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Can You Wakesurf Behind a Jet Boat? Here's How to Set It Up

How To Surf Behind A Jet Boat - SWELL Wakesurf Blog - SWELL Wakesurf

Long story short - It's never as good as an inboard - But you can surf a Jet Boat


Jet boats are getting more and more popular every day and we are getting frequent calls about how to set them up for surfing. Yamaha recently came out with a jet boat wake shaper designed for their 2018 and newer boats, and of course they are backordered!


The question we always get is: “Will your SWELL Wakesurf Creator work on my jet boat?”


There are a few things to consider to answer this question:


Will it fit? We have 4 wakesurf creators to choose from. Check them out. You want to ensure you have the space to attach it, and that the area is free of decals and is flat. Our H3X Plus is always the best option if you can get it to fit, The space it needs is 5" high x 13" long and it is recommended to attach it below the waterline when fully loaded. It will work if its a bit above, when you start going it'll drop in and will do what is intended. 


How much ballast do you have or intend to put into your boat? The biggest problem with jet boats is the jet, when we attach a SWELL Wakesurf Creator™ to the side of the jet boat, as it does on any boat, it moves the surf wave closer to the center of the boat. The issue is that the jet is in the center and shoots directly at where you are surfing, you are generally able to still surf, but most people find this less than ideal, check out this video:


Do you have a twin engine? Twin engine jet boats can work better with the SWELL wakesurf creator if you can control them separately. You can then get up to speed, and throttle back the surf side jet to prevent it from shooting at the surf wave.


How much ballast is necessary? Generally, todays surf boats have 2000-2500lbs of ballast stock, there isn’t any dramatic differences to the hulls of most of these boats than there was 10 years ago, the big difference is the ballast. Wake surfing is all about displacement, the more the boat is in the water, the larger the wave. I always recommend people with jet boats start with AT LEAST 1200lbs of ballast (keep in mind the bigger the boat, the more ballast you need to sink the hull) and I recommend you place it as far back as possible. We sell several bags of different sizes to fit into compartments or on the open space of the floor, as well as Yamaha specific bags.


There is one more option that we frequently recommend specifically for Yamaha jet boats, and that is the Jet Boat Wedge, what this device does is it attaches underneath the swim deck of the Yamaha jet boats, and shapes the wake as well as redirects the jet so it does not shoot at your surf wave. While this is a more expensive option, it is a great option to avoid some of the issues we spoke about above. This does not, however, eliminate the need for ballast! Surfing 1st and foremost requires ballast, the more the merrier!


Please don’t hesitate to call us at 651-400-2389, email at, or chat with us on the website if you have any more questions.


Nate Kohmescher

I have a ar192 Yamaha jet boat and don’t know what wake shaper to buy for it.

Kordell Primus

I have a 2008 twin engine seadoo 230 wake boat. We have surged behind it but it is not ideal. Was wondering which wake shaper you would recommend.

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