There are many different devices you can ride behind a boat, and as with any activities that go down on the same playing field, a hierarchy is bound to appear. Just like how baseball is bigger than softball, and snowboarding is cooler than skiing, in the wake world there is definitely a divide. So we figured it was time, once and for all, to spell out the wake hierarchy. The thing is, depending on what your criteria is, the rankings vary. So here is the authoritative guide to where things fall.

Difficulty scale

Trying to show off your skills? Which activity requires the most?

Wakeskating > Waterskiing > Wakeboarding > Kneeboarding > Wakesurfing > Tubing

Explanation: This ranking is based on the casual participant, and not so much the skill it takes to get really, really good. Sure, some people can land shuvs first time out on a wakeskate, but anyone can jump on a tube and have a grand old time. You may question kneeboarding and wakesurfing’s order, but the complete and total lack of rope control needed to wakesurf requires slightly less skill.

Cool scale

Are you only trying to score cool points? Then which wake-based activity is for you?

Wakeskating > Wakeboarding > Wakesurfing > Waterskiing > Kneeboarding >Tubing

Explanation: We had to give this one to wakeskating for its closest proximity to skateboarding (obviously the coolest action sport over all) and the fact Danny Hampson does it. Tubing brings up the rear, as lets face it, there is nothing cool about tubing.

Money scale

Sure, you’re in it for the love, but some people do it for the money. Which activity will make you the richest?

Wakeboarding > Waterskiing > Wakesurfing > Wakeskating > Kneeboarding > Tubing

Explanation: If you’ve been to a pro wakeboarder’s house, or you know, seen them on MTV cribs, then you know there is money to be made wakeboarding. Product endorsements, contest winnings, etc etc. Meanwhile, waterskiers bank from stunt shows and wake surfers can ride for surf companies. Arguably there may be more money in tubing and knee boarding for the people selling them, but as far as riders go, we hope pro wakeskaters at least make more money than people who ride tubes for fun.

Popularity scale

In the actual world, which activity has the most participation?

Tubing > Kneeboarding > Waterskiing > Wakeboarding > Wakesurfing >  Wakeskating

Explanation: For this ranking we turned to our good friend Google to find the actual participation numbers. While some speculation is that wakeboarding’s popularity may have surpassed waterskiing in recent years, Google says 5 million people water ski and only “lotsa people” wakeboard. Tubing obviously wins this race (we didn’t even ask Google on that one.)

Chick-getting scale

And the final, most important question. What will get you chicks?

Wakeboarding > Wakesurfing > Waterskiing > Wakeskating > Tubing > Kneeboarding

It might just be the money and sweet boat that get wakeboarders chicks but by the hotness of most pro’s wives and girlfriends, it’s pretty clear that’s where the babes are. We’re also willing to bet that tubing will get you more chicks than kneeboarding cause it’s easier to double up, if you know what we mean.