Everyone wants to wakesurf without the rope. This can be accomplished with a minimal wakesurf ballast bag upgrade for your boat and some practice riding behind the boat. Adding more weight along with your factory ballast system will create a surf wake that will be bigger, faster, and create the push to keep you riding in the sweet spot.
We get asked a lot about "how to weight a v-drive boat for wakesurfing". Here is the answer from our ballast experts.
Below is our three step process for properly weighting your v-drive boat and creating that epic surf wave. Enjoy!
Step 1 (Good)
The first step to weighting any inboard boat for wakesurfing is to load down the rear corner on the side that you will be wakesurfing. 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 alone will create a wake that allows most riders to surf without holding onto the rope.
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 towards the bow. This will help 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 or push to stay in the wake. 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 middle section of your boat on the side that you will be surfing. 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.
Take your surf wake to the next level by installing a surf system product. A true game-changer, these surf systems allow you to evenly weight your boat and switch sides without changing ballast configuration. These are not a replacement for ballast. You will still need additional ballast to create the weight necessary for a bigger wake.
The ability to evenly weight your boat means that you can fill all your ballast and no longer need to only fill the side you are surfing. As a result, this creates a much larger wake (more weight = bigger wake). An evenly weighted boat also helps improve the boat's handling and control for the driver. These surf systems make switching sides a quick, simple process. Say goodbye to the days when you had take 20 minutes to drain one side and fill the other in order to switch sides for a rider.
If you are serious about creating that perfect surf wake, a surf system is a must-have for your boat.
Check out WaveControl, our aftermarket retrofittable wakesurf system that can be installed on nearly any boat. The WaveControl system features two surf tabs on the stern of your boat and a Wave Tuner Control in the dash that enables precision tuning to create that perfect wave every time.
Dialing in your surf wake will take time. Experiment around and change the ballast configuration to see how it impacts the wake. Remember that people count as ballast too (and they can move around much easier than ballast bags). If you want to experiment with your wake 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 afterwards. Guesstimate how much weight is placed in these three key areas and then replicate that based on storage dimensions and the appropriate ballast bag sizes.
Want more info on ballast configuration? Check out our "Ballast Guide: Weighting Your Boat For Wakesurfing"