I love all the great summer sports here at Deep Creek Lake to enjoy! Wakeboarding and paddleboarding have always been my favorite. Having a beach/surfing background, I always wondered what it would be like to try the up and coming wake surfing sport that has been the rage over the last few years. My lucky day came the other day when my brother-in-law, who owns Deep Creek Marina, called me to see if I wanted to try Malibu Boat’s top-of-the-line wake surfing boat. For years I have heard of people trying to use weights, extra people and cargo to make this sought after wave that is big enough to propel a surfer-fabricated wave. Most efforts seemed in vain and the one time I tried there just wasn’t enough juice to keep me gliding.
Fast forward to yesterday when I was lucky enough to go out on the state-of-the-art Malibu M235 wakeboard/wake surf boat. This boat was easily the most impressive boat I have ever laid eyes on. Looks are only a small piece to the puzzle though. I wondered as it was being gently launched in the water how it would perform, specifically how big and powerful of a wave it made. I consider myself the ultimate test for this engineer created wave because I am 6’ 7” 270 lbs, which is far heavier than riders it was designed. I brought one of my personal surfboards to try out because I was sure that technology in this sport was not up to par for someone my size. I would need considerable power to propel me on this normally calm lake.
The ballasts were filled and the gates that make the wave were deployed and the first rider took his place in the water. You basically put your heels on the rails of this mini surfboard/skimboard as the boat is slowly clicked into gear. The pressure of the water moving at idle speed plants the board to your feet. Holding on to a short wakesurf rope, you give the signal that you are ready and the boat guns the throttle. You pull up similar to a wakeboard take off until you stabilize waiting for the wave to take shape. This only takes a few seconds and it’s amazing to feel this fabricated wave swell behind you. It actually curled/tubed for portions of the session.
As a new rider, the first thing you have to do is find the vein of the wave. This vein is where the most power is located. There is a speed slot, I’m guessing six inches from the rear platform to about four feet away that provides the best power to surf in. As you are finding this power zone you are still holding on to the rope basically free surfing some and being pulled by the boat. After you find the power, then you throw the rope back to the boat and start surfing! Yeeewwww! Carving up and down the wave and cutting back give you a real and strange sense of surfing. You are connected to the boat by the vacuum of this wave peeling behind you. It feels like you are racing down the wave but it also feels like you are barely moving as you notice the shoreline.
It’s very hard to explain so you’ll have to try for yourself! The adrenaline is at full RPM’s and you immediately feel your legs fatiguing. Most surfers in the ocean crave long waves but when you finally get some you find your legs are not in good enough shape to handle it. Behind a boat this wave becomes perpetual and challenges the most experienced rider’s endurance.