Wakeboarding keeps getting more and more popular in Europe – especially cable parks. The lack of suitable places to own a boat and high cost of ownership and the lack of an all round season make that less popular. Cable parks have the advantage of having permanent park set ups however and can invest in great features.
In kiteboarding the wakestyle movement has continued to gain momentum with riding in boots now at an all time high. People are riding larger boards too which is directly linked to this trend. The pro rider videos regularly show them riding kickers and rails. In the UK in particular – we are lucky to have some of the biggest names globally pushing this style of riding hard. Think Aaron Hadlow, Sam Light, Tom Court and James Boulding.
So where does this leave the quest for a board which does both well? A few years ago now we looked at kiteboards vs wakeboards – things have gotten a lot better. More and more brands have jumped on the bang wagon and have kiteboards in larger sizes, with more rocker and durable slide bases using the same materials as wakeboards. The compromise is a lot better than it used to be.
The truth is that these things are still a compromise – and not one we personally are willing to make. The boards are great for hitting features whilst using the power of the kite. They are better than ever at this element. The increased rocker however makes them a little sluggish for day to day riding. The slide base also makes them a little heavy.
At the cable park – they still lack the level of rocker seen on a wakeboard, so feel skatey and fast. The bases dont take the same level of abuse as wakeboards. They are often more expensive than wakeboards too. All in all – we will continue to buy dedicated boards. That said – if you are into this style of riding and traveling – carrying extra boards is a hassle so it could work.