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Wakesurfing is a sport that was supposedly created prior to wakeboarding but is just now gaining lots of attention and taking off in the world of water sports. Wakesurfing is exactly what it seems like: an individual uses a surf wakeboard to surf the waves created by the wake of a boat.

The wakesurfer utilizes a tow rope to position themselves behind the boat – and then once in the “sweet spot”, he or she can let go of the rope and surf. The basic mechanics and steps connected with riding a wake are the same as if an individual were riding an ocean wave (except the wave does not end until the boat stops).

Below are the standard things you have to understand to start wakesurfing:

1. Find the best wakesurfer (wakesurfing board).

Today’s wakesurfing boards are a hybrid of a traditional shortboard and a wakeboard. Almost all major brands that manufacture wakeboards now carry a line of surfing wakeboards as well. As a beginner, you don’t need to get gear that has lots of fancy expensive features. Get a wakesurfer that is durable and you will do just fine. Check out this site for suggestions on wakesurf boards.

2. Wakesurfing should be done behind an inboard ski boat – a ballasted wakeboat works best.

The boat should be driven fairly slowly – it should not go over 9 to 14mph – as the wakesurfer is not attached to their board during towing. The slower speed will keep the wake big and better for riding.

3. Buy a great wakesurf rope.

Traditional wakeboarding ropes are thin and long. The thicker and shorter design of wakesurf ropes makes the maneuvering necessary in wakesurfing much easier on the rider. Wakesurf ropes will often have extra knots and grips throughout the rope so that the wakesurfer can utilize as little or as much of the rope as they really want when positioning themselves on the wake.

4. Get Ballast.

As mentioned previously, a ballasted ski boat works best for wakesurfing. Wakeboarding and wakesurfing companies produce weighted ballast bags particularly for the purpose of creating the perfect wake for a wakesurfer. The best technique for this function is to weigh down one side of the boat more than the other. This will produce the ideal wake.

Those are the fundamentals for wakesurfing. Though some people might think it more intimidating than wakeboarding because you need to let go of the rope and balance on a board on moving water,  it’s quite easy to learn. Riders are also less prone to injury, due to the fact that the boat travels much slower than in wakeboarding and waterskiing.

Next time you’re out with your friends on a lake, give this amazing sport a try. The technique is completely different from that used for wakeboarding and it’s a really enjoyable way to mix up your day on the lake or river. Speaking of enjoying yourself on the lake, check out my favorite RoadTrip grill – it’s small enough to take with you, and it can cook pretty much anything! A full day of boarding can really stir up an appetite!