Surfing has long been a cool sport that few people have access to. That all changed when wannabe surfers realized that wakeboard boats, weighted down with plenty of onboard ballast, actually produced some tasty waves. Suddenly, the surf could be up not just off coastal beaches but on waterways everywhere. After that, wakesurfing rose from playful diversion to watersports phenomenon.
Credit boat design for truly building the wave. Electronically controlled, movable plates and tabs became a staple on transoms, disrupting water flow to create not only larger wakes but ones that mimicked an ocean wave’s shape and face. Software replaced trial and error, reducing variables like ballast loads and surf hardware positioning to a few intuitive taps on a touchscreen helm display. Boats also became larger and more luxurious, with powerful engines to carry the increased load and abundant seating to let friends join the party.
Ready to catch this ever-growing wave? Here are four of the most tricked-out wave makers on the market as well as one electric alternative creating its own swell for the future.