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Ropes For Waterskiing, Kneeboards or Wakeboards – How To Choose

Ropes For Waterskiing, Kneeboards or Wakeboards – How To Choose

Ropes For Waterskiing, Kneeboards or Wakeboards – How To Choose.

The ropes used in waterskiing, kneeboarding and wakeboarding will all vary in their construction, materials and so on. It all can get a bit confusing. However, in this blog hopefully, we can make choosing a ski, kneeboard or wakeboard rope easy and make the confusion disappear while making your time on the lake/sea more rewarding.

“All ropes are not created equal”

Rope words:

  • Mainline: The total length of your rope
  • Sections: Sections can be taken off to shorten your mainline to your desired length
  • EVA: Expanded foam rubber used on the handle for comfort

Waterskiing Ropes

Most waterski ropes will be sectioned ropes (unless they are beginners ropes) they will come with 5, 8 and 10 sections which you will be able to take off at various points of your mainline.  As you get better at skiing, a shorter rope becomes more of a challenge and some places call for a smaller rope. For instance, a slalom course. Most sections will be coloured. A 5 section rope will be more than enough for most people. Waterski Ropes tend to be 22.8m or 75 feet long

Waterski rope tends to stretch more than Wakeboard rope as the stretch acts as a shock absorber when the skier crosses the wake. Most ski ropes are made out of Polypropylene. The higher the strand number the less stretch the rope will have.

Waterski ropes tend to have handles between 27cm – 33cm (11-13″). Handles will also vary in comfort depending on how much EVA is on the handle. To aid beginners with deep water we offer a deep V handle which gives the ability for the ski to be held upright as the skier is being pulled out of the water. Making starting skiing easier. Usually, a good rule of thumb is that a cheaper handle won’t be as comfortable as a more expensive handle.

Here are a few examples of waterski ropes we recommend

Budget Ski Rope Option

The Boatworld 1 section waterski rope – Click here

This is a terrific value top quality ski rope which can be used for a variety of tow-behind watersports.

Features: 30cm (12″) long black rubber grip handle, 100mm ( 4″) black moulded finger guards 28mm dia aluminium core, floating handle, bright green with black tracer for spotting in the water, 22.8mts (75ft) total length, 16 strand pp rope, break strength 1600lbs/ 728kg, Boatworld Rope Keeper included.

Best Ski Rope Option

Boatworld 5 Section Performance Water Ski Rope – Click here 

Features: 30cm (12″) long EVA soft-grip handle, 28mm dia aluminium core, 22.8m  (75ft) total length with 5 take-offs (38ft/4ft/6ft/7ft/15), 16 strand pp rope, Breakstrength 1750lbs/ 794kg , Boatworld Rope Keeper included

Kneeboard Ropes

Kneeboard ropes are very similar to waterski ropes. You can get ropes with sections, no stretch and so on, but there is one very important thing your kneeboard rope should have if you are new to kneeboarding or have children. Most beginner kneeboards will have a hydro hook allowing you to hook the handle to the front of the board, so you don’t have to hold the handle. However, if you use waterski handles you could end up with an injury if someone tries to grab the handle.

Most kneeboard ropes will have a mini handle in front of the main handle so you can do this safely. If you want a high-performance kneeboard rope, then Wakeboard ropes are the best thing to look at.  Most kneeboard ropes tend to be 18 – 21m or 60 – 70 feet.

Boatworld 3 Section Kneeboard Rope

Best kneeboard Rope

Boatworld 3 Section Kneeboard Rope – Click here

Features: 33cm (13″) smooth rubber grip + extra 6″ grip ez-up handle, 3 section 19.8 (65ft) mainline, 15cm (6″)grip ez up handle locks behind board hook for an easy hands-free start, Grip diameter 27.5mm, Ideal for all levels of kneeboarding, 2x5ft (152cm) sections. 1 x 55ft (1676cm) section, 12 strand PE rope, C/w Boatworld Rope Keeper

Great Beginner Handle

ZUP Double Tow Handle & Rope – Click here

Introducing the new ZUP DoubleTow Handle & Rope!

Designed for the new ZUP.™ Watersports Board, but also plays well with other towable watersports (Skis, Wakeboards, etc.)

When starting out, this handle takes all the strain out of the ride by connecting directly to the ZUP.™ Board! When you want to change your riding position or just need a relaxing break, ZUP DoubleTow Handle & Rope makes it easy and safe to reattach your Tow Rope to the ZUP.™ Board.
ZUP Double Tow Handle & Rope FACTS:

Lime-Yellow float on the handle makes it highly visible in the water
60′ low-stretch Poly-E Mainline

Patent Pending. Designed & Manufactured in the USA.

