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Weighting a V-Drive Boat For Wakesurfing

Weighting a V-Drive Boat For Wakesurfing

We answer a lot of questions pertaining to the subject of "how to weight a v-drive boat for wakesurfing". Instead of diving into the details about filling and draining I am going to keep this simple. The end goal is to surf without the rope. This can be accomplished with a minimal wakesurf ballast bag upgrade. By adding more weight beyond the factory ballast system the surf wake will be bigger faster and the push will be stronger. Friends don't let friends surf two inches from the swim platform.

Step 1 (Good): The first step to weighting any inboard boat for wakesurfing is to load down the rear corner on the surf side.  Displacement of the stern deeper in the water will direct the flow of water while also promoting list or leaning. The result is a ridable wave with a cleaner face. Just this step will allow most riders to surf without holding onto the rope with the appropriate wakesurf board. Larger riders may need to jump to Step 2 in order to maintain the speed needed to throw the rope in the boat.

Step 2 (Better): Our preferred next upgrade is to add some weight forward in the boat toward the bow. We want to displace more of the boat's hull deeper in the water. This will decrease the height of the wave but in turn will create a longer more ridable area further behind the swim deck. This upgrade is a balancing act so use the bow weight sparingly. Too much and the wave will flatten out leaving you with no speed. Not enough bow weight and you will be surfing with the nose of your board over the swim deck.

Step 3 (Best): To maintain the height of the wave while increasing the push or ridable portion of the wave, begin to add more weight to the mid ship on the surf side. If you want the ballast hidden toss a ballast bag under the seats but if you don't have a lot of passengers throw a bag right on top. The amount of weight should be around 3/4" of the total weight in the rear compartment. The name of the game is weight distribution. It should taper from the heaviest bag in the rear corner to the lightest bag in the bow.

Testing: When discovering what works best in your boat remember that people count too. If you want to experiment without having to spend the money upfront, invite your largest friends out for a day on the boat. Never ask how much they weigh as they might not be your ballast buddies after you surf. Guestimate how much weight is placed in these three key areas and then replicate that based on storage dimensions and the appropriate sac sizes.

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11 thoughts on “Weighting a V-Drive Boat For Wakesurfing”

  • Michael saxe

    Any experience and advice for setting up a 2009 mastercraft X 35 with 3 factory ballast and 2 fat sacks. I read you suggest one in back and one in front. I tried with fat sacks in back and one on floor. But did not really like the wave.


  • Steve

    I have a 2012 Moomba LSV. What size and where is the best placement of bags to get the best surf

  • 02MalibulLSVmke
    02MalibulLSVmke July 29, 2013 at 12:12 am

    I have just purchased a 02 23'LSV. I bought an 1100 fat sac and I have a 500 straight line fat sac for under the side seat in front of the locker..

    I am new to V drive and also want to make sure I can create the best wave for my friends to ride.

    1. What do you think is the best ballest bag set up the 02LSV? do you think I should put the straight line 500lb under the middle seat in the bow?

    2. What is the best way to drive the surf boat off to the left or right of the wave you are riding?
    3. What hard installed system do you recommend I go with for the 02LSV as I would like to install a system by next summer were my switches to fill are up front by my driver seat?

    • Spencer

      Great choice on boats. I love the wake behind the 2002 Malibu LSV 23. You made the right choice for the rear compartment with the 1100lb. Fly High Jumbo Surf Sac W719 (http://www.wakemakers.com/fly-high-jumbo-surf-sac.html) as it should maximize the space and give you the most weight possible.

      I would suggest trying the Straight Line ballast bag (http://www.wakemakers.com/wakeboard-ballast-bags?manufacturer=109) under the port side seat first and then in the bow. I would tend to think that you will see better results in the bow since you don't have much up there to help displace the hull. Remember that you will get a longer wave with more weight up front but it will decrease the height of the wave. It really depends on your preference.

      Try to drive the boat straight. That will give you the most consistent ride. If you are pulling a beginner a slight turn into the wave will help bring the pocket behind the board but it is like a set of training wheels. Once you figure out how to ride the board you will not need the curve in the pocket.

      If you want to fill single bags quickly go with an aerator ballast system like what Malibu and Axis install from the factory. If you want to fill multiple bags and want an overall easier installation go with a reversible pump ballast system like what you would find in a MasterCraft, Nautique, Supra, Moomba, Centurion, and 2014 Tige. You will not go wrong either way. It is all dependent on how you want to use the system. (http://www.wakemakers.com/wakeboard-ballast-systems)

      Feel free to contact us with anymore questions you may have. Have fun and enjoy that boat.

  • Badin

    How should i weight my 07 centurion avalanche c4 i have a 750 and a 550 sac

    • Spencer

      I would suggest placing the 750 in the rear compartment and the 550 in the bow. You should find another 550 and place it either on top of or under the side seats on the surf side. The Avalanche really likes a lot of weight on the surf side toward the mid ship. Have fun!

  • Nick Review

    just got a axis 2014 a24 i posted a video review and at the end you can see me wakesurfing, its a huge wave, i have all the stock tanks filled, but no additional sacs yet, i plan on adding the plug and plays in the fall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xip-l6d4WVc&list=UUOvN3fb1NyriX4SVgVj02SA

    what do you think i need to do to make the wakesurf wake longer, and if i get more sacs it sounds like it will be even taller of a wake but not longer, i am also using a wedge. thank for taking the time to look i will make sure to purchase from you when i get some.

  • Cliff

    I have a '07 Centurion Enzo 230. How do you recommend weighting the boat to get the best surf wake?


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