Wakesurf boards: the importance of Apex

How important is the vertex of a wakesurf board? First, let’s take some time to quickly define it. The vertex is the highest point on the curve which is the seesaw. Realistically, that point changes a bit as the board is rolled on that seesaw. However, we can limit the range relative to the part of the rocker that would actually be coupled to the face of the wave while riding. Probably the easiest way to check this on a wakesurf board is to lay it on a flat surface and pull the tail up until the tail is as high above that flat surface as the nose. Then by looking at the bottom of the board, you will clearly see where the vertex is.

Now this is important because it affects the speed and maneuverability of the board. A table with the apex located around the middle of the table is slow. The reason for this is that you are pushing as much water at the apex as you are behind the apex. Wakeboard manufacturers commonly build boards with this vertex location, because that is how wakeboards are designed.

If the apex is too far forward, for example at the nose, the board will be fast, but you don’t want to turn easily either. The pivot point on the board rail is that vertex. The further forward you are, the harder it will be to turn and the slower the board will feel when turning. Newbies usually love the feeling of “speed”, although the board will not work beyond that.

Once you’re above this entry-level stage, you’ll want a board that’s fast and maneuverable. In ocean surfboard design, high-performance shortboards have the apex positioned just behind the rider’s front foot. This location offers the best combination of speed and maneuverability. Many of the wakesurf board manufacturers limited themselves to downsizing ocean surfboards and in doing so also changed the vertex, when it needed to stay just behind the front foot.

In short, placing the apex of the rocker just behind the rider’s front foot offers the best combination of speed and maneuverability.