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Ballast Bags, Pumps, Fittings & Wakesurf Shapers Explained

Buyer's Guide > Wakeboards Explained | Wakeboard Bindings Explained | Wakeskates Explained | Wakesurfers Explained | Wakeboard Ropes & Handles Explained | Life Jackets Explained | Ballast, Pumps, Fittings & Wakesurf Shapers Explained

Weight Distribution

There are three main parts of the boat to think about when adding ballast; rear weight, center weight, and bow weight.

Weighting Your Boat for Wakeboarding

Since the engine is located in the middle to the rear of most boats, it's typically best to do about a 60/40 split, with most of the weight being situated at the center/rear of the boat.  The engine already works to your favor with weighing that area of the boat down and helps give your wake width. The 40% up front is to help drive the bow of the boat down and give your wake height/amplitude. The more vertical your wake, the better upward pop you're going to get.

Weighting Your Boat for Wakesurfing

Wakesurfing is a different beast altogether.  You'll be riding at 10-14 MPH and will want to have a higher percentage of your weight/ballast focused on the rear, or…more specifically, the rear corner of your boat.  We're not saying you should abandon the 60/40 rule completely, just tweak it a bit.  We typically like to put about 40% of the weight in the middle, 20% up in the nose, and then the remaining 40% of the weight in the rear right or rear left, depending on what side you'll be surfing.  Pay close attention to your wave and how it changes when you move people and ballast around the boat to really fine-tune things and optimize your wave.

Ballast Pumps

You'll definitely want to pick up a ballast pump along with your new ballast bags.  To keep things easy, we recommend going with bags and pumps from the same brand, as each brand's ballast pumps are designed to work with their corresponding bags.  For instance, if you've got FATSAC ballast bags, get a FATSAC pump.  If you've got Eight.3 ballast bags, get an Eight.3 pump.  Naturally, the same goes for Straight Line/SUMO bags and pumps.  Additionally, keeping it in the same family means you don't have to mess with adapters or anything like that.

Ballast Fittings

Ballast fittings are specifically for plumbing aftermarket ballast bags into your boat's factory ballast system.  As with ballast pumps, we recommend using fittings and bags from the same brand.  The fittings you'll need depend on the bags you have, the boat you have, your factory ballast hose diameter, and what you're trying to achieve.  Pay particular attention to hose and fitting/connector sizes.  It would probably be best to contact us directly for advice in this area.

Wakesurf Shapers

Have you properly weighted your boat for wakesurfing and still feel like your wave is still missing something?  Are you still having trouble cleaning up the face of your boat's wave after adding or re-positioning ballast?  Is there one more little tweak to get the most out of your wave for surfing that you just can't put your finger on?  It's probably time to try a wakesurf shaper in conjunction with your ballast configuration to unlock the perfect endless wave.  This type of product is newer to the scene and the market is growing very rapidly.  A wakesurf shaper will turn your boat's wake into a pumping swell!

Additional Information

For more information on ballast bags, ballast pumps, ballast fittings, wakesurf shapers, and how to properly weight your boat, check out these resources:

Shop Ballast Bags

Shop Ballast Pumps

Shop Ballast Fittings

Shop Wakesurf Shapers