im a long time wakeboarder. My personal favorite has always been Liquid Force, specifically Shawn Watson's pro model board and boots, his Watson Classic is just that, a classic. tried and true setup. other top names in the game are Hyperlite, CWB, and Ronix.
it is similar to snowboarding but very different. your speed is constant and you have a rope pulling you, so different forces in effect for sure. my advice would be to resist the instant urge of wanting to jump wakes right away, and really get your 'ground' game built up first. learn the board and how it reacts with the water, and how you can manipulate it with the handle/rope there to hold you up. get solid at quick hard carves, sprays, surface spins and just playing around having fun on the water. once your really comfy it will make jumping and general progressing a lot easier. also, go ahead and commit some time to getting comfortable switch. takeing off and landing switch are crucial to building a bag of tricks