It’s still cold outside, but the diehard water sportsmen are already looking into grabbing their wetsuits! Wakeboarding has supplanted water skiing and slaloming to become the kids’ favorite watersport. The reasons are plenty: it is comparatively easy to get up your first time, it is becoming more available with the proliferation of wakeboard cable parks, and finally, it definitely offers the most potential for busting sweet tricks. We’ve reviewed a number of manufacturers to find you the best youth wakeboard on the market, whether your kid is just getting up for the first time, or moving up to the next length after mastering the starter board. We’ll also help you choose the right size and shape of board. Check out our guide to see what is right for you!
Beginner- Hydroslide Junior 180 Wakeboard
This is our go-to youth wakeboard. Why? For a very affordable price, the Hydroslide Junior 180 Wakeboard offers kids the easiest (and least frustrating) chance of learning the ins and outs of wakeboarding. This lightweight board is made to be especially stable for anyone under 125 pounds. The oval shape creates a wide mid-section that gives extra stability, and once you master turning a bit, you can add the included fins to turn a little sharper. The comfortable boots have easy-to-pull bindings that straps the kid in securely. Believe me, you don’t want everyone to get worn out putting the boots on before you even start the boat.
I learned to ride on this exact same model, and I know you will have the same fun learning experience. It could lead on to a life of enjoying water sports. Keep in mind that junior wakeboards are smaller, with this one being 122 cm from tip to tip, and once the user is above 125 pounds you should be looking for something in the 130 cm to 140 cm range for the same level of stability. Grab this board online or at your nearest sporting store to experience the memories I’m talking about.
Intermediate- O’Brien Gigi Kids Wakeboard
As skill level increases, the board gets thinner and the fins get longer to enable sharp cuts and turns. Longer youth wakeboards will help the developing rider to grow into the board’s size. Another benefit of longer boards is that they are easier to push through the water, meaning that less force is used to stay up, so these are preferred once riders are able to stay up and want to ski longer. Once the youth wakeboard rider starts jumping the wake, longer boards are also much easier to land on. The length gives the rider more room for balance error.
Once the rider has ‘getting air’ on the mind, look into a board like the O’Brien Gigi Kids Wakeboard. This is a real step up from the beginner oval-shaped board. The O’Brien Gigi Kids Wakeboard has dual channels on each side and center-mounted fins for more aggressive cornering and turning. The board is one of the lightest that we reviewed, coming in at about 13 pounds and just under 120 cm. The board comes with O’Brien bindings which are known for their quality and durability.
Advanced- Liquid Force Fury 123 Kids Wakeboard
Is your kid the next big thing in the wakeboarding world? If you are already shooting demo videos and getting calls from sponsors, then there is probably not a whole lot of advice I can give you at this point. But we want to feature this board anyways, so here goes. For this level, we like the Liquid Force 2017 Fury Kid’s Wakeboard. Liquid Force has designed this youth wakeboard for the advanced youth rider, with a sharper outline and more aggressive curve on each side. The Fury series helps the rider learn to turn sharply and get more pop off of the wake. This board also has less flex than the entry boards, which demands more control but also enables much more performance. Consider this board to take your wakeboarding to the next level.
Best Amazon Wakeboards for Kids
We have reviewed some of the top youth wakeboard options for every skill level. However, many of these good brands are not available on Amazon. You may have more luck with Academy Sports, Walmart, or Target. For online options that aren’t Amazon, check out specialized vendors like Mastercraft.
Be sure to get all the right gear before you get started! A good rope and handle, and helmet can make all the difference. Don’t forget to always have plenty of Coast Guard-approved life jackets for each kid. We hope you find your youth wakeboards to be fun and rewarding purchases that will last for many years! For more fun in the sun, check out our list of family beach games.