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Wakesurfing is a fun activity to do behind the boat, and has seen rapid growth over the last several years due to it being easy to learn and the falls being very low impact. Although wakesurfing is lots of fun, it is crucial you determine whether or not you are able to safely surf behind your boat. Let’s dive into just what types of boats you can safely surf behind. 

The main concern with wakesurfing behind any boat is the location of the propeller. The propeller is a sharp piece of metal that rotates at a high speed and propels the boat forward, this means you would never want the possibility of any rider coming in contact with the propeller. Thankfully, boat manufacturers like MasterCraft and Cobalt have realized the demand for boats that you can wakesurf behind and have designed boats of all shapes and sizes that are safe to wakesurf behind 

Boats that are not safe for wakesurfing

There are types of boats that you should never wakesurf behind, those being non surf specific sterndrive/inboard outboards as well as traditional outboards.  

1. Outboards  

An outboard engine is one that is mounted to the stern of the boat, meaning the propellor would be incredibly close to someone who is surfing behind the boat 

2. Non-Surf Specific Sterndrives (I/O’s).

A sterndrive is commonly referred to as an Inboard/Outboard, has a motor which is located inside the hull of the boat, but the drive unit is located at the rear of the boat. 

Both of these types of motors have exposed propellers which are located at the stern of the boat, meaning you should never wakesurf behind an outboard or a sterndrive that isn’t designed specifically to be surfed behind. If you were to fall forward while surfing behind either of these types of boats you would put yourself at risk of coming in contact with the propeller.  

Boats that are safe for wakesurfing 

1. V Drive (Inboard Boat)

V drive boats are the most common form of wakesurf boat, as they are designed in a way which produces the best wave for wakesurfing. The propeller on a V Drive is located behind the rudder and safely underneath the hull of the boat.  

2. Direct Drive (Inboard Boat)

Similar to the v drive a direct drive boat with have the propellor located behind the rudder and safely underneath the hull of the boat. However, the engine on a direct drive is located in the center of the boat as opposed to the rear of the boat like in a v drive.  

3. Forward Drive (Found on Sterndrives or I/O’s)

The innovation of the forward drive propeller allows for the same benefits that you would get with a stern drive, but since the propeller is located at the front of the drive unit instead of the rear, you are able to wakesurf safely. The forward drive is often found on larger boats, and although V drive surf waves are typically the best, forward drives still throw a great wave and allow you to wakesurf behind a boat that you wouldn’t have been able to before. 

4. Inboard Jet 

A jet boat uses an impeller which is driven by the engine to move and steer the boat. These boats are safe to surf behind as there is no propeller that is exposed on the outside of the boat.  Although a surf wave that a jet boat will produce will not be as good as that of a v drive, you can still safely wakesurf behind them. 

Thanks for reading!

If you are just getting into wakesurfing, click here to learn why MasterCraft’s surf wave is best for beginners. If you have any questions, reach out to your local Action Water Sports, we are happy to help!