First there was Surfing. Then surfers, waiting for the wave, were just going to ride a board behind the boat. Later they came up with a wakeboard — on a shortened floating board they put snowboard boots specially and put a water ski rope in their hands. At the same time, «wake carriers» appeared — towing vehicles with ballast to create a wave and a higher attachment point for the halyard. In general, a wakeboard does not have strict requirements for the wave that a boat creates: some like it higher and sharper, some — softer. But the presence of special improvements really plays a role. From the main one: «tower» (a sports arch with a height of about 2-2.5 m for fastening), and a modified steering system, which allows you to return for fallen wakeboarders along a noticeably smaller radius. Oddly enough, wake is one of the rare sports where it is more difficult for men to get on the board than women. Because they are corny stronger and try to outweigh the boat, especially with a weak engine. It’s easier for girls: there is not enough strength, so you can wait for normal traction from the boat and stand on the board. But in fact, power is very important, the more powerful the motor, the easier it is to stand on the board.
The wakeboard was replaced by wakesurfing, they removed the boots from the board and said that it turns out that it is possible to drop the halyard after getting out of the water …
Maybe a «skimboard» is a thin flat board with small fins. More designed for tricks and professionals.
Or «classic wakesurf» with large volume and buoyancy with full-size fins. The riding style is reminiscent of good old surfing.
But whether all boats are suitable for wakesurfing, which bowriders create the best wave, what to install on your boat for surfing — a little about all the technological nuances.
Extreme and incredible adrenaline rush — that’s what wakesurfing gives. A good tug boat «gives out» the correct and sufficient power wave, which wakeists use for tricks on the water.
Just because you went out and bought a wakesurf board doesn’t mean you can get behind any boat and try to “ride” the wave. It is necessary either to choose a specialized manufacturer of tug boats that create a wave or look for a multipurpose boat, but with those options that will allow you to wake.
Until recently, it was generally accepted that MasterCraft, Malibu, Centurion and Supreme boats were the best in their segment for wakesurfing. Indeed, these brands are often chosen by professional surfers. It is these towing vehicles that are usually used in all sorts of competitions.
But the sport is developing very quickly, the skill of the wake players and the requirements for the towing vehicle are increasing. Therefore, these wake boats have already passed into the category of «good old», or classic wakesurf boats.
Other brands have already succeeded in the advanced upgrade. For example, the same Bayliner with a sports bow, new powerful motors and an active trim system can easily pull a wakeboard and create a wave for surfing.
And new brands with innovative bodies, with trim plates, carbon sports bows and powerful new outboards, are entering the sports niche. The award-winning example of this is the best bowrider of 2020 — the Finnish Saxdor 200 Pro Sport with its Mercury ProXS, which successfully took the lead. The ease of handling captivates even the most sophisticated riders, and the engine power leaves no room for competition.
How to upgrade a boat: life hacks and installation of professional equipment
First, a little theory. The size and power of the wave depends on the displacement of the boat. To get the best experience, look for a boat with a lot of internal ballast to make the hull heavier. The shape and length of the wave will depend on this.
In addition to the total weight of the ballast, its location should also be considered. If all the ballast is placed right in the rear of the boat, it will have a lot of bulging nose, which will make it difficult for the driver to see and burn more fuel. Ballast should be evenly distributed throughout the boat, with a small margin in the stern.
The type of boat hull is also important. The Deep-V hull offers several additional benefits: First, it provides a smoother ride in rough water as it cuts through the waves rather than jumping on them.
Modern «wake carriers» should easily, literally, in 1-2 seconds, switch the wave from one side to another, and adjust its «steepness». The wave tuning and adjustment system can be critical as you are a beginner today and a pro tomorrow. And for you, as a rider, it will be of fundamental importance to be able to suit your skills and desires to change the sizes, styles and types of waves for riding.
If you already have a boat, and at the same time you want to master wakesurfing, then the boat can be re-equipped. You will have to add a «tower» (sports bow for attaching the halyard), trim plates or ballast tanks with pumps, and install propellers that are offset under the bottom, facing forward. Depending on the stationary engine, the sterndrive that Mercury offers with their latest Bravo 4S or Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive can be fitted.
Wake innovation: different from others
It’s about Heyday. By purchasing this brand, Bayliner has firmly mastered the wakesurfing niche.
The Heyday Inboard line of boats, in particular the WT-1, WT-1Sc, WT-2 and WT-Surf models, quickly conquered the market. Their body is designed to create a strong wave for both surfing and wakeboarding. These are economical, technically proven wake boats that create an excellent wake-up thanks to their innovative hull shape and displacement.
Heyday was designed by almost the same team that actually pioneered wakeboarding, including Cotton Welshan, who has been designing boats for the sport for over 30 years. Surely these people understand something about wakesurfing.
The four models Heyday manufactures range from 6.09 to 7.62 m (20 to 25 feet), and each is designed to fulfill a specific function. The WT-1 is the entry-level model and the WT-Surf is the largest boat in its line, with the most ergonomically designed space. It can accommodate 17 people.
Once you understand the basics of such a wonderful sport as wakesurfing, you can easily choose a new boat or upgrade an existing one.
And then, as the riders say, hit the wave, it’s worth it!