We got to admit, wake surfing is an expensive sport, it is a luxury, a privilege, but it is also a great opportunity. Wake surfing is the endless wave surfing experience that true surfers dream about. The fun never ends.
So once you are ready to finance your dreams you will start to do research. You might even google “best wake surfing boat” or “best wake surfboard.” Then you might find yourself a little overwhelmed with how many choices there are: boats, boards and accessories. With so many decisions, ultimately, you will want to choose what makes you happy.
With nearly a decade of experience and a daily dedication to the water and without specifically naming brands, here is our advice:
Wake Surf Boats 101:
The bigger the boat = the bigger the wave = more ballast you need to create a bigger wake. We recommend a 23-25 foot boat and a 102 inch beam (width).
How to lengthen the wave? Two simple techniques, either speed up or place more weight in the bow of the boat.
Engine: the bigger the boat, the more ballast and weight applied means that you need an engine that can handle the weight. The days of 350s are over. For power and gas mileage combination we recommend the next step up, a 409
Prop rotation– most inboard boats have a counter clockwise prop rotation, which means that the wave on the regular (port) side will naturally be cleaner than the goofy (starboard) side. Then there are a couple boat models with a clockwise prop rotation. Which side will you be doing most of your surfing on? (Ask us about our new wake shaper devices that will clean up and lengthen your wave on both regular and goofy sides).
Boats and Safety: Around 2007 Larry Mann created an external device to route carbon monoxide down and away from wake surfers called Fresh Air Exhaust. If you own a boat or are looking for a used boat that is not made in California, or one that is made before 2009 then you probably do not have a catalytic converter. Be safe, don’t inhale monoxide, or buy a fresh air exhaust from Mr. Larry Mann. Or better yet, buy a new boat with a catalytic converter that comes standard.
Boats and Re-sale Value: Some people say the best two days on the water is when they buy a boat and also the day that you sell your boat. This might be because you bought an extremely used boat that doesn’t work half the time. But if the best day is when you sell your boat, then it is safe to say that buying a boat with a good re-sale value is a good investment. At the same time it is important to take care of your boat with regular oil changes and maintenance.
The right boat with a powerful and lengthy wave is half the battle. Now you need a board that is your size and your style. Ultimately the best decision you can make is to demo the boat or board before you buy.
Surf vs. Skim– There are two types of boards and then several hybrid, or in-between models. Surf style is with a board that is similar to an ocean surfboard including bigger fins and a wooden stringer designed for greater speed and airs. Skim boards on the other hand are smaller with a single fin and designed for surface tricks and skateboard like maneuvers.
Board size– The right size board is probably the most important thing. The most popular group of new wake surfers at DFW Surf are moms and dads in their 40s and 50s and the weight range is anywhere from 100-160 to 200-280. The difficult part is the 200-280 and finding a board with enough buoyancy to float. Most of the boards on the market are designed to be “boat boards” meaning that they are small, thin and durable and can conveniently fit into board racks. The problem is that the 200-280 lb guy cannot wakesurf without a big enough board that will not be able to fit into a board rack. On the other end of the spectrum are the 4-7 year old groms who struggle to wakesurf because there is not a small enough board on the market for them.
Wake Surf Accessories:
Beyond the boat and board you need some accessories to complete your summer of surf. Grab a swimsuit and a lifejacket that will allow for easy surf maneuverability. Make sure you have a coast guard approved life jacket. Lastly, grab some fat sacs for an even bigger wake and don’t forget the drinks and tunes.
Must Have Accessories:
Can’t afford a boat and want to surf? Look to join our DFW Surf Club.
Just purchased a new or used boat? Let us help you get dialed in. Book a Lesson on Your Boat.
Come check out all of our new gear, place a pre order or demo/ rent a board today at the DFW Surf Shop