Let’s go Surfin’ Now Everybody’s Learnin’ How
On the 06 tour I had a huge request to learn how to Wake Surf. I guess I take for granted that we’ve been doing it for so long now. But since it’s made its mark and I see a lot of people trying to figure it out on their own, I figured you should at least learn the proper way.
The beauty of Wake Surfing is the fact that you can do it in almost any water conditions. I’ve been to most of your lakes out there and I know how bad they can get. Please don’t Surf on a perfectly calm day and ruin the water for everyone else. Wait till the tubers and jet skiers get out or the wind picks up.
OK. Let’s start off with boat weight and speed. If your left foot forward you want as much weight as you can get on the left side of the boat. For most boats, you’ll also want to weigh down the front. You’ll have to experiment with yours. Also put all the people in the boat to the left. Of course vice versa for right foot forward.
Now let’s surf. You want to be about 10 –15 feet behind the swim platform, there are Surf ropes designed specifically for this or you can make your own.
Start with the board floating in front of you as seen to your right. Make sure the board is set for you to be left or right foot forward. Leave the handle directly in the center and wait for tension in the line before going to the next step. Driver wants to set up for a slight curve to the left on take off. If you have a Perfect Pass on your boat set it for 10.5 if not you’ll have to just pay better attention. Driver leave’s the line taught but not pulling.
Surfer then sets his feet on the board while the driver sets the boat in gear with a slight turn to the left. This will keep the Surfer on the left side of the huge Rooster tail your about to create. It’s very important for the driver to keep the boat in gear at this point so the surfer has enough tension to keep the board against his feet. Once you’re in a stable position then were ready to go. You want to treat this like getting up on a Wakeboard. Keep your knees bent as far as they’ll go, arms straight, and armpits on your knees. The key is to get the board underneath you. Don’t try to keep it in front of you. If you’re loosing the handle then you’re too far behind the board, which causes you to plow water. Just keep leaning forward and keep your center of gravity low and you’ll pop up with ease every time. Once your up look at the placement of your feet. Your front foot should be ¾ of the way up the board from the tail. It should be angled half way between 90 and straightforward. Your rear foot should be close to 90 and directly over the rear center fin. Now it’s time to find the wave. The big secret is the wave will create a wall that will push you. But, this wall will also try to push you away from itself. You must stay on a toeside edge and always stay against the base of the wake. From here it’s like standing on a board on top of a log, or an Indo board. As you put weight on your front foot the board will roll forward. To keep it from rolling too far forward you stomp on the back foot too bring it back to center. You’ll find the second you get your dominant weight on the front foot the board will start surfing immediately. Just get on the back foot as soon as you take off toward the boat, and will pull you back into the surf.
Once you find your sweet spot, try to stay in there still holding the rope. See how long you can surf with the line slack. This way you won’t have to deal with starting over every time. The driver can change the wake at this point quite a bit. If the wake seems very frothy he or she can speed up a bit. Only half mile per hour increments will change the wake dramatically. Also you can curve the boat path a little more. I personally like an arc to the left for left foot forward and vice versa for right. The Key is to create a very clean wall of water that’s as vertical as possible. Once you feel like you’ve got it you can throw the handle into the boat. Make sure someone pulls the rope all the way in. If you leave the handle dragging you could fall into it and this could get ugly. Use common sense and minimize the potential danger. Most Wake Surfers have padded tips on them as well. At least I now the CWB Ride and Tsunami do. This is nice in case you do surf into the back of the boat. If you do surf into the back of the boat, it’s key that the driver never backs off the throttle. As long as the boat keeps going the Surfer will fall safely, If the driver slows down this will cause the surfer to impact the back of the boat harder. We don’t want that. Also it is not advised to try this behind anything but a true inboard boat. I would never recommend anyone Surfing behind an I/O or Outboard motor. Also please understand the dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Never Body Surf or lay down on your board, this is where the most dominant fumes from your exhaust are. Standing 10 feet behind your boat will minimize the danger of Carbon Monoxide. Wake Surfing is a great sport and completely safe if you use common knowledge and be safe. Always wear a vest and have fun. Thanks to my big brother Dan for the Surfing. If it weren’t for you Dan I wouldn’t be here today. Thanks for all the hours.