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Rope it up: Ropes and handles reviewed


A question I hear a lot from other kneeboarders is, " What line length do you use?". I tell them, "Usually, 60 feet." So, they go out riding the next day at sixty feet and have trouble with all of their jumps. The question they should have asked was, "What line length should I use?"

Everyone has line lengths as diverse as there are riding styles. There is no set line length that you should follow. Every boat wake is different and each rider is at a different experience level. A good measure of length is to see if you can do a wake to wake jump. If you can’t, shorten your line until you can. As you gain more confidence at the shorter length and start landing in the flats, lengthen your line another couple of feet. Continue this method until you like the length and wake size. Tricks are usually easier to do on a shorter line because you only need to concentrate on the trick and not on clearing the second wake. As you gain more experience, the longer line will give you more speed, more height and more time to throw the trick.

Non-stretch rope is a must when you get into more advanced tricks. Spectra rope is the premium choice. The cost may be high, but you’ll understand that the money was well spent the first time you land a big jump. Stretchy lines act like a bungee cord upon landing a trick and may pull you out the front. Spectra line will allow you to cut harder toward the wake and reduce any jerk upon landing unless you’re leaning forward a great deal. Plain spectra line frays and gets tangled easily. So, spend the few extra dollars to get coated line. Straightline and Masterline sell quality spectra ropes.

Handles: A wakeboard handle (usually 15 inches) is recommended. The extra width will give you more handle to grab while doing spin tricks. Carbon handles will also aid in spin tricks since they are lighter; however, there are some things to consider: Carbon handles are stiffer so they are less forgiving when you get a hard jerk from the boat. They have also been known to not be as durable as a steel handle. Last, but not least, they are expensive.

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