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How to Setup & Weigh Down Your Boat for Wake Surfing

In recent years wake surfing has gained immense popularity. What can we say? It’s a thrilling, incredible, adrenaline-pumping sport that’s relatively safe. 

Many people still try to wakesurf without proper preparation. They still think you can wakesurf behind any boat. 

Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Even with the proper type of wake surf boat, you will still need to set up and prepare for your boat. In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about setting up and weighing your wake surf boat for wake surfing. 

supra boat wake surfing

The Perfect Wakesurf Boat

Only one type of boat is specifically designed for wake surfing and that is a wake boat. Wake boats displace significantly more water than other types of tow boats, and are much safer for wake sports due to their inboard engine.

Be sure to find a wake boat with a deep V-drive and plenty of ballast space. These features help the boat create a consistent wake regardless of the weather conditions.

How To Weigh Down Your Wakesurf Boat

The wake created by the wake surf boat is produced when the v-drive hull of a wake boat is pushed into the water. A deep v-shaped wake follows the boat as long as it is weighed down enough, and this should give riders ample space to explore their creativity. Here are a few factors to consider when weighing down your boat ahead of launch:


Before doing anything with your ballast, remember that the weight of your passengers also contributes to the overall weight of your boat. A simple way to adjust the weight of your boat, instead of adjusting your ballast, is to change the seating arrangement for your crew.

Passenger positioning will be different with each boat because the boat’s weight is different. But the goal is ultimately to ensure that there is enough weight to create wake, and enough balance on the x-axis to ensure a consistent ride for the wake surfer.

Wake Surf Boats Factory Ballast

The ballast system is a feature in the boat that is used for adding weight to and leveling your boat. If you’re only on an entry-level wake surfer, the factory-built ballast on your boat might be sufficient to create a proper wake.

But, if you want to create a bigger wake, consider looking to add ballast bags to create more water displacement.

Wake Surf Boats Ballast Bags

A ballast bag is an additional weight you can set on your boat. It allows your boat to sit lower in the water and create more water displacement. Ballast bags are a great way to ensure a deep wake when the crew is lighter than usual. But be sure to take the boat on a test run with only a few passengers to see how the ballasts affect your ability to control the boat. 

Types Of Inboard Wake Surf Boats

With inboard wake surf boats, you can choose two types of drive. The drive type determines the positioning and setup of your ballast bags.

Direct Drive Wake Surf Boat

The engine is placed in the boat’s center. This means the weight of your boat will be in the center of the boat.

With direct drive boats, you’ll want to place your ballast on the side of your boat instead of in the center toward the back. This will allow your boat to be more stable and safe to drive.

V-Drive Wake Surf Boat

The second type is a V-Drive wake surf boat. The engine is placed on the rear side of the boat, and with this type of boat, ballast bags should be placed near the engine, and toward the center of the boat.

Wake Surf Boats Speed

The last thing you need to know to set up the perfect wake surfing experience is the speed of your boat. These are just general guidelines because a different positioning and leveling of your boat will also influence the wake you create.

12 – 14 mph: Entry-Level Speed

This is a great starting speed if you’re new to wake surfing. While there aren’t as many opportunities for air, or crazy tricks, this is a great speed for getting comfortable with the board.

Entry Level Wake Surf Boat: Supra SL

As for the entry level wake surf boat, the Supra SL is one of your best choices. The boat fits up to 17 people, and is the perfect boat for you to have a fun ride with friends and family.

15 – 19 mph: Riding For Comfort

Once comfortable standing and moving on the board, you can start speeding up to 15 to 19 mph. This is the best speed to start trying new tricks.

Comfort Riding Wake Surf Boat: Supra SR

Supra SR is the perfect wake surf boat for riding in comfort. With premium JBL audio attached to the tower, versatile usage, and a dynamic model, driving the Supra SR is a great time.

20.5 – 24 mph: Experienced Rider

After you’re comfortable and confident with your skill, this might be the safest speed to wake surf on. With this speed, any leveling will still create a massive wake that you will be able to do your tricks on. This is the speed used by most pro-level wake surfers.

Advanced Wake Surf Boat: Supra SA

As for those who would like to try pro level wake surfing, Supra SA will be the best choice for you. As the official towboat of the PWT (Pro Wake Tour) for the last 6 years, Supra SA has the perfect design and speed for a pro-level wake surfer.

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