1. Keep a constant speed
This is the most basic rule of driving a boat for wakeboarders — you should always keep a constant speed. The speed of the boat is responsible for two crucial aspects of wakeboarding — the shape and size of the wake, and the tension in the line. If you were to suddenly speed up as your rider was about to cross the wake, there’s a good chance it would end badly. The best way to ensure that you maintain a consistent speed is to use a speed control system such as Perfect Pass. These systems have sensors that can increase or decrease the throttle as needed to ensure a steady speed is maintained.
2. Drive in a straight line
Once again, consistency is the key here. When drivers keep a straight line, the wake remains constant and riders have a much more fun time. When drivers move in sweeping arches, the wake is no longer constant and, more importantly, the centrifugal force works to whip your rider around dangerously. What’s more, failing to keep a straight line just chops up the entire lake, which will undoubtedly annoy other riders and drivers.
3. No “power turns”
Just like we touched upon in the previous step, this rule is all about courtesy. Sometimes, when a rider falls down, drivers are known to complete a quickfire power turn, whipping their boat around to go back and pick the rider up. This is not cool, as all you’ll be achieving is sending your wake across the water and chopping it up for everyone else. Instead, idle your turn and make your way back slowly.
4. Time your tows
There’s no denying that wakeboards make for an exciting but tiring day out. In order to ensure that the excitement remains high and the dangerous effects of fatigue remain low, it’s your responsibility as driver to time your tows. A good maximum time between riding is about 20 minutes — after this, fatigue sets in and dangerous falls can occur. Since it’s so easy to lose track of time, it pays for the driver to keep an eye on the stopwatch.
5. Be aware at all times
Above all, the driver must remember that what they’re doing is a huge responsibility. As a driver, you should never get complacent; be aware at all times and know that you’re responsible for the safety of your riders and other people on the lake. Don’t fiddle with iPods and other distractions while driving; sort all that stuff out before you begin. When you’re at the wheel, you should only be thinking about the task at hand.