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Old     (Andrew14)      Join Date: Apr 2011       02-27-2013, 11:39 AM Reply   
Been reading a lot of the "this boat" vs. "that boat" threads over the last couple of days and finally come to the realization (not sure why it took so long) that everyone is running way over just factory ballast in their respective boats. I'm a beginner - very intermediate rider (2 basic inverts, no spins, grabs, trying to get consistent on TS w2w) and typically just run factory ballast only in the boats I ride behind (2008 210, 2008 230). Are the members on here all that good to justify running 3k-5k in total ballast in their boats, is it just more fun to ride that way (hey, I'm not a pro rider but it sure is fun to ride a pro level wake), or does it help with progression? Should I stay running factory ballast until my fundamentals improve, then start adding weight (because too much ballast hinders progression / learning proper fundamentals) or should I be riding a bigger wake even as I'm learning? Curious to hear people's thoughts on this. Thanks.
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       02-27-2013, 11:49 AM Reply   
Yes and no. I think when learning the fundamentals, it is much easier to do it at a slower speed with less ballast. The falls hurt less and you are learning proper technique to generate maximum pop. On the flip side, riding a large wake when starting out can help you because the wake is doing a lot of the work. Another reason its good to get used to riding big wakes is that when you decide to compete, usually they have an overstuffed boat doing the pulling, so its good to be comfortable in that setting.

In short I think you are doing things correct, but perhaps every now and again you should go full ballast and get comfortable riding that way. Many pros still dump ballast and slow down when they first try new tricks, they get the feel of the trick without punishing themselves at full speed. Once they figure it out they will take it to full speed and full weight.
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       02-27-2013, 12:07 PM Reply   
Too many people ride too large of wakes for their ability levels. Riders have made "small" wakes work, and learn/figure out the fundamentals using them. IMO, using large wakes has increased the liklihood of injuries, and stalled riders' progression significantly.
Old     (jtiblier123)      Join Date: Jan 2011       02-27-2013, 12:10 PM Reply   
Just my opinion...

Yes, a huge wake is fun even for a novice, but there is absolutely no reason for a novice to be riding a huge wake. The majority of tricks in wakeboarding are all about line tension, and massive wakes can allow riders to learn tricks incorrectly, with the rider relying on the wake and not the line to perform the trick. The huge wake allows for many more bad habits to develop. But if you don't care about how you look or that your tantrum looks like you are slinky, then have at it.

If one learns to ride with a normal nicely shaped wake, they will understand that wakeboarders use line tension to go bigger, not the amount of speed you carry into the wake to go bigger. Yes speed comes into play later on, but not so much in the beginning. Why do you think all of the older riders can go so big...they learned to get air behind little 19 foot direct drive boats with miniature wakes for slalom. They understand line tension and with the big wakes, the can soar. (Think of Murray, Randall or even Darin Shapiro) and modern day guys like Dean, Chad, and Scott Stewart.) If you havent heard of scott, check him out. He goes so big he rides with a mouthpiece.

Just my two cents. Some will agree other won't but I just think a huge wake can screw with fundamentals.
Old     (FunkyBunch)      Join Date: Jun 2011       02-27-2013, 12:15 PM Reply   
To expand on what stephan wrote. I am a bit older learning wakeboarding than some of the young guys here. That being said once you have your board control both toe-side and heel-side ,are comfortable jumping the stock wake and riding at the faster speeds 23+. I would move up to a bigger wake for one reason you use less energy to do the same things and therefore can ride longer. For a long time I would not even fill up the stock ballast on my boat as I was learning. Something I learned about my boat to was the wake got a lot better when I added the weight over stock so much so that I did not have to increase the speed I ride at much when adding the weight. My biggest issue was and still is trying to perfect everything instead of moving my progression on but that was wearing me out so my progression stalled. Even if you not a great rider the big wake is fun even to just carve around on.

All this being said fundamentals are still key.

Last edited by FunkyBunch; 02-27-2013 at 12:19 PM. Reason: added fundamentals
Old    terrybailey10            02-27-2013, 12:38 PM Reply   
more air time equals more time to correct/recover. also takes way less work. than trip flip you ankels off just to get around.
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       02-27-2013, 1:21 PM Reply   
In short-

I would say 'Hinder'. Big wakes are great when you've got the technique and tricks figured out. Too many people that I've ridden with (and even myself on a few things) have developed bad technique and are gun-shy about learning things because they've been riding a slammed wake too early and have gotten punished.

