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Anyone wakeboard behind a jet drive boat?

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  • Anyone wakeboard behind a jet drive boat?

    Hi. Ive been wakeboarding for 3 years now and I am looking to get a better equipped boat. I found a 2002 Seadoo X20 locally with the tower and ballast bladder. So I did some research on the net and found that most people would rather not use a jet drive boat. Most saying its hard to hold the speed, there is little or no wake, and the jet wash problem. I would like some input on this subject if you have used or wakeboarded behind one. Does the ballast system help with the wake? Opinions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Anyone wakeboard behind a jet drive boat?

    The new jet boats are way better then the old flat bottom boats. Here is a review from powerboat on the X20:

    When it comes to boating, the appeal of "youth culture" inevitably reaches well beyond young people. On the waterfront, mature individuals who wouldn't be caught dead wearing droopy pants or listening to nasty rap music, readily adopt pursuits that are hugely popular with the young boating crowd.

    Bombardier, builder of Sea-Doo sportboats and personal watercraft, has always had a firm handle on what appeals to the "young at heart." Sea-Doo's always been a style-setter, leading the design pack in PWCs and boats.

    So, because wakeboarding is the hottest thing on the waterfront these days, the mid-season introduction of the 2002 Sea-Doo X-20 was no surprise. While the boat bears a strong resemblance to the company's existing Challenger 20, it's been engineered and designed to meet some of wakeboarding's unique challenges.

    As for the usual requirements of keeping driver, spotter and passengers comfortable, the X-20 handles that with ease, with swiveling helm and companion seat (great for the spotter) and form-sitting aft bench seat. The bow seats provide added space for lounging. The swim platform aft is a convenient place to strap on a board and there's plenty of storage for gear.

    The real keys to getting big wake and big air are the specially designed aluminum wakeboard tower and the "Fat Sac" that fits under the aft seat and can provide up to 600-lb, of water ballast.

    The X-20's tower works very well, with a towing point a full seven feet above the boat's waterline and reinforcement plates built right into the hull. At the end of the day, quick-release mechanisms let it fold back. The tower is ready for whatever custom light and sound equipment an owner chooses to install, but will still fit in the garage.

    In test sessions on Lake Ontario early last summer, the X-20 handled tight turns and instantaneous direction changes with ease, showing its jetboat heritage. It also cornered with enough authority to be able to handle a boarder in tow. Top speed with Mercury's 240-hp fuel-injected M2 jet drive in charge of propulsion, was 50.8 mph, at 6,000 rpm, in radar testing. (The speedo read 50 mph -- reassuring accuracy in a tow boat.)

    Around-the-lake cruising speeds, 27.3 mph at 4,000 rpm and 31.5 mph at 4,500 rpm, provide a combination of excitement and comfort, but the boat's performance at 20 to 25 mph is more important for wakeboarding. Without the Fat Sac filled, but with three adults aboard, the X-20 ran at 18.2 mph at 3,500 mph, with the boat falling off plane at 3,200 rpm. With the Sac filled, the boat should semi-plane nicely in the wakeboarding zone, putting out wake that should readily satisfy top-end recreational boarders. Acceleration was healthy enough, from zero to 20 mph in 3.5 seconds, reaching 30 mph in 4.5 seconds.

    As for the boat's appearance, with a black hull, white deck, silver-grey upholstery, huge X-20 graphics and that sleek tower it's hot. That's what boaters have expect from Sea-Doo and it's also sure to be a big factor in the X-20's appeal, to wakeboarders of all ages.



    • #3
      Re: Anyone wakeboard behind a jet drive boat?

      You can ride a wakeboard behind anything. Just dont expect great wake forms and a smooth wake table behind a See-Doo Jet drive.
      07 MB Sports B52 V23: 2750lbs ballast capable and 9 speakers of lake rocking fun!

      03 Cadillac Escalade 6.0 AWD Family hauler and boat mover.


      • #4
        Re: Anyone wakeboard behind a jet drive boat?

