Wakesurfing is an exciting yet challenging watersport that involves a person trailing behind a boat and riding in its wake once the waves get high enough. The sport is similar to wakeboarding, though the two differ in how the wave riding is done. In wakeboarding, the rider is towed by a boat throughout the ride. But in wakesurfing, the rider releases the rope to ride the wake once the waves peak.
While other related watersports use surfboards or large wakeboards for riding waves, wakesurfers use their own kind of board specifically designed for the activity. You also need a variety of equipment to stay safe and ride well.
This post will help you know what gear you need for wakesurfing and how to get started.
What Gear You Will Need
To get started with wakesurfing, you’ll need specific equipment to learn and ride comfortably. The following are the essential gear to have:
- A Wake Boat: A wake boat is part of the essential equipment for wakesurfing. You can’t get any waves to ride at all if you don’t have a boat making it for you. However, not every boat is suitable for wakesurfing. A good wakesurfing boat should have its engine near the back to help produce large waves. It should also be equipped to produce regular speeds in changing water conditions. If you have the budget, you can buy a new wakesurfing boat that’s fully loaded with everything needed to produce excellent waves. But if you’re working under a budget, you can use ordinary second-hand boats. Although it will need some experimenting, you’ll obtain a nice setup that suits your needs with time.
- Boards: When it comes to wakesurf boards, prefer USA-made boards to get the best board quality and surfing experience. As a beginner, you might have to start out with a longer board, as it moves at a low speed and is stable. This will give you more time to grasp the basics of getting up and balancing on the board. Make sure it has a long center fin because this helps you ride in a straight line. The board should also have a large traction pad to give your feet more space to grip, letting you ride longer without slipping off of it. Once you get better at wakesurfing, you can choose smaller boards with smaller fins to enjoy high speed.
- Life Jackets: Safety is always a priority in any sport. In wakesurfing, life jackets are mandatory pieces of wakesurfing gear, even if you’re a professional swimmer. It’s always good to wear a life jacket to be on the safe side, especially if you’re starting out. Even if you’re good at swimming, a lot of things can still happen to you to make getting out of the water difficult. An additional tip you should consider is getting a bright-colored jacket. This makes you easier to find if you fall in the water.
- Wakesurfing Rope: A wakesurfing rope is different from a wakeboarding rope. It has a thicker, shorter cord with thick padded handles to help riders pull themselves into sweet spots of the wake.
- Safety Flags: Though not mandatory, safety flags can also come in handy if you’re wakesurfing. If you fall in the water, your boat driver can raise the flag to signal other boats to ride with caution because there’s a person in the water.
- Ballast Bags: These are essential for providing weight at the back side of the boat you’ll be wakesurfing with. Ballast bags make the boat sit back on the water, helping it produce the ideal waves. However, you should check the boat’s capacity to avoid going over weight guidelines.
How To Get Started Wakesurfing
Once you acquire all the necessary wakesurfing equipment, you’re ready to go on your first ride. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you learn to wake surf.
- After you have your equipment in the water, the first step is to learn how to get up on the board. Set it perpendicularly to the boat, then sit on the water with your heels on the nearest rail and your toes pointing up.
- Next, firmly hold the wakesurfing rope and signal the boat to start moving. Slowly lift yourself on the board. Stay outside of the wake until you’re comfortable riding in that position.
- Then, gently drift into the wake and outside the wave until you grasp the rhythm. To increase speed and get closer to the boat, put more weight on your front foot. Put weight on your back foot to move back.
- Finally, balance your front and back foot to find the sweet spot. Once you have this position, release the rope and throw it on the boat. You may now comfortably ride on the wake.
There you have it! This should cover the basics of what you need to get started with wake surfing. To get better at it, put in tons of practice and ride with people who can help you improve. Here’s to great waves and smooth rides.