The most noticeable difference in the sports is the speed the boat must travel to achieve the required Wake, approximately 10 knots for Surfing and 20 knots for Wakeboarding.
The prime objective with Wakeboarding is to cross the wake at speed, jumping from one side to the other clearing the wake, the rider is 60-70 ft behind the boat using a long rope to pull him along and generate enough speed for the jump.
The prime objective with Wake Surfing is to SURF the “Wave” created by the boat just a few meters behind it, you use a short rope just to get you started and then throw it aside once you have found “the push” from the wave.
The other major difference is that your feet are fixed in “Bindings” on a Wakeboard and when you fall it stays attached to your feet.
You simply stand on the surface of a Wakesurf board in your bare feet and when you fall off, you separate from the board which reduces impact and potential injury.