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What To Wear Wakeboarding

   October 28th, 2020   Posted In: Articles  

What To Wear Wakeboarding

What to wear for wakeboarding: Stay comfortable and protect yourself behind the boat while maintaining your sense of style

Like all extreme sports, wakeboarding is constantly evolving and that means all the gear that goes along with it is as well. The sport has been making improvements since it first gained mainstream popularity in the ’90s. Fast forward 30 years later, and the options of what to wear for wakeboarding are everywhere. Choosing what to wear wakeboarding can make a huge difference in your overall experience behind the boat.

The Life Vest

Since a life vest is literally meant to save your life, it’s critical that you make it the staple of what you wear for wakeboarding. It not only can keep you afloat but the thickness of a life vest also offers a lot of protection to your torso area if you take a fall. Getting a nice life vest that is light, made from comfortable material, and fits snuggly is very important to wear whenever you are riding.


Even the most expensive, comfortable life vest can start irritating your skin when it starts creating friction with the water. That means adding a rashguard to your list of what to wear wakeboarding is probably a good idea. The armpit area can be the most common spot to see bad skin irritation. You can prevent it before it happens by checking out some rashguard options.

what to wear wakeboarding


Obviously, you need to wear something to cover yourself up down there but it is important to take this choice seriously when you are deciding what to wear wakeboarding. If you wear trunks that are too big it is possible that they can be pulled off by the force of a crash. I have seen it happen. If you wear shorts that fit there’s also less of a chance you will need to adjust your trunks once you pop up out of the water and start riding.

For women, a 1-piece bathing suit has much less of a chance of ripping off than a 2 piece with bikini bottoms. You should also consider this, bikini bottoms are small and if you wear one that is dark-colored and it rips off, it could blend in with the water never to be found again. If you know you’re going to be wakeboarding, opt for the 1-piece.


If you are going to be in water that is cold then a wetsuit will probably be a necessity when it comes to what to wear for wakeboarding. The choice to wear one also may depend on your skill level. Someone who is just learning how to wakeboard should strongly consider a wetsuit for wakeboarding because they will be spending a lot of time in the water trying to learn how to stand up.

Wetsuits are far less common to see at popular wakeboarding lakes than they are at the ocean because the water temperature at lakes can be much warmer. Still, for a beginner, it’s best to be comfortable, so find the type of suit that fits the water temperature of the area where you will be wakeboarding.

For instance, if you’re planning to wakeboard at a higher elevation lake in California you may want a fullsuit. But if you’re at a low-lying lake in Florida you may want a sleeveless suit or a spring suit. Even just a wetsuit jacket that you can remove if you get too hot is an option to make sure you stay comfortable.


Water can hurt. Especially when you hit it with your head while traveling at 15 miles an hour. When choosing what to wear for wakeboarding a helmet is a smart choice for everyone. In certain cases, wakeboarders have been known to sustain concussion-level blows to the head while speeding behind the back of the boat. In extreme cases, a wipe-out at just the right angle could even knock someone out, so it is best to just take that risk out of the equation altogether.


Holding onto a soaking wet handle while you’re dragging in the water can be hard on your hands. When figuring out what to wear for wakeboarding consider this, a nice pair of gloves can help take the strain off your hands making it easier to get up and hang on. And it’s not just beginners that can benefit from a nice pair of gloves that made for water sports. Riders who are more experienced tend to spend more time behind the boat and that can lead to blisters on your hands from the extended periods of gripping while your hands are soft and shriveled. Wetsuit gloves will eliminate that right away.

Get Your Gear

Putting together a solid lineup of go-to items that you wear while wakeboarding will bring you a lot more confidence to try newer, harder tricks. What you wear for wakeboarding can also make you look more serious about the sport which can help you gain respect from other riders. For instance, you can bet someone you see riding in a spring suit on a warm lake is very serious about getting a great, long wakeboarding session in.

With the advancements in gear and the expansive number of brands getting into the water sports/wakeboarding arena, there are more and more styles available to riders which can help you express yourself through small bits of flash and fashion out on the water.

Wes Severson is a fitness enthusiast and bodyboarder from San Francisco, CA who is always at Ocean Beach hitting the waves. He is also an Emmy Award-winning broadcast news writer and producer and a recording artist who goes by the name Wes Magic.

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One Comment

  • How do you loosen the glue holding the zipper in place on the wet suit. Have removed the stitching and have the new zipper but don’t want to tear the suit by pulling on the glue. Is there a way to loosen the glue? Heat? Solvent?

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