Anything and Everything about Ballast Bags for Boats
Are you looking to improve the way you wakesurf? Many people will tell you that you need this type of board or boat to successfully wakesurf. However, to get a successful wakesurf experience, you only need to focus on getting a great wake. And getting the perfect wake depends on using the right ballast bag for boats.
You might be wondering what a ballast bag is and what it does…
A ballast bag is a compartment or container (depending on the boat) filled with water to stabilize the boat. In addition, the ballast bag adds more weight to the boat to create a bigger (and better) wake.
In wakesurfing, a ballast bag's purpose is to help wakesurfers successfully catch a wave and stay up. In addition, if you want an even better wake, most surfers add a wake shaper wedge to increase the size and shape of the wake.
What Happens If You Don't Have a Ballast Bag?
Can you have a successful wakesurf without a ballast bag? Before we answer that question, we need to address whether your boat needs one.
If your boat does not have a built-in ballast system or needs more space for a ballast system, you may need some additional support to create a sufficient wave. It’s also possible that where you use your boat prohibits wake-enhancing systems. In these cases, a ballast bag can help.
But don't fret! It is still possible to successfully wakesurf without a ballast system. While surfing without a ballast system is doable, boaters need to understand that the wake depends on the boat, the weight of the boat, and the rider.
You may not have the highest quality wake, but it is still possible to wakesurf. A wake without ballast bags is best for the experienced rider, and beginners may struggle to pick up the sport quickly.
While it is still possible, it requires more attention to detail and more patience. If you’d prefer an easier and more impactful wakesurfing experience, it’s helpful for you to know the ins and outs of ballast bags for boats.
3 Important Things to Consider When Using Ballast Bags for Boats
When using a ballast system, it is vital to make sure you use it to your advantage. If you don't use it correctly or the most effectively, you miss an opportunity to elevate your boat's wake.
Here are the three essential components to consider when figuring out your boat's ballast system.
#1: The Placement
A boat's ballast bags may seem like a small detail, but their placement affects the shape of its wake. Depending on where you place the bags, you can create different variations of waves coming off the boat.
If you want a smaller and longer wake, move the ballast bags forward in the boat.
If your goal is to maximize the height of the wake, place the ballast bag at the rear of the boat. Many boaters recommend placing the weight on one side of the boat because that helps produce a giant wake.
#2: The Weight
Another element to consider is the weight of the bag. The bag's weight determines how much the boat weighs, affecting the wake. If your bag is not heavy enough, the ballast bag will not do much for your wake.
Many boaters recommend having sixty percent of the weight in the rear of the boat and forty percent of the weight in the front of the boat. Following this rule, boats can produce a smooth, clean wake long and tall enough for surfing.
If you have no ballast system and need help distributing the weight, most boaters recommend starting out by adding 750 pounds of ballast weight towards the rear of the boat.
#3: The Size
Lastly, it is also essential to consider the size of your ballast bags. Similar to weight, the size of the bags ultimately determines the size of your wake, as the size of the bags directly correlates to how much water they can hold.
However, different scenarios call for different-sized ballast bags. For example, if your boat does not have a ballast system, you should first consider investing in larger-sized bags. Large bags will undoubtedly help increase the size of your boat's wake.
Another thing to consider is getting some smaller ballast bags. Sometimes, after adding the larger bags, you need a little more help fine-tuning your wake. In this case, you need more than just another full-sized ballast bag.
At WAKE 10, we created a smaller ballast bag to help fine-tune the perfect wake. Our ballast bags hold up to fifty pounds of water and conveniently don’t require any pumps. Instead, you simply open the leak-proof zipper, dip the opening in the lake with the boat moving at low speed, and let the incoming flow of water fill the bag for you!
Our ballast bags are small enough that they do not take up any extra room on the boat while not in use, they alleviate the dreaded “passenger shuffling” to dial in your wake, and helps you achieve the little extra oomph needed to have the most incredible wake on the lake.
Our bags feature the highest quality materials, so you don't need to worry about them spilling out onto the boat. Along with this, our ballast bags save you money because it uses less fuel compared to other similar sized ballast bags - no more wasting fuel hauling around steel shot bags, lead bags, and sand bags when you’re not using them. Simply dump the water back into the lake when you’re done and save money on fuel!
The bags also come with a convenient carry handle, making them easy to move and place on the boat once they are full.
Ballast Bags for Boats Can Make or Break Your Wake