How do you Drive a Wake Boat?

Are you new to wakesurfing? Maybe you just bought a new boat and want to make sure that you know what you are doing. We’ll walk you through the basics for starting and driving your wake boat in the below guide.

Starting the Boat

Before we get into how to drive the boat, let’s take a minute to discuss how to start the boat. When starting the boat, follow the below checklist:

  1. Turn on the batteries for the boat
  2. Once the boat is on, run the blower for a minute or two. The blower is the fan in the engine compartment that cycles all of the stale fumes out of the inside of the boat. It will bring in fresh air to avoid any unnecessary combustion in the engine compartment.
  3. While the blower is running, take this time to check gas gauges and to make sure all safety requirements are met. These include:
    • One USCG life jacket for each person on the boat
    • A throwable
    • Fire extinguisher
  4. Once the blower has run for a suitable amount of time, flip the blower off and insert your key into the ignition. Next, turn the key to start the boat
  5. With the engine running, begin filling up the ballast tanks
  6. Situate all of the passengers on the side of the boat that the rider will be on
  7. If you have a wake plate, suction cup that to the side of the boat.
  8. Attach the rope to the tower and you’ll be good to go!

Let this list act as a guide to getting going. Be aware that this list may differ slightly based on where you are surfing and what kind of boat you are driving.

Tips for the Driver

The speed that you should be driving depends on how many people are on the boat and how much weight has been added to the ballast system. More than likely, you will be pulling surfers between 10.8 and 11.8 miles per hour. This will change based on different circumstances. For instance, driving into the wind may change the way your boat cuts through the water or the speed of the rider. Take into consideration these conditions as a driver and act accordingly. Your goal is to create a consistent wake that is easy to surf behind.


If you want to take friends out on your boat, consider a test run to work out all the issues beforehand. Fully understand how your ballasts work and test them. Music is a huge bonus when out on the water so make sure your stereo works and you can play music. Boating can be stressful so do yourself a favor and practice everything before you entertain.


Driving a wakesurfing boat can seem daunting when you first start out. Like anything, practice makes perfect so get out on the water as much as you can!

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