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Our guides, owner's manuals and resources for wakeboard boat accessories make it easy to upgrade your boat.

  • Tech Tuesday #18: Skylon Wakeboard and Wakesurf Tower Rack Sizing

    Wakeboard Rack Tech Tuesday

    Wakeboard and Wakesurf tower racks are a great option for boaters that want to keep their gear off the seats and floor of their boat. The benefit to having tower racks is twofold. The first benefit is that tower racks free up extra seating and storage space in your boat and the second benefit is that it protects your board from getting damaged by a wayward foot or closing compartment.

    The Skylon tower racks we carry come with CNC'd forks, molded rubber EPDM inserts and a 1/4" marine grade bungee to keeps your boards nice and secure.

    Skylon Wakesurf Tower Rack Sizing

    Double Wakesurf Racks

    The Skylon Double Wakesurf Racks are designed to hold wakesurf and skim style boards securely. Check out our list below of boards that don't fit in Skylon wakesurf racks. All the other boards from Liquid Force, Ronix, and Slingshot will fit in the racks.

    *Note: The Ronix Duke Longboard, Slingshot SP and Liquid Force Chase Sixer will not fit in these racks. 

    [button url=http://www.wakemakers.com/skylon-x2-double-surfboard-rack-polished-forks.html]Buy the Skylon X2 Double Surfboard Rack»[/button]

     

     

     

    Wakeboard/Wakesurf Tower RacksCombination Wakeboard and Wakesurf Racks

    Combination Wakeboard and Wakesurf Racks like the Skylon Wakeboard and Wakesurf Combo give you a single fork for wakeboards and one for wakesurf boards. These combination racks are popular because most people have a mix of boards on their boat.

    *Note: The 1-1/4" wakeboard fork should fit all wakeboard models.

    [button url=http://www.wakemakers.com/skylon-x2-combo-wakeboard-surfboard-rack-polished-forks.html]Buy the Skylon X2 Combo Wake/Surf Racks»[/button]
  • MasterCraft NXT20 Funny Video

    Disclaimer: The thoughts expressed below are random and come from a thirst for fun and adventure that no office can provide on a Friday afternoon.

    This shoot looked like a blast. Must be nice to hang out at Lake Ronix for an afternoon of fun. Who would be the best company to work for while producing this NXT20 edit? I think Tom Czarnowski at Nemo Designs has a pretty good gig but you can't beat the sheer number of days, MasterCraft's, Josh Shave has on the water. We might have to give it to Tom since he lives in beautiful, Portland Oregon. I am not downplaying how rad the state of Tennessee is, but it's still not Oregon.

    This marketing piece for the new NTX20 does showcase the talents of Mr. Travis Pastrana and Mr. Parks Bonifay. I guess if I had Jeff Tremaine giving me direction I would be on my A game as well.

    Shop MasterCraft Ballast Upgrades

    2014-mastercraft-nxt-20-wakeboard-boat

  • Should I Upgrade My Factory Prop For Wakesurfing?

    "Should I upgrade my Factory Prop for Wakesurfing?"  We hear this question a lot and think it's something worth discussing more in depth. The short answer is usually YES. The long answer is a bit more technical... Keep reading to hear the reasons why you should think about upgrading your Prop for wakesurfing.

    Most V-Drive Boats come from the factory with a standard Prop. If you are spending a lot of your time wakesurfing with additional ballast you will want to look at upgrading your prop. Both ACME and OJ make props for all of the major brands like Malibu, Mastercraft, Nautique, Supra, Moomba, MB Sports, Centurion, Tige and more. Our easy to use Prop Finder Guide gives you three different options for each boat model. We break down the most popular options available for your boat by listing the suggested prop for Recreational Riding, Wakeboarding/Wakesurfing, and for High Elevation/Heavily Weighted Boats.

    Having the right propeller for your boat and application (wakesurfing in this case) is important because it can increase your fuel efficiency, maximize engine life and improve the overall performance and handling of your boat.

    Making the switch from an old Prop to a new Upgraded Prop that's designed for your boat and the increased weight that's necessary when wakesurfing will make a noticeable difference. A lot of our customers are shocked at how much better their "old" boat performs once they've switched out the prop.

    Upgrading your Prop has it's benefits

    • Increased Fuel Efficiency
    • Helps to Maximize Engine Life
    • Improves Handling
    • Minimizes Speed Fluctuations and Vibrations

    Now that we've told you WHY upgrading your Prop for Wakesurfing is important we will go over what tools you need to make the switch.

