6 Tips You Should Follow When Preparing for a Wakesurfing Trip

By  //  August 3, 2023


Ready to ride the waves? Wakesurfing, an adrenaline-packed water sport where you ride the wake of a boat without being pulled by a rope, is an exhilarating way to make the most of your summer.

But hang on – you don’t want to plunge into the water without doing your homework. Here’s why.

Preparation is critical to making the most of your wakesurfing trip. By taking the time to get ready, you can:

■ Ensure safety, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries

■ Improve your performance on the water, making your experience more enjoyable

■ Maximize your investment, especially if you’re renting gear or hiring a guide

■ Increase your confidence, especially if you’re new to the sport

Whether you’re a seasoned wakesurfer or this is your first adventure, navigating the waves behind the wake of the top wake surf boat is a thrill like no other. But to truly make the most of this thrilling experience, you must be well-prepared.

In this article, we will explore:

1. The basics of wakesurfing you need to know

2. How to choose the right gear

3. The importance of checking the weather and water conditions

4. Safety protocols every wakesurfer should follow

5. Fitness and nutrition tips to keep you energized

6. The value of learning from professional wake surfers

Sit back, relax, and let’s prepare you for your unforgettable wakesurfing journey. It’s time to dive into our first tip!

The 6 Essential Preparation Tips for Your Wakesurfing Trip

A smooth and thrilling wakesurfing adventure is like a well-cooked meal – it’s all about the right ingredients. To create an unforgettable experience that will leave you craving for more, it’s essential to get the preparation right. So, here are 6 critical tips to ensure your trip is nothing short of extraordinary.

Tip #1: Understand the Basics of Wakesurfing

Picture this: you’re on the water, the wave surfing boat revs up, and the wake surges. It’s your moment to shine, but wait! Do you know the basics of wakesurfing? Here’s a crash course.

1. The Wake: Unlike traditional surfing, wakesurfing relies on a boat’s wake to create waves. You start by holding onto a rope, and once the wake forms, you let go and ride the wave. It sounds simple, but it requires skill and balance.

2. Stance: Regular or goofy? Your stance in wakesurfing depends on which foot you naturally place forward. Regular stance means your left foot is forward; goofy means your right foot leads.

3. Technique: Unlike wakeboarding, wakesurfing requires a less aggressive stance. You want to stay relaxed and let your board do the work. When you’re ready to let go of the rope, use your hips and shoulders to guide your movements.

Understanding these basics is critical for two reasons:

■ Safety: Wakesurfing, like any water sport, carries an inherent risk. However, knowing what to do—and what not to do—can help mitigate these risks.

■ Performance: Familiarity with wakesurfing basics can enhance your performance. Knowing the correct stance and technique will allow you to maintain balance, perform tricks, and, most importantly, have a blast on the water.

Remember, wakesurfing is not about being the best; it’s about enjoying the ride. And the more you understand the sport, the better your experience will be. So, grab your life vest and sunscreen; it’s time to conquer the waves!

Tip #2: Choosing the Right Gear

Getting ready for a wakesurfing trip is like getting dressed for a fancy party – you must choose the right outfit. In this case, your gear. Let’s take a look at the key pieces you’ll need.

A Boat

This is your prime ingredient. You need a boat capable of producing an appropriate wake for surfing. Inboard boats are preferred over outboard boats for safety reasons and wake quality. Ensure the boat has a proper ballast system to generate a larger wake and a speed control system for consistency.

The Tow Rope

A tow rope, designed explicitly for wakesurfing, is a must. These ropes are shorter and thicker, providing a comfortable grip, and are equipped with a small handle or a knot to reduce the risk of injury.

The Board

Choosing the right board is akin to choosing your dance partner. It has to match your skill and style. Here are the differences between beginner, intermediate, and advanced boards:

■ Beginner boards: Typically longer and thicker with a larger surface area for better stability and balance. They are also slower, making it easier for beginners to maintain control.

■ Intermediate boards: They offer a balance between stability and maneuverability, allowing for some tricks and turns while not being too challenging to ride.

■ Advanced boards: These boards are thinner, lighter, and have a smaller surface area. They allow quick maneuvers, air tricks, and a more active riding style.

When choosing a wakesurfing board, consider the following factors:

■ Your skill level: Are you a newbie looking to learn or an expert ready to show off? Pick a board that matches your current abilities.

■ Board size: Your height, weight, and skill level should dictate the size of your board.

■ Type of wave: Different boards are designed for different wake shapes. Do you prefer a slower, cruisy ride or a faster, sporty one? Make sure your board aligns with your preferred style.

The Wetsuit

Think of your wetsuit as your second skin. It needs to fit you perfectly. A well-fitted wetsuit ensures comfort, freedom of movement, and protection from cold water and UV rays.

When selecting a wetsuit, look for the following features:

■ Material: Neoprene is common because it’s flexible, durable, and has good insulation properties.

■ Thickness: Choose according to the water temperature. The colder the water, the thicker your suit should be.

■ Size: The suit should fit snugly, like a second skin, without restricting movement.

■ Style: Full suits, spring suits, or shorties – choose based on the temperature and comfort level.

Tip #3: Check the Weather and Water Conditions

Would you head out for a picnic without checking if it will rain? Probably not. Similarly, checking the weather and water conditions before your wakesurfing trip is crucial. Here’s why.

The weather can significantly impact your wakesurfing experience. Calm, windless days with a clear sky make for ideal conditions. Too much wind can churn the water and disrupt the boat’s wake. On the other hand, scorching weather could lead to dehydration and fatigue.

