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Old    210 SANTE (Paxdad)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-16-2013, 9:13 AM Reply   
Just starting to surf.... What suggestions do folks have for ropes and handles? I know that I want a T bar for the handle as I watched my son fall recently and got his arm through the wakeboard handle we were using. Kind of scary to say the least.
What are the advantages of the thick braided ropes etc?
Thanks.
Old    Jim B (Jbort)      Join Date: Aug 2011       09-16-2013, 9:51 AM Reply   
some folks like t-handles others go for short enclosed handle for surfing. Agenda makes a very good rope. We use Liquid Force with squishy sponge material above the handle that my son likes. most go for $40-$50.
Old    Ben Holloway (BenHolloway)      Join Date: Aug 2012       09-16-2013, 10:07 AM Reply   
check out evo.com they have ropes on clearance right now. 29.00 and 39.00 I think. the agenda rope is decent but it weighs a ton and its kind of a pain in the ass to throw back in the boat...
Old    Seahawks #1 Fan Robert T (cwb4me)      Join Date: Apr 2010       09-16-2013, 10:11 AM Reply   
The thick ropes are easier to grip. The knots in the rope help you get yourself to where the push is on your wave.
Old    Frank Berg (Iceberg)      Join Date: Dec 2011       09-16-2013, 2:25 PM Reply   
All ropes can be a problem if you have to climb the rope to get into a surfable zone. As you saw, the arm in a larger handle can become an issue, but so can just a plain old rope wrapping around a leg. Small handles are probably safer than T-bars since the T-bar can hook a body part, clothes ior vest. Obviously most incidents are minimal, but the rope length must be set up for the particular boat tower and wake to minimize dangling ropes. No matter what style you go for, make sure the rope is 3/4"d or larger and has a smooth sheath.
Old    Jim B (Jbort)      Join Date: Aug 2011       09-17-2013, 1:25 AM Reply   
rope hint: lots of folks throw the rope into the boat but as new wake surfer its lots easier to simply drop-toss the rope to other side of the wave and let boat person pull in for you. Beginners frequently are anxious and by throwing the rope will lose balance or drop out the back then whoopsie short ride-yuck. New riders can throw in when they have gained more riding time and confidence but keep going.
Old    Surf Addict (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-17-2013, 2:09 AM Reply   
Personally I prefer a triangle handle to start with, but it really doesn't matter too much. A lot of people say to use a T handle to prevent getting caught in it, but a proper, small triangle handle is next to impossible to get anything besides your hand in to grip it.
As far as the rope. For line riding I feel a larger, thick, braided rope is better as you can really grip onto in multiple places and use it to stabilize yourself more while you get used to the balance and also for learning tricks while line riding until you get them down and are comfortable doing them freeriding.
That said, I personally prefer a small, light rope, more like a ski rope. This allows me to not worry about the extra weight as much when getting into the pocket to start free riding and it is also lighter and takes less effort to toss in the boat without losing your balance since it's more of a flick than a toss.
Old    210 SANTE (Paxdad)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-17-2013, 3:53 AM Reply   
Thanks for the great and useful insight from everyone!!
Old    Rob.B (rbeckei)      Join Date: May 2007       09-17-2013, 10:23 AM Reply   
If you have an old ski rope, tie it off to the length you want and use that. It works great.
Old    Jim B (Jbort)      Join Date: Aug 2011       09-17-2013, 10:31 AM Reply   
for the old ski rope, get smaller handle or t-handle for safety. saving $30-50 is not worth somebody getting torn up from a snag.
Old    Surf Addict (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-17-2013, 10:32 AM Reply   
^ I think that's what they were doing to begin with, but wanted something wake surf specific because of his son's arm getting caught in the handle.
Now if you had an old ski rope, you could make it into a surf rope. There are a couple ways you could do this. I'll start with the easiest/cheapest

1:Tie the rope to the correct length, typically about 10-20 feet depending on where you tie it off to, then you can wrap the original handle in the rope until it resembles a t handle, then you could tie it up like that or duct tape it so you have a full size ski handle as a T. This lets you continue using it for skiing by simply undoing the knot/tape.
2:Cut off the handle, make knots in the last 5 feet or so of the rope so you have something to hold on to, and then cut the rope or tie it off to the correct length. Alternatively, you could cut off the handle and tie the rope on in the middle, effectively making it a T handle.
3: Cut off the handle, cut or tie the rope to the correct length, and then get a piece of PVC, wood, etc. Drill through it and insert the rope through your new "handle" and tie it off.

Any of these will work for making a safe surf rope out of an old, existing ski rope.
Old    Corey North (HighWater)      Join Date: Apr 2012       09-18-2013, 7:57 AM Reply   
Boardco LG surf rope
Old    Frank Berg (Iceberg)      Join Date: Dec 2011       09-18-2013, 6:00 PM Reply   
The problem with an old poly ski rope or spider-wire type is you can easily wrap it around a finger or hand and cause a severe injury in a fall. Stay away from an old tow line, even if you have a handle on it!
Old     (CarZin)      Join Date: Feb 2011       09-19-2013, 10:13 AM Reply   
There are trade-offs with any rope. I have tried them all, and found that I prefer a heavy weight thick weaved rope with a mini V handle at the end, for the following reasons...

Most ropes are adjusted to start the rider out of the zone, and they need to pull into the zone. As the rider pulls in on the rope, many will let the handle drop. If the handle is not heavy, it has a tendency to wrap around feet and arms, which we all know is dangerous. A heavy handle will wrap less easily.

Secondly, if the rider throws the rope off to the side (instead of into the boat), there is less chance of the rope getting sucked up into the prop when stopping and circling back. In fact, when it is just my wife and me in the boat, we don't toss it into the boat. We toss it to the other side of the wave, and its never even come close to getting pulled into the prop. However, when we had a lighter weight rope with a lighter handle, we did lose a rope to the prop.

I also don't like the T handle, because I've found beginners do better putting both hands on the handle. The T bar makes this more difficult.

hands down the worse rope is just a rope with no handle, just a knot at the end (and maybe some padding). We had one of these. Sun tan lotion would make the rope incredibly slippery and impossible to hold, and without a weighted end, the rope we easy to get wrapped on a person or pulled into a prop.

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