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Fall Wakeboarding Essentials

   October 7th, 2016   Posted In: How-To  

Fall Wakeboarding Essentials

wakeboarding essentials

Photo courtesy of Randy Adams

It’s that time of year again! When the water begins to bite, when you trade tanks for hoodies, and towels for blankets. Maybe you want to learn how to wakeboard, or you’ve spent all summer wakeboarding without a second thought, but now Labor day has come and gone and the crowds have thinned quicker than Transformation Tuesday. If you’re like me, your stoke is up because there’s nothing but open space, glassy water and time to ride. By the end of September, your doo-dads have figured out that Summer is over and have migrated north, so it’s time to take action and gear yourself up with Fall wakeboarding essentials and the most helpful tips for wakeboarding.

You’ve Got Options!

The sun provides warmth, but when you’re in and out of the water, it can be a bit nippy. Especially when the outside temperature and the water temperature are differing greatly. As it begins to get cooler, there are a number of wakeboarding wetsuit options and combinations to keep you warm and comfortable in the wake!

Warm & Breezy
Outdoors 80° | Water 70°

When the outside temperature is warmer than the waters you’ll be in, for example 80 degrees vs 70 degrees, I would recommend a wetsuit top or a shorty. Perhaps even pair a wetsuit top with wetsuit bottoms. This provides a bit more added warmth with the convenience of being able to take them off, one piece at a time. To really utilize this option to the max, share pieces with your friends, or even wear your bottoms under a wetsuit!

Cool & Cooler
Outdoors 70° | Water 60°-70°

When the water hits the low 70’s, I wear a shorty springsuit to provide warmth without hindering my movement. As the temperature sinks like sunglasses to the bottom of the river, I up the insulation and rock a full wetsuit that keeps me going until November. For water temperatures from 60 degrees to 70 degrees, I would recommend a 3/2 mm fullsuit, with either sealed seams for the 60-65 degree range or flatlock seams for 65 degrees and above. While no seam is actually waterproof, the more seal will keep less water away from your body.

FYI– When a suit has two numbers, like a 3/2 for example, the 3 represents the thickness in the millimeter of Neoprene covering your torso to heat your core. The second number is the thickness in material covering your arms. Feel free to read our blog on How to Buy a Wakeboarding Wetsuit!

Outdoors 60° | Water 50°

wakeboarding essentials

Unisex NeoSport XSPAN Wetsuit Shorts

The colder the water temperature, you’ll want to increase the thickness of neoprene. For water temperatures below 60 degrees, I recommend a 4/3 mm fullsuit. With 4mm thick neoprene heating your core, you might be a little intimidated by the thickness, but wetsuits on the market today have been designed and perfected to offer you the most mobility. Whether it’s 100% super-stretch or O’Neill’s Technobutter Neoprene, we’ve got a supply of high-end, mid-range, and completely affordable suits for you to choose from!

Outdoors 50° | Water 40° and below

For extremely cold water temperatures, go with a 5/4/3 wetsuit or a Drysuit. Unlike wetsuits, drysuits are not made of neoprene and are intended to be worn over fleece. Accessories and layers are necessary for such cold temperatures, and extremely helpful! Pair a fullsuit with your choice of gloves, wetsuit socks, or beanie for additional warmth to keep you comfortable while landing your coolest wakeboarding tricks!

Additional Warmth

Poly Fleece is another material used to increase insulation for warmth, but still thin enough to wear underneath your wetsuit! Some full wetsuits come featuring a poly fleece lining in the back and chest offering thermal insulation (like the O’Neill featured below). While shopping for a baselayer, keep in mind that you can find poly fleece-made pants, tops, socks and more! The combinations are endless.

What About My Feet?

Now you’re decked out with the appropriate wetsuit and accessories, but your feet are always in the water and deserve their own focus. Considering that there are various types of wakeboard bindings, wakeboarding for beginners can be a bit involved. Since bindings are traditionally worn barefoot, you’re probably wondering what you can put on your feet that won’t interfere with the wakeboard boot itself, but protect your feet in frigid water temperatures. With lace bindings or snowboard style bindings, you can wear a neoprene sock of any thickness. Remember that a sock will not feature any traction or hard sole. Suction style bindings are more form fitting to your feet, only allowing room for a neoprene sock at a lesser thickness.

Of course, each individual has their own personal tolerance for the cold. Hopefully, you’ve gained some knowledge and ideas on how to get the most of your sport this season! If you still have questions, give our Customer Service line a call @ 

Randy Adams grew up in western Maryland until he relocated with Uncle Sam to the state of Alaska. He stayed to pursue his passion for snowboarding and worked with a group of guys to create "Binge", dedicated to documenting Alaska's back-country with snowshoes, sleds and helicopters. After several years, Randy acquired sponsorship from names like Burton, Oakley and Zumiez. Now Randy is back in Maryland residing on the Potomac River. He has been an avid surfer for fifteen years and can be found chasing endless waves behind his Malibu.

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