What is the Best Boat Speed for Wakesurfing & Wake Size

Wakesurfing combines the thrill of surfing with the power of a boat’s wake. To ensure a successful and enjoyable ride, however, we need to drive the boat at an optimal wakesurf speed and create a wake size that’s advantageous for the rider.

What is the Best Wakesurf Speed for a Big Wake and a Good Surf Session?

Below, we reveal the factors that influence boat speed, how to reach optimal speed and how to create the perfect wake for the perfect wakesurfing experience.

Why Boat Speed Matters:

Boat speed plays an important role in wakesurfing, since it determines the size and shape of the wake behind the boat. For instance, the wake serves as the ramp that allows wakesurfers to ride without holding onto a tow rope.

Starting Boat Speed:

Child Wakesurfing Behind a Boat - Creating Optimal Wake Size and boat Speed for the Perfect Surfing Ride

The ideal starting boat speed for wakesurfing is typically between 9 to 11 mph (14 to 18 km/h). This speed allows beginners to get comfortable on the board and also find their balance without facing overwhelming waves.

Reaching the Optimal Wakesurf Speed:

As a wakesurfer gains confidence and control, they can gradually increase the boat speed to reach the optimal range – usually between 10 to 13 mph (16 to 21 km/h). At this speed, the wake becomes larger and more defined, providing an exhilarating ride for more experienced wakesurfers.

What Speed Creates a Larger Wake:

The optimal boat speed that creates a larger wake is influenced by several factors:

1. Ballast and Weight Distribution: Adding ballast to the boat and strategically distributing the weight will increase the boat’s draft. As a result, the boat will sit lower in the water and create a larger wake.

2. Boat Model and Size: Different boat models and sizes generate wakes differently. For example, V-shaped hulls tend to create larger and steeper wakes, ideal for advanced riders. On the other hand, smaller boats might produce less pronounced wakes, suitable for beginners.

3. Surf System and Wedge: Utilizing built-in surf systems or aftermarket wake-shaping devices can fine-tune the wake’s shape and size, enhancing the riding experience.

Tips for Creating a Larger Wake:

To create a larger wake for an optimal wakesurfing experience, consider the following tips:

Swell Wakesurf Creator

1. Add Ballast: First of all, utilize ballast bags or tanks to increase the weight of the boat. These deepen the boat’s draft and create a larger wake.

2. Proper Weight Distribution: Secondly, ensure that the weight is evenly distributed throughout the boat to achieve a balanced and clean wake.

3. Adjust Surf System or Wedge: Third, fine-tune the surf system or wake-shaping device to customize the wake’s shape to suit the rider’s preferences.

FAQ About Wakesurfing & Boat Speed:

Q: Can I wakesurf behind any type of boat?

A: Wakesurfing can be enjoyed behind most inboard and V-drive boats. These boats are specifically designed to create a surfable wake.

Q: Is boat speed the same for all wakesurfers?

A: No, boat speed can vary depending on the wakesurfer’s skill level and weight. Plus, advanced riders may want to adjust the speed faster or slower depending on the specific moves they want to perform.

Q: Can I wakesurf with a rope?

Learning to Wakesurf with a Tow Rope

A: Typically, riders surf without a rope once the rider is able to catch the wake and maintain balance. That said, using a tow rope for your entire surf session is completely fine.

Q: How can I practice wakesurfing safely?

A: First of all, always wear a life jacket while wakesurfing, and have a spotter on the boat to keep an eye on the rider. In addition, you want to practice in open waters away from hazards or other boats.


In conclusion, boat speed and wake size directly influence the quality of the ride and the experience for surfers. Plus, starting at a comfortable speed and gradually reaching the optimal boat speed enables riders to enhance their skills and enjoy longer rides.

Creating a larger wake involves utilizing ballast, distributing weight properly and adjusting the surf system or wake-shaping tabs. So, find the right boat speed, customize the wake to your liking and have an unforgettable adventure on the water.

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