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Need Wakesurfing Help!


Willy

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The water in Lake huron finally hit 70 degrees yesterday so it was time to leave the shallow river and try this wakesurf thing. I had my bow, mid and rear ballast tanks full as well as having my power wedge 1/2 way down. I even tried no ballast in the bow. I am right foot forward so I was on the right side of the boat and we had the adult driver as well as four 100# or so teenagers on the right side also. I tried 11,12,and 13 mph and just couldn't find the "sweet spot". The line would go slack but then it would tighten again. What could we be doing wrong? Maybe it is because I have the Diamond hull vs. the Wake Hull???

Edited by Willy
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Ok, what you want do is empty your Port Side ballast completely and stack eveyone on the starboard side and maybe one person in the front. I have always used the wedge all the way down and going about 9.8-10.4 mph. It really works the best to if you but a fulll grown person on the back right corner (starboard) side sun pad, just help to throw extra weight back there to push the boat that much farther down in the water.

As far as stance on the board, go with your stance for wakeboarding then go 8-12 inches wider. It should feel uncomfortable at first but it helps you disburse your weight more evenly on the board.

Good luck!

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The water in Lake huron finally hit 70 degrees yesterday so it was time to leave the shallow river and try this wakesurf thing. I had my bow, mid and rear ballast tanks full as well as having my power wedge 1/2 way down. I even tried no ballast in the bow. I am right foot forward so I was on the right side of the boat and we had the adult driver as well as four 100# or so teenagers on the right side also. I tried 11,12,and 13 mph and just couldn't find the "sweet spot". The line would go slack but then it would tighten again. What could we be doing wrong? Maybe it is because I have the Diamond hull vs. the Wake Hull???

I have been trying to get the wake surf wake dialed on my vtx also. I was told before the purchase that they put out a pretty good sur wake,but I havn't figured it out yet. I have all four tanks also and the floating wedge. I am thinking your speed sounds high. I have been doing about 9-10 mph to get the best wake. I am thinkin about another 800 or so pounds between the starboard side locker and under the seat may be the ticket.

I am curious toknow if anyone has a good setup yet? let us know. I believe the starboard side is better for the surf wake also.

Edited by Bawshogg
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I too gave surfing a try this weekend for the first time. No ballast in our LSV (diamond hull), but had the wedge down and 12 people in the boat. Crammed as many people on the passenger side as possible. The wake was sweet. Good big clean curl, looked like it should have been more than sufficient. I got up and found the sweet spot no problem, but could not go on my own. Sure looked dumb in front of an audience.

I am interested in what people have to say too. I remember someone saying that putting slight pressure on the tip of the board accelerates, and on the rear decelerates, but anytime I put pressure on the tip of the board it catches and over I go!

Maybe we were going to fast too?

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If iI were you being a beginner, go w/ the 5'4 board. it better for starting surfing. I know CWB makes one. Im 6'5 215lbs and those little boards really dont even keep me afloat, i just kept burying the nose.

When you ride its pretty much a rocking action. Use the acceleration (the tip) when your actually back on the wake(4-5 back form the boat) not near the boat, other otherwise youll bury it. Once you figured out gas/ brake you will be able to feel a middle ground where you just continue to ride. It a blast!

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Willy - what board are you using?

Ive got a inland surfer redtide - its a 5'6" beginer board. Im a big guy, but I have no problems getting up on that thing.

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Those of you having trouble, check to make sure that your speedos are calibrated correctly (they aren't always correct from the factory). Speed should be somewhere between 9.8 - 10.4 as wakecrashin stated.

Does the speed have to be that exact? We went what ever speed was nessicary to make the wake the best in my boat . It ended up somehwere around 14 or 15 mph, according to our speedo which is calibrated. Could going to fast not allow the board to move on its own, even though that particular speed has the best surf wake?

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Those of you having trouble, check to make sure that your speedos are calibrated correctly (they aren't always correct from the factory). Speed should be somewhere between 9.8 - 10.4 as wakecrashin stated.

Does the speed have to be that exact? We went what ever speed was nessicary to make the wake the best in my boat . It ended up somehwere around 14 or 15 mph, according to our speedo which is calibrated. Could going to fast not allow the board to move on its own, even though that particular speed has the best surf wake?

Well, it can make a big difference if you're off by say 1mph, so I guess it depends on what you mean by exact. If you're within .4-.6mph, I'd say that you're going to see the wave form up, but basically you want to be going as slow as possible & still have the wave form cleanly. Does that make sense?

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Those of you having trouble, check to make sure that your speedos are calibrated correctly (they aren't always correct from the factory). Speed should be somewhere between 9.8 - 10.4 as wakecrashin stated.

Does the speed have to be that exact? We went what ever speed was nessicary to make the wake the best in my boat . It ended up somehwere around 14 or 15 mph, according to our speedo which is calibrated. Could going to fast not allow the board to move on its own, even though that particular speed has the best surf wake?

