Can you wakesurf behind a pontoon boat? Tips for wakesurfing behind a pontoon boat

Can you wakesurf behind a pontoon boat? Are you looking for a different way to enjoy the joys of watersports? Have you been wanting to try wakesurfing but don’t have access to a dedicated boat like a motorboat or wakeboard boat?

Can you wakesurf behind a pontoon boat? Tips for wakesurfing behind a pontoon boat

Can you wakesurf behind a pontoon boat? Tips for wakesurfing behind a pontoon boat

Then you’ll be happy to know that it is now possible for people with pontoon boats to experience this exciting sport. In this blog post, Scott Ewart will take an in-depth look at tips for wakesurfing behind a pontoon boat. Read on and discover what kind of artistry you can craft on the open water!

Can you wakesurf behind a pontoon boat?

Can you wakesurf behind a pontoon boat?

Can you wakesurf behind a pontoon boat?

Yes, you can. Take your adventure to the next level with wakesurfing behind a modern performance pontoon. This thrilling activity is sure to be memorable, and you won’t have any trouble enjoying it on these innovative boats.

Modern wake boat makers have pushed the limits of what is possible with their clever inboard propulsion systems. This means you can go wake surfing in a safe and fun way and still get all the benefits of owning fast and nice boats. This means you will get both the spaciousness and comfort of pontoon boats combined with powerful wakes for an unbeatable ride!

Pontoon surf boats’ benefits

Pontoon surf boats' benefits

Pontoon surf boats’ benefits

There are some benefits when wakesurfing with a pontoon boats:

  • Perfect for families because of the additional space you get.
  • Family-friendly due to the extra room.
  • Not only are these boats fantastic for wake surfing, but you can also use them for fishing, tubing, and leisurely cruising.
  • Operating and caring for these boats is a breeze.
  • Pontoon boats are long-lasting wakesurfing boats.
  • Pontoons are the coziest boats.
  • Ample storage space is provided to help maximize the onboarding of items.
  • Pontoon boats are more stable than traditional ski or wake boats due to their low center of gravity.
  • The flat bottom design and wide sides make pontoon boats incredibly stable in the water, making them ideal for wakesurfing.
  • Pontoon boats are also more fuel-efficient than traditional wakesurf boats. This makes them more cost-effective to operate.

How to fine-tune wakeboarding speed when behind a pontoon boat

How to fine-tune wakeboarding speed when behind a pontoon boat

How to fine-tune wakeboarding speed when behind a pontoon boat

Pontoon boats offer the perfect opportunity to make enjoyable and thrilling experience. Due to their speed, pontoon boats allow riders to move quickly across the lake or sea, with a range of 15–25 mph. For those hoping for optimal control, consistency is key. Maintaining balance means having greater power over your watersurfing board!

  • The driver should not go any slower than 20 mph. In fact, higher speeds make learning more advanced spins, flips, and stunts much simpler (as long as they are done in a safe manner).
  •  Start by having the driver keep it slow at 15 mph until you’re able to confidently stand up. When you feel comfortable, request 18mph from the driver and practice with that speed for a while. Once you’ve perfected your technique, challenge yourself further by pushing towards 20 or even 22-25 mph.

Remember: no matter how confident others might be in their abilities, always ride at a pace that is comfortable for YOU. Wakeboards may not be able to keep up with the speed of a boat or turn sharply. Experienced riders can leverage these constraints to accomplish stunts during boat stops.

A soft wakeboard for use behind watercraft, the wakeboard having a central torsion box with front and rear fin blocks, to secure front and rear fins thereto


If you’re from a different boat, you may need to increase your preferred speed. Pontoon boats vary, so 22 mph on one may seem like 19 mph on another. You’ll have to determine each boat’s optimal speed according to your abilities and preferences.

Best location for wakeboarding behind a pontoon boat

The best location for wakeboarding behind a pontoon boat

Best location for wakeboarding behind a pontoon boat

If you’re looking for the best location for wakeboarding behind a pontoon boat, there are several factors to consider.

Pontoon boats are perfect for wakeboarding on big lakes and rivers, so be sure to do a little research before choosing your ideal location.

Before you rent a boat, it’s critical to check and see if tubing or wakeboarding is permitted behind the pontoon on that particular lake or river. Generally speaking, boat wakes are not sanctioned on smaller lakes.

Besides, the ideal spot will have a winding or straight waterway, a lack of obstacles, and plenty of room to maneuver. You’ll also want to consider the depth of the water, as shallow depths can be dangerous for wakeboarders.

Some reasons why surfing behind a pontoon is not ideal

Some reasons why surfing behind a pontoon is not ideal

Some reasons why surfing behind a pontoon is not ideal

The pontoon boat may be underpowered

Pontoon boats are not designed for speed, so you may find that your boat is not powerful enough to create the amount of wake necessary for surfing. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of wakeboarding, then you’re familiar with just how crucial a strong tow boat is in pulling the rider out of the water.

Does not make the right wave to wakesurf.

The shape and size of a pontoon boat create an entirely different wave than what is necessary for wakesurfing. In contrast to a traditional V-shaped boat, pontoon boats float atop two or three metal tubes that create less of an impactful wake.

Needs more space behind.

Another factor to consider when attempting to surf behind a pontoon boat is the amount of space necessary between the rider and the boat. Generally, wakeboarders and wakesurfers require more room to maneuver in the wave than a pontoon boat can provide.