Apart from the weather, the water conditions are equally vital. Wakesurfing requires a certain water depth to generate the proper wake and for safety. Also, keep an eye on the water temperature. Cold water could lead to hypothermia, while warm water tends to be more comfortable, especially for longer sessions.

Luckily, we live in the age of smartphones and apps, where information is at our fingertips. Here are a few resources you can use to stay updated:

1. Weather Apps: Apps like Weather.com, Accuweather, and BBC Weather provide comprehensive weather forecasts, including wind speed and direction.

2. Marine Weather Apps: Apps like Windy, Buoyweather, and NOAA’s Marine Forecasts give detailed sea conditions, including wave heights and water temperatures.

3. Local resources: Don’t forget to check local websites or ask local surf shops about the water conditions in your chosen wake surfing spot.

Tip #4: Prioritize Safety

When it comes to wakesurfing, safety should be your top priority. As the saying goes, “Better safe than sorry.” Wakesurfing is fun but comes with certain risks, like all water sports. Here’s how to stay safe:

Safety Equipment

In wakesurfing, your safety gear is as crucial as your board. This is not the time to skimp on equipment. Here are some must-haves:

■ Life Jacket: This is non-negotiable. Ensure it fits appropriately and is approved by the United States Coast Guard.

■ Helmet: Although not required, a helmet is advisable, especially for beginners or those attempting tricks.

■ First Aid Kit: Accidents can happen. A basic first-aid kit should include band-aids, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, medical tape, and gauze pads.

Wakesurfing Safety Rules

Every sport has rules, and wakesurfing is no exception. These guidelines are designed to keep you safe, so heed them:

■ Distance: Maintain a safe distance from the boat at all times.

■ Speed: The boat speed should not exceed 11 mph when you are wakesurfing.

■ Position: Never surf directly behind the boat; always stay to the side of the wake.

■ Rope: Always use a wake surf-specific rope and handle.

■ Swimming: Be a competent swimmer before you attempt to wakesurf.

Buddy System

Remember the old buddy system from your school field trips? It’s still a smart move, even in wakesurfing. Always have someone watching while you surf. This person can alert the boat driver if you fall and keep an eye out for potential hazards. Plus, sharing the thrill (and occasional spills) with a friend is always more fun!

Tip #5: Stay Fit and Prepared

Wakesurfing is not just about balance and technique; it’s also a test of your physical fitness and preparation. Let’s discuss how to stay in shape and eat right to make the most out of your wakesurfing trip.

Physical Conditioning

Wakesurfing may look effortless when performed by pros, but it requires a fair amount of strength, agility, and stamina. Here’s why physical conditioning matters:

■ Strength: You need a strong core and lower body to maintain balance and control on the board.

■ Agility: Good flexibility aids in maneuverability and can help prevent injuries.

■ Stamina: The longer you stay on the board, the more fun you’ll have!


Your body is like a car; it needs the right fuel to run efficiently. Eating right ensures you have the energy to ride those waves and recover afterward. Here are some tips:

■ Pre-surf meal: Opt for a balanced meal 2-3 hours before you hit the water. Include carbs for energy, protein for muscle recovery, and fruits or vegetables for vitamins and hydration.

■ Snacks: If you’re feeling peckish before your session, grab a light snack like a banana or a granola bar.

■ Hydration: Remember to drink water! Staying hydrated is crucial, especially under the sun.

Tip #6: Learn From the Pros

Even the best surfers in the world had to start somewhere, and most of them began with professional guidance. When preparing for your wakesurfing trip, taking lessons or workshops from experienced wake surfers can be invaluable.

There’s a difference between learning wakesurfing from a friend and learning from a pro. Professionals can provide structured training, identify and correct your mistakes, and teach you advanced techniques. They’ve been where you are and know what it takes to improve. They can give you tips that will not only help you master the waves but also ensure you’re doing so safely.

When looking for a trainer or a school, opt for those with a strong reputation in the wakesurfing community.

Riding the Wave: Final Thoughts on Preparing for Your Wakesurfing Adventure

As we carve our way to the end of this article, let’s ride back through the swell of information we’ve covered. Wakesurfing is a thrilling and satisfying sport, but like any other, preparation is vital to a successful and enjoyable experience. Let’s recap the six tips we discussed:

1. Understand the Basics of Wakesurfing: Know your sport before you hit the waves. It’s not just about balance; it’s about knowing how to maneuver, react, and respect the water.

2. Choosing the Right Gear: Whether selecting the best boat for surfing, the perfect board, or the most suitable wetsuit, your gear can make or break your experience. Choose wisely.

3. Check the Weather and Water Conditions: Always stay informed about the weather and water conditions. Apps like Windfinder, NOAA Buoy and Tide Data, and Surfline can be great resources.

4. Prioritize Safety: Never compromise on safety. Whether it’s through the right equipment, adhering to wakesurfing rules, or practicing the buddy system, safety first is the golden rule.

5. Stay Fit and Prepared: Fitness and nutrition are integral to sports preparation. Wakesurfing is no different, so eat right, exercise regularly, and stay in shape.

6. Learn From the Pros: Professional guidance can expedite your learning process, fine-tune your skills, and enhance your overall wakesurfing experience.

So there you have it – 6 crucial tips to help you prepare for a wakesurfing trip. Remember, wakesurfing is not just about the adrenaline rush; it’s about the connection with nature, the thrill of the ride, and the sheer joy of surfing the wake.

Prepare well, respect the waves, and soak in the spirit of this incredible sport. Happy wakesurfing!