A rope is a rope, right? After all, it serves a pretty simple purpose. While it may just be the tether that connects you to your floating wake machine, you’d be surprised how big of a difference it makes to have the right rope for your chosen sport. In this post, we’ll be breaking down the best ropes for waterskiing, wakeboarding, and wakesurfing, along with the technical differences between them. Here they are in order of their sport’s historical rise to popularity:
The goals of a wakeboarder are quite different than those of a water-skier, with the main difference being the desire to get airborne. Wakeboarding is a freestyle sport not concerned with going faster and without the need to change directions rapidly. With that in mind, someone that wakeboards at an intermediate to high level prefers a non-stretch line. While the skier prefers the rebound effect of a stretch line, that effect can be downright dangerous to a wakeboarder while in the air. Most wake-to-wake tricks on a wakeboard require the rider to control the line tension in the air and keep the handle close to their body to stay on the right axis. This goes for spins, inverts, and everything in between. A rope that stretches makes this virtually impossible, which can cause the rider to lose control of their body position in the air and result in a crash.
So with that, here’s what we would suggest: if you have any hope of wakeboarding at anything more than a very basic level, get yourself a non-stretch line. A ski rope will make it exponentially more difficult to learn everything from your first wake jumps to your first invert. While you’re destined to crash no matter what as a wakeboarder, the proper rope will make learning less frustrating and prevent hard falls that could have been avoided. Plain and simple, wakeboarders from beginner to pro will benefit from riding a non-stretch line.