Big guys have it tough. Rarely is any thing made with bigger guys in mind. Wakesurf boards are no exception. If your board doesn’t have just the right weight capacity, you could have a very frustrating time of it at best and end up in quite a bit of trouble at worst.
Thankfully, it is possible to find a wakesurf board designed tough enough to hold the extra weight you carry around. We know you don’t have the time or the money to try out every board under the sun and find out whether it’s for you, so we’ve done the research for you. After dozens of trips out on the water with riders of different sizes and skill levels under a variety of conditions, we’ve picked the best wakesurf board for big guys.
Our Comparison Table
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South Bay Rambler
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The Driftsun Throwdown Wakesurf Board is altogether the best wakesurf board for big guys because of its wide weight range, high build quality, eva traction pad, and versatile design that appeals to riders of all skill levels. Simply put, it has everything you could want in a wakesurf board. We will go into more detail in the full review down below.
7 Best Wakesurf Board for Big Guys
1. Driftsun Throwdown – Top Pick
The Driftsun Throwdown is a fantastic wakesurf board for people of any size, including big guys. With a surprisingly short board length of 4’8″ as heavyweight boards go, it still manages a weight rating in excess of 200 lbs. In our tests, it has been seen to hold up well to riders as heavy as 250 lbs.
The eva pad has been cut to cover all the right areas of the board, allowing for a variety of foot placements to work reliably. We like the quad tail fin design for its speed and we love that we can remove choose to remove two of the fins for a more beginner friendly feel. That capability for adjustment makes this an adaptable board that’s a good choice for any rider from beginner to expert.
Features: Over 200 lb capacity, diamond cut traction pad, futures f4 quad fin setup.
- Will hold heavy riders without being too hefty for smaller riders to use it
- Will take an act of god to knock you off of it
- A fun ride for surfers of all skill levels
- Not the highest weight rating available (you can share it with your skinny friends!)
2. Hyperlite Shim – Best Skim Style
The Hyperlite Shim is a versatile wakesurf board that brings both skim style and surf style characteristics. Delivering unparalleled responsiveness, this board is ideal for intermediate to advanced wake surfers looking to level up their trick game.
Covered from front to back in machined eva traction and crafted with layered fiberglass that can take a pounding, the Shim will stick with you through rough waters and sunny days alike. Its 3 fin design strikes a perfect balance between speed and control.
Rated to carry 240 lbs, it of course also makes a solid choice for heavier riders.
Features: Skim & Surf style characteristics, layered glass construction.
- Can put your feet anywhere on its surface and keep traction
- Snappy movements allow you to do wilder tricks than with other boards
- Fins don’t need to be adjusted for different purposes
- Not ideal for beginners (a greater challenge for those who want it)
3. South Bay Rambler – Best Budget Board
The South Bay Rambler is a reliable and stylish surf style board for the wakesurfer on a budget. Its large 63″ profile supports up to 275 lb, the highest capacity yet on this list. With its 3 tail fins, it offers a solid balance of speed and control that we love in any board that provides it.
Its considerable heft gives it great buoyancy on the water, allowing the rider some breathing room when getting on the board for the first time. This also makes it a lovely board for beginners.
Finally, when it comes to visual style, this one is easily the editor’s choice. The eye-catching golden marbling is like nothing else you’ll find. All of this at a very affordable price point makes this board one of our favorites altogether.
Features: Large board profile, high weight rating, unique look.
- Comfortable platform to learn the fundamentals of wakesurfing
- Get envious glances from other wakesurfers
- Smooth movements on the water make for a peaceful ride
- Not the best eva pad coverage available (will teach you to place your feet properly)
4. Connelly Ride – Most Reliable
The Connelly Ride is an exceptional board that will hold up to whatever you throw at it. Its tough construction will live through your wipeouts with you and the quality wakesurf rope that it comes with will help you get back up to speed in no time.
It has great pad coverage, and is relatively unique in having three identical tail fins that can be detached however you like for different levels of challenge. As a surf style board, it handles smoothly in the water which is a great plus for low level surfers.
Altogether, the Connelly Ride is a great board for any rider — especially those looking to buy one that will last them a long time.
Features: very durable construction, comes with surf rope, 3 removable fins.
- You won’t have to buy another board any time soon
- Can be made more challenging as you get more skilled
- Smooth handling will lead to fewer wipeouts
- Not the snappiest movements available (great for learning the ropes first)
5. Hyperlite Landlock – Highest Weight Capacity
The Hyperlite Landlock is a colossal board with a profile of 5’9″ and an unparalleled weight capacity of 300 lbs. This behemoth is definitely most suitable for super heavyweights, but any big guy can get good mileage out of it. With the same layered fiberglass construction as the Shim, this board can take a pounding and a half.
The carefully calibrated 3 fin design combines with the form factor and rolled edge profile to give you smooth turns and flowing movement of all sorts. These things in mind, the Landlock makes a great beginner board — especially for plus size people
Features: largest board available, rolled edge profile.
