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checklist before you start wakesurfing

Before you Start Wakesurfing Check These Items

Wakesurf Checklist Before You Get on the Water

Review this checklist before you hit the water to save yourself some time and headaches.  This mainly covers trailering your boat to the lake or river but has some good common sense things that we have all overlooked.  It's easy to miss something when all you can think about is jumping in the water to get your wakesurf set. 

  •   Note that every waterway has different rules so knowing the rules of the waterway you are boating on is always the first check. 

Here are a few of the items and most common mistakes people make.  We want to help you avoid them so you can enjoy your day and not regret it.  We also recommend checking out this link on safe boating tips.  This provides more common sense items for making your day on the water safe.

1. Hauling your boat to the ramp or launch point

There are multiple checks on this one so we will bullet point it 

  • Trailer Light Check
  • Trailer Strap Check
  • Air in Trailer Tires
  • Double and Triple check the hitch and safety pins
  • Secure all boards and items in the boat so they don't fly away -Seats, life vests, boards on the racks, towels, clothing. 
  • Secure or remove your cover.  Some boats have covers you can drive with others you should remove. 
  • Boat Keys
  • Boat Plug
  • Sticker For the Ramp or Parking area - Check before you go
  • Fill up First - Gas onsite if available is expensive
  • Make sure towers, mirrors, and etc are tightened 
  • Do you have enough life vests for the passengers 
  • Do you have a plan if the truck hauling your boat doesn't start after your day of boating
  • Check your Battery - Or Always be prepared with Really long jumper cables
  • Do you need fenders or have fenders if docking for lunch boat tie-ups

2. Putting the boat in the water

  • Undo the straps from the trailer
  • Plug - Plug and Plug Say it three times so you don't forget
  • Visually check the boat ramp for depth and debris 
  • Be aware of other boaters - Respect the amount of time you take on the ramp
  • Visually Check your prop before. 
  • Make sure all your gear is loaded before so you can clear the ramp quickly.
  • Put your emergency brake on if you have to stop on the ramp. 
  • Take your brake off if you put it on. 
  • Double Check Life Vests one more time

3. On the water 

Before you speed away

  • Where are the No Wake and Wake zones
  • Boards are secured to the racks
  • Gear is Secured in the boat
  • Warn your passengers you are going to accelerate. 
  • Know the depths you are going to enter

Filling up the Ballast

  • was anything loosened are all connections together
  • If the bags overfill will they damage anything in compartments
  • Clear items from around bags so nothing is damaged during the filling process
  • Monitor the Ballast bags and system - are the pumps working and everything filling correctly. 
  • Did you account for passenger weight 
  • Don't overfill if extra passengers are with

4. Test the Wake

Save the person and other some time by doing a small test of the surf wake before you start.  Making adjustments on the fly is not fun for the surfer nor the passengers.  Have everyone stay in the same spot they started so the weight doesn't shift while you are testing. 

5. Get the Board Ready

Have an experienced adult hand over the wakesurf board to the individual surfing.  We say it that way because the board might be too heavy for a kid or a recreational passenger might place the board fin side down possibly damaging the boat and fin.  It is usually best if the boat owner does this and saves the stress of watching others carelessly handle a board.

  • make sure the fins are secure
  • life vests on
  • rope helper knows when to throw and catch the rope
  • Most important the remaining boards are secured again
  • double check the wake plates or shapers to make sure they are attached right
  • Check rope length and for tangles

6. Time to Wakesurf

So far it seems like there is a lot to check and go over but once you go out a few times some of this is second nature.  Also if you are with the same crew everyone can pitch in and help to make sure the crew is safe and surf ready.  As you rotate surf sets keep in mind of your surroundings and water depths.  Always check the surf rope before you put the boat in gear.  Nothing is worse than a tangled mess around the boat prop. 

Please feel free to comment and add to this list to help others have a better boating and wakesurfing experience.  We look forward to adding more to the list with your feedback. 

If you are in the market to buy and new wakesurf board or accessories then check us out at 88 Gear water sports

Here is a Printable Checklist to Reference

Printable Boating Checklist




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