Wakesurfing is a fun activity to pick up on at your new lakefront home! One of the greatest things about wakesurfing is that the wave is yours—all yours. You don’t need to battle with other surfers for territory or stake your claim to a wave by “dropping in first.” In wakesurfing, you own the wave for as long as you care to ride it—and as long as you #wakeresponsibly.
Wakesurfing can take a bit of practice but you’ll just have to follow these tips and keep on trying…
Find the Right Boat-
Wakesurfing really took off as an offshoot from wakeboarding. People started using wakeboarding boats for surfing, and then the tow boat industry took notice and began to tailor their lines to wakesurfing by cranking up the wakes to new heights. Why did wakesurfing become so popular so quickly? Because you’re less likely to get hurt while wakesurfing than you would if you were water skiing or wakeboarding.
The difference is that the speeds are much, much lower than skiing and wakeboarding and your feet aren’t attached to a wakesurfing board in bindings. When you fall, the board won’t catch under water and tweak the ligaments in your legs.
Tow boats have long been been known for having a wealth of electronics, towers, ballast tanks and wake-tuning systems onboard. The electronics are now primarily touch-screens that control the wake-tuning systems, and the modern stuff is really remarkable. You can store rider preferences and settings, such as ballast levels and tab angles, and make subtle changes based on conditions the day you’re riding.
With the advent of what’s referred to as a “Forward Drive”, sterndrive manufacturers now offer wakesurfing models. The secret is the Forward Drive, which features dual, counterrotating propellers in front of the gearcase rather than in the rear, like traditional sterndrives. That keeps the propellers away from the rider, who is much closer to the boat in wakesurfing than skiing or ‘boarding.
Getting up on a wake surfboard is similar to doing so on a wakeboard. Let the board float crosswise in front of you; prop your heels atop the board in a width equal to your stance. When the boat accelerates, the board will flip up toward your toes and bear against the soles of your feet.
Don’t muscle yourself up. You’ll sink the board. Instead, keep your weight centered and allow the boat to pull you up and on top of the water. As you come up, pivot your hip toward the boat and assume a surfing stance.
Seek the Sweetie
Look for the wake’s sweet spot near the trough, approximately 4 to 5 feet behind the transom. This is where you’ll ultimately be able to toss the tow rope back into the boat and keep on riding by literally surfing the wake.
Stop ‘n’ Go
Your front foot is the gas pedal, and your back foot is the brake. Shift weight to your front foot and you’ll accelerate toward the boat. Distribute weight to your back foot to drop back. Shuttling to stay in the sweet spot is at the heart of wakesurfing.
Surfers feel comfortable facing the wake. A “regular foot” (left foot forward) rider chooses the left side of the wake. A “goofy foot” (right foot forward) rider chooses the right side of the wake.
To boost one side of the wake, add weight to that side and corner of the boat. This can be done with built-in onboard ballast or even passenger position. Your boat won’t ride level: The idea is to pump up the wake.
Now that you’ve been shown the basics of how to wakesurf down… get out there and practice! Don’t get discouraged if you can’t get up your first few times… it takes some adjusting and learning to perfect your ride! Pretty soon all your lakefront neighbors will be jealous and asking for tips!
Posted by Scott Freerksen “The Lake Guy”