Wakeboard Ropes

Wakeboard ropes are a bit different to waterski ropes. You want very little to no stretch while wakeboarding. This helps when you want to perform tricks as you get better. The main materials you will see in wakeboard ropes are

  • Minimal stretch Polyethylene rope
  • Zero stretch Spectra rope
  • Zero stretch Dyneema rope

The cheapest of the 3 is Polyethylene but you could use a Polypropylene rope especially if you are a beginner. ( The first Waterski rope mentioned would work)  Spectra tend to be the industry favourite because of its durability, strength and will float. Dyneema is very similar to Spectra but has the ability to resist both UV and salt-water adding to its high durability rating. Wakeboard handles tend to be a bit longer then waterski handles so you have more room to do tricks.

Budget Wakeboard Rope Option

Airhead Wakeboard Handle & 3 Section Rope – Click here

This wakeboard rope has a head-turning 38cm (15 in) Squid patterned EVA-wrapped grip with a floating aluminium core. The 5/16 inch, 16 strand, UV treated low stretch rope has 3 sections for wakeboarding at 13, 16, 19.8m  (45, 55 or 65 feet)  Full-length finger guards help create a comfortable split finger grip. A Rope Keeper is included for tangle-free storage.

Spectra Option

Airhead Spectra Thermal Wakeboard Rope and Handle – Click here 

Airhead’s Spectra Thermal Wakeboard Rope and Handle provide zero stretch for the crisp instantaneous response that expert wakeboard riders demand. The Thermal-coated Spectra line is stiff and rigid. Resists kinking and twisting, floats and boasts a 2,000 lb break strength!
The Airhead Spectra Thermal Wakeboard Rope and Handle is 21 m (70′) long with a 12.7cm (5′) handle bridle and a 4 section mainline (5, 50,5,5,5).
The 15-inch wide Handle has a soft EVA grip, is equipped with 2 foam floats and full-length PVC tubing for added durability.
A rope keeper is included for tangle-free storage!

Dyneema Option

Airhead Dyneema Flat Line Wakeboard Rope and Handle – Click here

Airhead Dyneema Flat Line wakeboard rope is Airheads top of the range rope for serious wakeboarders. Features: It provides zero stretch for the crisp instantaneous response that expert wakeboard riders demand, The Thermal-coated Dyneema is flat and is virtually impossible to tangle, It floats and has a 2,000 lb. break strength, It’s 21m (70 foot) long with a 5-foot handle bridle and 4 section mainline (5,50,5,5,5), The 38cm (15 inch) wide EVA grip provides a secure hold, A Rope Keeper is included for convenient storage, The Electric Yellow colour scheme is easy to locate in the water.

Other Waterski, Kneeboard and Wakeboard accessories

If you do not have a Wakeboard tower or Ski pylon then you will need to consider buying a tow bridle or maybe consider upgrading to a more premium option. A tow bridle is a ‘V’ shaped line that attaches to the 2 ‘D’ rings at the back of the boat giving you a central towing point you need for any sort of watersports. Tow bridles come in all styles and price points However for us here at Boatworld you cannot beat a tow bridle with a self-centring harness

Budget Option Tow Bridle

Airhead Tow Harness – Click here

If your boat isn’t equipped with a pylon or ski eye and you enjoy watersports activities, you need a tow harness. It creates a tow attachment point at the centre of your boat, behind your outboard or stern drive. This tow harness is perfect for pulling a skier, wakeboarder, knee boarder or 1 rider tubes. Simply clip it onto your boat with the hooks provided, and attach your ski or tube rope. A 6″ float keeps the attachment loop floating on top, away from your propeller. 12 feet long to fit larger boats and pontoons. Yellow / Red.

You can also use this as a bridle for towing any inflatable dinghy/tender behind a larger boat. Simply clip the 2 carabiner clip hooks onto the bow rings of your inflatable and take the looped end back to the larger vessel.

Recommended Tow Bridle

Boatworld Heavy Duty Tow Bridle – Click here

The Boatworld Heavy Duty Tow Bridle is wide enough to go around any outboard at 12ft/3.6m long.

Features: 2 ultra-strong stainless steel carabiner-style clips to attach to a boat, Quick Connect to attach to the tow line, Self-centring pulley reducing the stress of the D rings and transom, Rope break strength 2400lbs/1090kg, Large Boatworld Float to keep rope away from the propeller, 3.6m/ long
Comes complete with Boatworld Rope Keeper, Red

Hopefully, this has answered all the questions you may have had about waterski, kneeboard and wakeboard ropes as well as topping up your knowledge about tow bridles. If you have any questions please feel free to get in contact with us.

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