Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
As mentioned in some of the other posts, that is exactly what I was doing. It is amazing the difference it makes to get the proper weight on the front foot, it just boots you!
Howdy. Wow, I really set off a long and intensive thread here! Thanks for all the feedback. I especially appreciate the comments that fall outside of the usual stuff and point out less obvious problems like angle of attack and weight balance.
However, none of these issues were what's been wasting my wakeboarding life since 2005. I found it, after putting together many comments from others over time and drawing a conclusion that they just weren't able to articulate: the wake is way too steep because I have been balancing the boat wrong. Yep, that's been the blocking factor that nullified all other progress with careful training and technique.
Unfortunately, the only others who have ridden behind on my boat and could have pointed directly to the problem didn't really put it together in an obvious way -- it just seemed that my boat makes a steeper wake than some. Those who might have pointed to a straightforward fix didn't say so because they had the skills to adapt for the day. Even my buddy's slightly newer XLV always seemed a bit better, despite his apparently similar use of ballast. I never looked in detail. So, I was aware of an issue, and was always happier when putting a couple of people in the bow, but never considered this to be a super-critical issue.
This changed when I thought about what it says on the transom: "Official boat of the Gravity Games". It's got the 1000 lb (or an 1180 if you really do the math) center bag and two 500 lb rear ballast bags. In competition, it carries a driver, possibly an observer, and that's it. While I upgraded the original Gravity III to a 1180 with two 750's and seldom filled the 750's to more than about 500... I never compensated for passengers in the main seating area, except for sometimes asking one or two to sit in the bow, and that's when I got my occasional "hey, there's some pop" results.
So two days ago, I tried it with NO original ballast, just three people on board, plus an extra bag with about 300 lbs in it sitting in the bow. Bam! The wake was much easier to ascend without that Herculean effort that was breaking my body. My trick knee was acting up too much to take good advantage, but a nephew finally said that the wake was just like with the Malibu in the wakeboarding course that I sent him to get in a previous season.
Also, my old boots were getting soft without my noticing, so I replaced my boots and board late last season. That also improved things independently, but didn't fix thing problem for my entire crew.
So, now I have to start learning to jump on a wakeboard all over again. Oh, well. Those upgraded rear bags won't see much use outside of the occasional wakesurfing set from now on.
Executive summary: don't bother wakeboarding unless you properly balance the frickin' boat; if an experienced person says "the wake on your boat is steep", that means it need fixing.
Wow! Well, sorry we didn't think of that, but the wake is really important. Steep wakes are aggravating if you are not used to them. I am not a big fan of them, and yes, more weight in the rear makes the wake more steep and more weight in the front make it less steep.
I think a lot of people go overboard on ballast, and a huge wake can make it difficult to progress at wakeboarding. We took my buddies Tige Z3 to Smith Mountain Lake this weekend, and he likes to run it with the ballast mostly filled (he has the 2300# pro system) and the wake is just too big and steep. I much preferred it with the ballast empty. I was still landing in the flats with only about 75% effort. Of course he loves the huge wake, but he has about 5 inverts and loves to go big into the flats.
The other good thing about less ballast: think of how much money you will save on fuel!
I've been messing around with some similar problems. Lately, it seems that the handle is getting pulled from my hand when landing. I've come to the conclusion that it's not being pulled out, I'm just to far forward on landing and it would pull me over for a faceplant and I've been letting go and coasting to a stop. My board tip still seems to be popping up and I'm consciously working on putting more weight on the front when coming in. I'm still working on keeping the handle tucked closer in to my body, but it's not comfortable for me at this point and I seem to carry in less speed than with arms extended. When I first got the boat, I filled them to 50% and it scarred the hell outta me when I exploded off it and was bobbing around dazed for a few minutes. I can't even wrap my head around filling them all the way.
Lately, I've been running my GIII bags around 25% full and it still seems to 'rampy' for me at this time. It's becoming counter productive because now I'm becoming afraid of pending falls when landing in the flats. I think I might try your advice and just load up the bow and keep the back empty and see what happens this weekend.
Also another thing, keep on edge all the way up the wake. My brother is one example. He comes in hard but at the trough of the wake he eases up and has lost a ton of energy approaching the wake. He crests on the other side and the landing is hard. You don't need to carve so hard that the spray hits the people in the boat, but keep a nice slow carve at the beginning and slowly increases the tension all the way up the wake. Also shorten the line to get the feeling of wake to wake and gradually increase the length as you get better.
This. I'm not even a good wakeboarder but once I learned to start with a nice slow curve and build tension all the way through the wake, I started easily going w2w. Before I'd cut real hard then try to flatten the board at the top of the wake. I'd lose my angle and just kind of jump. I learned that you should be cutting the hardest at the top of the wake, kind of like on a slalom ski. However, your knees are not shock absorbers like they are on a slalom through the wake, knees should be stiff or even standing up at the wake. Try using half effort as you initiate your turn but build it into a sharper and sharper turn and try to have the board almost straight sideways as you leave the wake. commit.
I always load up and begin pushing off near the bottom and 'jump' off the wake. Are you saying to just ramp off the wake organically? It makes sense, because when I begin pushing I'm sure I come off edge???
Even with no rear ballast, the wake will easily allow going into the flats. I keep the wakeplate almost all the way down. (nose down).
If you have access to something that is around 200# you can put in the bow just to try it, I strongly recommend it.