Wakeboard Critic

Fins On A Wakeboard - What You Need To Know

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Wakeboards are a relatively new invention, and many people may not know much about their construction and how they work. If you’re interested in purchasing a wakeboard to begin taking up the sport, our wakeboarding buyer’s guides will be helpful for you to understand how each of the components of the wakeboard work to help you ride and perform tricks.  Not only will you need to understand the differences in wakeboard size and styles but the additional features of a wakeboard are important too.


In this article we’re going to talk about one of those components: the fins on a wakeboard. We’re going to explain what they are, what they do, and if you need them or not so you can decide if they’re right for you. Knowing more about what fins are and how they can help you will help determine what features to look for when you choose a board.

What are fins on a wakeboard and what do they do?

A wakeboard isn’t just a flat board that floats on the water. That would make for some pretty haphazard steering. It has three major components: the flex, the rocker, and the fins. Fins are an optional feature. What size and even whether you want them at all depends on what level of wakeboarding you want to do.


Fins for wakeboards help with your control. They are usually made out of plastic, and attach to the bottom of the wakeboard and create drag in the water as the board moves. They’re a lot like the rudder of a boat; like a boat’s rudder they keep your wakeboard moving forward in a controlled way. 


Molded-in fins are very common on beginner wakeboards to help provide greater stability and allow for more control and maneuverability.  Removable center fins are also often present.

fins on a wakeboard

If your board doesn’t have fins it is likely to rotate wildly, which makes it hard to ride. Tricks are much more difficult without fins. Fins on a wakeboard are especially good for beginners as they allow the rider to control their movement better. Some advanced and pro wakeboarders prefer not to have fins on a wakeboard at all, as they are able to rely more on their bodily movements to perform tricks. But if you’re just starting out  with some beginner wakeboarding tricks, we recommend having fins on your board.

Find a beginners wakeboard for kids, women and men to get you off to a stable start

Wakeboard designs

Wakeboards come in several different designs that are made for specific kinds of wakeboarding. You can also customize your wakeboard if you want.

Boat boards

Boat boards are very sturdy and are a great option for riders who want a lot of control even at high speeds. Boat boards have less flex and often have molded-in fins. Boat boards are best for people who want to spend the majority of their time just riding behind a boat instead of performing a lot of tricks.

Wake park boards

Wake park boards are the opposite of boat boards and are best for people who want to do a lot of stunts and tricks. They’re designed for use at wake parks. They don’t handle high speeds very well, but they’re much easier to maneuver. Wake park boards have softer flex patterns, removable fins or no fins and tend to be more durable. They are good at absorbing flat landings.

Hybrid boards

Boat boards are best for environments where boats can go and park boards are best for wake parks, so if you want to switch back and forth between the two environments but don’t want to buy two boards, go for a hybrid board. Their flex is in between boat and park boards and they are durable. The fins on these wakeboards are removable.

Types of fins for wakeboards

Fins for wakeboards generally come in two types: wide fins and thin fins. Both types serve the same purpose for the most part, but they have their differences. Some wakeboards have fins molded to them, while others have the fins bolted on, making them easy to take off and exchange if need be. Riders who frequent wake parks often find that molded fins are more durable on the sliders.

Wide fins

Wide fins are better for beginner and intermediate wakeboarders. Because of their size they move more water around the board, creating more drag and more stability. They’re good for choppy water, so sometimes even more advanced wakeboarders opt for them.

Thin fins

Thin fins are suitable for more advanced wakeboarders. They push less water, creating less drag. Less drag means the board rotates more on the water, and it gives the rider more control. Thin fins are helpful for advanced riders who are able to perform more stunts.

fins on a wakeboard

Hyperlite Fins

Hyperlite wakeboard fins are a great option if you are looking for good-quality removable fins. The company prides itself on creating wakeboarding products with high standards and tremendous quality. You can purchase wakeboards or removable fins on their website that will up your game significantly.

Fins for wakeboard riding? Yes or no?

A quick Google search will show that whether or not to use fins on a wakeboard is a highly debated topic. There are differing opinions on whether you should use fins or not. While fins can certainly help out beginning riders, some people point out that having center fins can teach you bad habits and bad form. You can come to rely on them too much.


A good compromise is to use fins that are 1 inch or less. They’ll allow you to learn properly without worrying about your board slipping out from underneath you.

Use fins on a wakeboard if...

  • You’re new to wakeboarding
  • You need more control
  • You have trouble staying in one direction
  • You’re wakeboarding behind a boat

Don't use fins on a wakeboard if...

  • You’re a more advanced rider
  • You are performing advanced tricks
  • You want to learn proper form

Be confident in your
wakeboard choice

We’ve done the hard work researching to compare wakeboards so you can make the best decision about which wakeboard will be most suited to you.

When it comes down to it, though, the decision about whether to use fins on a wakeboard or not largely depends on personal preference. Some people may find it easier to learn with fins, while some may find it easier without them. Give it a try and see if fins are for you. If you’re purchasing a board and are unsure about whether you want fins or not, perhaps opt for a board with removable fins so you can take them off if you need to.

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