When wakeboarding, it’s necessary to be in proximity of the motorized boat—often no more than 10 feet away. This means that riders are exposed to the harmful exhaust fumes from marine motors’ internal combustion engines burning gasoline. Unfortunately, this leaves wakeboarders breathing in pollutants and carbon monoxide. No one wants to endure these dangerous toxins while enjoying their favorite activity!

Outboard motor outside the pontoon boat

Pontoon boats often have the outboard motor outside the boat. If wakesurfers are unfortunate enough to hit their heads into this motor, it can cause serious injury.

The turn radius of a pontoon boat is wider

Pontoon boats have a wider turn radius, which makes it more difficult to perform turns while wakeboarding or wakesurfing. If a wake surfer gets into trouble and needs help, they may have to wait longer for help on a pontoon boat than in other situations. This is due to ladders being located at the back of the motor, which must first cease spinning before they can reach safety.

Not ideal for longer trips.

Pontoon boats can also be difficult to take on long trips. Due to their limited speed, pontoon boats can take a longer time to get to places. This can be an issue if you’re planning a longer trip out on the lake with multiple stops along the way.

Tips for wakesurfing behind a pontoon boat

Tips for wakesurfing behind a pontoon boat

Tips for wakesurfing behind a pontoon boat

Learn about hand signals

Signal hands


Thumbs up

Thumbs down

Slow down

Motion of cutting (usually across the neck)


OK sign

Keep up the speed

Pat the top of your hand with a flat hand

Back to the dock

Use your finger to make a circle, then point in the direction you want to go


Hand signals are a critical part of communication between the driver and rider. Make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of direction, speed, and safety.

Way to standing up on the wakeboard

It’s the first thing you have to do to play the sport. Here are some tips to get you started so you can start jumping, turning, and flipping better:

  • Position yourself in the water facing your boat with the tow rope attached to your wakeboard. Then bend both knees up towards your chest and prepare for takeoff!
  • Send the “go” signal that you and the driver and spotter have agreed on.
  • As the pontoon board starts to pull you, keep moving it side to side with the front edge up.
  • When you feel the pull lifting your body, it’s important to keep your knees bent and use the pull on the rope to move your dominant foot behind you.
  • Keep your body pointed in the same direction as the wakeboard rather than turning around to face the boat.

Now that you know how to stay safe on the boat and on the wakeboard. It’s important to know what changes you may need to make if you want to wakeboard behind a pontoon boat.

Find out the length of the rope

To make sure your pontoon boat is prepared for wakesurfing, you will need to ensure that the rope used is longer than usual. So, it can fit the extra width of a pontoon, which is wider than a speedboat. It’s vital to use the correct length of rope so that you get maximum enjoyment out of your time spent on the water!

  • From a 65- to 80-foot long rope, you can ensure that your ride stays serene and capitalize on the pontoon’s gentle wake.
  • For those trying to make a successful jump over the wake of a boat, beginning with an approximate 65-foot row is highly recommended for best results. Staying close to the vessel will help you accomplish this quickly and effectively!
  • Wakeboarders with more experience usually choose a rope length of 75 to 85 feet.

Take advantage of the rope’s length to learn new techniques. For instance, if you land flat, consider slightly lowering its length. Alternatively, shorten it if you find yourself unable to pull up far enough.

Note: It is critical to use a rope that doesn’t stretch, as it can prevent any unexpected snapbacks when you jump. If your line does have some elasticity, the recoil can cause you to lose balance and potentially injure yourself.

Way to balance the weight of a pontoon boat

To make the best wake, you need to have a lot of people spread out on your pontoon boat. For added stability, position someone on both sides of the vessel.

This can be a tricky balance to strike, but your wakeboarders won’t mind if they receive the same care from you. If you enjoy wakeboarding, you might think about utilizing ballast bags to achieve an even weight distribution.

With these inflatable bags that soak up water, you can get the right amount of weight to make wakeboarding behind a pontoon boat more fun than ever.

Way to get a bigger wake on a pontoon boat

Adding more weight to your stern can give you bigger and better wave hits. Placing this extra mass in the back will result in increased wave height, while placing it in the front will result in greater length per stroke. Both modifications are sure to take your wave to the next level!

Waking up to surf can be a great way to have some fun in the water, but it’s important to remember that not all pontoon boats are designed for this activity. If you’re surfing, don’t get behind a regular pontoon boat unless your boat has an engine built in and is made for surfing. The reason is that they often lack the necessary power and engine.

FAQs Can you wakesurf behind a pontoon boat?

Do you wakesurf left or right?

Generally, most wake surfers are right-footed and prefer to ride on the left side of the boat. However, some riders switch it up depending on the conditions, skill level, and preference. The side of the wake you choose to ride is largely up to personal preference.

Is it possible to wakeboard without a tower?

Absolutely! You can totally wakesurf without a tower, but you may not experience the same level of benefits. The added pull from the tower makes it much simpler for newbies to stay on their board. Additionally, having a tower reduces your chances of getting your surfboard’s nose stuck in the water, resulting in fewer faceplants and wipeouts along the way!

Can wakesurfing be done without fins?

Wakesurfing is impossible without fins, so always be ready and bring an extra pair with you.

How far are you from the shore to wakesurf behind a pontoon boat?

General speaking, most states have regulations that limit the areas where wake surfing can be done. For safety and to generate bigger waves, it is advisable to keep a distance of at least 200 feet between your boat and any docks, buildings, swimmers, or other boats.


Taking these steps will guarantee everyone an enjoyable time out on the water. With all this information in mind, we at hope you’ll have a great time wakesurfing behind your pontoon boat! Now it is up to you: can you wakesurf behind a pontoon boat?


Leave a Reply