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Beginner's Guide to Buying Wakeboard Tow Ropes

Wakeboard Tow Rope Design and Characteristics

Choosing the correct Wakeboard Rope can genuinely improve your learning curve while you're getting the hang of the basics, but also dramatically improve your overall performance as you progress. Choosing the wrong one can have the complete opposite effect. Waterski ropes and handles may look the same as wakeboarding ones but the different needs of the Wakeboarder mean that the rope and handle are significantly different.

The Basics

Unlike water skiing, wakeboarding requires a wide handle and a rope with minimum stretch in order to "load the line" and perform tricks and get the maximum amount of air. Waterskiiers are generally doing everything they can to remain in contact with the water, whereas experienced wakeboarders are normally doing the complete opposite. For this reason, specific wakeboarding ropes and handles have been developed that service these needs.

Rope Material

Wakeboarding ropes are made out of two main materials, low stretch polyethylene (AKA poly) and zero stretch Spectra / Dyneema. Poly ropes provide a small amount of stretch but Spectra / Dyneem ropes do not stretch at all. In short, zero stretch ropes allow all of the power from the boat to be translated into momentum, which is highly desirable for serious boat wakeboarding.

However, not all of the characteristics of a zero stretch rope are desirable when you are a beginner. For a start, zero stretch ropes take no prisoners and a slightly stretchy poly rope will be much more forgiving when you get the dreaded wobbles or allow any slack to develop in the line. Poly ropes also take a little bit of the edge off the power running through the handle, which is very desirable during the early deep water starts and on practise landings. Zero stretch wake ropes are also expensive though and until you can truly benefit from the advantages they provide there really isn't a great deal of justification. Most intermediate to advanced wakeboarders will opt for zero stretch rope if given the choice, but even a beginner will notice the difference between a low stretch rope and a zero stretch rope.

To summarise, a really good boat wakeboarder who performs a variety of tricks with confidence (and success) can benefit from zero stretch rope. The rest of us will get on just fine with a good poly rope. Like golf clubs, spending more does not necessarily make you a better player and can often achieve the complete opposite effect!

Rope Length

The majority of Wakeboarding Tow Ropes are between 60 to 70 feet long but with sections along the first 20 feet or so of the rope to vary its length (known as take-offs). Rope length is a matter of personal preference but beginners usually prefer shorter ropes as the boat's wake is narrower and less choppy the closer to the boat you are. Experienced wakeboarders generally prefer longer ropes (up to 85' in some cases) as they can generate more momentum and therefore perform a wider variety of airborne tricks.

Wake Handles

Wakeboarding Handles are 13-15 inches wide as opposed to Waterski handles which are 11-12 inches wide. The reason for this is quite simple - a wider handles make it easier to perform tricks that require the handle to be passed behind the rider's back! In the same way that stretch in wakeboard ropes is not desirable, the same is true of flex in the handle itself. The more you spend on a wakeboard handle the less it will flex, which results in more power and a better feel. Basic handles are generally made from steel or strong nylon, mid range handles from hard machined EVA, and elite handles from zero flex lightweight materials such as extruded T6-6061 aluminium.

Jargon Buster

Feature
Description
15 inch Handle The 15 inch handle makes this tow rope perfect for Wakeboarding or Kneeboarding
14 inch Handle The 14 inch handle makes this tow rope perfect for Wakeboarding or Kneeboarding
13 inch Handle The 13 inch handle makes this tow rope perfect for Wakeboarding or Kneeboarding
12 inch Handle The 12 inch handle makes this tow rope perfect for Wakeboarding Water Skiing or Kneeboarding
11 inch Handle The 11 inch handle is the perfect size for recreational Water Skiing
10 inch Handle The 11 inch handle is the perfect size for recreational Water Skiing
1 Removable Section The single section main line is perfect for recreational use where multiple sections are not required
2 Removable Sections The main line comes with 2 removable sections to enable you to lengthen and shorted the main line as required
3 Removable Sections The main line comes with 3 removable sections to enable you to lengthen and shorted the main line as required
4 Removable Sections The main line comes with 4 removable sections to enable you to lengthen and shorted the main line as required
5 Removable Sections The main line comes with 5 removable sections to enable you to lengthen and shorted the main line as required
8 Removable Sections The main line comes with 8 removable sections to enable you to lengthen and shorted the main line as required
10 Removable Sections The main line comes with 10 removable sections to enable you to lengthen and shorted the main line as required
60ft Main Line The main line measures a total of 60ft in length
65ft Main Line The main line measures a total of 65ft in length
70ft Main Line The main line measures a total of 70ft in length
75ft Main Line The main line measures a total of 75ft in length
80ft Main Line The main line measures a total of 80ft in length
85ft Main Line The main line measures a total of 85ft in length
90ft Main Line The main line measures a total of 90ft in length
Excellent Quality This is a top end performance product that is built to a high standard and is of excellent quality
T6-6061 Aluminium Bar The handle is made from ultra strong and rigid T6-6061 aircraft grade aluminium
Natural Rubber Grip The handle is made from natural rubber which is extremely hard wearing and grippy in the hand
Tacky Handle Grip The handle is made from a tacky material which is extremely hard wearing and grippy in the hand
Double Braided Rope Double braided rope is Poly rope wound around a nylon core for high strength with good shock absorption
Built-In Handle Floats Soft integrated foam handle floats keep everything above the water and away from your prop
Integrated Handle Floats Soft integrated foam floats keep everything above the water and away from your prop
Low Stretch Poly Line Wound from Polyethelyne (aka Poly) which is a very forgiving monofilament fibre that is resistant to abrasion and floats well
Soft EVA Grip Comes with an EVA grip which is a tough elastomeric polymer that is very rubber-like in softness and flexibility
Quality Machined Handle The machined handle is made from a solid piece of metal and has virtually no flex
Zero Stretch Spectra Spectra is an ultra-high molecular polyethylene fiber that has very high strength and zero stretch or recoil making it perfect for Wakeboarding
Zero Stretch Dyneema Dyneema is an ultra-high molecular polyethylene fiber that has very high strength and zero stretch or recoil making it perfect for Wakeboarding
AWSA Approved Approved by the AWSA (American Water Sports Association) the sanctioning body for competition water sports in the United States and abroad
Soft Suede Grip The handle is covered in suede which is extremely hard wearing and grippy in the hand
PU Coated Line The line is PU coated which is a full polyurethane covering that makes the line water resistant and flexible and tangle-free
PVC Dipped End Caps The end caps are dipped in PVC to minimise roll and prevent abrasion and protect the fingers
Curved Handle The curved handle makes life a little easier on the wrists as it offers a more ergonomic hand grip position
ARS Anti-Roll System The Anti Roll System prevents the handle from rolling as the line loads up
Internal Foam Floats Internal floats within the handle keep everything above the water and away from your prop
Ideal For Intermediates This product is perfect for those of an intermediate level
Ideal For Competition Use Meets all of the appropriate specifications for competition use
Ideal For Recreational Use This product is perfect for recreation family fun use
Ideal For Beginners This product is perfect for beginner and for recreation family fun use
Tangle Free Main Line The line is constructed in a handy way that prevents it from tangling when not in use
100% Carbon Fibre Utilises 100% carbon fibre construction for the ultimate in stiffness and light weight
Rubberized Matt Paint Finish Rubberized matt painted coating for excellent impact resistance and great looks
Rope Tidy Included Complete with handy velcro rope tidy to keep everything organised and safe when not in use


We hope you found this article useful but if you have a question that is not covered here or you just need some advice then please do get in touch and one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff will gladly assist you.

 

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