    Prop Puller Kits

    We recommend spending a few extras dollars and buying one of the Weekend Saver Kits. You save some additional money by bundling the items and you have everything you need in order to change your prop.

    Click here to watch our video on removing an Inboard Propeller.

    ACME Props

    OJ Props

  • Liquid Force Rider Reactions | Tom Fooshee

    (WakeMAKERS) What’s the funniest mispronunciation of your last name?

    (Tom Fooshee) This one happens a lot and usually from a telemarketer. They will call and ask for Tom “Sushea”. Almost like a different way to say sushi. It never gets old.

    (WM) Best contest you’ve ever been a part of and why?

    (TF) I would have to say one of two events. First being Cablestock because of  how much involvement I have with that event. Seeing it go from discussions at a conference table to what it is, is really rad. The other would be Wake Open. Pat Panakos and crew put in a ridiculous amount of work for us riders to have a great time. Plus all the media exposure that goes into it also helps. They are both incredible events!

    Buy the 2014 Liquid Force Super Trip(WM) You switched over from the LF Tex in 2013 to the LF Super Trip in 2014. What are the biggest differences between those boards? Do you use it strictly for cable or are we going to see you riding behind your Axis on the Super Trip?

    (TF) I have been riding the Liquid Force Fusion behind the boat, but I do often mix it up and ride the Liquid Force Super Trip behind the boat too. It is the best flex board out for both boat and cable. The trip was such a long time hit and the modern day version of it will have the same effect regardless of where you take it.

    (WM) What Liquid Force Bindings are you rocking this season? What’s your favorite part about them?

    (TF) The Vantage Closed Toe. This binding has the perfect level of flex and maneuverability to it without sacrificing support and function. Of course my favorite part is the Velcro. We have our bindings so dialed in right now. The Velcro never wears down, its quick and easy and I still have yet to break a pair of bindings.Buy the Liquid Force Vantage CT Wakeboard Bindings

    (WM) How would you describe the 2014 Liquid Force Super Trip in one sentence?

    (TF) The most ridiculously awesome flex board that is easy to ride for all skill levels and can perform amazing presses on the cable while providing great pop behind the boat with soft landings everywhere you boast in the air.

    (WM) What’s the current ballast setup like on your Axis A22? What bags and where do you have them placed?

    (TF) I have the plug and play system courtesy of Straight Line products. So on top of the factory ballast I have two 750’s in each rear compartment, an additional 950 arrow shaped bag that goes through the bow and into the nose which all of that is plumed in. That is an option you can get on any Axis boat. On top of all of that I have a 650 on top of the seats in the nose and a 750 on the floor. So totaling around 5000lbs of ballast and it plains off no problem. Shocking part is that is with the stock base motor. Loving it!

    Shop Axis Wake Factory Ballast Upgrades>>

    (WM) Do you ever use the Surf Gate? If so, what’s your favorite Liquid Force Wakesurfer?

    (TF) I do have surfgate on my 2013 Liquid Force Edition Axis A22 and it has totally revolutionized what this boat can do. Most wakeboard specific boats don’t have the best surf wake, but the Axis A series boats with surfgate make an monstrous surf wave that is very long. It definitely gets used on the weekends when I am at home and the lake is busy. Surfgate is one of the best inventions to ever happen to boats!

    (WM) How do you see wakeboarding progressing over the next few years?

    (TF) We are really on the right track with it right now. Most cable parks being built right now (usually by Sesitec) in the USA are made with the rider in mind. Cable is one portion of the progression of wakeboarding with that you can do with a Sesitec full size system and of course with a system 2.0 too. Unit parktech features are really helping progress with in lake pools, handrails and boosty kickers that are very cable park friendly. That is one direction that the sport will continue to progress in, but the other is what wakes have now become behind the boat. Axis for one has an A24 that is the largest wake I have yet to hit. Bigger boats and larger wakes are really chiming in on what can be done on a wakeboard. Thanks to Axis, riders can actually afford a boat that can produce a wake of this size without hurting your wallet.

    (WM) Who has the best style in Cable wakeboarding right now?

    (TF) Easy does it, Daniel Grant! The kid is unreal! If you follow wake and you haven’t heard of him, then you are living under a rock, so get out and get to a park now!

    Read our Daniel Grant interview>>

    (WM) What young gun should we be looking out for on the tour this season?

