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Many water skiers who attempt wakeboarding for the first time are delighted to find out wakeboard handles are extremely comfortable. Water ski handles are typically 11-12 inches wide while wakeboard handles are usually 13-15 inches in width. This extra width not only makes the handles more comfortable but also makes it easier to perform tricks. It also allows the wake boarder to take a more relaxed grip.
Making the mistake of coiling a wakeboarding rope as it is being pulled in from the water can result in knots in the rope. Knots in the rope may cause the rope to deteriorate quicker. A coiled rope may look neat and attractive, but the process of coiling a rope while pulling it in from the water is likely to result in knots. A better technique for pulling in a wakeboard rope involves pulling the rope in with a hand over hand motion and allowing the rope to fall on the floor of the boat. This method may look sloppy but it will most likely result in fewer knots in the rope.
Carrying a spare wakeboard rope is recommended because wakeboard ropes can break without warning. The spare rope should be of the same quality as the primary rope. Alternating between two ropes is recommended and boarders may wish to keep their off rope with them as the spare. Boarders who always carry a spare avoid the dilemma of being out on the water without a backup rope. This can be especially disheartening if the rope breaks early in the day.
A wakeboarding rope of approximately 50-60 feet is typical. However, boarders may prefer a shorter or longer wakeboard rope based on their personal preference and skill level. The length of the rope will dictate the type of waves the rider experiences. Waves closer to the boat are more predictable. For this reason beginners may opt for shorter ropes while more experienced boarders may prefer the challenge of less predictable waves further from the boat.
Wakeboards, vests and boots are all pieces of equipment with a great potential for stylish elements. Most boarders are aware of the array of color and style options with these pieces of gear but neglect the opportunity to express their style through handles and ropes as well. While most manufacturers of wakeboard handles focus mostly on creating ergonomic designs, they also market their handles and ropes in a variety of styles and colors. Handles and ropes come in every color of the rainbow and some even have the ability to glow in the dark.
Knots are to be expected in a wakeboard rope but the key is knowing how to deal with knots when they occur. The existence of knots can result in the deterioration of the rope. For this reason it is important to remove the knots promptly. The following tips are useful for dealing with knots in a wakeboarding rope.
• Remove knots promptly to avoid excessive tightening. Knots become difficult to remove if the knotted rope has been used to tow a wake boarder.
• Stubborn knots can be loosened by tapping the knot lightly with a hammer or other heavy object.
• Insert a pointed object under the knot and move the object in increasingly wide circles until the knot loosens.
Wakeboarding and wake surfing are quite different sports. The ropes used for these sports are also quite different. Wake surfing involves being towed until the surfer is ready to free ride. The surfer then tosses the rope either into the boat or into the water. Wakeboarding involves the boarder being towed for the duration of the ride. Wake boarders also ride considerably further from the boat than wake surfers do. Wake surfers are usually towed at about 15 from the boat while wake boarders are usually towed at 60-70 feet. Because these two sports are so different, using the same rope for both is not feasible.
Proper maintenance of a wakeboarding rope will maximize the lifespan of the rope. The following tips will help keep a wakeboard rope in top condition.
• Store the rope out of direct sunlight because the UV rays can break down the fibers in the rope.
• Rinse the rope with fresh water after each use and wash it periodically to prevent dirt from penetrating the rope and causing weak spots.
• Alternate between two ropes and use each rope for an extended period of time before switching to the alternate. Over time wakeboard ropes stretch and rotating your ropes will prevent permanent stretch.
Many women prefer wakeboard handles designed for women. Liquid Force has designed the Angel handle specifically for women. Although this model comes in aesthetically pleasing colors, the look of the handle is not what appeals to most female boarders. Features such as a small diameter and a soft density make this handle ergonomically correct for women.
Purchasing an adjustable wakeboard rope is not necessary but it can definitely be beneficial. Both beginners and boarders who share their wakeboarding rope with others may find an adjustable rope to be a worthwhile investment. Most beginners prefer a shorter rope but they may wish to progress to a longer rope when their skills progress. An adjustable rope would spare them the expense of purchasing multiple ropes. Adjustable ropes are also ideal for families or groups of friends with varying skill levels. This allows for quick adjustments while on the water as opposed to the need to change the rope for each boarder.
A wakeboard rope with little or no stretch is recommended. The materials used in the construction of the wakeboarding rope will contribute to whether or not it stretches, as well as the degree of stretch. Ropes with minimal stretch are usually made of polyethylene. This material will result in stretch of about 1%. Those who prefer no stretch will like a wakeboard rope constructed of spectra. These ropes will stretch by less than 0.5%.