What is Wakesurfing?
It seems simple. Get on your board. Grab the tow rope. The boat goes. And the rider starts riding the wake.
But this is where wakeboarding ends and wakesurfing begins. Once the wakesurfer reaches the top of the wake, it’s their duty to release their grip and allow the tow rope to fall back into the water.
From here, the choice is on the rider.
While those sit on their surfboard in the ocean waiting for a wave to roll in that they can ride to the shore, a wakesurfer’s ride lasts more than the half-minute thrill a surfer can expect. In fact, so long as the boat has gasoline and the rider has the energy, the ride can last indefinitely – there is no end to the wave so long as the boat keeps pushing forward.
That’s the difference between a wakeboarder, a surfer and a wakesurfer.
The wakesurfer uses the motion of the boat’s wake - at about 10-18 feet behind the boat - combined with a shorter-style board to be able to consistently ride the wake like they would a wave. Whether they choose to cruise or pull off a series of tricks is up to them.
The Wakesurfer’s Board
A wakesurfer will generally range from 4.5 feet to 5.5 feet making them much smaller than a surfboard. There are two main types of wakesurfers: Skim and Regular.
Your regular wakesurfer will generally have the shape of a typical surfboard. They are the most versatile option and ideal for use by more than one rider i.e. you own a boat, a wakesurfer and you have friends and family who want to test it out.
The skim shape is designed for a faster and more playful, experienced rider. They are shorter and thinner than your typical wakesurfer and often have fewer fins.
The popularity of wakesurfing is still growing which means the development is still in its infancy. This allows new people to set the trend, test out tricks and ideas and to help form the world of wakesurfing. There are already many cool tricks that have been developed; many just like those in surfing or wakeboarding such as 180’s, 360’s, Big Air, etc.
One of the more unique ways to wakesurf is something called Tanker Surfing. Since wakesurfing lives on the wake of a boat, tanker surfing takes it to a whole new extreme by riding on the wake of a tanker. Tankers can have a wake ranging up to a mile long making it an incredible experience. Although it sounds exciting, we really can’t recommend you chasing after a tanker.
But the wakesurfing sport is yours to hone and develop. If you’re a surfer or wakeboarder itching to try something different then try hopping onto a wakesurf board and be part of a new and expanding water sport.