Today, one of the most popular water sports is wakesurfing. This innovative activity was first developed by the surfing crowd in the 1960s and 1970s. Wakesurfing involves a rider who trails behind a boat and rides the boat’s wake. The rider is not directly pulled behind the boat. After he gets up on the wake, usually by using a tow rope, he drops the rope and rides the steep face just below the wave’s peak. Wakesurfing requires the use of special boards that are made especially for wakes.
Exact Origins of the Sport
The exact origins of the sport are not known. However, the activity evolved primarily in the ‘70s and ‘80s when the boards that were used were made shorter and shorter. Launching off wakes led to new sports such as skiboarding, skurfing, and ultimately wakeboarding. Because of the sport’s mass appeal, the watercraft industry advanced its technology to enhance the size of the wakes. In turn, wakesurfing emerged from the shadows.
In the last decade, the board designs and boat styles have enabled wakesurfing to rise to a new height. Boats are currently being produced that are specifically designed for the sport. If you want to try wakesurfing today, you can’t try it out behind just any boat.
Special Wakesurfing Boats
You should only wakesurf behind inboard direct-type drive boats or inboard V-drive boats. The inboard boats are required because the propeller is beneath the boat, which means that it is much safer for the wakesurfer. That is why watercraft such as Tige boats in Melbourne are regularly selected for the sport of wakesurfing. Wakesurfing is a safer and more exhilarating sport without an exposed propellor.
How a Wake Is Produced
The first thing to know about building an ideal wake is how the wake is initially created. A wake is produced when a boat moves through the water. In other words, the boat’s hull displaces water, after which the water returns to its former spot. Generally, the more weight in the front of a boat, the shorter the wake height-wise and the longer the wake length-wise. The opposite is true if more weight is placed at the back of a boat. When you wakesurf, only one side of a wake is surfed. To increase a wake’s size, you have to increase the weight on a specific side of the boat.
Where Should Everyone Sit?
For a wake to meet the requirements of wakesurfing, a proper ballast is needed. Boats designed specifically for wakeboarding or wakesurfing feature a factory ballast system. Some makers have the ballasts built into a boat’s floor. When choosing a boat with a ballast, make sure you note the amount of weight the maker says not to exceed. When determining weight, also consider the passengers sitting in the boat. It may take a bit of time to figure out where the best places to sit are. Additional weight in the boat means that less ballast is required.