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Wakeboarding & Tubing Behind a Pontoon Boat - Fact or Fiction?

 

Long gone are the days of the pontoon boat being limited to puttering around the lake at a leisurely speed with the family.  Not only are modern day pontoon boats still a great space for entertaining and lounging on the lake, but they can also offer all the speed you need to catch air on a wakeboard!

The pontoon has been a longtime crowd favourite thanks to its versatility.  From fishing, entertaining, lounging, and swimming, to towing and yes, water sports - the pontoon is truly the jack of all trades of boats!  

Now I know when you're thinking about a pontoon boat water sports aren't the first thing that comes to mind, but it might be time to reevaluate! 

 

So...Can I Wakeboard Behind a Pontoon Boat?  

Most definitely! But not all pontoon boats are designed equally!

When you are looking for a pontoon boat that will not only be great for entertaining but also great for pulling you around while mastering all of your favourite water activities, you are going to want to focus on the horsepower of your engine.

Splash+fishtail-Helm-OnWater

Think of it this way, you will need to have a pontoon with an engine capable of producing the power and speed required to get you up and out of the water. 

While your old fishing boat with the 40hp might leave you swimming, a pontoon with 115hp will be more than capable of pulling you across the water.

To give you a better idea:


  • A pontoon with a 40hp just won't have the power it takes to get you up and out of the water.
  • A pontoon with a a 70hp to 90hp engine will give you the ability to do some basic water skiing, tubing or wakeboarding.  But you will want to keep the weight onboard light to stop things from getting sluggish.
  • A pontoon with a 115hp engine or more will be just fine to pull not only you out of the water, but also your friends and family on board without a problem.


So essentially you need a boat with enough power and speed to keep from sinking!

Keep in mind that speed is also a critical factor when you are talking about wakeboarding.  Traditional waterskiing or wakeboarding will work best with a boat driving between 21 and 26 mph, (26 to 41 kph).

And luckily, most modern pontoon boats are more than capable of reaching these speeds!

 

What you’ll need to become a wakeboarding legend:
  • Most importantly, you need a wakeboard!  Any standard wakeboard will do.  
  • Wakeboard tow rope.  You need something to hold onto!
  • Life jackets, because safety first my friends!
  • Wakeboard tow bar.  While not a necessity, this may come in handy because of the low design of a pontoon boat, you may notice your rope dragging in the water.  To solve this problem you can get some extra height with a tow bar.  
  • Alternatively, a booster ball might be a better, and less expensive option, to keep your rope from dragging.  The ball is designed to be attached to the rope and keep it above water.

 

The Downside

Sadly wakes with less shape result in less jumping. 

Traditional speed boats are designed with a v-shaped hull which creates that turbulence needed to really get airborne when wakeboarding.  The pontoon's unique design doesn't allow for a whole lot of wakes, meaning you likely won't be getting as much air time.

 

The Verdict

Serious wakeboarders who live for the sport and are in search of catching some major air are probably better off leaning towards a traditional ski boat.  After all, these boats are designed specifically for the water sport enthusiast!

That said, pontoon boats are evolving, and now come in a wide array of models and designs, some of which are crafted with the lover of water sports in mind. 

And while you might not be training for olympic level water sports behind a pontoon, the versatility offered by these spacious boats is hard to beat! 

So prepare yourself for not only water sports, but also days of fishing, cruising and entertaining!

Before you can wakeboard, you'll need to get that pontoon in the water!

 

Happy Boating!

  

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