Can You Use A Snowboard For Wakeboarding?

When it comes to all kinds of board sports, the overall process seems similar between them. You grab a board, place your feet on each end of the end and start your trek down a hill or across the water. These similarities can be misleading. Still some adventurous people know it’s possible to use a snowboard for wakeboarding and vice versa.

It is possible to use a snowboard for wakeboarding as long as you remove the boots for snowboarding and replace them with wakeboarding bindings. As simple as it sounds, there is a step by step to do so that the snowboard works properly for wakeboarding.

Understanding the process and making sure you have all the tools available is important in order for the project to go well. That way, everything is done in a safe and proper way.

Switching snowboard boots to wakeboarding

The process of using your snowboard for wakeboarding is quite simple, but steps must be followed to prevent mistakes. Just follow these steps:

  1. Get out the snowboarding gear
  2. Remove the snowboarding boot screws
  3. Position the wakeboard bindings and screw them down
  4. Check if everything is intact and secure
  5. Test the snowboard out on the water

It is also important to understand that although the possibilities exist to try things like this out, you should be mindful of the risks and possible harm you can cause during the early trials. Because it can work doesn’t mean that is foolproof, as there are differences in design and flexibility between these board types.

Step #1: Find Your Snowboard Gear Or Buy A Snowboard

This is an ideal project if you an old snowboard lying around that you are no longer using, or if you have a friend looking to dump their board for a cheap price.

If you do not own snowboarding gear and still want to do this, then head to your local skate or snowboard shop. Wakeboard and snowboard prices are similar, and there is a vastly wide range of pricing. Total costs will include the board, boots and wakeboard bindings.

Since this is a watersports site, we don’t have any specific snowboard recommendations. I haven’t used any of the boards, although my son snowboards every winter at nearby ski resorts. But you can use the button above to see all the boards on Summit Sports if you’re interested in buying one.

Remember, if you can do both snowboarding and wakeboarding with the same board, you’ll save $250-$400 on the total cost. Again, it is expensive, so it is important to take these numbers into consideration. 

Step #2: Remove The Snowboarding Boots

Once you find your snowboard or purchase one to use for the project, it is now time to grab your toolbox and get to work. What is recommended for this step are:

  • Pliers 
  • Powered drill and sockets
  • Manual screwdriver and sockets
  • Nuts and bolts that are similar to those on wakeboards
  • A sturdy table to place the boards on

First, place the snowboard on a strong flat surface where the board won’t crack or break during the removal process. From there, plug in the power screwdriver (or use a manual screwdriver) and start removing the bolts that hold the snowboard boots while taking care not to break the board. This requires lots patience, so take it easy while you make sure every bolt is removed.

As soon as all the bolts are removed, place them aside so you don’t lose them. Pull out the boots while placing minimal pressure onto the board so that it is easier to remove them. Too much pressure can break the board and ruin the project. 

Finally, place the boots in a place where you can easily grab them later and reinstall if you ever decide to place them back on the board. It is also important to keep the bolts in a secure place such as a ziplock bag, so it is easier to find them and install them for the wakeboarding bootstraps.

Step #3: Replace The Snowboard Boots For Wakeboarding Boots

It is time to find your wakeboard and remove the boots from there. The process is about the same for the snowboard boots as they share similar screws and bolts. If you are trying to go the single board, double duty route, you’ll be buying a set of wakeboard bindings. So one board, one set of snowboard boots and one set of wakeboard bindings.

If you don’t have wakeboard bindings, and you’re trying to create a multipurpose board, you can find them online, or in local skate shops and water sports shops. The average pricing for the bindings falls in the $200-$250 range. But remember, snowboards are also sold without boots. So the idea is to save money with one board for two sports.

Once you have your wakeboard bindings, you place the them onto the snowboard. Try to line up with the same holes used for snowboard boots. If that isn’t possible, you will need to drill additional holes in the board for mounting the wakeboard bindings.

Step #4: Check To See Everything Is Installed Properly

This step is important because it can help alleviate potential stress as well as avoid harm from continuing with the project. Since wakeboarding is an extreme sport, it is important to ensure that each and every bolt and screw is installed properly and tighten if necessary.

Before you head out to test the board and before every ride, make sure to set up a reminder to check them before leaving the house. That way, the bolts won’t come off, and you are not sent flying from the board during your wakeboarding session. Much like a fall on the snow, if you are not careful, you can be injured.

Step #5: Testing The Snowboard Out

Now that you made sure that the boots are installed properly, it’s time to test the snowboard out. This last step is the easiest since all that is required is to head to your local wakeboarding location and test the snowboard out.

It is important, though, to understand that since the material of the snowboard is different from that of a wakeboard, it does take time to get used to the feel of the snowboard on water. It may take a couple of failed attempts, but that does not mean the board isn’t capable of wakeboarding at all. It means that it would take more practice before you get used to the board.

If this is your first time wakeboarding, understand all the regulations in your area for boating and watersports. Be sure to follow all the rules for when and where you can wakeboard. Use the proper safety equipment such as gloves and a helmet.

Final thoughts

Both wakeboarding and snowboarding are similar to one another, or at least in terms of how their boards are crafted. Knowing these similarities helps us to come up with creative innovative and sometimes crazy ways to use our toys in different ways. So watch the videos, grab a snowboard and some wakeboard bindings, follow the steps above and give it a try.

As always, stay safe and have fun!


 

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Tim Conner, M.D.

Tim Conner, M.D. started boating in 1974. He has been involved in recreational boating continuously since then. Dr. Conner has been active in boating and watersports safety education for decades. He rode his first jet ski in 1997, and rejoined the personal watercraft arena in 2012 with a Sea-Doo GTX 155, followed by 2 supercharged SeaDoos. Scuba certification came in 1988, and he and the family have traveled the world snorkeling and scuba diving for decades. The family has recently taken up paddle boarding. Click the photo for a lot more.

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