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Tag Archives: ballast

  • Outlet Sale | Extra 10% Off All Outlet Items

    Boat Show Outlet Sale

    Get boat show pricing without leaving the comfort of your home.

    Not able to make to your local boat show? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our digital boat show sale going on today through Monday. You can forget about haggling for an extra ten dollars off a ballast bag and get straight to the savings.

    *No coupon code necessary. Sale runs from 1/16/15-1/19/15.

  • Tech Tuesday #19: X-Link Ballast System Explained

    X-Link Ballast System Explained

    The X-Link Ballast System is designed for owners with pre-2013 boat models that want a SurfGate or NSS style system. Installing the X-Link system gives you the option to quickly transfer water from one ballast bag to the other in half the time. Anyone that's been on a boat with regular and goofy wakesurf riders knows how cumbersome it can be to switch the ballast between riders. The X-Link System takes the process down from 10-18 minutes in a 750 pound bag to right around 5 minutes. Leaving you with more time for wakesurfing and less time waiting for your bags to fill and drain.

    The X-Link Ballast System utilizes one drain port on each bag in your rear lockers. If you plan on installing the X-Link into an already existing ballast system, make sure that the bags located in your lockers each have an existing free drain port that the X-Link can connect to. If the ballast system you are installing is a new system with new ballast bags, make sure that each bag has an extra port that the X-Link system can connect to. Click here for a list of X-Link Compatible Bags. 

    WakeMAKERS X-Link Ballast Transfer System

    Buy the X-Link Ballast Transfer System»

    How It Works

    When you are ready to switch from regular to goofy or goofy to regular riders, hit the custom X-Link switch on your dash to start moving water at 100 lbs. per minute. Once the bag is close to full, switch off the X-Link and let your factory ballast system fill the remainder. Congratulations! You just switched sides in half the time.

    Boat Model Example

    We've seen a lot of Mid-2000 Malibu owners use the X-Link to get a similar result to what they would achieve with a 2013 Malibu with the SurfGate system.

    If a customer uses the Malibu Piggy Back Kit with the Straight Line or Fly High 750lb. bags they will see fill times of 10 to 13 minutes and drain times of 15 to 18 minutes. If the port side factory ballast and 750lb. bag are full switching riders would take 15 to 18 minutes to complete. We hit fill on the starboard factory ballast, drain on the port factory ballast and port to starboard on the X-Link. In under 5 minutes the transfer from port to starboard will be completed as the X-Link pump can move 100 lbs. of water a minute.

    What's Included

    The full X-Link kit comes with a Johnson Ultra Ballast Pump, all the electrical wiring, fittings, and 1" ballast hose.

    Installation Time

    1.5-2 hours

    Tool List

    • Screw Driver
    • RotoZip for the switch to mount behind the dash.
    • Tool to cut dash.

    View our selection of  X-Link Compatible Ballast Bags>>

  • Straight Line Sumo Open Bow Bag (500lb) and (750lb)

    The Sumo Open Bow Bags are one of the new ballast bags available from Straight Line. With a 500 and 750 pound option, the open bow bags give you the ability to level load the front of your boat for better performance while wakesurfing and wakeboarding. With two different options available, the Sumo Open Bow Bags are a great fit for almost any wakeboard style boat. We recommend using these bags if you want to get the most capacity out of the front of your boat without losing any seating.

    Straight Line Sumo Open Bow Bag 500

    This SL Bow Bag is designed to fit underneath the seats of most 19-21 foot boats that have under seat storage in the bow. The Open Bow 500 is compatible with our factory ballast upgrades and Straight Line's Launch Pad and Super Sumo Pumps.

    Malibu VLX Sumo Bow Bag63"L x 48"W x 8"

    500 pounds of weight

    1" NPT ports (1 LINK fill, 2 fill/vent, and 2 drain)





    Straight Line Sumo Open Bow Bag 750

    Straight Line designed the Sumo Open Bow Bag to fit underneath the seats of most 22-25 foot boats that have under seat storage in the bow. The Open Bow 750 is compatible with our factory ballast upgrades and Straight Line's Launch Pad and Super Sumo Pumps.

    Malibu247-Sumo-Bow-Bag75"L x 56"W x 8"H

    750 pounds of weight

    1" NPT ports (1 LINK fill, 2 fill/vent, and 2 drain)




    [button url=]Shop for Straight Line Bow Bags»[/button]
  • WakeMAKERS Black Friday Sale!

    Our biggest sale of the year starts Thursday 22nd and runs through (Cyber) Monday the 26th! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get on the list in order to receive your coupon code so you can take advantage of the great deals! Stay tuned, we'll be sending out the coupon email Wednesday!

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  • New WakeMAKERS Ballast Parts Category

    Already have a ballast system but need to replace a few parts to get it up and running? Want to upgrade the quality of a few of your fittings? Or maybe you're looking for a check valve or vented loop to add to your current ballast system to prevent passive fill/drain issues. Whatever your need is when it comes to ballast systems and the individual parts that make them up, you'll be able to find it here in our wakeboard ballast parts category.