    (TF) Even though Daniel is still the youngest gun on the park scene, I am going to throw a different name out there as he is more of a rookie then Daniel. Aaron Gunn came onto the scene this year crushing it! The kid is young and fearless. You will definitely be seeing this name many more times across podiums and photos in the mag.

    (WM) You’ve won a lot of contests, championships and a ROTY so far in your career. Which one stands out as the best?

    (TF) Definitely it being getting AllianceWake Rider of the Year in 2010. This in particular to me is the most coveted award you can be given in wakeboarding. This is something that you don’t get recognized for because you killed it in a contest or are a really good rider in one aspect of riding, this is an award that recognizes you as making the most impact in the sport that year along with progressing the sport and while helping improve the industry in general.

    Tom-Fooshee-Interview Tom getting ready to take the 2014 Liquid Force Fusion for a spin behind an Axis.

    (WM) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

    (TF) Hopefully still working in the industry. If I am not riding, then I better be repping Liquid Force, improving Texas Ski Ranch as an employee and anything I can to help produce more cable parks and boat sales in the US.

    (WM) What’s your power animal?

    (TF) I’m going to go with a giraffe, I would love to know how it feels to be tall.

    (WM) What’s your favorite Monster Energy Drink flavor?

    (TF) Rehab pink lemonade! If you like pink lemonade then this is even better. The best before a shred!

    (WM) Any shoutouts?

    (TF) Of course! Aaron Grace, Tony Finn, Don Wallace, Matt Gleason, Jimmy Redmon and the entire crew at Liquid Force. Everyone at Monster Energy and SPY for all you do for wake and myself, Blake Hess and Paul Bialick at Texas Ski Ranch, Nico and Christen von Lerchenfeld at Sesitec, Lani Farmer, Jack Springer and Bryant Thomas at Malibu/Axis, and Johannes and Stefan at Unit Parktech. Thank you all guys for allowing me to live the dream!

    (WM) Where can we find you online?

    Instagram is the best in my opinion, find me there at @TomFooshee

    Facebook

    Twitter: @TomFooshee


  • Mastercraft NXT Video Series | 50K ALL DAY

     

    Mastercraft NXT Wakeboard Boat

     

    The "official" Mastercraft NXT Launch is here. Watch Travis Pastrana, Parks Bonifay, and the frog take the newest boat from Mastercraft through all sorts of highly scientific performance test at Lake Ronix. If this boat comes equipped with all the features shown in this video with a price tag around 50k, we can definitely see this becoming another game-changer from Mastercraft... think X-Star in the early 2000's and the ProStar OB in the 1990's. Our only question is this: When will the NXT 22' and NXT 24' come out?

    Drop by the new NXT micro-site to build your own, and even calculate your monthly payments.

    Once you have your new NXT all picked out,  head over to our Mastercraft Prop Finder to grab an upgrade or spare.

  • Nautique G Series Added to the Prop Finder

    Nautique G21, G23, G25 Prop Finder

    It's been almost two years since Nautique unveiled their latest performance driven boat, the G23. Since then, multiple riders have landed 1080's behind its massive wake and a ton of surf sessions have been enjoyed with the assistance of the Nautique Surf System (NSS). The increase in demand for bigger, better performing boats has helped elevate the G Series to the top of our sport.

    With more Nautique G21's, G23's and G25's cruising the local waterways, we decided it was time to update our Prop Finder to include this boating behemoth.

    ACME 2247 4 Blade Prop2013 Super Air Nautique G23 & G25We recommend the ACME 2247 for Wakeboarding and Wakesurfing. We've found that this Prop delivers the best blend of overall performance, fuel economy, and more consistent speeds. The ACME 2315 is our pick for High Elevation and Heavily Weighted Applications.

    *The 2013 Models feature the 1-1/8" shaft, so the prop options are different from the 2014 model boats. 

     

     

     

     

     

    ACME 2261 Prop

    For 2014, Nautique expanded the G Series with the addition of a 21' boat. They also started offering multiple engine options (343HP, 409HP, 450HP, and the 550HP) which in turn changed up some of the recommended props. The 2014 boats feature a larger shaft size (upgraded from 1-1/8" in 2013 to 1-1/4" in 2014) and an industry first 17" prop, the ACME 2561.

    We recommend the ACME 2561  Prop for Wakeboarding/Wakesurfing on the 2014  G21's, G23's, and G25's with the 409 or 450 Engine. For High Elevation or Heavily Weighted Applications we recommend the ACME 2569  Prop.