Well, it can make a big difference if you're off by say 1mph, so I guess it depends on what you mean by exact. If you're within .4-.6mph, I'd say that you're going to see the wave form up, but basically you want to be going as slow as possible & still have the wave form cleanly. Does that make sense?

Yea, makes sense... If I recall correctly the wake did not form up correctly untill we were going much faster than that though, 14-15mph I think. Maybe its tine for me to play with the weight distribution.

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Make sure you have all of it on the surf side, any significant weight on the off side can affect its ability to form up & what speed at which that will be.

Interesting! I didnt try that. I have never done this, and have never seen it done (except for pictures and online). No one surfs on our lake, yet...

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The water in Lake huron finally hit 70 degrees yesterday so it was time to leave the shallow river and try this wakesurf thing. I had my bow, mid and rear ballast tanks full as well as having my power wedge 1/2 way down. I even tried no ballast in the bow. I am right foot forward so I was on the right side of the boat and we had the adult driver as well as four 100# or so teenagers on the right side also. I tried 11,12,and 13 mph and just couldn't find the "sweet spot". The line would go slack but then it would tighten again. What could we be doing wrong? Maybe it is because I have the Diamond hull vs. the Wake Hull???

You just need time.

It took most of my crew a whole season to be ropeless. Just like riding a bike though, once you have it you have it.

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Surfed for the first time ever behind the 2001 VLX (diamond hull) this weekend.

Board: Walker Composite X 5.0

Boat: 2001 Sunsetter VLX

Me: 6'5" 235lbs (been a bad winter and spring...)

Weighting:

Wedge

600 lbs rear locker

500 lbs under side seats

500 lbs on the bow

450 lbs VAB

We don't have PerfectPass, so we pull off the tach. Basically, we pull 2400 RPM until the wake starts to shape up, then pull it back to 2050 RPM. The speedo needle just barely lifts off it's 10 MPH resting spot, but this is with the old pitots so it's likely not accurate. I don't know our precise speed, but that's our best wake, and it's easy to just set the tach there and go.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pics, but the wake with this setup was quite good. I'd like it a bit longer, but I was able to surf ropeless right from the get-go once I figured out my foot placement on this new board. I was also able to get WAAAY back on the wake and ride back up to the boat, but I attribute that to a good board more than a good wake.

I think there are 2 common mistakes surfing newbies make, cause I got to coach my whole family on wakesurfing this weekend since I'm the only one with any real experience doing it. The two biggest mistakes I saw them making were:

1. Locking out the front knee instead of bending it and/or putting too much weight too far back with a narrow stance. The natural response is to try to resist the boat and load the rope when first getting up. If you do this, even if it feels like you have a lot of weight on your front foot, you're either going to end up too far back on the board, or if you DO get enough weight on the front foot, you're going to gain on the boat rapidly and dig the tip. With your knee locked out, you can't flex your leg and suck the front of the board up and out of the water when the tip starts to go under, and you also won't be able to make fine enough front to back weight adjustments.

2. Not using the right part of the wake. Lots of people have a tendency to want to surf too wide of the wake, down in the trough and too far back from the boat. Don't be afraid to let the board practically hover over the swim platform, and don't be afraid to be close to the center line of the boat. Close to the boat and towards the middle is where the wake is the hardest due to the prop wash and the rapidly rising water. That's probably the easiest place to get the feel for riding ropeless. At least it was for me.

The best pointer I figured out to give those I was trying to teach to go ropeless was this. Let your upper body and even your midsection be still. Instead, to make your weight adjustments, bend both knees and let your feet and the board slide forward and back underneath you. I find that focusing on this method instead of trying to reposition my upper body makes for much easier fine adjustments and less tip digging or tail riding. YMMV.

Edited by UWSkier
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UW - great observations... I was reading down this thread, with all the talk about wake development, but not discussion on proper form & placement on the wave.

It is a fine balancing act, of adding weight to the front of the board, to get it to accelerate towards the boat, and backing off a bit, to get it to slow down.

Most people do stand too far back, and load the line. Get in behind the boat, and you'll find yourself close to the platform. if you aren't catching up to the boat, you are too far back on the board, or too far out on the wave.

Riding ropeless isn't as easy as it looks - lots of speed control needed to remain in the relativly small sweet spot. This is why everyone spends sooo much time working on developing the best wave, to expand that sweet spot.

