This year, the average new wakeboard boat is between $100,000 and $200,000. For most people, this is unaffordable. There is a large amount of boaters trying to get bigger wakes from their boats without buying a new wakeboard boat. The truth is, you do not need a brand new wakeboarding boat to get a pro-level wake. How do you think the pro wakeboarders did it 10-15 years ago? These 5 simple tricks can help you get a bigger wake from your boat without breaking the bank.
1) Fill up your fuel tank
Filling up your fuel tank before boating is always a good idea. Not only does this give you the maximum amount of time to spend on the water before refueling, but it also adds more weight to the boat. For a 40 gallon fuel tank, this equates to almost 250 lbs of weight. That extra waight can help the boat sit farther down in the lake and diplace more water.
2) Bring more friends
Bringing more people on board while wakeboarding can quickly make your wake bigger. People = free weight. Maybe you can even convince them to chip in for gas.
3) Adjust your trim/wake plates
Maybe your boat has a trim plate or a wakeplate on the back of the hull. While results vary from hull to hull, on inboards I find that I can produce a larger wake with the trim/wake plates all the way up in the fully retracted position. On I/0's (inboard/outboards) I find I can get the best wake trimmed all the way down or almost all the way down.
4) Adjust your speed
Are you riding to fast or to slow? The typical wakeboard speed is 21-22 mph but this can vary greatly from boat to boat. The best way to find the correct speed to produce the biggest and cleanest wake behind your boat is to ask the rider to give signs about the speed. For us we use thumbs up to go faster, and thumbs down to slow down. Having a cruise control system (such as Perfect Pass) will allow you to maintain your speed very easily providing your riders with a consistant wake every time.
5) Add ballast
If these things are not enough, consider adding ballast to your boat. Ballast bags allow you to weigh your boat down by filling them with water from the lake. Each ballast bag typically weighs between 350-550 lbs. They are filled using pumps that can be thrown overboard to fill the ballast bags with water. When you are ready to empty the bags, simply attatch the pump to the bag, and place the discharge hose over the side of the boat. Ballast bags can also be plumped into storage areas of your boat and controlled with pumps that fill from thru-hull fittings underneath your boat. If your boat is already equiped with a ballast system, you can even "piggy-back" the bags from your existing pumps/tanks.