Picking the Right Wakesurfer

There are a few factors that come into play when choosing a wakesurfer. Some are based on the rider and others are based on a bit of personal preference and what you're chasing. Surfing is much more of a recreational sport and means you can use our guide right here at Skiforce to work out what wakesurfer will work best for you

Length & Volume

The length of a wakesurfer is measured in feet and inches like a traditional surfer, but which size you choose in each model is to a degree personal preference. Despite this though a wakesurfer will still have a weight recommendation based on the volume of a wakesurfer and the model (if you're carrying a bit of extra Christmas lunch weight, you're probably not going to want to ride the smallest size). Below we will give you the breakdown between bigger and smaller wakesurfers:

A larger wakesurfer has more volume and in turn has much more float allowing for those of us that like to... ahem. enjoy our summers. The other advantage of a bigger board is for boats with smaller waves or less push, the added float balances out the wave. They're also great for beginners.

A smaller wakesurfer is going to be considerably more manoeuvrable and faster on the wave. If you're more confident in your ability on a wakesurfer, then a smaller board will probably be more your go to. In this case though, it is handy to note that a smaller board will not suit smaller waves unless it's for a little tacker.

Wakesurf Shapes

Wakesurfers are derived from 2 major categories, your traditional style surfboard for out in the swell and skim style boards. The reason for this comes down to giving you the full choice of what is possible behind a boat, leading to 3 classification on surfers; Surf style, Hybrid style and Skim style.

Surf Shapes
A surf style is exactly what it sounds like, a shape that is inspired by surfboards or more specifically shortboards. Only smaller again. They are always going to be directional in nature (if you're planning to spin, make sure you go the whole way round) and generally have a wider tail, whether that be squared off or a fish style. When it comes to surf style wakesurfers, you're pretty much guaranteed they are going to be buoyant and track super easy thanks to overall large volume and plenty of fin options. Best part you can pump, push or lay out big soul enriching turns on these bad boys.

Hybrid Shapes
This is what you expected it to be, a hybrid of both surf and skim that will do a bit of both but not be entrenched in either. These shapes will borrow from both, normally more buoyant and floaty, but they will also be shaped to suit a freer flowing style that can be thrown around with ease. To put it simply the freedom of a skim board, balanced with the comfort of a surf. The best part you will have a few fin setups that allow you to adjust the feel of the board as well.

Skim Shapes
These guys are short, loose and way more playful on the water then the above mentioned. Using smaller wakeboard style fins, a less buoyant design and normally a flat base. A skim style will be much slipperier on the water as opposed to a tracking surf style, but release with ease. If you fancy yourself as one of those guys that seems to always be good at everything, these guys will spin, slide and pop off the wave with ease. Just don't try to soul turn them unless you want a nice serving of lake water.


Wakesurf Sizing

Sizing on wakesurfers is very subjective and here at Skiforce.com each product will have a sizings and corresponding weight ranges for that surfer. The reason for this is due to the sizings and volume of each board leading to greater buoyancy in say a certain surf model in comparison to a skim board. 

Another factor that influences size is dependant on your boat wake, the bigger and faster your boat wake, the short you can ride. If you're riding a smaller wake or the wave has less 'push' you might want to ride a longer board to give you some extra float and push

Wakesurfer Construction

Compression Molded
The most durable of the constructions, a compression molded design is firstly the heaviest of the constructions in most cases, but will also stand up to trials and tribulations of daily boating life. This construction is normally made by cooking the outer shell in a press like a toasted sandwich, except with more pressure obviously. This creates the tougher exterior. While being relatively easy and inexpensive to do, the one downfall to this process is the core that is used will normally be a denser core to not burn out.

Dura-Shell, Surface Construction
Everyone has their own name for this type of construction. Made in a similar way to the compression molded style boards, through that sandwich press process, the dura-shell or surface style use a lighter core and essentially slow cook the board to perfection. The advantage, a much lighter board with all the strength of a compression molded. The downfall? it's more expensive and takes considerably longer. Think cooking chicken in a microwave to slow cooked lamb, you know the slow cooked meat is going to taste better, it just takes so DAMN LONG!

Vacuum Sealed
Now we get to your more expensive processes, a vacuum sealed style of construction can use the lightest cores and creates a finish that allows every board to be identical and free of blemishes. The is done by the outer layer being applied and then formed in a bag that removes all the air for a tight and precise finish. These guys will typically surf the best between compression molded and dura shell, having less friction and more glide speed. Just note, these can damage easier and should be treated with care

Full Surfboard Style
This is the primo, we're not talking like a surfboard here, this is a surboard, just shorter. Hand constructed by bloke in his garage to the best specs that a wakesurfer can be. They will provide a full surf experience that will feel like you're out in the swell on your local back beach. Just note, like a surfboard, these can damage easier and should be treated with care

Rocker

Minimal Rocker
This will make a wakesurfer faster on the wake and give you a smoother ride (eg. skim style surfers).

Increased Rocker
This causes make a wakesurfer slower and will act like a bit of plow leading to bigger sizings in those models. These will be more reactive and respond to the wave more.

Rails

Sharp Rail
A sharp rail is designed to give you more bite and react faster when you lean into your edge, giving you a faster response and a quicker snap through the wave.

Full Surf Rail
Just like a surfboard a fuller surf rail will make the board slightly slower but will be more forgiving and roll through its edges with added smoothness, leading to the ability to do hang out those big floaty carves.

Surf Rope and Handles

Do I Need Them?
They are definitely beneficial and below we will explain why:

Wakesurf ropes and handles firstly are considerably shorter in length as well as thicker. This is a slow speed close to the boat sport, so a 60-80ft rope is probably going to be a bit pointless. The thickness of the rope serves a dual purpose, to take the strain off your body at high torque and to give you an easier grab to pull yourself into the 'sweet spot'. Once you find that sweet spot you can throw the handle back to the boat and be on your merry way. The other reason to stray from wake ropes, they are thinner and tensile. This firstly is harder to grab and pull yourself forward, but can also get tangled and wrap around the surfboard or the rider leading to injury.
 

Wakesurfing and The Boat

We recommend that you only wakesurf behind an inboard engine boat. This is 100% for safety reasons, outboard engines expose a rider to the prop and we don't recommend that you take that on, the last thing we want is a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock film.

What's a Good Boat Speed?
We've found that depending on your boat, a good speed to work off is 10mph to 12mph. This can also be affected by river flow if a river is your local waterway.

How does a boat throw a good wake for wake surfing?

To go wakesurfing, your boat will need to carry some extra weight or have added ballast. adding weight to the centre and side of your boat, will increase the size of your surf wave and in turn, your surf experience. Theres a few weight techniques to help with your surf wave. Firstly is the most common nowadays, most boats will have an inbuilt ballast system, this gets rid of all the work. Secondly is to get external ballast bags, which you can fill with water to weight the boat down, once you fill them though you won't be moving them easily. Lastly is anything you can find that is heavy, bricks, random blocks of lead, your 'fluffy' cousin Rick, a dead body. That got dark... maybe disregard that last one.These factors will help fatten up your wake for a great day.
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