Information about Ropes & Handles
ROPES AND HANDLES
Ropes and handles are one of the most essential items you would need to ensure that you can have fun, without them, you won’t be able to ride or ski. There are rope and handle set ups to suit every activity, some are designed to make learning easier and some are designed with high performance in mind.
Waterski ropes come in a couple of varieties that have different handle options and rope styles. We will look at the handles first as there is only two types, these are the Long “V” and Short “V” handles.
The long V handles are designed with a longer or deeper section from the handles grip to the point that connects to the rope, this is done to give people learning to single ski the option of putting the top of the ski into this larger opening and stops the ski from being pushed around on take-off and keeps heading in a straight line. The second handle option are the Short “V” handle styles, these don’t have such a deeper section between the handle and the rope and require the skier to have the rope sitting on the side of the ski for take-off, this is commonly used by people who are confident and stable on their water starts.
The next part to look at are the ropes that come with the handles, while there are a few types of ropes available we will keep it simple and break the categories down into two types: Single mainline and looped mainlines. The single mainline options are just a single length of rope between the handle and the boat, the length of the rope is usually 70 feet in length which gets skiers far enough back from the choppy wash of the boat and into the smoother water.
The looped mainlines are designed to come with a number of coloured rope sections that are alternative lengths. This is normally done for skiers who ski through slalom courses, once a skier makes it through the course successfully a length of rope is removed to shorten the rope and the course is attempted again on a shorter rope length.
Looking at a wakeboard handle they look very similar to a ski handle but there are small differences between the two. Wakeboarding handles are another two inches wider, this makes it easier to find the handle when doing tricks but it also opens your shoulder more to give you better balance. The grips on wakeboard handles are also designed with a little more comfort in mind, the grips can use soft foams and suede to give grip but also have a plush feeling in your hands.
The other big difference between wakeboard rope and handles to ski rope and handles is the type of rope that is used. Wakeboard ropes start out with a Poly-E rope, these ropes are entry level ropes that have a little bit of stretch and a great to have on board as a rope that everyone can use and share around. Once you have picked up the wakeboarding bug and start to build you riding skills, it would be best to start looking at the thinner and tighter Dyneema and Spectra ropes. These tighter ropes have no stretch in them and give you a constant and steady pull and help give you more pop because they don’t pull you off balance and help maintain speed into the wake.
Wakeboard ropes will also have sections in the rope that allow for length adjustment, this is done to help the rider to shorten or lengthen the rope and find the ideal spot in the boats wake to give the best pop and air time.
Wakeboard rope and handles can be used for wake skating and also for knee boarders who are looking for better response and bigger tricks.
Entry level kneeboard rope and handle setup are just like a wakeboard rope and handle but they have a small notch or section designed to fit into the handle holders of kneeboards to take the strain and effort out of take off without ruining the handles grip. The ropes also have a number of sections to help shorten or lengthen the rope to make it easier to find the best spot in the wake to start jumping or to reach out to the softer and less turbulent water to make it easier to learn.
Many knee boarders who are focused on a wakeboard style of riding and tricks will use the Dyneema or Spectra rope and handles that wakeboarder’s use. This is due to tighter ropes offering no stretch for greater control and response edging into the wake.
Tube ropes are very different to the ropes that are used to pull skiers and wakeboarders, the ropes are shorter in length to give the boat driver a greater chance at having some control of the tube but also they are thicker in design to help take the increasing weight and pressure of the riders and the tube.
To choose the right size rope is as simple as matching the tubes maximum rider number to the corresponding rope strength. For example if you have a tube that allows for three riders then it is best to get a three person rope.
It’s not recommended to use a ski or wakeboard rope with tubes because of their lengths which will make it too hard to maintain the tubes actions behind the boat but also as they are not designed to be used under such stresses.
As wake surfing is done at a much closer distance to the boat compared to wakeboarding and waterskiing, wakesurf ropes will have a much shorter length to them to ensure that the surfer will start close to where the wave will form once the boat is moving.
Some surf ropes will come with a small handle for the rider to hold onto on take-off and while riding, some ropes won’t have the handle and just rely on a large knotted end to grab onto. The small handles are a benefit to people who may have limited grip strength or have run out of strength after a full day of fun.
The mainline of the rope will generally also come with knots tied into the rope; these knots give the surfer another grab point on the rope for stability and make it easier to catch the rope should they drift a little too far away from the boat while riding.
We carry a wide variety and style of rope and handles so we can easily find the right rope for your ability, level and style. You can view these on our website or you can speak directly to one of our staff members if you have any questions about any of these ropes that you may need
This is a simple run down on some of the most popular products available, remember if you ever get stuck and have questions our team is always available to help clarify any issues and answer any questions!