The more time you spend on a boat, the more you seem to notice the little things, and sooner or later you adjust for them. These adjustments might be shortcuts to help save you time or just to make your life on the water a little easier. Here at Wakeboarding Magazine, we call these “boat hacks,” and we asked Kirby Liesmann if he had any of his own. Kirby is the owner/head coach of Kirby’s School of Wake and splits his time giving lessons in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri and Fort Myers, Florida. Kirby has logged a serious number of hours on the water and knows how these little tweaks can make a real difference.
When taking large groups of riders out on the water, the boat can get a little crowded with gear and people. It can often be inconvenient to have everyone move if needing to get items out of the compartments. I prefer to get all the jackets and ropes that I am going to need and place them neatly in the walkway in the nose of the boat. This keeps the items that I need readily accessible when changing out riders and helps maintain a comfortable ride for all passengers.
One of the most common errors in operating a wakeboarding boat is leaving the boards racks out when docking the boat. This mistake not only destroys the boards when they hit on the dock post, it also can bend or break the board rack – an expensive error. The way we prevent this from happening is that we pick out a specific landmark that is close to our dock and if the board racks are not swung in by the time we pass that point, everyone in the boat owes the driver a dollar.
Board in Rack
How many times have you been in a rush to swing the board racks in and the boots hit on the tower speaker? Luckily there is an easy fix for this. Simply remember to place the boards in the rack heels first. This will ensure that the boots fit perfectly under the speakers every time.
Slipping a wetsuit on can be a serious hassle, especially if it’s already wet and even more so for kids. Did you know all you have to do is slip a plastic shopping bag over your hand or foot and it will slide right through the suit? We have found that it’s definitely worth keeping one of these around. It makes what’s normally a ten-minute ordeal finished in half the time. Note: Do not try this trick to slip the suit over your head. Just saying, that could take your breath away. Literally!
Ski flag duty on my boat means that you are on deck to ride next. This keeps everyone in our boat eager to get that flag up when the rider is in the water and also is a simple way to keep track of who’s up next.