    The 2014 G Series boats with the XR 550 HP Supercharged LSA by PCM require different props for Wakeboarding and Wakesurfing and for Heavily Weight and High Elevation Applications. We recommend the ACME 2261 for Wakeboarding and Wakesurfing and we recommend the ACME 2309 Prop for High Elevation and Heavily Weighted G-Series Boats.

     

    Having the right propeller for you boat and application is important because it can increase your fuel efficiency, maximize engine life and improve the overall performance and handling of your boat.  You don't want to ruin a great day on the water by not having a spare prop in case something unfortunate happens to your current one.

    [button url=http://www.wakemakers.com/nautique-wakeboard-boat-propellers.html]Shop for Nautique Props»[/button]

     

     

     

     

  • Tech Tuesday #6: Installing Exile Wakeboard Tower Speakers

    Welcome to Tech Tuesday! Each week we choose one question from a customer and post the answer on our blog. You can join in on the action by emailing your technical questions to sales@wakemakers.com with the subject: Tech Tuesday, or hit us up on social media with the hashtag #WMTechTuesday.

    Installing the Exile SXT9Q and XM9 Wakeboard Tower Speakers

    One of the most common questions we get from customers who've recently purchased Exile speakers is  "How do I install my new Exile Wakeboard Tower Speakers"

    The XM9 series tower speakers from Exile Audio are designed for wakeboarding and other water sports where sound needs to reach distances up to 80 feet behind the boat. The only way to project sound at that distance is with a HLCD "horn". By manipulating the way a sound wave articulates, riders behind the boat can listen to crystal clear audio without missing a beat.

    For 2014 both the SXT9Q's and XM9's feature a Quick Release Mount system with adjustable clamps that are fully-rotatable for 360 degrees of sound (the universal round clamp will fit most tower sizes 1 7/8"-2 1/2"). Installation for all Exile wakeboard tower speakers is the same and most people can do it with a few tools and the right wiring.

    One of the reasons why we chose Exile Tower Speakers was due to the ease of installation on our 2004 Malibu VLX. The factory installed Titan Series II tower already had OEM Titan Alpha I speakers and wiring running internally. It was super-fast and simple to install XM9's with their "quick release/rotational" clamping system. If you have a tube tower within the 1 7/8"-2 1/2" range installing the XM series of tower speakers is a breeze.

    NEW for 2014, the XM series and SXT9Q's feature stainless steel clamps.

    Exile Tube Tower Installation 

    Step 1. If you already have holes in your tower from previous wiring you can begin by connecting the XM's Quick Release Mount to your tube tower. Place the bottom mount on there first and then the top bracket.  *You will also need to connect the matching colored wires together.

    Installing-Exile-Speakers

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Step 2.  Use the hardware kit and tighten both of the screws. Once you have done this step you are ready to begin mounting the speaker housing to the Quick Release Mount.

    Installing-Exile-Step-2

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Step 3.  On top of the XM series speakers you will see a circular shaped Female bracket that will fit and lock into the Male portion of the Quick Release Mount. Once these are placed together you will want to secure them by tightening the mounting screw that comes in the installation kit. (See image below for an example of what the mounting screw looks like)

    Installing-Exile-Speakers-To-Tower

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Step 4.  Repeat steps 1-3 with the remaining tower speakers.

    Images courtesy of Exile Audio.

    Install Time

    Less than 1 hour

    Tools Needed

    Mounting Hardware & Tool Kit (Included with Speakers)

    Drill and drill bit (Only necessary is your tower doesn't have holes for the wiring unit.)

    [button url=http://www.wakemakers.com/exile-audio.html]Shop For Exile Marine Audio»[/button]
  • Props 101: Basics of Inboard Boat Propellers

    prop-guide-header

    Shopping for a new propeller, whether it's simply to replace a damaged one, or because you're looking for better performance, can be a confusing process. Diameter, pitch, cup, rotation, bore, it all ends up sounding a bit Greek. Fear not, we've developed this Basics of Propellers guide to answer all those questions and more so you can be sure you'll find the perfect prop for your specific application.

    If you don't care about the specifics, and just want to find the perfect prop, refer to exclusive PropFinder guide. WakeMAKERS is the largest prop dealer for watersports boats in the world, and we've used our decades of experience to distill all the options down to a specific recommendation based on the individual year/make/model of boat and how you typically use it.

