Surfing and wakesurfing are two similar water sports. Surfing lets you ride the waves. It’s commonly seen at the beach where professionals and amateurs take their surfboards and wait for the right moment to ride the movement of the ocean waves.
While wakesurfing lets you ride the waves created by a boat. Other vital differences make it an interesting and exciting water sport that you can learn as a surfer or a boating lover. This article will teach you the basics of wake surfing.
Why Wakesurfing Is Popular To Boaters
If you’re away from the ocean, where natural waves are created without artificial effort, wakesurfing is the obvious choice. Not only do you still get to ride the waves, but spectators can see you perform at close range while riding the boat that creates the wake or wave.
Wakesurfing is gaining popularity, with world championship games already having novices and professional athletes competing to be the best at the watersport. Furthermore, it’s a great water sport because it’s safe to do and easy to learn.
In wakesurfing, a motorboat creates the wake, to which the surfer rides with a shorter board. The boats are made heavier to increase the wake amount, presenting a more challenging feat for surfers. When the boat is equipped with more ballast, you will notice that the motorboat would seem close to tipping over to make the best wake.
The passengers of the boat might be helpful in this case. The boat captain can instruct them to move to the same side of the boat to create the weight while, at the same time, being able to watch the surfer from where they are.
Things You Need To Get Started
1. Wakesurf Board
Getting the right wakesurfing board is crucial as you’ll be using this to stand and maneuver on the water. Your usual surfboard may not do the trick. Moreover, you may get one that’s mainly according to preference. Wakesurf boards come in different types: surf, skim, and hybrid.
- Surf Style Boards: Beginners want to start with surf style boards because of their buoyancy and stability. Surfers who are more experienced will find that it’s easier to manage when engaging in high-speed surfing.
- Skim Style: If you like to be more adventurous and learn spins and other wakesurfing tricks, the skim style board is best suited to the purpose. The wakeboards are made best for intermediate and advanced surfers. They are thinner, mostly compression-molded, and have lesser buoyancy.
- Hybrid Boards: These boards are for those who want the best surf and skim style boards. The hybrid boards are best for both surfing and performing tricks. Thus, experienced surfers will enjoy this board more because of its maneuverability.
You can research or consult experienced wakesurfers to know which type is best for you.
2. Boat For Wakesurfing
The first thing to understand is that not all boats are suitable for wakesurfing. The boat’s movement causes the continuous wave to move in the boat’s direction. When a boat has more weight at the front, it creates shorter but longer wakes. If the back of the boat is heavier, it will create waves that are higher in height and shorter in length.
The boat for wakesurfing must not have a propeller exposed at the back since the surfer is trailing behind less than 10 feet. That means the ideal boats must have the type of engines that won’t get in the way and risk the surfer’s safety. Inboard engines are installed inside the hull’s midsection or by the transom. Motorboats with V-drive engines are said to produce the best wakes s they add more weight to the back of the boat without being exposed.
3. Tow Rope
Beginners and experienced wakesurfers must use wakesurf-specific tow ropes with minimal stretch. When the rope is stretchy, it will hinder your best performance, especially for those who want to perform tricks. The rope material must be designed for wakesurfing and made of Dyneema, Spectra, and polyethylene fibers. Additionally, it’s best to use Dyneema as it’s made of thermoplastic polyethylene polymer with a high molecular weight and is considered one of the strongest materials on earth.
The length of the rope will depend on the boat that will be pulling the rider and producing the wake. The rope range must be between 55 and a little over 75 feet. For beginners, they should use a length of 65 feet as it is closer to the wake and the wake produced is narrower.
4. Tow Rope Handles
The handle is important because it stands between the rope and the surfer. It should allow you to grip it comfortably and firmly. If you have smaller hands, the grip should be shorter, and if you have larger hands, it’s best to get a larger grip. However, grips tend to be heavy. So, if you want a lighter, more comfortable grip, you’ll have to invest more.
The mentioned equipment is the basics of wakesurfing. Beginners would want to start with good-quality gear as they are starting. Eventually, they’ll be able to handle gear designed for experienced wakesurfers. Safety is also a must in wakesurfing, and one must follow preventive measures to enjoy the sport with little to no risks of injuring oneself.
Wakesurfing can be a fun and exciting sport when you know the basics of equipment. It’s becoming a popular water sport because surfers can still ride the waves away from the ocean. At the same time, those riding the boat are closer to the action and can enjoy watching wakesurfers. Boat lovers tend to get the adrenaline rush even as spectators.