In general, this is the key component every wakesurf boat should have. To make a wave that’s big enough to surf without having to pump the whole time, you need displacement. Ballast systems provide that, and the top-of-the-line boats have automated systems with subfloor tanks throughout the boat.
While most boats’ ballast systems utilize pumps to fill and drain, Centurion’s Ramfill setup features gates in the hull that, when opened can rapidly fill while the boat drives at a set speed. For larger boats, such as the Fi25 and the Ri257, this means adding more than 3,000 pounds of subfloor ballast in less than 90 seconds.
Bryant Calandra Surf
Bryant, a Correct Craft-owned luxury sterndrive brand, has added solid wakesurf capabilities to the Calandra bowrider by adding integrated, subfloor ballast bags that run nearly the length of the boat on both sides. Fill the side you want to surf, add some friends to the boat, and you’ll have one of the better wakesurf waves in the forward-drive sector.
Wave Plates / Tabs
Another big feature of legitimate wakesurfing boats is plates or tabs that extend below the transom or off to the port and starboard sides. When engaged, these plates divert or displace more water, or both, thereby creating a much larger, more surfable wave on the opposite side.
Surf Gate—Malibu & Chaparral
Surf Gate is the system from Malibu that started the wave-plate trend, and you can now find it on every Malibu and Axis wake boat—along with several Chaparral wakesurf boats that have licensed the technology. The added feature of Surf Gate and other similar systems is the ability for the wakesurfer to transfer from one side/wave to the opposite with just the push of the button. This adds a whole new dimension—and challenge—to the activity, not to mention it creates some of the best waves on the market.
Wake/Wave Specific Hull Designs
Many inboard manufacturers have customized hulls to both displace more water and to do it cleanly and symmetrically, which optimizes the wakes for wakeboarding and wakesurfing. In its new flagship ZS212 and ZS232 boats, Supreme has done this with the Tapered-V Hull. By pinching the hull in at the transom, the ZS boats can displace more water with less ballast.
Power Folding Towers
Centurion—Roswell DropZone Auto Tower
The DropZone from Roswell, available on Centurion boats, takes the power tower to a new level. Thanks to innovative design tweaks, it is now lighter and stronger, and easily folds down with the push of a button. A bonus if you have beginner wakesurfers onboard: The DropZone also is equipped with tow-points on each side. Hook the rope up to the sides the riders are learning on and they’re automatically in the pocket of the wave without having to deal with prop wash.
Regal LS4 Surf
Power folding towers aren’t necessary, but they are much more convenient. Regal’s version stands out because it drops below the windshield, making it great for stowing the boat in smaller garages, or going under a very low bridge.
The 25 LSV is Malibu’s biggest boat, and it provides seating options galore for all 18 passengers it’s capable of holding. The rear set—Malibu’s Multi View Bench—can be configured eight different ways, including a rear-facing seat and as a table, complete with cupholders.
Four Winns—HD 220
Bowriders bring a different perspective and set of amenities to the wake-boat game—and with Four Winns’ HD 220, lounging can be customized with removable cushions and taken to the swim platform with a large bench area.
Supra—Vision Control System
Supra’s newest helm setup is a sight to behold. Two large screens allow the driver to control all the boat’s major functions while also monitoring speed, ballast, AutoWake, waves, navigation and more. For the passengers, a touchscreen that controls audio and lighting is now set next to the glovebox.
Yamaha’s 12-inch Connext touchscreen dash brings all the boat’s controls to your fingertips in an intuitive, easy-to-use manner. For wakesurfing, you can control speed, how quickly the boat accelerates to that set speed, as well as the ballast system. The bright screen is easy to read and use, even on the brightest of days.
As wake boats get bigger and bigger—and have the ability to hold more people and more ballast—engines have to keep up and power all that weight through the water. Indmar’s ROUSHcharged Raptor 575 is a 6.2L behemoth that can crank out 580 foot-pounds of torque. Trust us, that’s going to allow you to fill all your ballast, pile your friends and family into the boat, and get on plane without any issues.
Volvo Penta Forward Drive
If you’re going to wakesurf with an inboard/outboard, the only way to go is with a model equipped with Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive. All manufacturers are using it for inboard/outboard wakesurfing, as it reverses the prop and puts it farther underneath the boat, much like an inboard. This also improves handling characteristics, because the prop now pulls the boat instead of pushing it. Crownline’s E-255 Surf can be equipped with a 430 HP V8—plenty of power for pushing a sizeable wave.