How to Choose the Best Wake Shaper for Your Boat - 2022 Guide
May 1, 2020
Written by Joe Couture
Updated January 2022
Is it a suckgate, wakegate, wake plate, wakesurf creator, wave maker, wakeshaper, surfgate, boat wedge... ?
We have heard it all, and it doesn't really matter what you call it. What is important is what it does for your wave. These devices attach the opposite side of your hull as the surfer, diverting the water flow. This pulls the wake behind the boat towards the wakeshaper side of the boat. By moving the wake over you are left with a smooth surfable section of wake! This essentially gives you an everlasting or never ending wave.
What makes a SWELL Wakesurf Creator the Best choice?
The Original SWELL Wakesurf Creator came out way back in 2016 when the only options were to list/lean your boat to one side or to attach a surfgate with velcro. Nobody wants velcro permanently attached to their hull. Since pioneering the use of suction cups SWELL Wakesurf has been continually improving our tech and your wave! We now offer 5 different Wakesurf Creators.
With the largest collection of surf wedges we know it can be a little confusing which one will be right for your boat. We will describe the advantages to all of our different models in the next section. At the bottom of this page is also our SWELL Wakesurf Creator Selection Tool that will tell you which models will fit your hull. The information below will help you choose between your options and find the best wakesurf wake shaper for you.
SWELL Wakesurf Creator 2.0: “Universal Solution”
The 2.0 is the improved version of our Original Creator universal solution and a great option for most people and our lowest cost option. With an attachment size of 5”x13”, you will need that amount of flat space to attach to your hull. And with a wave shaping face of 8x9” it is a great size for most boats. The 2.0 works with most hulls, boats, and ballast setups. (if you hull doesn't have enough space to mount the larger suction cups you will need a Slim shaper which we discuss later).
SWELL Wakesurf Creator H3X: “Reduced Turbulence, MORE PUSH!”
The H3X series of wake shapers takes everything we have learned, along with flow analysis to prove, scientifically, that this is the best wake shaper collection you will ever use! The combination of the Creator rotation and hex pattern reduce turbulence (air) in the wave making your surf wave denser, ensuring more push!
Rotation - Patented Rotating Face
For a lot of boats a wakeshaper is attached to the boat where it fits, without a lot of options for angle adjustment. This is a problem because for the wake gates to work best the plate face needs to be perpendicular to the surface of the water. This allows the shaper plate to move the most water possible. On many boat hulls there are angles, curves, or steps that prevent the whole device to be angled. Our patented rotating face has the ability to change the direction of the shaper face allowing more boats to get better waves!
Textured Wakeshaper Face - Patented Dimples
Water performs very similar to air when you do a flow analysis. Everybody knows that a golfball with dimples flies further than a golfball with a smooth surface. As explained by the Scientific American, "Dimples on a golf ball create a thin turbulent boundary layer of air that clings to the ball's surface. This allows the smoothly flowing air to follow the ball's surface a little farther around the back side of the ball, thereby decreasing the size of the wake. A dimpled ball thus has about half the drag of a smooth ball." How this plays out for wakesurfing is that the water comes off the face of the shaper quicker with less deflection, which icrease the impact of the wave creater on the shape of the wave while decreasing the impact of eddies or turbulence causing swirls that inject air and soften the wave. These eddies are caused by water bouncing off the face, the dimples create negative space pulling the water across the face minimizing this issue with our patented design.
Below is a flow analysis of the change in flow when different or no texture was used on face of our wake gate. The left showing with a flat face, the middle a simple round dimple, and the final shows with our hex dimples. The big take aways are: The dark blue shows where there is no pressure, or said another way where the water is diverted from, in the third you can see there is the darkest largest section of blue meaning we are moving more efficiently more water from that area. The other harder to see in this image is that the light blue section, which is the highest impact, extends both significantly further and wider as a result of the water moving quicker off the face of the dimples and deflecting less.
SWELL Wakesurf Creator H3X Plus: "H3X Series Push with Adjustable wave Face"
The H3X Plus gives you the increased push and improved wave that the H3X Gives you, with the added adjustability of a 9 Position adjustable wake shaping face. This allows you to completely dial in your wave the way you want it. Put an end to prop rotation issues and inconsistent waves. Get the wave you want every time with the SWELL Wakesurf Creator H3X Plus!