        Just a couple quick comments about that magazine test:

        1. They never said one word about anyone actually wakeboarding behind that boat during their test. They just drove it around at 'wakeboarding speeds' and stared at the wake. And yet they somehow concluded the wake "SHOULD satisfy wakeboarders..." This is a huge red flag.

        2. Powerboat has never said a single negative word about a single boat they have ever reviewed in their entire history. That would just irritate their advertisers.

        I suggest people take such magazine reviews with a big, huge, gigantic grain of salt...

        I don't have personal experience wakeboarding behind a jetboat, so i'm sorry I can't help. But I have heard all the exact same concerns and reviews in the past, and therefore stayed away from a Yamaha when I was seriously considering one of their bowrider jetboats.

        There are a LOT of serious wakeboarders on the lake I frequent. Not one of them utilizes a jet boat...I think that says something.

        Here's a thread with two short actual owner reviews of wakeboarding with an X-20...might help a little:


        • #5
          Re: Anyone wakeboard behind a jet drive boat?

          Remember just because there are a LOT of serious wakeboarders on the lake that do not use jetboats does not mean that they are in any way shape or form useless for wakeboarding. I learned how to wakeboard behind a 14 foot Bayliner Capri with a 50 HP Force motor. NO it was not a great boat to wakeboard behind, but it worked. I later got a jetboat and you know what it was fine too. Later I stepped up and paid REAL GOOD MONEY for a Nautique and YES it was a ton better, did it mean the others where not good for wakeboarding?? NO it does not and most people that say that have never even wakeboarded behind one. Now I have a 20' open bow and we have just as much fun. My neighbor just bought the NEW Yamaha with a tower and all and 2 jets and guess what that guy is a GREAT WAKEBOARDER. It all comes done to preference.
          Like my dad used to say "IT'S ONLY WORTH WHAT SOMEONE IS WILLING TO PAY YOU FOR IT!".



          • #6
            Re: Anyone wakeboard behind a jet drive boat?

            I've owned jet and prop and have wakeboarded behind both so here's my take on it...Totally depends on what you're after. Are you wanting to get huge air off the wake or are you satisfied with simply getting up on something behind the boat? How about those that will be going to the lake/river with you? My experience is that a wakeboard is rather easy to learn for all joining us on the water and everybody has fun with one at all experience levels regardless of how big the wake is.

            I hate to say it but waterskiing is becoming more and more a lost art, especially slalom skiing. Kneeboarding is difficult for most newbies to deep start and tubes seem to be the go to item for the kids so that pretty much leaves air chairs if you have them or a wakeboard. Having fun safely is the top priority on most lists so in my opinion the size of the wake and catching massive air while risking injury is not a factor. The biggest factor however is efficiency. Jet propulsion will always lose out to prop propulsion in that category. I can do everything with my current 3.0 inline 4 rated at 130 hp that I could do with my jet boat that had a 455 cid V8 rated at twice the horsepower. Granted it takes a LOT longer to get pulled out on a slalom ski but that's the ONLY mode of operation that I've noticed a difference.


            • #7
              Re: Anyone wakeboard behind a jet drive boat?

              I own an 18ft stingray now and i'm pretty satisfied with it, I grew up kneeboarding behind our 92 sea ray jet boat and i remember the roosters tail being absolutly terrible so the point where i started wearing goggles. I'm sure the design of jet drives has improved in the last 18 years but just some food for thought.
              2010 Stingray 180RX w/ Volvo 3.0L


              • #8
                Re: Anyone wakeboard behind a jet drive boat?

                I wakeboarded for a couple years behind a 14.5' Seadoo Challenger, single 110hp. It pulled me up fine, held speed fine, but put out almost no wake--about 6-8" high. So if you like to slalom, awesome choice.

                Look at the bigger boats with the WAKE features, and they are made to wakeboard better, including automatic cruise control and ballasts.
                2003 Glastron GX 185, with VolvoPenta 4.3GL, currently running Stilleto Baypro III 14.25X21 at 46 mph and 4400 rpms. Other props were 3-blade aluminum 14.3X23 at 43 mph and 4400rpm, and 14.3X21 at 49mph at 4800 rpms.