Lead Or Water Weight
What makes the better wake, lead or water weight?
In some boats, stock ballast is just right for creating the perfect wakeboard wake or surf wake. Others need the help of additional ballast to make the wake crisp and clean. Most stock systems will pump water into internal tanks or ballast bags. At the end of the day, this water is usually pumped out before the boat goes back on the trailer or lift. Water weight is great because of this reason. You can easily fill and empty and you have an endless supply since you are on the water. There are a few drawbacks to each item as well as advantages.
Let's start with water weight / Ballast Bags advantages
- Easily filled and drained
- They can be moved around the boat
- You can store them under compartments when they are drained and sometimes filled
- Better for trailering your boat back and forth
- They come in multiple sizes and are customizable for an extra price
Pictured below is a typical Ballast Bag that uses water to add weight to the boat. This unit would normally sit in a storage locker.
- The water can sway causing the boat to bounce
- When filled they can take up lots of space depending on your boat
- It takes time to fill and empty the bags
- You have to have an internal pump or aftermarket to pump water
- You may have to replace some small parts every two years
Lead Weight Advantages
- Small pouches can be hidden around the boat
- Consistent weight vs water. Will not sway
- Takes no time unless you are taking them in and out of the boat each time
- Can be moved easily
- No Maintenace - Watch for rust and moisture
- Not great for lifts or trailering
- Hard to take away and add weight
- Heavy to move when you need to store the boat
- Always take the same space
- Potential for rust stains etc depending on what kind you use
Having a combination of both is always are a great alternative to picking just one. Adding 200 -300 pounds of lead that always sits in the boat shouldn't cause damage to the lift or give you any trouble while trailering. The rest of the weight can come from ballast bags and water weight. All boats and hulls are different so weight placement can act differently in each. Testing out different ballast placements and weight amounts are always best to get the perfect wake.
You can get Ballast Pumps and Bags at our store 88 Gear Water Sports.