Unlike wakeboards and wakeskates, there are no strict length guidelines when it comes to wakesurfers.
Bigger wakesurfers have more surface area and provide more float. This means that they work well for heavier riders and when you're riding behind a boat that throws a smaller wake. Because larger wakesurfers are more buoyant and more stable and move more slowly through the water, they are easier for beginners to learn on.
Smaller wakesurfers are more maneuverable, livelier, more agile, and faster. Smaller wakesurfers are good for more advanced riders and lighter-weight riders. The also perform well with bigger wakes.
Less rocker offers a smoother overall feel and makes the board faster on the wake.
More rocker causes your wakesurfer to be slower, yet react more dramatically with the wake.
There are two prevailing styles in wakesurfing; surf and skim.
Surf style is more like traditional ocean surfing with an emphasis on carving and slashing and airs. A surf-style board usually has more fins that are typically deeper. This allows for more aggressive turns, but usually makes surf-style wakesurf boards more challenging to spin. Surf-style boards are easier for beginners to learn on, while advanced riders enjoy the high-speed maneuverability of surf-style boards.
Skim style is all about doing spins, airs, and skate-inspired tricks behind the boat. Skim style boards spin very easily and typically have very little rocker. Skim-style wakesurfing is much more technical than surf-style...and is sort of like a cross between surfing and wakeskating. Skim style wakesurf boards are usually recommended for advanced riders only.
Thinner rails make for a faster ride, while thicker rails are more forgiving.
Ropes and Handles for Wakesurfing
Wakesurfing ropes and handles are shorter and thicker than those used for standard wakeboarding. You will use the rope/handle to get up and into the wake. Once you are in the wake, you can throw the rope back to the boat. Wakeboard ropes are too thin to hang on to directly and they have the potential to cause injury when used for wakesurfing.
The Boat for Wakesurfing
For best wakesurfing experience, add additional ballast to one side of your boat to increase the wake size. The port (left) side of the boat is most commonly weighting down, as the prop wash is spins off in a direction that makes this side of the boat most desirable for wakesurfing. Some boats have internal ballast systems where inside tanks are filled with water to properly weigh down the boat. Weight can also be added through the use of ballast bags that can be filled and emptied to create the desired wake for wakesurfing.
Wakesurf shapers are the hottest products to hit wakesurfing since the invention of the wakesurf board. These trusty devices easily mount to the back hull on literally any boat and generate premier surf wakes. Wakesurf shapers are game-changers...and turn normal wakes into pumping swells.
Wakesurfing is usually done at a speed of about 10 mph-12 mph.
Only wake surf behind boats with inboard engines. Outboard engines expose the surfer to the prop, which...obviously, is extremely dangerous.