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Wake progression


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A quick history...

I wakeboarded the first time a couple of months ago behind a sea-doo. I learned to do board slides, and surface 180s. The next time was behind a friends 16ft runabout with no tower. I was able to go wake to wake at least once of my many tries. Two weekends ago I got my new '05VLX in the water and with no ballast or wedge went wtw. This last weekend was my 4th time out and I decided to add ballast/wedge.

I first dropped the wedge and that seemed to be a nice wake for me to jump wtw, and learn toe side 180s off the wake. Then I decided to see what loading up the ballast tanks would do... that's when things started to feel a bit funny.

I'm not sure if PP was not calibrated correctly with the tanks full because I just didn't feel as comfortable cutting to the wake etc. I did clear the wake once, but I also am still feeling the effects of a massive face plant into the wake.

My question...

Should I be taking it slower in growing my wake? If so, how do you weight your boat in the middle ranges? As you get comfortable with one wake size, what do you do next? Do you simply go 1. wedge, 2. bow tank, 3. mid tank, then 4. back tanks? or do you partial fill on some or all of the tanks?

Also, do I need to finesse my PP to deal with full tanks?

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You might try just filling the rear tanks first. I would wait until the last to add in the wedge with all of the tanks full. The wedge seems to make it wider, and seems to add a lip to the wake on my boat. I've been struggling to do a wtw toeside on my boat with the wedge down and all 3 tanks loaded. Saturday my friends recommended pulling up the wedge, and suddenly I was clearing wtw toeside.

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Sounds like you went all out for the sport! congrats!

Multiple part answer

1) yes you might have to play with the settings, specifically KDW and maybe NN or NM, or whatever they call it. When the boat is loaded down the PP needs to be set to a more aggressive setting. Easy to do. Just get out your waterproof cheat sheet.

2) the wake. Books could be wrote on this subject! But first let me ask you what line lenght and speed are you running?

General comments, there really is no right/wrong way to progress, in fact you have probably had a more progressive learning experinece than most. Many people just go all out - all or nothing right off the bat. While riding behind your vlx with just the wedge you may be experiencing a steep wake that helps you get across, it may be leading to sloppy progressive cuts which attribute to the difficulties of a fully loaded wake. Not for sure exactly what or why it's not working out for you but any number of things could be to blame. Give us some more info and check out your PP settings if it's not holding the speed correctly.

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I would suggest a good setup to learn and work on wake to wake jumps would be to not use the wedge but fill all of the on board ballast. Calibrate your PP to make sure it is pulling you somewhere around 21.5-22 mph and adjust the people in your boat so the wake you are trying to jump looks clean. Work on clearing that wake at the shorter rope lengths with a good progressive cut and keeping the board on edge all the way up the wake without absorbing it with your knees. Keep practicing with the same set-up over and over again while gradually going to longer rope lengths and possibly bumping up the speed by 1 mph. Once you are comfortable clearing the wake at the full rope length with this set up you can start playing around with more weight, the wedge, etc.

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Good advice

The wedge definitely changes the size and shape more than ballast. Thus, a progression to mega-beef should be gradual. I'd suggest this order:

1) consistency jumping both sides with no weight

2) fill center ballast, get consistency

3) empty center, fill rear tanks

4) fill bow tank, center, and rear, of course, staying consistent with your jumps

5) empty EVERYTHING, run wedge. I think that will be the biggest change in how the wake feels

6) fill everything up and hit it

Don't feel pressure to use the wedge. There are a lot of people out there who don't like it because it changes the shape so much. Instead, they just use weight. The wedge was designed for 'bu's DDs, and due to popular demand, they created one for the Vdrives. The difference between a wedged DD and Vdrive is big in terms of how steep a wake gets. Many think it is overkill because a Vdrive already runs so tail heavy. You may come to like it, maybe not, but just do what feels best to you, don't feel pressure to build a wake that you don't like. Most importantly, have fun. Enjoy your boat!

Edited by wakebrdgod
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I've found that using the wedge and a little center ballast are just perfect for learning new tricks. I run full line length and 22.5mph and it seems to be perfect. Keep in mind with a wider wake you will need to take your cut a little farther away from the boat before beginning a progressive cut towards the wake.

One thing I've noticed with a lot of riders is that as we load up all the ballast (400 rear, 500 front, wedge + 4 or five of 250 pound buds) is that they get intimidated by the width and height of the wake and just charge at it. Of course they never clear and blame it on wake shape along with a ton of other lame excuses. Once I slam a little sense into their head and make them realize the wake is their friend it's all good.

So the moral of the day is SLOW DOWN! :) Remember only a nice progressive cut will guarantee results.

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i used the wedge and 700lbs of weight all aound the boat and now that i bought a 600lb "pro-x" seat-sack(1300 tot.), i don't need[and/or want] the wedge anymore because i can feel the ramp of the wake. plus, the wake is clearer farther back so i can ride at 75-80'@23mph.

i guess what i am trying to say is, the wedge is all about preference. it isn't necessary.

Edited by madchild
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One thing I've noticed with a lot of riders is that as we load up all the ballast (400 rear, 500 front, wedge + 4 or five of 250 pound buds) is that they get intimidated by the width and height of the wake and just charge at it. Of course they never clear and blame it on wake shape along with a ton of other lame excuses.

I concur 100%. With me, when I was a new rider, I would go with good riders that wanted a big fat wake. Subconsciously it was intimidating me. Did not ever realize it till I went out without them, only added the stock ballast, and felt good and was the most consistent I had been.

Learning tricks on a smaller wake can only improve your overall riding.

Edited by Web
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On our boat, the beginners that are trying to learn wake jumps usually run with 1000 in ballast and no wedge at 65'. When people who are more comfortable jumping get out there, we put the wedge down, fill up the other 400 lb sac in the front, and let the line out 5-10'.

It sounds like you are pretty consistent jumping but need some more experience with the bigger wake. I'd say run full ballast and wedge, but take 5 feet off the rope (you paid for it so you might as well learn to use its full potential). The wake will be fairly steep but it wont take a long cut to pop off of the large wake, just take consistent short approaches concentrating on carrying just onto the other wake. Once thats comfortable, let out the rope and throw down. I usually take the rope in 5' when I start working on a new invert and then let it out once I'm getting a little more consistent.

When we have the wedge deployed we try to even the ballast in the boat 50-50. This seems to keep the wake firm at all time. We've struggled with the wedge making the wake too soft at the top(mind you we have the old wedge and our malibu is the direct drive, however the hull is the same as the wakesetter vlx).

Good luck with it. Let us know

-Sunsetter95's Son-

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Thanks all, I'll give some of these ideas a shot next week when we get back out on the water. I love how this site helps shorten the learning curve for those of us who are not around others who boat/board/etc.

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