wakesurf-system-buyers-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 (1/2019) every surf device that is available, whether aftermarket or factory, 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.

What Are The Advantages of a Wakesurf System or Device?

Evenly Weight Your Boat: 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.

Quickly Switch Surf Sides: 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.

A More Consistent Surf Wave: 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 the aftermarket wakesurf device options and not OEM devices on new boats.

The Two Types of Aftermarket Wakesurf Devices: Suction Cup and Velcro

When it comes to aftermarket surf devices, there are basically two different attachment options. The first and most popular are mounted to the boat via a suction cup system. The second, uses velcro to attach the surf device to your boat. There are pros/cons to each type of attachment that we’ve outlined below.

Suction Cup Wakesurf Device Pros

  • No mounting base (velcro) required.
  • Allows you to easily relocate the device's mounting location.
  • Suction Cup Wakesurf Device Cons

  • Requires a mostly flat surface to mount to - a slightly curved surface can work, but any interruption under the suction cups can cause it to fall off.
  • Velcro Wakesurf Device Pros

  • The velcro not only sticks great, but provides an easy reference point so you know where to mount the device every time.
  • Velcro Wakesurf Device Cons

  • Needs to be replaced periodically every 1-2 seasons.
  • The velcro remains on the boat.
  • MISSION Boat Gear Wakesurf Devices

    Similar to Go Surf Assist, and the Eight.3 Surf Shaper, the DELTA Universal Wakesurf System aims to create that perfect wakesurfing wave behind the boat you already own. The DELTA 2.0 and ECHO attach to your boat using two heavy-duty HyLoft suction cups and deploy a panel on the opposite side you are surfing.

    Mission Boat Gear DELTA 2.0

    Completely redesigned for 2019, the DELTA 2.0 is packed with new technology. The best-selling aftermarket wakesurf device is back with RipFlow Technology for even better wave building performance. The RipFlow faceplate induces more turbulence than larger wake shapers, but still performs well at slower speeds because of the increased water flow. To make the DELTA 2.0 even better, the team at Mission decided to upgrade the attachment with their proprietary HyLoft suction cups. These high-performance suction cups are designed to accommodate the contoured surfaces of complex boat hulls, making the 2.0 even more versatile than its predecessor. The 2.0 is also the first wakesurf device to come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

    Mission Boat Gear ECHO

    The ECHO is Mission’s first attempt at creating a “price-point” surf device that offers drop-the-handle wave performance for under $250. The ECHO comes standard with HyLoft suction cups and a 1-Year Warranty.

    Learn more about Mission Boat Gear Wakesurf Devices at WakeMAKERS.com»

    Eight.3 Wakesurf Shapers

    Another brand of aftermarket wakesurf devices that are available for use on nearly any inboard boat is the Eight.3 Wakesurf Shaper line. Eight.3 has three different wakesurf device options.

    Eight.3 Blade 138 Wakesurf Device

    The company that started the wakesurf device craze, Eight.3, is continuing to innovate and develop the most advanced wakesurf devices on the water today. Their newest creation is the Blade 138. After seeing all the other suction cup products hit the market with rave reviews, the team of engineers at Ronix set out to design a suction cup mounting Eight.3 Wakesurf Shaper. A cleaner, taller, wider wave is just a Blade away.

    Eight.3 Wakesurf Shaper 108 Original

    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 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.

    Eight.3 Wakesurf Shaper XL 205 Original

    The biggest wakesurf device from Eight.3, the XL, uses velcro adhesion to mount to the side of the boat. The velcro makes it easy to stick it to the same ‘sweet spot’ on the side of your boat every time for a consistent wave. It also allows it to work with boats that have a step in the hull thanks to its included removable shims that make for a flush mounting surface. Its legendary performance can be attributed to its ability to displace water. No other wakesurf device moves masses of water quite like the XL Wakesurf Shaper does.

    The engineers and riders at Ronix developed all three of these wakesurf devices to revolutionize the performance of your boat. Extensive testing on direct drives and v-drives shows any boat consistently produces an amazing wakesurf wave when coupled with these devices and wakeboard ballast.

    Learn more about Eight.3 Wakesurf Shapers at WakeMAKERS.com»

    Wakesurf Edge Wakesurf Devices

    No more small waves. No more trying to surf whitewash. Enjoy a modern wakesurf wave by sticking one of these suction cup aftermarket wakesurf devices to the side of your boat. The patented concave technology on the face of these wakesurf devices has been proven to displace water more efficiently, making your wave taller and longer than other wakesurf devices.

    Wakesurf Edge Pro Wake Shaper 2.0

    New for 2019, Wakesurf Edge introduced two new surf devices the Mega and the 2.0. Both of these surf devices feature a new concave suction cup attachment system which works better on a variety of boat hulls compared to the 1.0 version.

    Wakesurf Edge Mega Wave Shaper

    Another new device for 2019, the Mega Wave Shaper is the big brother to the 2.0. If you have a larger boat (22’ - 25’) we recommend using the Mega over the 2.0. Both devices feature the patented concave faceplate and updated suction cups for better performance on curved boat hulls.

    Learn more about Wakesurf Edge at WakeMAKERS.com»

    Go Surf Assist Aftermarket Wakesurf System

    The first commercially available fully-automated wakesurf system was the Go Surf Assist 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. Go Surf Assist delivers modern wakesurf technology to older model boats.

    Learn more about Go Surf Assist at WakeMAKERS.com»

    Do-It-Yourself Wakesurf Devices

    When Malibu introduced SurfGate to the market, do-it-yourselfers in garages everywhere were inspired to build their own surf 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. On top of all that, these homemade aftermarket systems can even decrease the value of your boat if they don't have a professional fit and finish.

    Conclusion

    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.