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Tag Archives: wakesurfing ballast

  • 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.

    Shop Wakesurfing Ballast Bags»

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    Have more questions about adding ballast to your wakeboard boat?

    Contact the ballast experts at WakeMAKERS. 888-338-6085 or sales@wakemakers.com

  • Weight Your Boat for Wakesurfing

    WakeMAKERS | Wakesurf Ballast

    With how quickly the wakesurfing movement is growing, there's no question that it's one of the most popular activities behind the boat. With that much interest there is a lot of bad information out there on how to achieve the best possible wake from your boat. In an effort to clear the water, and help our customers achieve the best possible wake, we've compiled the following guide on how to produce a wake everyone will enjoy surfing all summer.

    The Physics

    The first thing to understand about building the perfect wake is how the wake is produced in the first place. When a boat is sitting in a lake it's taking up space that would otherwise be occupied by water. The amount of volume taken up by the boat is known as the displacement of the hull, and depends on a myriad of details such as wetted surface area, gross weight, etc. Essentially though, the heavier the boat, the lower in the water it sits and the more water the boat's hull is displacing. The wake is created once the boat starts moving and water rushes back into place as the boat moves through it. So, in order to make a bigger wake, increase the weight in your boat. These days, while most wakeboarding specific boats do come with a factory ballast system, it won't be enough weight to create a great wakesurfing wake. So in order to create a wake big enough and consistent enough to wakesurf behind you're going to need to add more ballast to your boat. In which case WakeMAKERS can help you with that, we have over 20 years of experience in create the best wakes in the industry for both wakeboarding and wakesurfing.

    Building a great wakesurfing wake doesn't stop there. It's easy to think that all you need is a bigger wake in order to wakesurf, however contrary to this belief, size isn't everything and the shape of the wake is almost just as important as the size. And while wake size might be an easy concept to visualize (more weight = bigger wake), the shape is more about finesse and placing the added ballast weight in specific locations through out your boat. Each boat is different and it might require some trial and error, but by finding those sweet spots in your boat you'll be able to not only create a bigger wake but also a better shaped one that's easier to surf.

    Chad Sharpe Riding the Koal PowerTail
    Generally, when you're out surfing, only one side of the boats wake is being surfed. In which case, a surfing ballast set up will focus the weight to that side of the boat. Key point: To increase the wake's size on either side of the boat, increase the amount of weight on that side of the boat. It is possible that one side of your boat might make a better surf wake than the other, so don't be completely surprised if a ballast configuration that produces an epic surf wake on one side doesn't work as well on the other. Now, if you only have one extra ballast bag or maybe two, focus that extra weight in the back corner of the boat on the side you'll be surfing. This will get the maximum wake size out of your ballast. If you're able to add more ballast after that, you can start playing around more with placement of the weight in order to create a more optimal shape for wakesurfing. When working on the shape of your wake remember that the more weight you add to the back of the boat, the taller the wake will be in height but the shorter it will be in length. By adding weight to the front of the boat, the shorter the wake in height and the longer in length. Therefore, an optimal wakesurfing wake would generally include the majority of the ballast weight in the back corner with smaller amounts of ballast distributed towards the front in order to lengthen and smooth out the wake. Giving your wake more "volume", meaning more water is moving/pushing the rider. The more volume the better and the easier the wakesurfing. For a general application, we recommend 700-1000lbs of additional ballast weight for your wakeboarding boat in order to create the optimal wakesurfing wake.

    If you are new to wakesurfing and you aren't quite sure what ballast setup to get, we recommend looking at our Ballast Bag & Pump Combos. They are a great value and provide enough weight to make most V-Drive boats surf-able.

    [button url=http://www.wakemakers.com/wakeboard-ballast-bag-pump-combos]Shop Ballast Bag & Pump Combos»[/button]

    While we recommend liquid ballast for building your wakesurfing wake, it is possible to use solid ballast. People are a great example of solid ballast that can be used to fine tune your wake after you get the liquid ballast set up. If you've got a bunch of friends with you in the boat, don't be afraid to move them around in order to produce the best wake possible. Another tip to creating a great wakesurfing wake is to make sure you're surfing in deeper water. It's been said that anything over 8ft-10ft will help produce a better wakesurfing wake for your boat. And always remember to drain your ballast before you put your boat back on the lift or trailer. By leaving the extra ballast weight in your boat you're just going to be causing more stress and wear on them which will just make both wear out quicker.

    Another important part of the wakesurfing experience is getting the right wakesurf board for your riding style and ability level. We created our "Wakesurf Board Buyer's Guide"  to help you pick the perfect board for your perfectly weighted boat.

    If you've still got questions about building the perfect wakesurfing wake for your boat, don't hesitate to contact us! We're always up for helping build better wakes in the wakeboarding and wakesurfing community!
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  • The New WakeMAKERS Wakeboard Ballast Shopping Guide

    So you've decided it's time to stop putting up with that less than adequate wakeboarding or wakesurfing wake and upgrade your boat's ballast system. Well that's awesome! You're definitely going to be much happier this summer with the wake you've been dreaming of. But the decision is just the first step, do you know what to do next? Well, you found the WakeMAKERS site so I guess you did know. BUT, what about after that? If you're not sure how much weight to add or the location in the boat you should be adding it then the new WakeMAKERS Shopping Guide is your answer.

    Because nobody has more experience than us when it comes to building the perfect wake, we've put together a shopping guide to help get you going on upgrading your boats ballast. The WakeMAKERS wakeboard ballast shopping guide helps you answer those important questions of "How much weight should I be adding to my boat?" and "Where should I be adding the weight in my boat?".

    Whenever weight is added to your boat, including people, gas, ice chests, or water ballast, it will make your boat sit lower in the water and in turn increase the displacement of the hull. As the weight put into your boat is increased it will in turn create a larger wake. So to consistently create that super sized wake for wakeboarding or wakesurfing you're going to need to add more ballast to your boat. But contrary to popular belief, size isn't everything and the shape of the wake is just as important. By placing your additional ballast in different locations inside your boat you can help create not only a bigger wake, but also a better shaped one with a smoother take-off.

    Depending on how integrated you want your ballast system to be and how much you're wanting to spend, we have many different options for you to choose from. To figure out what the perfect system is going to be for you and your wakeboard boat and to get started with your order, check out the new WakeMAKERS Shopping Guide. And if you have any questions we’d love to talk to you, so either email us at sales@wakemakers.com or give us a call at (888) 338-6085.

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