Wakeboard Critic

Can You Wakeboard Behind Any Boat?

Discover the most suitable boat for wakeboarding behind

Wakeboarding is a great warm-weather sport that people of all skill levels can do. Whether or not you’re new to wakeboarding, there are a few things you need to get started. They include a board, a tow rope, and a boat. It’s important to make sure you have the correct type of gear when you’re wakeboarding, as it can mean your success or failure. One of the most important things to consider when you’re planning to go wakeboarding is the boat.


Many people wonder, can you wakeboard behind any boat? The short answer is: no. There are types of boats that can support wakeboarding, but there are also types of boats that are not suitable for wakeboarding and can actually be dangerous to you as a rider. A wakeboarding boat requires specific features, which we will get into later in this article.


If you’re wondering, can you wakeboard behind any boat, you’ll find the answer here.  We’ll explain some of the features of the best wakeboard boat, some top brands, and tips for how to wakeboard behind a boat safely and courteously.

Why can’t you wakeboard behind any boat?

The simple answer to this question is that not all boats are safe for wakeboarding, nor are they sufficiently equipped. Wakeboard boats create an endless wave, known as the wake, which is what you ride your board on.


Safety is an issue for some boats. Wakeboard boats have an inboard motor, while many boats have outboard motors. Inboard motors are located inside the boat, while outboard motors are mounted on the outside back end. Inboard motors are far safer for wakeboarding. Outboard motors can pose a significant safety hazard if you should get caught in one.

Another reason why you can’t wakeboard behind any boat is that not all boats have the proper features needed for wakeboarding. Wakeboarding boats are in the category of “towboats”, and are designed specifically for towing. They’re great for water sports like wakeboarding, water skiing, and wake surfing.


A few more features that the best wakeboard boat should have are hull design, internal ballast, speed and power, a tower, and wakeboard-specific features.

best wakeboard boat

Hull design

Hull design is important for a wakeboarding boat because the size of wake depends on the water displacement produced by the hull. Most boats have a U-shaped hull, which creates a wide, flat wake. Wakeboard boats have a V-shaped hull which produces a tall, firm wake.


V-shaped hulls on boats are coupled with a pointed nose, allowing the boat to move smoothly through the water. This is important as you want the smoothest ride possible when you’re wakeboarding.

Internal ballast

Internal ballast is weight that is placed inside the boat to provide adequate weight balance. Regular boats’ ballast is spread across the bottom of the boat, with more weight in the rear so the boat’s nose can rise up when accelerating.


Wakeboarding boats, on the other hand, should be heavier in the back, which allows the boat to draw in more water and push it out through the rear, creating bigger wakes.

how to wakeboard behind a boat

Speed and power

The best wakeboard boat needs to have enough power to get up to faster speeds quickly. If a boat doesn’t get up to speed quickly enough the rider can struggle to stay on their feet. The boat should be able to go at a variety of different speeds easily.
Wakeboard-specific features

A wakeboarding boat has to have features that are specific to wakeboarding, or at least the capacity to add them on. You should be able to attach a rope to a rack or canopy, or a tower, at the rear of the boat. Wakeboard boats should also have a rear platform where the rider can put on and take off their board before getting into the water.

Looking for a popular wakeboard to get you out on the water

Top Wakeboards for boat wakeboarding

Best wakeboard boats

There are a wide variety of wakeboard boats that are suitable for wakeboarding, so it’s not hard to find one that works for you. Some of the most popular brands to choose from are:

1. Axis

Axis boats are top-end boats that have great features for wakeboarding. They include features such as deep V-shape hulls, easy-to-use towers, and a variety of additional add-ons so you can customize your ride. Axis has five styles of wakeboard boats on the market: the A20, A22, A24, T22, and T23.

2. Mastercraft

Mastercraft carries four different variations of wakeboarding boats, giving a wide variety of options. These include the NXT Models, the XT Models, the X Models, and the ProStar models. The different models have various hull designs, passenger capacity, and ballast, but they all have MasterCraft’s second-generation surf system which allows for better control.

3. Tige

Tige is a high-end, more pricey option, but their boats are designed to look more like regular boats and are sleek and compact. They all have great features for wakeboarding, such as towers with extra storage and speakers. Their popular models for wakeboarding are the RZX Models and the ZX Models.

How to wakeboard behind a boat

Whichever type of wakeboarding boat you choose, it’s important to know how to wakeboard behind a boat safely. Always make sure you have the proper equipment and follow some simple safety rules.


Wear a lifejacket, especially if you are a beginner, and a helmet. You should be a strong swimmer as well. When wakeboarding, always have a spotter, a person (not the driver) who sits in the boat and watches out for you. The spotter can tell the driver to stop if you fall. Make sure you’re a sufficient distance from the boat to avoid any mishaps.


Show respect to other boaters, riders, and swimmers around you. Obey all speed limits and signs, as well as any specific rules your lake or state may have.  Wake Responsibly is a campaign designed to promote courteous behaviour on the water is worth familiarising yourself with.


If you are a beginning wakeboarder, don’t push yourself too much; start slow and work up to bigger tricks to avoid injuring yourself.  We have some helpful information for beginner wakeboarders covering everything from getting up out of the water to tips for performing your first tricks. 

can you wakeboard behind any boat

Start looking for your new boat!

Now that we’ve answered your question, can you wakeboard behind any boat, you’re ready to find yourself a wakeboard boat and hit the water. When you’re choosing a wakeboard boat, take your time and do your research before buying one, since it’s a big purchase. If you aren’t ready to buy a boat, you can still have fun on the water. Many places offer the option of renting a boat, and that can be a simple, cost-effective option if you don’t want to buy.

Wakeboarding is such a fun sport, and with the right boat you will soon be on your way to success!

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