There is no question that wakeboarding is an entertaining water activity that has attracted the attention of many enthusiasts. A wakeboard works similar to that of water skis, with feet that are attached safely to a single board. It is also similar to snowboarding but on water. Your entire wakeboarding experience may be enhanced by learning how to set up a boat for wakeboarding.
What You Need
- Wakeboard rope
- Wakeboard tower/pylon extender
- Add-on weight (fat sack, dumbbells)
Step 1: Select Your Boat
The very first thing that you need to do is choosing your boat. Any type of boat will work well, given that they come with a motor that is huge enough to be able to pull a border, getting up to speed. Still, wakeboard specific boat with an inboard engine is more suitable than outboards of any type. As you continue to improve in your skill, you would want a boat that is wakeboard specific designed to through a bigger wake.
Step 2: Get the Right Rope
Get a rope that is specifically designed for this specific type of water activity. Ski ropes will also work well. Make sure that they are not too stretchy for executing jumps and advanced tricks. A line that is wakeboard specific usually features a little stretch, one with removable sections for customized grip and a better grip.
Step 3: Attach the Rope to the Boat
Next is to attach the rope to your boat. Boats that are not designed for activities such as skiing usually come with an attachment close to the rear. These types of boats usually come with a pylon close to the boat center. Wakeboarding boats, on the other hand, come with a full tower which is attached to the boat sides, extending through the boat, with the rope attachment on top, in the middle. After the rope is attached to the boat you are ready to perform some basic wakeboarding tricks.
Step 4: Use a Pylon Extender
A pylon extender can be used if you are using a pylon, instead of a tower. This helps in raising the rope attachment 4 or 5 feet high, thus ensuring a better takeoff. The pylon extender easily slips right into the existing pylon, with an extra attachment on the front side of the boat, offering better stability.
Step 5: Improve Wake Size
The wake size can be improved by adding weight to the wakeboard. A huge wake is needed if you are interested in performing those wake-to-wake jumps, as well as in-air tricks. This also helps in lowering the boat into the water while it rides, thus raising the wake volume and size. Boats that are designed specifically for wakeboards will usually feature ballast tanks built-in to them. All you need to do is to flip a switch to add weight automatically. This very same switch also works in emptying the weight when finished.
Step 6: Use a Fat Sack
A fat sack can be used if you are using a boat that is non-wakeboard specific. This refers to a bladder of water filled using a garden hose or electric pump. These are designed to fill fast, adding hundreds of pounds. They also empty fast. You can utilize one or more, putting them first in the boats’ rear, evenly putting more sacks around the boat. Make sure that you are not adding more weight than what is recommended by your boat manufacturer.
Another option to add weight is by using plastic buckets that are filled with water or concrete, lead dumbells, or sandbags. Evenly put the weight around the boat, emphasizing on the rear. Adding more people also gives your boat extra weight, just don’t go beyond the recommendations of the manufacturer.
Step 7: Stay Safe
The particular techniques in driving will vary based on your preferences. The usual speeds for driving range from 18 to 25 miles per hour. The typical length of rope is from 55 to 65 feet. Make sure to wear a life jacket. Jackets that are made out of neoprene can further comfortable, though more affordable and traditional nylon jackets will also work. High-priced ones are not always effective, and may not even be approved as life-saving devices.
Now that you know how to set up a boat for wakeboarding, you are ready for a better experience with this water sport. There are some things that you need to remember, though. For example, it is often best not to add more weight than what is recommended by your boat manufacturer. This will only reduce the maneuverability of your boat, thus increasing the risk of sinking or capsizing.
You can begin slowly with smaller wakes. As you continue to learn and your skill improves, you can add more weight or explore at different speeds. If you find this article useful, feel free to share. You can also share your thoughts in the comments section below.