I agree with Andy's comment - probably about a season of working at it to really be able to ride ropeless

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I agree with Andy's comment - probably about a season of working at it to really be able to ride ropeless

Really? I think if you have a good board and a great wake (both of which FijiRob has and so graciously let me borrow) you can be ropeless pretty easily. With the tsunami Rob's boat threw, I was ropeless my first time ever surfing. While form does play a big role, a monster wake and a board that doesn't dig the tip sure does help a lot! Biggrin.gif

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I agree with Andy's comment - probably about a season of working at it to really be able to ride ropeless

Really? I think if you have a good board and a great wake (both of which FijiRob has and so graciously let me borrow) you can be ropeless pretty easily. With the tsunami Rob's boat threw, I was ropeless my first time ever surfing. While form does play a big role, a monster wake and a board that doesn't dig the tip sure does help a lot! Biggrin.gif

Not everyone has the physical prowess or abilities that you do Matt. And not everyone has a sizeable wake to start with. If you're working on stock ballast ONLY, it definitely will take the 'average' rider a season to get it down. The typical wake (no matter what boat you're riding behind) has a very small sweet spot that just a small shift will push someone out of. The fact that a smaller wake puts you closer to the deck is scary for most people (rightfully so) and it keeps most people from finding the easiest spot dead behind to boat - just to one side, nose just over the platform. If you fall there, stitches or worse could befall you.

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I agree with Andy's comment - probably about a season of working at it to really be able to ride ropeless

Really? I think if you have a good board and a great wake (both of which FijiRob has and so graciously let me borrow) you can be ropeless pretty easily. With the tsunami Rob's boat threw, I was ropeless my first time ever surfing. While form does play a big role, a monster wake and a board that doesn't dig the tip sure does help a lot! Biggrin.gif

Not everyone has the physical prowess or abilities that you do Matt. And not everyone has a sizeable wake to start with. If you're working on stock ballast ONLY, it definitely will take the 'average' rider a season to get it down. The typical wake (no matter what boat you're riding behind) has a very small sweet spot that just a small shift will push someone out of. The fact that a smaller wake puts you closer to the deck is scary for most people (rightfully so) and it keeps most people from finding the easiest spot dead behind to boat - just to one side, nose just over the platform. If you fall there, stitches or worse could befall you.

True on the ballast. I've tried a board that was plenty big for me on a smaller wake and just couldn't stay up on the boat without the rope. Maybe I could have if my form was better. That's what I was getting at with my response to Troy. The huge wake helps a ton. Didn't mean to imply that it's easy for all riders/setups.

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The board can make all the difference. I have a 5'4" custom shaped Kanoa surfboard (It was my very first surfboard that I got for my 8th birthday and I could never bring myself to sell it) and it has been reborn as a wakesurfer. Biggrin.gif It's a little tough to get going, because it is soooo bouyant, but once up it stays on the wake no problem.

Went out one day in my Sportster with just Woody and my 13 y.o. and with about 1200 #'s of ballast sacks (no wedge) we were able to surf ropeless. It was my son's second time ever surfing and he was pulling a few lip tricks (on what little lip was there). A huge wave is not necessary...but it sure makes it easier. The key is balance. Between my son's first time surfing (couldn't go ropeless behind a VLX) and his second time (ropeless behind a Sportster) the only thing that changed was he started using my Indo Balance Board.

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Willy - what board are you using?

Ive got a inland surfer redtide - its a 5'6" beginer board. Im a big guy, but I have no problems getting up on that thing.

Hyperlite landlock 5" 11". I am 170# and the speed was via GPS because the speedo on these can only be calibrated to one "area" of speed per say and we have ours set at "wakeboard speed" 20mph. Iwas standing more to the rear however whenever I would try to lean forward it would "stuff".

Maybe this will shed some light. I will try to post a pic tomarrow to give you a good idea of what the wake looks like.

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The best pointer I figured out to give those I was trying to teach to go ropeless was this. Let your upper body and even your midsection be still. Instead, to make your weight adjustments, bend both knees and let your feet and the board slide forward and back underneath you. I find that focusing on this method instead of trying to reposition my upper body makes for much easier fine adjustments and less tip digging or tail riding. YMMV.

I have an Indo board and it sounds like this pointer is exactly what you have to do stay standing on the board. It takes some time but eventually you can stand on it for a long time. I've even started to jump and spin on the board!

Now I don't wakesurf but I can't wait until I can get a board and try. I'm hoping the Indo will help speed the process to going ropeless.

Edited by sabre
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The best pointer I figured out to give those I was trying to teach to go ropeless was this. Let your upper body and even your midsection be still. Instead, to make your weight adjustments, bend both knees and let your feet and the board slide forward and back underneath you. I find that focusing on this method instead of trying to reposition my upper body makes for much easier fine adjustments and less tip digging or tail riding. YMMV.

I have an Indo board and it sounds like this pointer is exactly what you have to do stay standing on the board. It takes some time but eventually you can stand on it for a long time. I've even started to jump and spin on the board!

Now I don't wakesurf but I can't wait until I can get a board and try. I'm hoping the Indo will help speed the process to going ropeless.

Can you give us beginners a suggestion on how to get started ? How do you come out of the water?

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Have you ever tried a wakeskate?

No. I have been on a wakeboard a few times. Most of my time is spent pulling the kids

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