    The Basics
    Understanding the way propellers are measured is paramount to gaining the knowledge needed to choose the right prop. Depending on the brand of prop, most of these measurements will be listed on the prop hub for quick reference.

    Diameter: This specification is pretty straight-forward; measure from the middle of the prop's hub out to the end of one blade and double that distance. In general, more diameter means more surface area, which means better transmission of power from the engine to the water. More diameter also means more rotational inertia, which means the prop will not rotate as fast. In general, for slower sports, like surfing and wakeboarding, the larger diameter the better. For higher speed activities like slalom skiing and barefooting, a moderately sized prop will provide better performance. Typically diameter is limited by either clearance between the hull or the trailer, which is important to check.

    Pitch: When it comes to props, the question we most often hear from our customers is "what is pitch?". Often times a deceiving measurement, once understood, pitch makes a lot of sense. Basically, pitch is a measurement of the distance the prop would travel with no slippage after making one full revolution. For example, a prop with a pitch of 12" would travel forward one foot after completing one revolution. Obviously we don't live in the ideal world, and slippage does occur, but for the purposes of comparing one prop to another, pitch is instrument. In most cases, pitch is also the most important variable for controlling boat performance. A lower numerical pitch number means higher engine RPMs relative to boat speed, which is translates to better performance for slower speed activities. Therefore, for wakesurfing and wakeboarding typically a lower pitch prop will be run than for slalom, barefooting and higher speed activities.
    prop-pitch-diagram

    Cup: Typically not an issue for most of our customers, propeller cup plays a fairly limited role in propellers for watersports boats. Cup, or the curvature of the blade at its edge, primarily translates to the amount of load the prop will put on the motor. Higher pitch means more load on the engine, which will serve to suppress engine RPM vs. boat speed.

    Bore: Just like shoe size, the bore of the propeller is specific to the prop shaft that is on your boat. In inboard boats, you'll see 1", 1-1/8" and 1-1/4" tapered bore sizes, as well as spline bore props for use on 2003 and newer Mastercraft boats. Shaft is not interchangeable, you must use the correct size prop for your boat's shaft or the prop simply won't fit.

    Rotation: Like bore, rotation is specific to the power train of the boat; if your boat needs a left hand rotation propeller, you must use a left hand rotation propeller.

    There are two reasons why you would need a new propeller for your boat. The first reason is also the most common and simply put the prop has been damaged. Most inboard boat manufactures tend to prop from the factory with something that would work well for the majority of users who enjoy all water sports which means this is the perfect time to upgrade. If your current propeller meets all your required performance characteristics there is no reason to replace it with something different. Find the model number or size specs and match it for a perfect fit. Read our Propeller Basics Guide.

    The second reason, which we will expand on, would be to increase the boat's performance. This can be the low end pulling power required for a weighted wakesurf boat or the maximum top end speed needed to pull a barefooter behind a waterski boat. Either way this guide will help develop a better understanding of how to find the best wakeboard or ski boat propeller for your application.

    To obtain the best performance from your inboard ski or wakeboard boat you will need to select the perfect propeller based on how you spend your days on the water. No matter how much horse power you have if you are not transferring it to the water in the most efficient way your performance and fuel economy will suffer.

    Reasons to Upgrade Your Boat's Propeller

    1. Better Performance: When a boat manufacturer selects the stock propeller that comes on a boat from the factory they don't know how the boat will ultimately be used by the boat owner. Because of that, they select a prop that performs well for all activities, but doesn't necessary excel in any one area. Many of our customers only use their boat for wakesurfing and wakeboarding, and never travel more than 30MPH. For that type of application there are huge performance gains as well as efficiency improvements to be had by upgrading the propeller to one that is better optimized for how the boat will be used the majority of the time. The added benefit is you can use the stock prop that came on your boat as a spare just in case you damage your primary prop.
    2. Replace Damaged Prop: If your primary prop was damaged due to an impact, replacing it with either the same prop, one that offers similar performance, or one that offers upgraded performance may make sense.

    Upgrading a Wake Prop

    Wakeboarders and wakesufers that increase the displacement of a wakeboard boat's hull with water ballast find that a middle of the road, stock, propeller will not get the boat to their desired speed quickly enough. As a result the driver must push the engine hard by lengthening the time at wide open throttle on every start. The extreme loads seen when pulling riders out of the water tend to burn a lot more fuel. The answer is to increase the propeller's surface by increasing the overall diameter and decreasing the pitch. When the engine encounters less time at wide open throttle the end result is less fuel burned over the corse of the day. The trade off to the low end gains are decreased top end speeds and comfortable cruising speeds. If you do travel long distances to find calm water it may be wise to look at something in between the boat's current prop and the optimal wakeboard / wakesurf prop.

