Not everyone can get their hands on a $70,000 wakeboard boat but if you have a more common i/o bow riders here are a few things you can do to upgrade your boat for wakeboarding:
- Get a Tower – The single best thing you can do to make your boat better for wakeboarding is adding a tower. There are a lot of aftermarket companies out there making towers to fit a huge variety of boats. I have one from Monster Tower and I am very happy with it. It was relatively easy to install and provides a very stable pull.
- Trim the Boat – Focus on the shape of the wake being thrown by your boat and adjust your trim on the boat to make the wake form up a nice crisp lip where the wakeboarder crosses. This will work in conjunction with rope length and boat weighting (see below).
- Weight Sacks – Depending on the size of your boat it is often helpful to add weight to certain part of the boat. This does two things: 1). It makes the boat ride deeper in the water and therefore throw a larger wake. 2). It allows the weight in the boat to be balanced by moving the weight to get equal wakes on both sides.
- High Quality Wakeboard Rope - Get a wakeboard rope made out of Dyneema or Spectra. These are non-stretch ropes that will make sure all the tension you build in the rope during your cut is transferred to your jump and not lost in rope stretch. Also get a rope with adjustable line lengths. Having adjustable line lengths lets you determine where you cross the boat wake so you can find your sweet spot for your boat and your riding speed.
- Trained/Educated Driver - I can’t emphasis this enough, the driver plays a HUGE role in your wakeboarding experience. Maintaining a constant speed even through the pull is a real art form and making sure they know to always drive a straight line and proper turning procedures to not chop the line are very important to getting a consistent pull on flat water.
- Cruise Control/Perfect Pass - A bit of a pricey addition, this makes the drivers job 100 times easier. Having the cruise control maintain speed provides a very precise even pull for the wakeboarder.
- Large Mirror - This goes along with the importance of the driver. Letting the driver see the wakeboarder in the mirror while keeping his eyes forward so he can also concentrate on the throttle and steering wheel is a big plus in helping the driver deliver a consistent pull.
- Board Racks - Now that you are making you boat a Wakeboarding machine you need somewhere to put all those wakeboards. Ideally tower racks are the best way to get the board up out of the boat walkways and safely stored when not riding.
- Stereo - Nothing better to get you up for your set than some of your favorite tunes. More of a luxury item but does get you in the wakeboarding vibe. More of a “pimp your boat” accessory but pretty nice if you get one.
These upgrades should turn your boat from plain boring cruiser into a wake-throwing monster. Enjoy the big air!