Wakesurf System Buyer's Guide
Wakesurfing. You see it everywhere when you are out on the water. The sport has quickly surpassed wakeboarding and waterskiing in popularity. You might have noticed that the waves are getting bigger and better too thanks to installed wakesurf systems on the boats. Malibu reinvented the game when they debuted the Surf Gate in 2013. Since that time nearly every wakeboard boat manufacturer has created their own wakesurf system and an assortment of aftermarket devices have hit the market. It is now time to learn what all the hype is about.
Continue reading to learn all about how these devices work and which one might be a good option for you.
How Exactly Does A Wakesurf System Work?
As of the writing of this article every surf device that is available, whether aftermarket or factory installed, acts on the non-surf side of the boat. There is a common misconception that the surf device is responsible for shaping the wave by altering the flow of water on the side that you are actually surfing on. The surf device is actually deployed on the opposite side of the boat and uses the water flowing over its surface to alter the position of the boat in the water.
So What Are The Advantages?
-Allows the boat to be symmetrically weighted with equal amounts of weight on both sides. You are now able to use all your boat's ballast rather than just filling one side of the boat. The boat sits level in the water, making the boat easier to drive, and also more enjoyable for passengers onboard as they can sit freely throughout the boat.
-Switching the wake from one side of the boat to the other is quick and easier than ever before. The ballast no longer needs to be drained on one side and filled on the other to switch between regular and goofy foot riders.
-The surf wave is more consistent, and not as dependent upon the number of people in the boat, or where they are positioned. That consistency makes it easy to have the same enjoyable surf experience from one day to the next.
NOTE: This article will cover aftermarket wakesurf devices and not OEM devices on new boats.
When it comes to aftermarket surf devices, there are basically two classes of products:
Mainstream:These products are commercially available from leading retailers, work on nearly any boat, and offer the fit-and-finish along with the support of leading brands. These aftermarket, retrofittable surf devices are the must-have items of 2016 for boaters that don't have factory surf systems on their boat.
Targeted Applications: These solutions are typically low-volume or custom made products designed to be used with a single make or model of boat. These surf devices can help improve your wake but are typically less visually appealing and can decrease your boat's value.
The first commercially available wakesurf device was the WaveControl wakesurf system, released in 2015. This fully automated wakesurf system installs on the transom of almost any inboard boat and is controlled by proprietary electronics hardware and software to give the best possible surf experience. This is the closest you can come to an OEM level of performance and integration for use on any boat. WaveControl delivers modern wakesurf technology to older model boats.
WaveControl is available at WakeMAKERS.com»
Another aftermarket wakesurf device that is available for use on nearly any inboard boat is the Eight.3 Wakesurf Shaper. This product attaches to the side of your boat using a velcro adhesive that allows you to easily switch sides or remove the Wakesurf Shaper in seconds. This surf device has drawn rave reviews and is one of the hottest products for 2016.
The engineers and riders at Ronix have developed this wakesurf device to revolutionize the performance of your boat. This composite wedge easily mounts slightly below the water line on the outside of the boat near the stern. Place it on either the starboard or port side of your boat's hull to get a massive surf wave on the opposite side. Extensive testing on direct drives, v-drives, and jet boats shows any boat consistently produces an amazing wakesurf wave when coupled with this device and wakeboard ballast. This is a game changer, and will be all over the water at your local lake.
Eight.3 Surf Shaper is available at WakeMAKERS.com»
Similar to WaveControl and the Eight.3 Surf Shaper, the Delta Universal Wakesurf System aims to create that perfect wakesurfing wave behind the boat you already own. This surf device is more similar to the Eight.3 Surf Shaper as it is easily removable from your boat. Delta Universal is attached to your boat using two heavy duty suction cups and deploys a panel on the opposite side you are surfing. This product has generated a lot of hype and is expected to begin shipping in Mid June.
When Malibu introduced SurfGate to the market, do-it-yourselfers in garages everywhere were inspired to build their own surd devices. The result is no shortage of projects that can be found across boating forums, Google, and YouTube. These homemade products display a vast range of design, quality, and creativity.
On one end of the spectrum, you will find high-quality projects with fit-and-finish befitting a factory installation and advantaged electronics to control the device. At the other end of the spectrum are quick and dirty projects made from plywood or cutting boards that are held on the swim platform using clamps. Although they may be functional, they certainly aren’t attractive, and can be dangerous.
The emergence of these wakesurfing systems has completely transformed wakesurfing. These devices have made wakesurfing a more convenient and enjoyable experience for riders and everyone in the boat. These surf devices are arguably the most revolutionary products since the introduction of wakeboard towers nearly two decades ago. In a few years we will probably all laugh about back in the day when we rode without wakesurf systems.
Yes, it is still possible to weight a boat asymmetrically and generate a surfable wake. Some people will even tell you they prefer the wave that is generated from that configuration. The convenience and performance associated with modern wakesurf systems is hard to pass on though. Spend more time riding and less time messing with your ballast. Start riding behind a wakesurf system today.