    Upgrading a Ski Prop

    Waterskiers and barefooters that have a need for speed also find that the middle of the road, stock, propeller will not produce critical top end maximums. As a result the driver must push the engine to the rev limiter at wide open throttle on every run. Holding the RPM's at their max also burns a significant amount of fuel. Their answer is the opposite of wakeboarders. By decreasing the propeller's overall diameter and increasing the pitch the blade becomes more slippery as it travels through the water. Less drag equals more speed.

    Other Considerations:

    • 3 Blade Prop vs. 4 Blade Prop - For more information regarding the differences between a 3 and 4 blade prop check out the "Do I need a 4 blade propeller for wakeboarding" post here.

    • High Elevation -  Using your boat at higher elevations? Read our high elevation guide to learn more about how much horsepower you will lose based on the elevation.

    • Boat and Trailer Clearance - In a perfect world every v-drive wakeboard boat would at least accommodate  a 14.5” diameter propeller. Unfortunately most boats just a few years old do not. It is critical that you measure the clearance between the bottom of your boat and the blade at the point when it is closest. We strongly suggest that you leave at the very least ¾” of clearance to avoid getting gel-burn. It is wise to also inspect the trailer for any cross members or prop guards that could interfere with a larger diameter as well. Those who don’t find out the hard way when reloading the boat on the trailer.

    Contact Us:

    Use our exclusive prop finder guides with year, make model information and specific recommendations. If you still have questions about your application contact one of our prop experts and we will make sure you get the best solution available for your boat.

    [button url=http://www.wakemakers.com/props.html]Shop For Wakeboard and Waterski Props»[/button]
  • Exile Buoy Ball Fender | Video

    Exile's Balls from WakeWorld on Vimeo.

    The Exile Buoy Ball Fender is a multi-talented tool that excels at keeping your boat and your children entertained on and off the water.

    Dave Williams (WakeWorld) let his kids test out the Exile Buoy Ball Fenders to see just how durable they are. They took the fenders through a series of highly scientific tests and concluded that the Exile Buoy Ball Fenders not only keep your boat protected, but they make an awesome toy for kids of all ages.

    Technical Specs

    • Designed to tie your boat up with your friends boat safely
    • Designed to take a beating (see below video for proof)
    • Features Heavy-Duty Seamless Construction
    • Made from Injection Molded 34mm Construction
    • Fully inflates to 18"

    Exile-Buoy-Ball

     

     
    [button url=http://www.wakemakers.com/exile-buoy-ball-fender.html]Buy the Exile Buoy Ball Fender»[/button]

  • Ballast 101: Basics of Adding Ballast to Your Boat

    We wanted to develop the definitive guide to adding ballast to your boat to build a better wake. Whether you're interested in wakeboarding, wakesurfing or both, the information included here will give you all of the knowledge you need to have the best experience possible behind your boat.

    In order to get a better wake from your boat, regardless of what type of boat you have, you need to add additional weight. Extra weight results in a bigger wake and can also be used sculpt the shape of the wake.

    At WakeMAKERS, we think about wake quality as a function of two characteristics:

    1. Size: The physical size of the wake; bigger means more energy, which is good for both wakeboarding and wakesurfing.
    2. Shape: The shape of the wake is just as important as the size, and requires attention in order to maintain the correct shape while increasing the size.

    Wake Size + Wake Shape = Wake Quality

    Wake Size
    Adding additional weight to your boat, whether it’s in the form of ballast, people or even gas in the fuel tank makes the boat sit lower in the water. A lower ride height means the hull is displacing more water, which will result in a larger wake as the boat drives though the water.

    Your requirements for wake size will depend on a host of factors, such as:

    • Desired wake size: Just how big do you want the wake to be?
    • Space requirements: How much room are you willing to give up in the boat for ballast?
    • Comfort level: How much ballast are you willing to run in the boat?
    • Activity: Are you primarily wakeboarding, surfing or both wakesurfing and wakeboarding?

    For example, if you need to have a certain amount of interior storage space available that will limit the total amount of additional ballast you can place in your boat.

