Essentials for a wake or dock start board


What’s going on everybody? Sam here with Appletree. I’m in Hood River. This is a sunny day in the gorge in the winter time. We’re down at Nichols Boat Basin.

We’re gonna talk today about boards for dock starting, wake foiling, and in particularly,  the Skipper Short.  What do you look for, what do I look for in a wake foil or dock start board? And why is the Skipper Short so great for those disciplines?  

What are the essentials for a wake or dock start board?

Lightness and stiffness. That is really nice, especially for dock starting. Anything that has to do with pumping you just want to be able to throw the board around as quickly as possible with as little feedback from extra weight on the board. The lightness is a really good factor for that. Then you have the stiffness of the board. 

Pumping means a lot of stress on the board

All Appletree boards, in particular these Skippers, have a really stiff platform. And an extremely good connection in the tracks. So you don’t get any flex at all in the board or in the tracks as you’re pumping along. 

You’d be surprised how much force you’re actually putting on everything as you’re really engaging pumps or if you’re in the wake and you wanna do some airs.  

It puts a lot of stress and pressure on the boards. And you can actually see some other boards flex as they’re going along and pumping. So stiffness is really important and weight is really important too. 

Essentials for a wake or dock start board

What about the Apple Skipper Short?

In terms of sort of technical shape, these are both Skipper shorts. This one’s the 3’10” and this one is a 3′ 4”.  And they both work great. Why one or the other? The 3’10” is gonna be a little bit easier of a board. It has just got more surface area for touchdowns, a little bit more volume to get up and go behind the boat. It’s just gonna allow for a little more forgiveness. You have to be a little less precise with all your movements.  

And then the shorter one. It’s just so small, so nimble, so quick. It’s super high performing and really fun, but you sacrifice some forgiveness in the board. 


What board shape works well for a wake foil board?

There are a couple things to look for in a wake foil board or a dock start board. I like some nice nose rocker out in the front. If you’re sink starting this behind the boat it creates a lot of lift underwater and pops the board right up and onto the surface on the foil.  Otherwise, you have to adjust the angle and create lift with angle and that can throw your balance off once you come up and out of the water. That’s for the start. 

And then maximum forgiveness for touchdowns. If you’re behind the boat and ripping turns and grabbing the top of the wake you want forgiving rails. These rails on the Skipper Short are super forgiving, nice and soft.

And if you’re jumping, airing, with straps or without straps, you want a board that’s gonna pop right back off the water as quickly as possible. The Apple Skipper Shorts do that really well.  They have a bulge under the front foot, which displaces a bunch of water as it hits. If you hit nose first, it really does a nice displacement of that water, allowing the board to just pop right back up and keep going.  

What board shape works well for a dock start board?

As for dock starting, the same rules apply. If you’re coming off the dock and you don’t land on your feet perfectly and you have a board that’s really sort of grabby when it hits the water, you’re gonna maybe get 1 or 2 skips off the water. Whereas these Skipper Shorts are extremely recoverable for pumping. You don’t lose a ton of energy by hitting the water. 

And for the stiffness and lightness? You don’t wanna use all your pump energy sort of flexing the board or pumping extra weight. Right? So the stiffer, the more input goes straight into the foil and the less energy you lose throughout the board and the lighter, the less energy you lose pumping extra weight. 

That was it for the Skipper Short for dock starting and wake foiling or just in general what to look for in a wake foil or dock start board. Thanks for watching! Hope to see you guys out in the water!

Next episode

Excited about our next Tech-Talk video? Or are you wondering if your question will be discussed in the next episode? Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send you an email when the next video is out!