I think it depends on a lot of things.
SKILL - there are a few theories about rope length for beginners. Personally, we run the longest line for beginners to make the wake less intimidating and to give them more time to do outside-in AND inside-out jumps so they get 2 jumps each way instead of one. then shorten the rope later, depending on all the things bellow
STYLE - Are you wake to wake rider or big into the flats rider? are you aggressive, more fluid, or...? the list goes on.... Starting out, i was a wake-to-wake kind of guy and rode about 60-65' after switching to riding my slingshot i started riding more aggressive and going into the flats. after about a year of that i was missing the smooth landings down the second wake sometimes. lengthened the rope and hybridized my older style with my newer. i could still cut hard but land down the other wake.
TRICKS - might change up the rope depending on if your learning new tricks or what not.
BOAT - this is a no-brainer. every boat is different
SPEED - this is kind of a byproduct of all the other categories
WEIGHT - this is also kind of a byproduct of the other categories
TOWER PLACEMENT - this depends more on boats with aftermarket towers (mostly your I/O boats) For example; if the tower is placed in the rear of the boat (like the one I ride behind) a 70ft rope on this boat would put you as far back as a 75' rope on a wake boat or other boat with the tower mounted more forward. both rides you would be 70' BEHIND the boat but one ride would sacrifice 5 ft more arc in your cut.
I typical ride behind 24ft cuddy cab reinell with the tower mounted in the back. I ride 70' BEHIND the boat, but am trying to up it to 75' In order to up it to 75' I need to push my and get my "swtch-toeside-landing-toeside jump" more dialed. Basically most of the time i will ride at whatever length i can still jump the wake in all directions. toeside and heelside regular and switch! but sometimes if i want to charge and push my regular stance riding then i will lengthen it out to 75 or maybe 80. i even tried Randall Harris' style once. about 90' with 28 mph. it was a little scary but a HUGE learning experience and i obtained a great deal of appreciation too. Everyone who is at least intermediate in skill ought to try it (Randall's style) once!
EVERYONE: I believe everyone should at least shoot for a length that they can jump the wake toeside and heelside... and the eventually switch too. (Try to) Ride a wakeboard the way it was designed ---> SYMMETRICALLY
Last edited by wakerider111; 08-23-2011 at 11:47 AM.