Wakeboard Boats 101: Towing Speed, Rope Length & Weight

Wakeboard Boats 101

Wakeboarding is thrilling, and once you get hooked, you’ll want to jump off the boat and start shredding. Before you start, it’s important that you nail the basics of wakeboarding boats: weighing your boat, determining the towing speed, and choosing a rope length. These will ensure your safety before getting out on the water. So, why are these things essential? Crafting the ideal weight for your boat is hugely important because the heavier the boat, the deeper it will be placed in the water. More water displacement means a bigger wake, and more opportunities to catch air. Towing speed is also vital, and should be adjusted based on the rider’s skill level. Make sure you choose a proper rope length as well.

Wakeboard Boats 101

Now that you know the basics, let’s dive into each one individually.

How To Weight Your Wakeboarding Boats

When you set up your wakeboard boat, there are two things that you’ll need to pay attention to to get the weight just right: the weight and the weight distribution. First, let’s talk about the weight of the boat.

Weight Source

Besides the weight of the boat itself, there are two primary sources of weight on a boat: the people and the ballast bag. Before you get into putting water into the ballast bag, you should try to move the passengers around your boat and feel the weight distribution. Usually, the people’s weight is enough to make a good wake for a beginner wakeboarder, and using a ballast bag can make the wake too big and dangerous.

Weight Distribution – Y-Axis

The next thing is to set up the weight distribution on the Y-axis of the boat. Balancing the weight on the left and right sides of the boat is essential to ensure you can create a more symmetrical and safe wake. Before letting any rider jump on the water, try to run the boat and see if one side is more washed out than the others.

Weight Distribution – X-Axis

After getting the Y-Axis settled, it’s time to work on the X-Axis. More weight on the stern will make the rear side of the boat shallower on the water and leave slight water displacement for the wakeboarder. On the other hand, riders love more weight on the bow because it will create more wake. But too much weight can be a capsizing risk; there’s nothing safe about that.

Rope Length

As a general rule of thumb, the perfect rope length for a wakeboarding boat is the space where the wake turns from a clean ramp to white foam. The length of the rope from the tie point to the wakeboarder is around 55 to 85 feet. The length of the rope will depend on a few things: wakeboard boat type, boat wake, and the rider’s preference. For beginner wakeboarders, the rope is generally around 55 ft to 65 ft. The wake should be narrow enough to surf comfortably and have decent maneuverability to pick up new tricks at this length. As you gain more experience and skills, you can start to prolong the rope up to 85 ft, allowing you to do some advanced tricks like flips.

Towing Speed

Wakeboard boats commonly have a top speed of around 40 to 50 mph. But when towing someone, you rarely need to go the top speed. Here are the general rules of towing speed for wakeboarding:

12 – 14 mph: Entry-Level Speed

When you’ve just started wakeboarding, you want to start at 12 – 14 mph speed. It is more complicated when you try pulling some tricks, but it’s best when you are new and want to practice stabilizing yourself on a smooth wake.

Wakeboard Boats For Entry Level – Moomba Kaiyen

Moomba Kaiyen is a 21 ft long wakeboarding boat that can fit over 15 people at once. With a 3,700-pound ballast, a Surf System, and a compact-sleek design, the Moomba Kaiyen is the perfect wakeboarding boat for your entry-level riding.

15 – 19 mph: Riding For Comfort

Then, once you’re comfortable standing and surfing on the wakeboard, you can kick up the speed up to 15 to 19 mph. At this speed, the wake will be big enough for you to start doing tricks but smooth enough to ride for newcomers.

Wakeboard Boats For Comfort – Supra SA

Supra SA has been a dominant brand of wakeboarding boats for a long time. With multiple camera angles to ensure smooth and safe driving, and a large touchscreen display for your navigation and control, Supra SA has proven to be one of the most comfortable wakeboarding boats to drive on.

20.5 – 24 mph: Experienced Rider

The last step is when you’re already full of experience and can do some basic tricks. The wake will be much higher and much more robust at this speed.

Wakeboard Boats 101

It may feel uncomfortable and scary for beginners, but if you’re a pro, this is a great speed.

Wakeboard Boats For Experts – Supra SR 450

Supra SR is a wakeboarding boat with excellent acceleration speed. Even though its top speed is only 38.8mph, that’s more than enough to tow your board to the maximum speed for an expert rider. In addition, the Supra SR 450 is equipped with 3,000 pounds of ballast capacity, Zero Off GPS Speed Control, Supra Launch System 2.0, Swell System 2.0, Smart Plate 2.0, and the new, inclinometer-driven Auto Wake, which will give you an unforgettable riding/driving experience.


Wakeboarding is fun and thrilling, but there are still risks that you should keep in mind. That’s why nailing the basics of wakeboarding boats, such as the weight, towing speed, and rope length is essential to make the risk smaller and manage the avoidable risk.