Ropes for wakeboarding and waterskiing are not the same. Ski ropes have some stretch to allow skiers to more comfortably carve through their turns; wakeboard ropes have virtually no stretch, maximizing riders’ pop during tricks. If you are in the market for a wakeboard rope, here are a few things to think about.
Material – Wakeboard ropes are typically made with a few different materials. Poly E ropes are great for beginner riders. They have a small amount of stretch, making them more forgiving when cutting through the wake. They are also less expensive than some other ropes. The downside to Poly E ropes is that their stretch will not be desirable as a rider’s abilities progress. A rider looking for a more taut rope should consider a Dyneema rope. Dyneema ropes are exceptionally strong and lightweight, and have no stretch.
Length – Wake ropes range in length, typically falling between 55 and 80 feet long. They are often adjustable, so you can easily change the length for different riders or abilities. Shorter ropes put riders in the narrower part of the wake and are good for newer riders. Longer ropes allow riders to get more speed and to spend more time in the air, in the wider part of the wake.
Handles – There are several choices for wake handles as well. EVA foam, aluminum and carbon fiber are the typical materials used for handles. Grips can be rubber or chamois and may be textured. Lighter, stronger handles are going to be the most expensive. Wake handles are wider than ski handles, making it easier to pass the rope during tricks. Note that wake handles come in different diameters. Make sure you can comfortably grip the handle and that it isn’t too big or small for your hand.