Are you dreaming of taking your riding to the next level this summer or getting an extra tweak on grabs or another 180 on your spin? The development of wake riding the past few years has seen leaps and bounds. You may already know that wakes, bigger and better are necessary for progressing your riding in wakeboarding and wakesurfing, and weighing down the boat is the only way to get the best wakes for riding on the level that the pro’s themselves use.
Nautique boats made after the mid 2000’s are designed for this in mind, coming with factory ballast outperforming the weighting options the pros were DIY’ing together with sandbags and lead weights. But in case that’s not enough and you’re looking to keep up with the likes of Cory Teunissen; you might want to add more to your boat to get the best wake for those lip tricks.
So, grab your life jacket, and let’s look at how to properly weigh your boat down for perfect shredding for each sport.
How Much Ballast Do You Need?
Like we mentioned most Nautique Boats come with an integrated ballast system that should be perfect for hobbyist riders. If you’re looking to add a little extra thrill, start out slow using either lead weights or water fill ballast bag systems. It all depends on your own experience and comfort level.
Too much weight, though, will make your ship unstable. Some variables to think about are passengers on the boat, weight of the rider, amount of ballast already onboard. All of these can affect the size and shape of the wake along with depth and boat speed. Any body of water over 12 feet of depth won’t affect your wake shape, anything under that will start changing the way the wake curls over.
When dialing in your weight you’d want to consider the shape of your wake. Watching it as you add weight to either side. For example, if your wake has white water on one side, move your weight over to that same side. It should help clean up the wave. A lot of this is trial and error so don’t get frustrated if it takes you a few outings to dial things in.
A big wake is not really fit for a beginner, unless you’re looking to charge hard and have an extreme experience. Someone fresh on the water shouldn’t try a weighted down boat until they have honed their technique and learned to edge wake to wake.
Lead or Water Weights?
Water based weight bags and lead are the two most popular ways of loading the boat down.
The benefits of using lead ballast are you can easily hide it, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space in your boat. But, contrarily, lead wake can be a bit pricier than Fatsacs water based ballast system, for example. However, if you want to get inventive, you can use lead any kind of weights lying around your house.
With water based ballast, water is everywhere; so, they are easy to use and fill while your boat is in use. With Water Ballast, you are less likely to cause any damage to your boat, too. Lead could slam up against the side of your boat and cause severe damage. Also, you can always use a combination of the two. Put water ballast in the front and the lead in the back.
You will want different Boat Weight options for other sports. For example, waterskiing you want minimal ballast in your boat to make a smoother transition across the wakes. Wakeboarding those same wakes are going to act as jumps you the more weight the better. Same for surfing if you’re trying to get deep into the pocket and surf from where the wave curls over.
How Much Ballast Do You Need for Wakeboarding?
A good weight for wakeboarding is usually between 1000lbs and 2500lbs. Split up 40/60% front end to the back of the boat. You should be able to get a thigh-high wave with your weight distributed this way. However, it is always a good idea to experiment as every wakeboarder is different. Find a buddy willing to help you and ask them if they think your ballast configuration could use any improvement.
How Much Ballast Do You Need for Wake Surfing?
Although a stock boat will make waves, it is unlikely to produce a wake large enough for wakesurfing. Simply put, the boat isn’t heavy enough to move water fast enough so that you can ride it effectively. A more extended wave will result from more weight in the front of the boat. Likewise, you’ll experience a higher wave if the ship has more weight at the back. The ideal wave for wakesurfing, however, weighs equally on the front and back of your boat.
Another Way To Change Your Wave Is a Wake Shaper
Another great way to change the size of your wake is with wake shapers. Wake shapers are simple ways to help shape the path of your boat by changing the angle and direction of the water with a suction cup type of device. They are often angled and connect to the stern of your boat. They make turbulence and cause one stream, instead of two, to flow. Therefore, you have a much smoother and sometimes longer wave. Wave shapers are similar to ballast, but you need to work with it’s positioning until it’s perfect for you or your riders.
Get Ballast at Miami Ski Nautique
Essentially, it all comes down to trial and error. Once you have determined where to place your ballast and which kind you prefer most, you are prepared to rip it up like a pro. Wakeboard, Wakesurf, Foil, Waterski. You’ll be the one giving advice to your friends on how to dial in the perfect wake. And in case you need any of the gear to do it, Miami Ski Nautique sells high-quality ballast bags.
In addition to FATSAC, Fly High, they have Mission Atlas, Eight.3, and more. We really do have all of the wakeboard and wakesurfing equipment you could possibly need for the best ride possible. Hope to see you in store soon!