- Will support even the heaviest riders
- Soft curved edges won’t injure you during a wipeout
- Laid back movements provide a more relaxing surf
- Might be a little troublesome to store and transport (but it’ll never get lost in a pile of clutter during off season)
6. Driftsun Rukus – Most Compact
The Driftsun Rukus is the smallest board available that boasts both high build quality and enough weight capacity for a big guy at a maximum of 245 lbs. At 4’6″ in length, it’s even smaller than the Throwdown — but don’t let that small size fool you, it is still very much a contender.
Sharing the adjustable quad fin design of the other Driftsun board, the Rukus can adapt in speed and control to be suitable for riders of multiple skill levels. With high traction coverage, it provides a great degree of freedom in foot placement.
With its smooth motions and variety of accessibility features, this surf style board is yet another solid option for newer riders.
Features: smallest board form factor available for big guys, adjustable fins.
- Easy to store and transport
- Adapts to multiple skill levels
- Particularly suitable for sharing with skinnier friends
- Larger riders may get some weird looks for choosing such a small board
7. Airhead Bonzai – Best Beginner Board
The Airhead Bonzai is, without a doubt, the most ideal board to get a new rider started out on wakesurfing. Every boat needs a beginner board, and you can’t go wrong with one especially designed to fit that set of surfers. We tested its claim to a weight rating of “one size fits all” and could not find a rider that it wouldn’t carry.
Its large board profile is particularly buoyant, making it easier to get on when stepping off the boat. This also makes it effective as a makeshift life raft after every nasty wipe out from the first to the thousandth.
Its classic, simple design is easy on both the eyes and the wallet. Being one of the most affordable wakesurf boards available, the fact that it still manages to offer such an exceptional level of quality is nothing short of a miracle.
The eva pads are cut to cover all the right areas of the board, making foot placement perfectly balanced between being forgiving and teaching the rider better technique.
Sharing the common and efficient 3 tail fin design of many other boards, the Bonzai offers both exciting speed and reliable control with no need to customize the layout. Like other surf style wakesurf boards, it provides smooth motions that make an art form out of wake surfing.
Airhead has proven without a doubt that they know what’s best for the first time wake surfing initiate.
Features: One size fits all weight rating, large and durable board design, 3 tail fins.
- By far the most accessible board
- Won’t destroy your wallet
- Makes a good life raft
- Not ideal for more advanced users (but perfect for getting new friends into the sport)
What to Look For When Buying a Wakesurf Board
The design of a wakesurf board is an extremely precise science, significantly more so than a regular surf board. As a result, they tend to be on the rather expensive side as sporting equipment goes.
Considering that somewhere along the line you have to get your hands on a boat to create the wake for you to wakesurf on, you definitely don’t want to have any extra money go to waste by buying the wrong board for your needs. So, before we get into the detailed board reviews, we should make sure you know what you need to know to choose the best wakesurf board for you.
Things to Consider
The size of your wakesurf board is always going to be an important factor, doubly so if you’re a big guy. Board size is naturally a major determinant of weight capacity — larger boards, generally speaking, can handle wider weight ranges.
For big guys, you’ll want a board big enough to hold at least 200 lbs. Most of those are at least 5′ long, with some exceptions. Check out our related post on the best kids wakesurf board reviews.
It ought to go without saying that the materials the board is made of, and how they’re put together, are significant considerations. Nobody wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a wakesurf board that starts to fall apart the moment it hits the water.
Luckily for you, you won’t have to worry so much about this one. We will never recommend a board with anything less than excellent build quality.
It won’t matter how well the board holds up if you can’t stay standing on it, and that’s where traction comes in. While it may be true that there is more than one way to get good traction, pretty much all the best wakesurf boards use the same solution: an eva traction pad.
Each one might have pads cut to different dimensions or placed in different locations for certain types of footing, but in the end it’s an eva pad all the same. You’ll want to make sure the board you choose has pads placed in an arrangement that you’re comfortable with, because that’s where you’ll be planting your feet most of the time.
The fin setup on your board will influence its speed and maneuverability. The most common setups are 3 fin and 4 fin. 3 fin boards are often easier for beginners due to the rear center fin giving superior control. 4 fin boards on the other hand can boast incredible speed and a very straight ride.
It’s important to note that the best wakesurf boards that use the 4 fin design almost always have the option of removing 2 of the fins to provide a slower, easier ride for a new rider.
This one is arguably less important than the others, but it can’t be denied that you won’t want to ride a board very often if it’s so ugly you don’t want to be seen on it.
Thankfully, we’ve made sure to only include boards on this list that are both high quality and stylish to look at.
What is the Best Wakesurf Board for Big Guys? Final Thoughts
Wake surfing is a sport that is both relatively simple to learn, hard to master, and fairly safe as watersports go. It’s particularly attractive as a way for big guys to have some fun and exercise at the same time. A board, being one of the obvious prerequisites to wake surfing (the other being access to a boat, but that’s an entirely different can of worms), is thus an excellent investment for anyone looking to get into it.
When picking out your wakesurf board, don’t forget to make sure that all of the factors are just right for you: size, build quality, traction, fins, and style. And if you don’t want to spend an eternity trying to pick out the right board for yourself, just remember that the Driftsun Throwdown is always a great choice.
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South Bay Rambler
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