When it comes to choosing a boat for water sports, there are a number of factors to consider: the kind of wake the boat produces, the propulsion method, and the hull shape, but the most important of all is how it will work for you and your crew!
What makes a good water sports boat?
There are two things that play strongly into how well a given boat performs as a water sports boat: the characteristics of the wake it produces and the height of the hitch point.
The wake characteristics are the most noticeable thing for the person doing the skiing or wakeboarding. A flatter wake is preferred for skiing, while a more aggressive one is better for wakeboarding.
The hitch point plays an important role too. For skiing, it's fine to have the rope connected at the same height as the skier's hands. Because they're not doing jumps, having the force pulling them parallel with the water's surface is a plus. For wakeboarding on the other hand, it's very helpful to have the hitch point higher than the boarder themselves. This is usually achieved with a wakeboard tower. When wakeboarders are doing jumps, having the hitch point up higher makes it a lot easier to get the necessary air.
Things to consider when choosing a boat for water sports
1. Propulsion method
Sterndrive boats put out great wakes for wakeboarders. Because the prop on them is relatively close to the water's surface, some of the force produced is directed upwards, forcing the stern down into the water, creating that larger wake.
Inboards and outboards create far flatter wakes, ideal for water skiing. Depending on you taste for wake, this can also be better for towable tubes and kneeboarding too.
Sometimes it can come down to simply taking the boat for a test run before you purchase, to get a feel for the kind of wake it produces.
2. What you’ll be using the boat for
If you're exclusively planning on skiing or wakeboarding, you can afford to be a little more specialised with your boat choice, looking for boats with large swim platforms to provide access to multiple boarding ladders and a walk-across design.
If you're planning on using your boat for other activities like fishing or recreational cruising, you'll want to lean towards a more versatile runabout.3. Where you’ll be boating
Will you be using your boat exclusively on calm lakes? Will you ever want to take it up shallower rivers, or even out into the ocean? This is something you'll need to consider, as specialist ski and wakeboard boats sometimes struggle in conditions other than a clear lake.
Need some advice? Drop into one of our showrooms & our team will help you find the right water sports boat for you. With 75 years of experience, Hunts Marine is a third generation, family-owned business with extensive experience in recreational boating. Find out more at HuntsMarine.com.au, give us a call on (02) 9546-1324 or get in touch with our team at Hunts Marine in Sydney, Wollongong or Batemans Bay.