A pontoon is a flotation device with buoyancy sufficient to float itself as well as a heavy load on the surface of water. A pontoon boat is a flattish boat that relies on pontoons to float.
Pontoons are tubes which contain more than sufficient amount of buoyancy. This feature allows boat designers to design and create massive decks which can then be customized according to the owners’ preferences. Customers can have extended lounge areas, sun pads and many more similar luxurious options. This also makes pontoon boats favourably suitable to accommodate large groups of people as well.
Generally pontoon boats are comfortable fishing boats while whittling the time away at nearby lakes or ponds but today they have become much more that. Today, pontoon boats come in different shapes and sizes with different features, offering everything from small in house bars to wakeboarding towers to underwater lights. Most of the people love their pontoon boats for the comfort, space, amenities (which can be added such as lounge chairs, and even water slides). But now, they can be really fast as well! Modern technology has allowed pontoon boats to turn into these high performance and super fast boats that are safe as well as fun.
As technology advancement has enabled pontoon boats to be faster, there are various forms of water sports associated with fast pontoon boats. The most popular of them is wakeboarding. Wakeboarding is the sport of riding on a short, wide board, which is similar to the surfboard, and performing acrobatic stunts while being towed on a fast pontoon boat. Primarily, it is riding a wakeboard over the surface of the body of the water. It is a combination of waterskiing, snowboarding, and surfing.
The wakeboard is usually towed behind a fast pontoon boat with motorboats, at a speed of 18-25 mph. The speed depends upon various factors like the board size, weight, and the type of tricks to be performed and the comfort level of the performer. The other factors which would affect the speed are the make and model of the boat and also how old the boat is.
The primary difference between a normal pontoon boat and a wakeboarding pontoon boat is the wake board tower. The wakeboard tower is generally constructed of thick-walled stainless steel or aluminium tubing. The steel or the aluminium places the pull point about 7 feet off the water surface. The advantage of the high point is that it makes easier to jump and get air since the rope is not pulling in the downward direction, as it happens in skiing, when it is attached to the low tow point.
However, there are limitations while wakeboarding behind a pontoon boat. First of all, there is a lot less torque. So, only beginners can start wakeboarding with pontoon boats. It is not for serious wake boarders and water sports enthusiasts. They would prefer a traditional v-hull boat. Again, the wake has less shape. The best part about wakeboarding behind a lake is the opportunity to jump, flip, and perform tricks off of the wake, and the shallow nature of the wakeboarding pontoon boat (coupled with the outboard motor, as compared to an inboard or in/outboard motor) just doesn’t give the size wake that serious wakeboarders are after. Finally, the boat is not as maneuverable. A wakeboarder behind a boat creates an enormous about of drag and the boat counts on the force of the motor to steer with tight turns. An outboard on the back of a pontoon boat coupled with the shallow depth of the boat in the water just doesn’t give quite the control of a traditional V hull boat with an inboard motor.
With all of that being said, if your kids would like to get out on the lake with your pontoon boat and go wakeboarding, and your boat has enough horsepower to get them up out of the water on a wakeboard and keep them moving without dragging them through the water, then by all means get out there on your pontoon boat and enjoy wakeboarding!