA, aluminum, or carbon fiber. Most grips are from memory foam, rubber, or chamois, aiming to improve the grip on the handles.
The typical length of the wakeboard rope handles is 5 to 15 inches. The wider it is, the easier it is to perform tricks. The diameter is also a consideration if you want a more relaxed grip.
Choosing the best handle for a wakeboard rope depends on the size of your hands.
The handles come in V or T, which are the attachments to the main. They allow you to pre-wrap the handle behind your back to avoid handle passing when performing a trick.
Choosing the best wakeboard ropes and handles is as essential as finding the best wakeboard for you.
Ropes and handles carry the riders’ weight that affects their performance in doing various tricks. These accessories also keep you safe while you are on your ride.
For this reason, you must pick the best for your skill level and the one that provides you comfort.
The wakeboard ropes and handles in the stores are not the same. They vary in length, durability, and construction. These differences can affect your performance as a wakeboarder.
If you do not know where to start searching for the right products, you can start from the ones mentioned here. Find out if you will like them because these ropes are what most of the riders love.
However, take note that you are the only one who can buy the best product for you.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Can You Use Ski Rope for Wakeboarding?
A: As mentioned, if you are a beginner trying to get the hang of the basics of wakeboarding, you can use a ski rope. However, if you are ready to learn the jumps, consider changing into a wakeboard rope.
Q: How do I Shorten a Wakeboard Rope?
A: It is advisable to purchase the rope with the right length because shortening it can weaken it. However, if you want to lend it to anyone, here is what you can do. Figure out how short you want the rope to be and pinch it up to the desired length while holding the other end with the other hand. Let go of your other hand to form a loop. Scoop it around a boat arch, going under as it crosses the rope. Bring it back to the top, secure, and pull it tight.