How To Wake Surf
Wakesurfing is exciting and one of the fastest growing water sports.Because a boat can provide you an endless wave on which to practice and hone your skills, wakesurfing is rapidly becoming one of the most popular board sports for inboard boat owners across the globe. No longer is surfing relegated to only those in coastal areas, wake surfing has unlocked this epic sport for anyone with access to water.
Warning! Never Wake Surf behind an outboard or inboard/outboard boat. Wake surfing requires an inboard boat where the propeller is tucked under the boat forward of the rudder. Wakesurfing behind an inboard/outboard or outboard boat exposes the surfer to the propeller which can lead to serious injury or death! Wake surfing behind an inboard exposes the rider to serious fun!
Wakesurfing Boards and Equipment
Obviously you need a wakesurf board to give it a try. Its best to use a board designed specifically for the unique shape of a boat wake for wake surfing. Many people have tried to use old surfboards (including myself) usually leading to fairly mediocre results. In order to begin, learn and progress it is important to use equipment that is designed for wake surfing. For beginning wakesurfers, we recommend a large "surf style" board. Surf style boards are generally larger and thicker. We like to see a family who is interested in learning to wake surf buy a board like the Hyperlite Landlock or Ronix Duke. These large boards are more buoyant and stay with the wake better than smaller more agile boards. Their stability make it easier to wake surf even with smaller wakes or less rider ability. Many riders will quickly progress and want more agile wakesurf boards but these boards will still get used frequently teaching friends and family how to wake surf.
Wake surfing rope/ handle- Wake surf ropes are often much thicker than wakeboard ropes and frequently have knots or areas to grip along the rope because you may need to hold on and pull yourself into the sweet spot of the wake. Wakeboard ropes are thin, hard to hold on to and can wrap around your hands and arms creating a dangerous situation. Wake surfing is all about having fun, so keep it safe and pick up a line intended for wakesurfing and everybody will have a better time.
Boat - As we already mentioned, Only wake surf behind an inboard boat. Inboard boats have the propeller tucked up underneath the transom of the boat which allows for wake surfing. Outboard and inboard/outboard boats have an exposed propeller, which is a very serious safety concern for the rider.
Weighting your boat- Wake surfing requires additional weight on the side of the boat you intend to surf (most people surf on the port/left side). Normally, adding weight in the rear of the boat will help you create a larger wake, which is suitable for surfing. Each and every boat is different, so experiment with weight placement and the amount of weight.
Driving the boat- When pulling up a wake surfer, you should accelerate even slower than when pulling a wakeboarder. Boat speed will vary with make, model and amount of weight but usually around 10-11 mph is ideal The boat should create a clean and crisp wake, you wouldnt want to surf a mushy wave would you? Drive the boat straight, not in a circle.
Getting up- When getting up you should lie on your back and bend your knees, much like getting up on a wakeboard. Allow the surf board to float naturally and keep it at a 90 degree angle to you and the boat with the nose of the board facing away from the boat. Place your feet on the board so that your heels rest on the board and your toes are pointing up. Depending on the board your back foot should be somewhere around a foot from the back of the board. Your feet should be shoulder-width or slightly farther apart.
When the boat accelerates and the rope tightens up, keep slight pressure on your heels, which will flip the board up to meet your feet. Once you bring the board to your feet, keep your arms straight out in front of you and keep your knees sucked up to your chest. Resist the urge to stand up to quickly as this can cause you to be unstable. Once you are out of the water and the board is on plane, stand up with a bit of a knees bent stance so that you are balanced on the board.
Edge the board away from the boat and the wake so you can get your balance and adjust your feet. Depending on which side of the boat you are riding and which foot forward you use, you will want to adjust your feet so that your toes (regular riders and left side of the boat) or your heels (goofy riders on the left side of the boat) are closest to the edge of the board which is closest to the wake. This will allow you to hold an edge or keep the board in the side of the wave. Once you have moved your feet, gradually edge towards the wake. Once at the wake, use the wake surf rope to position your self in the pocket. This is the area of the wake that generates power and momentum, keeping you moving with the boat.
You can generate speed and momentum by applying weight to your front foot. On the flip side you can decelerate your board by applying pressure to your back foot. Mastering this technique is crucial to being able to stay in the pocket and riding the endless wave. Coil up some extra line and practice riding in the pocket of the wake. When you can consistently ride without tension on the rope you are ready for the next step. By coiling up some line you will be able to experiment and if/when you fall behind the sweet spot you can pull yourself forward to get back into it.
Once you are comfortable with staying in the pocket, let go of the rope and have somebody in the boat pull it in . After all this is wake surfing, not wake towing! Have a question regarding a board? Give us a call at 763-404-7372, or feel free to email us at [email protected]. Also, check out our online chat for quick and easy answers. For our complete selection of Wakesurf Boards, wake surf ropes, and wakesurfing products, click here
Now that you've got your board picked out, it's time to go wake surfing!
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