Water sports are always a popular summer activity with almost 20% of millennials partaking in some kind of water sport. Wakeboarding and wakesurfing have become in demand in recent years and with almost 13 million households owning a boat in the United States, it’s becoming a fun family activity. Many waterside areas will also often have boat rentals and may offer rental equipment to wakeboard or wakesurf if you don’t have your own gear. In some cases, you may also be able to take lessons if you’re a beginner and want to learn. Many wakeboarding enthusiasts will explain why a bigger wake is better and offer tips for how you can achieve this bigger wake. We’ll talk about some of the differences between wakeboarding and wakesurfing, why a bigger wake is better, and how you can achieve a bigger wake.
What’s the Difference Between Wakeboarding and Wakesurfing?
Though they may sound similar and use similar types of gear, wakeboarding and wakesurfing are not the same sport. When one wakesurfs, the surfer is on a small surfboard behind a boat, catching the boat’s wake. The rider isn’t pulled by the boat, though they are attached at the beginning to get up on the wake. Wakesurfing boards aren’t typical surfboards, but designed to be used specifically for wakes. Wakesurfing ropes tend to be shorter than wakeboarding ropes (20 feet compared to anywhere from 52 and 78 feet). Wakesurf boards are also a bit larger than wakeboards, at around five feet. Wakeboards are anywhere from 130 o 147 centimeters long.
In terms of wakeboarding, a rider uses a wakeboard to ride over the water’s surface. This is completely towed by a motorboat at speeds of anywhere from 18-25 miles per hour. One tends to do more tricks on a wakeboard (as compared to a wakesurf board) and speed can be adjusted depending on how big your board is and what your comfort level is. Wake size may affect what kinds of tricks can be done.
Tell Me Why a Bigger Wake is Better
As with almost anything, there’s some disagreement over why a bigger wake is better. For those who are more advanced in the sport, a bigger wake means more time and height to try new tricks and challenge themselves. In short, you’ll get more air time. Bigger wakes mean that riders can keep pushing the sport to new heights — literally.
However, for more novice riders, a bigger wake can be intimidating, especially since falls can hurt more. A smaller wake can also be more manageable and let newer wakeboarders focus on their technique.
As you can see, there are mixed feelings about what’s better to have. Much of it depends on your skill level and comfort level. Luckily, there are ways you can adjust your wake, depending on who’s in the boat and wants to wakeboard, and with wakeboarding becoming ever more popular, there are always new things to try.
How Can I Achieve a Bigger Wake?
If you are looking for a bigger wake, adding a ballast system is likely what you’ll want to go for. Essentially, the ballast system adds weight at the back of the boat, which displaces water. If your boat is specifically designed for wakesurfing or wakeboarding will have ballast systems already built in. The bigger the wake you want, the more ballast you’ll want added. Professionals can help you figure out what’s appropriate for your boat.
For wakeboarding, you probably want equal weight distribution in the front and the back, so that’s something to keep in mind when you add more ballast. For wakesurfing, you generally are going to need more wake in the back in general, to create the right kind of wake for surfing without a tow rope.
If you live near a body of water, take advantage of all the incredible water sports available. See what rental places near you offer in terms of equipment. Wakeboarding and wakesurfing are two fun activities that children and adults alike can all participate in and enjoy.