Ballast - Fat Sacs

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Fat Sac Wakeboard Ballast Bags

What is ballast?

In the traditional sense, ballast is weight, generally in the form of water that helps provide stability to large ships. Regarding wakeboard boats, ballast is any weight added to the boat to help provide a larger wake. The most typical forms of ballast in a wakeboard boat are water, lead, and people.

Why do you want ballast?

To put simply, it helps provide your boat a larger wake. In wakeboarding, bigger wake = bigger air. The more air you get while wakeboarding the more time you have to complete tricks. The more tricks you can do, the cooler you look, which leads to fame and fortune as professional wakeboarder (…we wish).

How does ballast work?

Ballast works by providing additional weight to your boat which allows for your boat to displace more water. When your boat displaces more water, it also provides a larger wake. The size and shape of a boat’s wake is a function of the boat’s hull shape, boat speed, and amount of ballast. With hull shape and boat speed being more or less fixed, ballast is the primary thing you can change to make your boat’s wake bigger.

Water Ballast

Water ballast has become so ubiquitous for wakeboarding that it is often just referred to as ballast (drop the “water”). Water ballast works by having storage containers on your boat where water from the lake (or river, sea, etc.) can be pumped in for temporary storage, then discharged when not needed. These storage containers are either soft (such as Fat Sacs) or hard, and may or may not be integrated into your boat. The major advantage to water ballast is that it is temporary and modular. When you want to wakeboard, you simply pump the water onboard for more weight and a bigger wake. After wakeboarding, you can discharge the water and voila, you’re back to your normal boat weight. The most prominent manufacturer of ballast bags is Fly High, who makes bags called Fat Sacs. In colloquial use, people often refer to any ballast bag as a fat sac regardless of whether or not it actually is (think Kleneex vs tissue paper). Fat Sac bags are high quality and we definitely recommend them. Let us know if you have any more questions about wakeboard wakes or ballast. We would love to help you get set with the proper ballast bags to maximize your airtime and fun out on the water!