Paddleboard vs Wakeboard

Paddleboard vs Wakeboard


Paddleboarding and Wakeboarding are two very similar sports, but they do have some differences. If you're looking to try either one of these out, this guide will help you decide which is right for you! 

Paddleboards use a paddle while Wakeboards use a rope.

A Wakeboard is attached to the boat by a rope, which is used to pull you up and out of the water. At Pier52, we use a cable to pull you along. This means that while Wakeboarding, you're constantly being pulled through the water. It's physically demanding: You have to constantly use your muscles to keep yourself on top of the board and moving forward, or else fall off. Great for building core strength.

Paddleboarding uses a paddle instead of a rope; paddling moves you across the water without much effort on your part (and even provides some resistance for exercise). The lack of physical strain makes it easier for beginners—but also means that more advanced riders might find themselves looking longingly at the Wakeboarding while paddleboarding after getting used to them! Luckily at Pier52 we have both. 

Wakeboarding is more physical, since it requires you to hold onto the rope and fight gravity with your legs.

Wakeboarding is more physical, since it requires you to hold onto the rope and fight gravity with your legs. You are being pulled through the water by our cable system and need to hold on to get the best out of the experience. Don't worry, we build up your confidence over each session.

Paddle-boarding however is less physical because of its lower center of gravity (no cable pulling you through the water) and you are always in control. If you just want to float and casually paddle you can. Paddleboards are becoming more popular, at Chasewater County park, there isn't a current or tide to unsettle you so it's a great place to build stamina and balance. 

You can get started with Wakeboarding faster.

Paddleboarding is often easier to get started with than Wakeboarding. The learning curve is shorter, and you can quickly learn the basics of Paddleboarding. In addition, it's much easier to start Paddleboarding in a body of water (like Chasewater) than it is to learn to Wakeboard.

Once you've learned how to balance and steer while standing up on your board while being towed with our cable we can wind up the speed and get you doing some tricks!

Wakeboarding requires more physical exertion than paddle boarding does because of its higher speeds: You'll need upper body strength as well as leg power if you want good pop off wakes (which means increasing speed by jumping off), which means more core work too!

At Pier 52 we have experienced instructors, who can help you get to grips with both Wakeboarding and the SUP. We can also give you advice on the equipment if you want to purchase your own boards. 

You can learn how to kneeboard fairly quickly as well.

There are three ways you can learn to kneeboard. The first way is to take lessons and have one of our instructors teach you how to do it. Another option is to rent a board and boat and try out different techniques on your own, but we know you want to be tearing up the wakes as quick as possible.

You should try both! They're both fun and popular ways to enjoy being outside.

Whether you're an active person looking for a fun new activity or an adrenaline junkie who wants to feel the wind in your hair, wakeboarding and paddleboarding both have their advantages. Paddleboarding is easy to learn has lower barriers to entry and can give you a pretty good workout, especially if you use it as part of your training regimen.

Wakeboarding has more of an adrenaline rush associated with it, but requires more physical strength and stamina than paddleboarding does, and if you're not using our cable system, boat and equipment hire can get pricey!

Both sports can be enjoyed on our lake at Chasewater: lakes and oceans alike are great places to take advantage of this fun summertime activity, but its even better when you have had the expert instruction from Pier52.


We hope this article has helped you decide which of these fun activities is right for you. Both wakeboarding and paddleboarding have their pros and cons, but we think it would be a shame if you didn't try both out! Especially as we have both, and Kayaking on site

If we had to recommend one over the other, though, we don't think we could as both have their place. Paddle boards are getting very popular due to the low costs to start, so for practical reasons they may tip the scales?  However, don't let our recommendation affect what kind of person (or boarder) you want to be; go with whatever sounds like fun right now!

Back to blog