    The bigger wake you want, the more hull displacement, and therefore additional ballast you need. Anywhere you place additional weight in the boat will increase the displacement of the hull. That means for wake size the location of the ballast is completely trivial, put the weight anywhere in the boat you want.

    Wake Shape
    The second equally important, and often ignored, component of wake quality is the shape of the wake. Whereas ballast location in the boat plays no role in determining the size of the wake, wake shape is completely dependent upon where the weight is placed.

    In general, here is an outline of how weight placement will impact wake shape:

    • Wakeboarding: Weight in the rear of the boat will result in a wake that is more vertical, with a shorter and steeper face. Too much weight in the rear can cause the wake to “roll” or “crumble” over on itself.Conversely, moving the distribution of weight more towards the bow of the boat will make a more mellow wake, with a longer transition from the trough at the bottom to the peak at the top.

      Unless you are currently not happy with the wake shape (too steep or too rampy) stick to a 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution for any additional ballast you add. You may have heard of the “60/40” rule or other recommendations for adding additional weight, but as generalizations they are wrong. In most cases we do not want to change the shape of the wake; correct shape is one of the reasons we spend more money on watersports tow boats, we just want to make the wake bigger. That means evenly weighting the entire hull of the boat, which means the wetted surface of the boat will be the same, it will just displace more water.

      There are other advantages to an evenly weighted boat, like being easier to drive, maintaining efficiency of the drive train by reducing prop shaft angle for better acceleration and fuel economy, etc.

      If you want a steeper wake with a more abrupt pop, move the bias of weight towards the rear of the boat more. On the other hand, if you want to tame some of the steepness that is inherent with your boat’s wake, or if you’re having trouble with the wake crumbling, shift weight forward in the boat.

    • Wakesurfing: Adding weight in the rear of the boat for wakesurfing results in a tall wake that has a lot of energy, but doesn’t extend very far back behind the boat. You MUST start with weight in the rear of the boat to have a wake with enough “push” or energy to be able to support a rider with the rope.Additional weight in the front of the boat will lead to a wake that extends further back behind the boat, but will also remove some of the height or energy from the wake. The goal is to have the longest wake possible, while still maintaining enough weight to “push” a rider without the rope.

      Almost universally adding weight to a boat for wakesurfing will be done in the following manner. Start with weight in the rear corner of the boat on the side you will be surfing on, and move forward in the boat from there. The bias of weight to the surf side (port side of the boat for regular riders, starboard side of the boat for goofy riders) is required to make a “clean” surf wake on just one side of the boat. Starting in the rear will provide enough “push” to support a rider without the rope, which is the whole goal. From there, put as much weight in the front of the boat, still on the surf side, as you can without removing too much push.

      The heavier the rider or the smaller the board, the more rear weight you’ll need. Lighter riders, or riding a very fast surfboard will allow you to run more weight in the front of the boat for a longer wake.

    How-To: Fill and Drain Additional Ballast in Your Boat
    Now that we know why and where to add ballast, the next step is to figure out how to actually fill and drain that additional weight. There are many reasons, such as rider skill level, activity, efficiency, why you’ll want to be able to add or remove ballast from the boat quickly and easily. Ultimately the best method of getting weight into and out of the boat will depend in your specific needs. At WakeMAKERS we classify three different methods for filling and draining weight:

    Portable Pump Factory Integration Complete Ballast System
    The go to solution for filling and draining wakeboard ballast, a portable pump offers great speed for not much money, but requires more work to use. Exclusive to WakeMAKERS, this option allows you to control additional ballast capacity using the same system that came built into your boat. Great value, and very convenient, this is a great option for fully automated ballast without spending a lot. The Porsche of the ballast industry, this option gives you the most speed, convenience, performance and flexibility, but does not come cheap, and requires installation.
    Pros: Highest speed, Inexpensive, Zero installation, Works with any boat Pros: Extremely convenient, Moderate speed, Inexpensive, Easy installation, Completely automated Pros: Extremely convenient, High speed, Works with any boat, Completely automated
    Cons: Manual Process (boat must be stopped for filling and draining) Cons: Slower, Requires factory system Cons: More expensive, Medium Installation
    Shop for Bag/Pump Combos» Shop for Factory Integrations» Shop for Complete Systems»

    Again, which option makes the most sense will depend on your specific needs as far as speed, convenience and price are concerned. You can always start out using a portable pump, and then move to a fully integrated solution in the future.

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