Question: When the lake begins to get more and more crowded over the course of the day, the water gets choppier and choppier. Is there a good method of crossing wakes without having to greatly drop speed? The only thing I’ve seen is to turn my direction to be almost parallel to the wake. This seems to be fine, but in tighter situations, this isn’t always an option. Slowing down works, but this doesn’t seem very feasible or enjoyable to the skier, if we are pulling a water skier. Will jumping across wakes harm the boat hull, or will it be only uncomfortable to the occupants of the boat?
Answer: Depending on the size of the wake you are crossing, you may be forced to slow your speed to keep from pounding the bow of the boat or even leaving the water entirely. Both can do damage to the boat and/or your engine. The best way to handle wakes, if traffic allows, is as follows:
- If you are approaching a wake caused by a boat coming in the opposite direction, approach with your bow at approximately a 45 degree angle to the oncoming wake. This will allow the bow to move up and over with a little roll and lessen the bow pounding. If the wake is large, you will need to slow your speed to keep from falling off the top of the oncoming wake.
- If the vessel making the wake has passed you (going the same direction you are going) and if traffic allows, turn so that your stern is at a 45 degree angle to the approaching wake. This lets the wake roll under the stern and pick it up while keeping the motor in the water.
Keep an eye on your skier when making any of these maneuvers.