Wakeboard, Water Ski & Surf Ropes 101 | SGT KNOTS® Skip to content
Wakeboard, Water Ski & Surf Ropes 101

Wakeboard, Water Ski & Surf Ropes 101

Welcome to the world of water sports!  Whether you are interested in learning how to wakeboard, water ski, or water surf this summer, you are going to experience plenty of learning curves before you can call yourself a pro, like what type of Ropes to use!

 It might surprise you to learn there are some major differences between the rope you use for wakeboarding, water skiing, and wakesurfing, and using the wrong rope could not only make it extremely hard to learn the sport but lead to injury as well.

 Today, we will dive into the main differences between the three sports so you can better understand why wakeboard rope, water ski rope, and water surf rope differ so much.  No matter which length or style of rope you need, the best marine rope for water sports are lightweight, buoyant, resistant to moisture and water, and hold up to the elements.


While wakeboarding, the rider is strapped into bindings attached to a snowboard-style board. With a rope attached to a motor-powered boat, the rider is pulled across the water, only letting go when (and if) they fall. 

Because wakeboarding often involves tricks, jumps, and flips, it is recommended riders use a 65’ shock-absorbing static rope with very little or no stretch.  We recommend Spectra Accessory Cord, an extremely durable polyester rope offering minimal stretch and all the protection you need against moisture, sunlight, and abrasion.  Dyneema and Poly E ropes are also recommended for their low or no stretch nature.

Water Skiing

Wakeboarding and water skiing are done in the same way, but instead of a snowboard-style board, the rider is wearing one water ski on each foot.  Or, if slalom skiing, the rider attaches one ski to the front foot while tucking the back foot behind the front foot and into a strap. 

Because you want a bit of forgiveness in the rope, the best Water Ski Rope to use is a 75ft hollow braid Polypropylene Rope.  A Hollow Braid Polypropylene Rope will allow for a bit of stretch and forgiveness the rider needs while skiing over waves, all while resisting moisture, hot and cold temperatures, UV rays, and of course, water!

SGT KNOTS water ski rope features a sturdy yet lightweight 12” aluminum core handle with performance grip and molded fingertip protectors ideal for both beginner and experienced water-skiers.


Unlike water skiing or wakeboarding, wakesurfing involves a rider standing freely on a wakeboard.  At first, the rider is pulled closely behind the boat, but once they reach the top of a wake, the rider lets go and rides the wave like how a surfer would.

In this case, the best surf rope for wakesurfers allows the rider to spring into the right spot of a wave.  While a long rope leaves more room for tricks, 25’ ropes are most used.  Ropes shorter than 25’ are sometimes easier for beginners. Ropes with more stretch than a wakeboard rope or water ski rope, like a Shock Cord.  SGT KNOTS Polypropylene Shock Cord is made from rot-proof, moisture, and UV-resistant synthetic fibers ideal for outdoor, nautical, and marine use.  Just attach a floating handle and you are good to go!


Whether you need the 411 on the best wakeboard ropes or you need to learn Everything to Know About Boat Ropes, SGT KNOTS has the tips, tricks, and rope advice you need to stay in the know.   Be sure to check us out on Facebook (SGT KNOTS Supply Co), Instagram (@SGTKNOTS), and the SGT KNOTS Pinterest page, where we display the best ways to use our rope products every day for work or play!

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