    Our ballast system parts selection is full of carefully selected parts for your ballast system which were selected specifically with wakeboard ballast system design and functionality in mind. We don't cary any generic plumbing parts that you might find at your local hardware store, each part is tested and assured to perform in your boat and to meet your expectations. The added benefit in almost every part we sell is that they will cost you less than a similar product you might purchase from the local plumbing store. You get the convenience of getting parts that are tested for compatibility, at the best price, and with the most convenience. Forget multiple trips to the hardware store, everything is included in one place.

    We've carefully designed the shopping experience to cater directly to your needs as well, with the goal of making everything easier on you the customer. If you know the part that you need but aren't sure how to find it, we've got you covered. We've created a parts section that can be searched through in many different ways to make sure you'll get to exactly what you need and get out quickly, without wasting your day scouring the internet trying to find the correct part.

    Search by Category: WakeMAKERS has divided our ballast system parts into 4 major categories for convenient shopping:

    • Ballast Fittings
    • Hose & Accessories
    • Thru-hull Intake Hardware
    • Thru-hull Vents & Drains
    • Check Valves & Vented Loops
    • Electrical Components & Accessories

    Filter Products: Not sure which product you want but know what you need it to do? Filter products by....

    • Category
    • Hose Size
    • Part Manufacturer
    • Thread Size
    • Price

    Search Function: Know exactly what you need and don't want to spend time clicking around? Just search for it. You can always just type in exactly what you're looking for in the Search field at the top right hand of every page on our website. If we've got it, you'll see it show up.

    So next time you're in need of a replacement part for your wakeboard boat's ballast system, remember that when you choose WakeMAKERS you're getting the satisfaction and peace of mind that everything will perform as it should and will save yourself some cash at the same time. That's the WakeMAKERS way.

  • Check Valves vs. Vented Loops

    When asked to talk about which is recommended, check valves or vented loops in a ballast system, the answer is both. Depending on the system you are building, you might be able to get away with one or the other, but for a complete ballast system where you’ll have bags filling and draining both above and below the water line you should be implementing the use of both check valves and vented loops.

    Quick description of what each do: Both check valves and vented loops are used to prevent the passive draining of bags (draining while pump is off and boat is in use). However, only a vented loop will also prevent the passive filling of a bag (think opposite of passive draining).

    Vented Loops:

    If your ballast bag is going to reside below the floor/below lake level (think ski locker) Then you’re going to need to integrate a vented loop in the ballast hose line in order to prevent both the passive draining and filling of the ballast bag. The reason is that vented loops are fitted with a one-way valve right at the high point in the loop. This valve still allows water to be pumped through the loop like a solid tube, however, once the pump is turned off air is let in through the valve and into the tube. This allows the water to drop on both sides of the high point in the loop and prevents a siphon from occurring. Now, for this to all work correctly you need to install the vented loop as high above the water line as possible. The most common location for installation is under the driver’s dash near the windshield. If you’re installing it in the back of the boat, whether in a direct drive or v-drive, up under the gunnel is usually the best location. It’s also important to install the loop as close to the ballast bag in question as possible.

    Check Valves:

    Now if your bags are filled above the water line then check valves will work great as you won’t have to worry about passive filling. The check valves will take care of any passive draining and you’ll be on your way. Plus, check valves will cost you less and are easier to install. Check valves are basically just a non-return valve that requires no maintenance, will never rust and can be installed in any position and at any angle. When building a ballast system there are many applications for non-return check valves. Because of this we have done extensive tests to ensure the valves that we offer will perform in pretty much any situation you can conger up. And while it might sound like a plug for our product, we really don’t recommend using valves designed for use in a domestic plumbing environment (meaning both the swing valves and spring-loaded check valves you would find at the hardware store). The reasons for this are:

    1. They are installation attitude dependent; because they rely on gravity to close the swing gate, they must be installed within a range of angles, which is less than convenient when running lines for ballast.
    2. They're bulky, and typically require additional fittings to convert the threaded connections to hose barbs, which increases the size even more and adds more failure points.
    3. And, they're expensive (compared to the integrated hose barb valves we offer).

    One thing to keep in mind when building your ballast system; If you choose to forego the use of check valves, your system will essentially remain incomplete. You’ll never be able to fully drain your sacks completely without them. Meaning unless you have a check valve to prevent air from flowing back into the bag, you’re bags will never be able to raisin up and stay completely drained.

    Hopefully this has instilled some knowledge in the heads of all who read it. If you have questions feel free to contact us and ask away. We’re always around and ready to help you build the perfect ballast system for your boat.

    3/4" Check Valves


    1" Check Valves


    3/4" Vented Loops


    1" Vented Loops


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    Starting at $47.95
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