In the last couple years, TheBoatLocker has seen an increasing amount of popularity in the sport of wake surfing. For those of you who don’t know, wake surfing is almost the same as surfing in an ocean but behind a boat. With the technology we have today, some boats are able to produce waves large enough to ride freely without the need of a rope. When it comes to wake surfing, Weighting your boat with ballast is the most important thing because it directly affects the wave. Without a good wave, you may find yourself struggling to stay up.
With wake surfing becoming more popular, most boats come standard with their own Ballast set up and are designed to produce a good surf wave. For those of you who don’t know, ballast is a concept of filling up tanks or bags designed to hold water that help produce larger waves. The amount of weight in the tanks or bags helps sink the boat lower to the surface, creating more drag in the water. Weighting your boat right is very important because it is going to directly affect the wave you are surfing. Without the correct set up, you have the potential to damage your boat and not get the wave to its full potential. Before we get into properly weighting your boat, you should always remember to check the weight capacity of your boat. If a boat comes standard with ballast on it, the weight capacity should be rated according to its amount of ballast the boat holds and amount of people it is able to hold. Next time your out getting ready to surf, always be aware of those things because within minutes your boat can be at the bottom of the lake.
Additionally, with most newer boat models becoming standard with ballast, most manufacturers will include the best way to set up their specific model within the owners manual. With the amount of ballast some boat lines are carrying, it is very important to go by what they say. For the majority of boats standard with their own ballast system, you can usually weight the boat with its ballast in the port and starboard side full while keeping your bow ballast tank a little more then halfway. Although every boat is going to produce a different shaped wave, this is something that usually works no matter the brand. Like I said earlier, most manufacturers will tell you what works best but if that information is unavailable, this will work also.
For those of you without a ballast or surf system in the boat, one thing to remember is that Surfing is not going to work on an outboard motor. Not just because you risk loosing a body part from the prop but if you have an outboard motor, it is usually going to have a hull that wont produce a wave no matter how much weight you have in it. For those of you with an older wakeboard style boat or even a ski model boat “Fat Sacs” are going to do the job. Fat sacs are ballast but are usually made of rubber and for the most part, you can find fat sacs that are designed just for your boat. Sometimes fat sacs are easier because you can move them around and see what works best on your specific
This is an ideal wave for surfing. It has a good height and a good length. The ballast set up is 1000 lbs. in each rear corner and 700 lbs. in the front. The boat model is a 2015 Supra SC 450.
boat. With fat sacs, you can usually weigh it out almost as if it was a surf system. Depending on the side you surf on, you usually want most of your weight in the rear corner of the side you ride on, about half of that weight in the front, and just a little bit on the opposite side.
Now that you understand where to place your ballast and the amount you want, we can now discuss how the weight in each spot actually affects the wave. For most boats, it is important that you have a good amount of weight in the rear, while keeping about half that weight in the bow. The weight in the rear is going to be the most important because it is going to affect the actual angle or height of the wave. The weight in your bow will give the wave its length and will be the decider of how clean the wave is and how much white wash the wave holds. Next time you’re on the water and your weighting your boat, you’ll find there is a lot of trial and error in this process. Since every boat is different, you’ll see that one thing will work well for one boat but may not work well for the next. Don’t let this discourage you though, as long as you remember to keep most weight in the rear about half in the bow, you should be able to surf your wave.
To sum it up, surfing is a very fun activity to perform on the lake and thanks to the technology we have today, we are able to do this. Next time you’re on the water, always remember to be safe and check your weight capacity but if you stick to the tips we shared with you, you should be surfing in no time.