What Are Ballast Bags?
The key to successful wakesurfing is a great wake. And to create a great wake, you will need the right ballast. Ballast bags are compartments within a boat that holds water in an effort to stabilize the boat. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to fit different boats. The additional weight in the boat from the ballast creates a bigger wake for wakesurfers.
Placement of the ballast bags in a boat may seem like a small detail, but it makes a big difference in wake shape. For a vertical and mellow wake, move ballast bags toward the front of the boat. However, since wakesurfing requires a bigger wake to give more energy to the surfer without a rope pulling him, ballast bags are most useful in the back of the boat. To maximize your wake, you want to put most of your ballast toward the rear of the boat. Popular wisdom is to weigh down one side of the boat in order to create the biggest wake. However, newer wake boats have built-in systems where you can evenly distribute the ballast in order to create a large wake. Essentially, there are two ways to help a wake boat generate a wake.
Many boats used for wakesurfing and other board sports have built-in ballast areas that can be filled with water. If you are an avid wakesurfer, this might be a convenient option for you.
One advantage of using ballast bags is that they can be moved from one side of the boat to another depending on the surfer’s preference. Ballast bags range in size from the Barefoot International V Drive Sac 400 Lbs Ballast Bag Set to the Barefoot International Pro X Fatsac 750 Lbs Ballast Bag Set. When you are thinking about ballast for wakesurfing, don't forget to also bring along your pump. A ballast pump is what fills and empties your ballast bags. A portable (manual) ballast pump is quick-draining and easy to use, but requires more effort and time than a built-in system.
You can’t have a great wakesurfing ride without a great wake, so consider ballast bags the next time you are heading out on the water. Have more questions about wakesrufing? Our experts can help! Visit us in-store or online at your local Sun & Ski Sports for expert advice on maximizing your wakesurfing adventures.