Wakeboarding is a fun sport. To enjoy this wonderful play, a wakeboarder needs more than just a single board. For wakeboarding, having a boat with the driver is the requirement as well.
The driver and the boat play a really important role in providing the rider with the right wake and ample chances to maneuver in the most likable way. A little turbulence can impact the whole performance. When it comes to pulling the wakeboarder, there are many things that must be kept in check.
What Is the Right Boat Speed?
To tow the wakeboarder, the first thing that you need is obviously a boat to do the job. A boat that can go up to 25 miles per hour is recommended, which means any boat with a motor can do the job.
At the start of wakeboarding, the boat must accelerate slowly so that the rider can get enough time to stand up.
For beginners and young wakeboarders, the boat speed should be around 12 mph; it will help the newbies to stand up easily. However, for the new wakeboarders, more throttle is needed. When the riders are just initiating, they try to stand early and fight the pull. In reality, the boat does the job of slowly pulling the riders up when they are in the right position.
Overall, 12 mph is the recommended least speed you can go for. For the new riders, 12-15 mph speed range is considered good.
To make learning easy and make the rider feel the rope even slower, many select the speed of 8mph or a bit lesser. But experts suggest that the speed must be increased up to the average in the progressive pulls.
When the rider starts to improve, the speed can be increased to 18mph. Many experts and advanced riders enjoy the boat speed range of 18-24 mph. This is the average high speed recommended. At this speed, the expert riders are able to get a cleaner wake that aids in enjoying all kinds of maneuvers. Flips and rolls become more fun as the condition becomes suitable.
What Should Be the Ideal Rope Length?
Choosing the right rope length is also an important aspect of starting right. The ideal rope length for wakeboarding is considered to be 65-foot to 85-foot. Which length to select depends on the ability of the wakeboarder.
The new wakeboarders go for a 65-foot rope length. As the rider proceeds, the length also increases to 75-foot or so. And it finally stops at 85-feet, which is the most preferred length for advanced wakeboarders.
One more suggestion is to use the non-stretched rope with the handle. Non- stretch rope does not change its length during the wake so it does not hurdle the performance.
How to Drive the Boat to Pull a Wakeboarder?
The driving skills of the boat driver can greatly impact the performance of the wakeboarder.
Speed matters but there are other things as well that can impact wakeboarder’s performance.
Steady speed helps the wakeboarder to plan ahead and make the right move. Maintaining steady acceleration for the whole time is very necessary. When you accelerate or decelerate very quickly, the wakeboarder may lose his balance. Your quick change can take the rider further away or very close to the boat which can become dangerous as well.
Also, the steady wake needs the boat to go in a straight line.
When you need to make a turn, there are many factors to see. Don’t make shorter turns or very quick turns without telling the wakeboarder. Also, make a pre-turn first in the opposite direction of your intended direction and then take a broader turn towards your desired direction.
How to Get to the Fallen Wakeboarder?
When you are the driver of the boat for the wakeboarder, it is not about towing only. The rider behind you can fall as well and at that time, you need to be very careful with your actions.
The first thing that you need to do is to slow your speed or to stop your movement if possible. You must not turn immediately at your current speed when you see your wakeboarder has fallen down. When you turn while speeding, you might not be able to stop where you must and may harm the rider.
When you are at a slower speed, it becomes easy to control your boat. Only slowly go to the fallen wakeboarder so you can stop the boat easily wherever you like. When you reach closer to the wakeboarder, stop the boat engine at some distance and allow the fallen person to swim to you. Don’t go extremely close to the rider as it might lead to injuries. Moreover, the currents and winds can impact your boat position. When going towards the rider, make sure you check on these conditions too. Also, when making the move, make sure that the rope doesn’t tangle around the rider.
Some extra tips:
Other than the above-mentioned tips and tricks, there are a few other things that can help you pull a wakeboarder in a better way.
- Keep an eye on where you are going and choose the path which allows you to remain in the straight line
- Stay away from the shore and other boats and riders already present in the water; maintain a safe distance for your boat and rider too
- There must be good communication between you and the rider; decide hand signals before initiating a ride and use them when on the go
- Keep a good eye on your rider (using a rearview mirror) and surroundings to make the right moves at the right time
- Learn drive patterns to work well in all kinds of water conditions
- When it comes to turns make sure that the rider keeps the control
- Pull the throttle when the rider falls
- Messy and choppy water must be avoided
- Be alert all the time and focus on what you are doing
- Consider the rider behind you as your responsibility and act wisely wherever needed
To is Surf and Kite Instructor, Surfboard Shaper. He share about His life in this blog. More about Him in About page.