View Full Version : Shallow water strategies?

Chad M
09-22-2008, 10:12 PM
The lake I am on has only one deep section really suitable for surfing (>8') but it tends to get a lot of traffic and huge party rafts that put it off limits a lot of the time. Thus I'm playing with the best setup for a 5' - 6' stretch that gets a little less use. Around 4' it seems pretty dire, but I get a decent wake when the water is a little deeper. I surf goofy and I've got an '07 LSV with 750 in the back, 400 behind the driver and 400 in the ski locker and the wakeplate around 50 to 75% up. In deeper water the speed is around 10 - 10.5 but that feels too fast in the shallows and it seemed like 9 - 9.5 was better. Much slower than that and the wave totally washed out.

If you haven't experienced it firsthand the wake really loses drive and diminishes in height when you hit the 8' mark. Below 5' it seems to have trouble even forming and gets really washy. As I mentioned above it seemed to help by dropping the speed to steepen the wave up a bit. My Red Tide is definitely more forgiving than my Blue Lake on the shallow water wake.

Any suggestions for further optimizing my shallow water setup?


09-23-2008, 10:30 AM
I have no idea, but I did notice when we were at the Tampa Jam that everybody was losing their beautiful wake/wave in the same area of the lake. I was a little surprised by how much different a few feet of depth can make. This is an excellent topic if anyone has any insight. Thanks for raising it.

09-23-2008, 10:43 AM
I personally do have some experience with this as we sometimes surf in a shallow-ish river nearby. When you're in 5-6' of water, less is more. The more weight you have in the boat, the more water you displace and the water hits bottom before it has time to come up swelling. So try a little less weight, just enough to displace maybe 4 or 5 feet, that way the water has room to come up and swell properly. I hope this makes sense. You may have to play with it a bit, but it is pretty hard when the depth is less than 8 feet in my experience. In fact, with a lot of weight, 10 feet or better is ideal.

09-23-2008, 10:45 AM
so far my experience is that you just need depth to create a wave, i can tell as soon as we hit a shallow area--the wave just disappears and then when we hit a little deeper it forms again.-sorry not much help but i just dont think you will get a wave in shallow water.

09-23-2008, 10:16 PM
man, never knew this was an issue.
the lake we surf at in the early spring is 30-35ft deep, and the one in the summer drops off quickly to 100ft about 75ft off the banks, and is a minimum of 150ft deep in the middle, with most over 200ft.
lucky us :)