Around 100 million Americans go boating yearly, and 11.9% of American households own a boat. If you’re a watersports enthusiast, you may consider buying a boat designed specifically for wakeboarding, water-skiing or tubing.
Depending on your choice of watersport, you need to look for different features to elevate your experience. Before buying, it’s best to have a solid idea of how you would like to spend your time on the water.
What Type of Boat Is Best for Watersports?
Watersports boats have different requirements than pleasure boats. They must displace enough water to create enough wake for watersports enthusiasts to enjoy. Not all boats can safely tow people — the wrong boat choice will impact the experience and possibly injure someone.
There are many watersports boats — before deciding, ensure your chosen vessel can accommodate any sport you’d like to try. Though you can find versatile boats for various watersports, many are specific to only one. There are subtle differences in requirements, so if you favor a single watersport, it’s best to choose a boat designed for your favorite activity.
The Best Boats for Wakeboarding
Wakeboarders have slightly different wake preferences. Ideally, they would have a tall wake with a gradual upward slope and a clean peak at 75 to 85 feet. Average wakeboarding speeds are between 18 and 24 mph to create a good wake to launch from.
The best wakeboard boats have more deadrise than other watersports boats and are often heavier to create the desired wake. A typical wake boat starts between 21 and 25 feet long.
The Best Boats for Water-Skiing
Water-skiers prefer a small, narrow wake with minimal propeller turbulence — shorter than 75 feet for slalom skiers. For a boat to ski, you’ll look for boat speeds ranging from the mid-20s to 36 mph.
Slalom skiers and jumpers must be able to slice through the wake without interruption. There are specific requirements to achieve this wake shape. The hull must be higher in the water, and the boat should be mid-engined. A good boat for water-skiing shouldn’t be too heavy, as weight is essential in creating the perfect wake.
The best boat choice may also depend on what type of skier you are. Small wakes are better for jumpers and slalom skiers, but trick skiers need a bigger wake to launch from.
The Best Boats for Tubing
Crossover boats are best for tubing and other relaxed activities out on the water. They have plenty of room for friends and family. Recreational boating enthusiasts can use them to enjoy various watersports.
What to Look for in a Boat for Watersports
With so many boats, narrowing down your choices is helpful. Focus on the following to find the ideal vessel for your chosen watersport.
You need the right engine to create the perfect wake or wave for your chosen sport. It should power your activity with enough torque to quickly get your loaded boat on plane and out of the water.
The ideal boat has plenty of storage for your skis or boards and locker storage for your belongings. You want your storage to keep your belongings dry.
Your boat’s length can change the towing experience. Beyond that, you must be within the size limits for your chosen body of water. Also, consider your boat’s towing capacity and where you will store it when you aren’t using it.
Watersports boats must provide an excellent experience for the driver and passengers. Look for an intuitive and easy-to-use control system where you can make the adjustments you need.
Most watersports boats have a tower — your choice should work for you. It should have speakers and be easy to stow. Double-check you can stand comfortably under the Bimini.
Pay attention to hull shape. Wakeboarding boats have a more pronounced V-hull to displace water efficiently and create a bigger wave. Ski boats, however, have flat hulls for planing and keeping the wake smaller.
The Advantages of Crossover Boats
Recreationalists who want to enjoy different watersports have the option of a crossover boat. You and your loved ones can ride, surf, tube and ski from one boat. Crossover boats often provide ample seating and a luxurious ride, perfect for weekend breaks with family and friends. They are sporty enough to give surfers and skiers plenty of wake and comfortable enough to spend a day on the water.
Some of the benefits of crossover boats include the following.
- Flexibility: A crossover boat can accommodate various watersports disciplines. The hull, ballast and size offer complete performance. Many options have technological advancements that let you change the size of the wake and accommodate all levels of watersports enthusiasts.
- Space: Crossover boats are spacious and comfortable, so your passengers can enjoy the experience as much as the skiers and boarders.
- Reliability: Crossover boats provide a unique and user-friendly experience. They are comfortable and luxurious without sacrificing performance. The combination of features and power keeps things interesting for all levels of boaters and watersports enthusiasts.
- Longevity: Buying a boat is an investment, but crossover boats hold their value, and their robust design means they last. If you later decide to specialize in a specific watersport, you should get good resale value on a crossover boat.
Find the Best Boat for Your With Formula Boats
Everyone is looking for something unique in a boat. At Formula Boats, we’ve created the perfect balance between styling, engineering, comfort and performance on the water. Our uncompromising focus on quality surpasses boating enthusiasts’ expectations. You can make your boat stand out with our online boat customization tool, allowing you to make several boat models of your own.