My thoughts:
Start Learning something: Less weight, Shorter line, Slower
Finish Learning something : more weight, longer line, faster.
Old     (jtiblier123)      Join Date: Jan 2011       02-27-2013, 1:27 PM Reply   
I agree with Ben Ax...

Learning a trick or adding a grab to it...
I slow down to 21.7, lose about 2k in ballast and bring my rope to 65'.

Riding normal with tricks I can do consistently...
Speed back up to 23.7, add more weight, bring line out to 75' or 77.5'
Old     (skiboarder)      Join Date: Oct 2006       02-27-2013, 1:54 PM Reply   
I learned my first 15 inverts or so and all 360s FS/BS at 19.5 mph on a 60ft line with no ballast. I love a big wake now, but I shake my head every time I see a rider getting destroyed learning 180s at 24mph, 80ft with super ballast. If you want to fly (and maybe die), go for it. If you want to progress fast, a smaller wake will help you get the basics down faster without hurting yourself badly.

Once you are charging mobes and 7s the ballast will make all of the difference.
Old     (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       02-28-2013, 7:26 AM Reply   
The best riders I know personally spent a large majority of their time riding behind direct drive ski boats. The guys who "grew up" behind slammed out huge wakes have never progressed (but likely not enjoyed any less).
Old     (Luker)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-28-2013, 7:32 AM Reply   
Wakes are kind of like your wiener... even tho you may not be a porn star, bigger is always better
Old     (Gnargnar)      Join Date: Aug 2012       02-28-2013, 8:20 AM Reply   
Old     (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       02-28-2013, 9:58 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by Luker View Post
Wakes are kind of like your wiener... even tho you may not be a porn star, bigger is always better
Hey man.. Screw off.. I love my ProStar 190!!
Old     (Luker)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-28-2013, 10:57 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by jeff_mn View Post
Hey man.. Screw off.. I love my ProStar 190!!
says the asian guy to ron jeremy
Old     (wakebordr11)      Join Date: May 2001       02-28-2013, 12:47 PM Reply   
My buddies and I like that smaller wakes are more work. We get a better workout and then when we work just as hard on a big wake, the results are going even higher.... Laziness is a bad thing on a big wake or a small wake...
Old     (bschall)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-01-2013, 10:05 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by Luker View Post
Wakes are kind of like your wiener... even tho you may not be a porn star, bigger is always better
Well Said
Old     (Andrew14)      Join Date: Apr 2011       03-01-2013, 3:33 PM Reply   
Great info here - thanks for all of the responses! I think I know what I need to do this season.......SLOW down to 19/20 mph, come into around 55'-60', little to no ballast - then get some fundamentals down, learn a few basic tricks (180s/360's/Backroll/Scarecrow/etc) as well as work on switch riding.....then go back out on the rope and speed up. I've hit a plateau in my riding because I've been afraid to try much since I was rolling at 23 mph on a 70-75' rope on a decent size stock wake (above my ability level). Looking forward to making some progress this summer now that I have a plan.....
Old     (holdsworth)      Join Date: Jan 2010       03-01-2013, 4:41 PM Reply   
Running a ton of ballast isn't necessary at all for progression unless you're trying to do anything past, say, a 540 or mobe 5. I learned a ton of stuff behind a 2003 X-7 with the stock tank in the back and a tank on the side of the engine to offset my dads weight. This included inverts to blind, a few mobes, and a 540. We then went to a 2003 X-30 with stock ballast and one extra ~600lb tank, all the same stuff plus a TS R2B, TS 7, and some floaty raleys (edge control and edging all the way through are key). We got an X-Star a couple of years ago which I have yet to load up with more than stock+1500lbs because of the prop on it, but I don't really "need" it yet but am getting to that point. I rode last summer behind a 1999-ish Air Nautique with one small stock tank and three bodies in the boat and could still do my inverts to blind, a couple mobes, and a BS 5 and TS 7. Progression to an advanced level is based on the rider, never how big the wake is. I think it's foolish to say otherwise. Progression to a higher level than that (heading to a pro-level rider) changes to how much time you have to complete a trick, so a huge wake is actually needed, not just desired.
Old     (migs)      Join Date: Aug 2006 Location: SF Bay Area       03-01-2013, 4:50 PM Reply   
SACK that puppy down & shoot for the stars!!!
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       03-01-2013, 5:00 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by migs View Post
SACK that puppy down & shoot for the stars!!!
If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen! Drop it low

In all honesty though it depends on the boat and rider. If you're only learning TS jumps then no ballast needed....


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