Wakeboard Critic

Continuous Rocker vs 3 Stage Rocker

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When you’re shopping for a new wakeboard, you may find that you become easily overwhelmed with all of the options available, as well as all of the features that each board has. There’s a lot of jargon involved in wakeboarding such as rocker, camber, speedwall, etc.


All of these features are important, but we’re going to look at one specific feature: the rocker. Rocker refers to how the board is curved when it’s placed on a flat surface. Every wakeboard has some type of rocker. There are three different types: continuous, 3-stage, and hybrid.


In this article we’re explaining the difference between continuous rocker vs 3-stage rocker, as well as what both wakeboard rocker types do, and help you figure out which type is best for you. Read on for more information about continuous rocker vs 3-stage rocker.

What is a rocker?

Simply put, a rocker is the curve that the board has from its tail to its nose. Every wakeboard has a rocker built into it. Without it, the board would just be a flat piece of wood and wouldn’t give a good ride. Rockers are one of the most important features of a wakeboard.


When you purchase a wakeboard you’re going to see two stats about the rocker listed. These are the height measurement and the rocker “line” or “shape”. These are important to know when deciding which wakeboard rocker type is best for you.

wakeboard rocker types

Rocker height

It’s important to know how high your wakeboard measures, as the height affects how the board will perform. It’s easy to measure the height: simply place your board on the ground and measure from the grond up to the nose or tail of the board. That lets you know how much your board curves. The higher your rocker is, the slower your board will be. Look for something between 2-3” high.

Rocker line

This is where continuous vs 3-stage rocker comes in. The “line” is basically the shape of the curve; how the board curves from tail to nose. There are three types of rocker lines: continuous, 3-stage, and hybrid. We’re focusing on just two of those shapes, continuous rocker vs 3-stage rocker.

Continuous rocker

Continuous is the most basic of the wakeboard rocker types. The base is a smooth, simple curve from the nose to the tail, kind of like a smile. Continuous rockers create a smooth, consistent ride and will carry you farther horizontally. Many beginner wakeboards have a continuous rocker because they’re easy to use and control. The smooth curve helps the board move through the water with less friction.


Continuous rockers are good for a casual, fun ride or for cable parks. They have a softer landing, which makes them good for jumping off of ramps and railings and landing on flat water.


  • Reliable and predictable
  • Good for beginners
  • Provides softer landings
  • Allows the rider to maintain a faster speed
  • Gives longer jumps vs higher jumps


  • Easier to develop bad habits because they have a larger margin for error
  • Doesn’t have as much vertical pop off of the wake
  • More drag and slower into the wake

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3-stage rocker

A 3-stage rocker wakeboard has a base that is split into three distinct sections. Instead of having a steady curve like a continuous rocker, the 3-stage rocker’s sections are flat. There is a big flat spot in the center of the board that goes under the rider’s feet.


3-stage rockers give more of a pop off of the wake than continuous rockers, but they also create more friction, so you may not be able to go as fast. If you’re more into tricks than speed, though, this is a good thing.


3-stage rockers are good for more advanced riders because they provide excellent performance, but at the same time require more skill. You’ll need good timing and technique to get the most pop out of your board. Landings can be a bit harsher, too since the flat spot in the center smacks down on the water.


  • Provide great pop off the wake
  • Good for wake-to-wake jumps
  • Give good vertical pop
  • Helpful for performing more advanced tricks


  • Slower than continuous rockers
  • Landings are higher impact
  • Less forgiving of poor technique as they have a sweet spot that maximizes pop
  • Slower than continuous rockers

Hybrid rockers

When you’re shopping for a wakeboard you’ll likely see a “hybrid” option. Hybrid rockers are not too much different from continuous and 3-stage rockers, they just have small variations. They’re meant to give you rideability and consistency combined with a higher pop – basically the best of both worlds. If you can’t decide between continuous rocker vs 3-stage rocker, hybrid might be a good option for you.

3 stage rocker wakeboard

Continuous rocker vs 3-stage rocker - which is the best option?

Now that you know the difference between continuous vs 3-stage rocker, you can decide which option is the best for you and your riding style. If you’re a beginner, it’s probably best to go with a continuous or a hybrid rocker for now, and maybe upgrade once you are more experienced. A continuous rocker is also great for you if you just want to go fast and don’t want to worry so much about tricks, or if you just plan to ride in cable parks instead of on lakes.

If you’re a more advanced rider, or are more into performing tricks on the water, a 3-stage rocker wakeboard could be best for you. You’ll be able to get more pop for those impressive aerial tricks. Just remember that you’ll need more patience and technique to ride on a 3-stage rocker wakeboard.


No matter which option you choose, whether you go with a continuous rocker vs a 3-stage rocker, remember to enjoy your time on the water, and have fun! Each board will have a bit of a learning curve, so be patient with yourself and take it easy, and you’ll master your board in no time!