Extending Adjustment - Patented Adjustable Face
The addition of the adjustable length of the face gives you some control over the shape of the wave. This feature will not increase the overall size of your wave, but shape it. With the face more extended your wave will also extend more. With the plate shorter your wave will also become a bit shorter, and steeper. Every hull and boat are different, but this added feature allows you to really dial in how you like your wave. We suggest starting with the plate at its shortest and extending it 1-2 clicks then watching the wave shape and test surfing it. Most people end up with a setting some where in the middle of the range. A good way to remember is the face a little shorter gives you a shorter steeper wave, the plate longer gives you a longer shallower wave.
Too Much Technical Info?
Watch An Independent YouTuber compare a Creator 2.0 to our H3X Plus Wake Shaper.
The SWELL Wakesurf Creator SLIM H3X Plus: “For Narrow Hull Lines and Big Waves”
The SLIM is designed specifically for boats that don’t have the 5x13” of flat space that other wake shapers do. Even our own H3X and 2.0 versions are too big to fit into the narrow hull lines of this type of boat! The SLIM features an attachment size of 3.5x16.5” which allows it to attach to hulls with steep steps and curved edges. Tested to fit Mastercraft X2, X30, X45, and Maristar models as well as some Sanger v210 and 215 models that have curves in the hulls. You know, the things that prevents other shapers from getting good suction never even having the change to create a decent wave. The Slim are no better or worse than 2.0 or H3X series, it is just a matter of fitment or fitting on the hull.
So, Which SWELL Wakesurf Wake Shaper Is Best For My boat?
The short answer is the one that fits your boat and is within your budget. To figure out which one will fit your hull use our SWELL Wakesurf Creator Selection Tool at the bottom of the page to enter your boat's year, make, and model. It will tell you whether the 2.0, H3X, & H3X Plus fit or if you need a Slim H3X or Slim H3X Plus. Then you can use the information we talked about in this article to determine the performance level that will work for you. Or if you want a concrete answer, the Plus Series wake shapers will give the you most adjustability and the best wave, just use our tool to see if you need the slim for your hull.
The great part is that all of our SWELL Wakesurf Creators work really well and have a lifetime warranty!
What about the other options on the market?
There are competitors on the market. These devices claim to offer the same performance as a SWELL Wakesurf Creator, but they all fall short. The Nauticurl series of shapers is made of solid metal. This alone gives me pause for all the boats on the water, when it falls off with their attached float it becomes like a land mine on the water. A boat traveling at 20 mph running into a large chuck on angled metal in a lake is about my worst nightmare. The Mission Delta shaper on the surface has a similar look to our shapers, but its design is said to provide maneuverability at slow speeds. They have **coincidentally updated their device to be called a 2.0… I guess they think our 2.0 was worth imitating. Liquid Force Wakesurf Edge shapers are designed with a large, patented concave face to channel the water. They have also **coincidentally updated their device to be called the 2.0… starting to see a pattern? We have tried all of these and would not hesitate to suggest our adjustable models over these. You don’t have to take our word for it. A number of videos on YouTube compare our 2.0 to other shapers on the market and they say it is as good or better. AND our H3X Series is significantly better and more adjustable only improving on that. Watch some of these videos: Which Wake Shaper?, Wakesurf Edge vs Creator 2.0, Creator 2.0 vs H3X Plus
Caution: There are also a number of imitations and knockoffs on the market that will try and confuse you into thinking they are made by us or our reputable competitors, beware of these low-quality items.
Bottom line is, SWELL Wakesurf has invested our passion into our range of wake shapers so that all boats can generate that perfect everlasting wave. If you have a boat and want to surf, but you aren’t sure how to get started, give us a call at 651-400-2389! We will make sure you get the correct gear to get you going.
Don't forget about our SWELL Promise - We have the right wake shaper for your boat. If for any reason one of our SWELL Wakesurf creators does not fit your boat, we will work with you to exchange it for one that does, or if you prefer, send your Swell Wakesurf Creator back within 30 days and we will refund your money no questions asked!
How SWELL is that?
Still have question? Check out our Wake Shaper Collection, send us a message on our chat, or send us a question at our help desk. If you really don't know where to start or you want to go all out and get the best wave fill out our Free Expert Ballast Consultation form and we will reach out to you and explain everything!