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SAN 230 Surfing Setup Summary Thread

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  • SAN 230 Surfing Setup Summary Thread

    There are several long threads here on PN about how to setup a SAN 230 for surfing and I’m going to attempt consolidating all of the solid information into a single thread and update it with what we know now. This is not meant to be an instruction manual on exactly how to setup the 230 for everybody. That would be impossible. There are lots of surf wakes that are very good, yet very different.

    Things I’m not going to cover in this thread:
    • Wakeboarding : I don’t board much anymore and the setup for that is very different. I’d encourage someone who’s boarding behind a 230 to create a separate thread on that.
    • Early 230s without NSS : I simply don’t have any experience with one. Those boats surf by listing it over hard on one side or adding a suck-gate. There are just too many variables there to cover it here.
    • Custom or homemade NSS devices: There are too many variables for me to cover these.
    • Wildly “slammed” setups. : I’ve seen setups with 740s in each locker, a 1000 in the floor, a 750 in the bow and lead bags all through the boat. That’s a corner-case and again, there are just too many variables.
    So let’s start with a box-stock setup. Late-model SAN 230 with the Pro Ballast option from the factory. This option adds 400 pound ballast bags in the rear lockers on top of the stock hard tanks. Total ballast is 2100 pounds. This boat will surf just fine. It’s not a huge wake, especially on the Port side but it’s clean and fairly long. Good starting setup:
    Port side surfing:
    • Port ballast – Full
    • Belly ballast – Full
    • Starboard ballast – ¾
    • NSS – 2 (really this is personal preference)
    • Hydrogate – 1 or 2. Just enough to clean up the lip.
    • Speed – 10.4 to 10.8. Faster if there are a lot of people on the boat.
    Starboard side surfing:
    • Port ballast – Full
    • Belly ballast – Full
    • Starboard ballast – Full
    • NSS – 2 (personal preference)
    • Hydrogate – 0
    • Speed – 10.4 to 10.8. Faster if there are a lot of people on the boat.
    As you can see, the 230 needs to be heavier on the Port side to account for the prop rotation. This will fit nicely with the next topic.

    More ballast! To really get the 230 to shine as a surf-boat, you’re going to have to add more ballast. There’s just no way around that. This is not a simple topic. There are a lot of ways to add ballast and all of them have their advantages and disadvantages:
    • Ballast bags : One of the simplest ways to add ballast bags to a 230 is to get the 230 kit from Wakemakers. It comes with two 740 pound bags and all the fittings you need. With this setup, you’re replacing the 400 pound Pro Ballast bags with these. Installation is simple and it piggy-backs right into your existing pump system. Ballast bags don’t add any significant amount of weight to the boat when they’re empty.

    There are some disadvantages to this system. With the 740s full, they will eat up the entire locker space on both sides. No more storage trays. You might be able to store some ropes in there with them but certainly no jackets. Also, you’re ditching the 400 pound bags that came with the boat.

    In order to fill the 740s, the pumps must be manually cycled. Remember, the stock Pro Ballast were 400s. The pumps will stop more-or-less with the 740s about 5/8 full. You’ll have to restart the pumps to fill them completely.Shot bags are nice because shot is much more dense than water. You can stash them under the Pro Ballast bags in the lockers and still have room left over for jackets, ropes, etc. They can also go under the seats again, without eating up all of the storage space. They’re easy to move around and get the wake just right.

    There’s another benefit to shot bags that a lot of people overlook: Leverage. You can shove a shot bag way up in the very front of the bow. Much further than a ballast bag. It’s not at all unreasonable for a single 50 pound shot bag way up in the front to have exactly the same effect as a 200 pound ballast bag sitting in the walk-through. It’s all about leverage.

    The downside of shot bags is you’re carrying that weight all the time, even when you’re not surfing. This can potentially put your boat over the limit for the trailer or lift.

    So after a bunch of wrangling over this, I finally elected to go with shot bags over ballast bags. I just didn’t want to rip out my new Pro Ballast bags and I didn’t want to give up my entire storage lockers in the back. I like having lots of storage. To start, I ordered a total of 10 shot bags, 50 pounds each. They arrived within a week. After consulting with some local wakesurfers and 230 owners, here’s what I did:

    On the Port side, I put 5 shot bags under the Pro Ballast bag. This meant I had to cut the existing zip ties that hold the Pro Ballast bag in place, move it out of the way, lay in the shot bags and then zip tie the Pro Ballast bag back on top.

    Also on the Port side, I added 1 shot bag under the side seat as far back as I could get it.

    On the Starboard side, I put 4 shot bags under the Pro Ballast bag, same process as the other side.

    Net I added 300 pounds to the Port side, 200 to the Starboard. This made a PROFOUND difference to the wake on the Port side. So much so that I’m considering this issue closed and I’m not planning to add any more shot bags. After a bunch of experimentation this weekend, we came up with these settings:

    Port side surfing:
    • Port ballast – Full
    • Belly ballast – Full
    • Starboard ballast – 7/8
    • NSS – 2 (really this is personal preference)
    • Hydrogate – 1 or 2. Just enough to clean up the lip.
    • Speed – 10.6 to 11. Faster if there are a lot of people on the boat.
    Starboard side surfing:
    • Port ballast – Full
    • Belly ballast – Full
    • Starboard ballast – Full
    • NSS – 2 (personal preference)
    • Hydrogate – 0
    • Speed – 10.6 to 11. Faster if there are a lot of people on the boat.

    There are no magic settings that will be great for everyone. If you have a 2016 or 2017, the best thing you can do is get a Pebble watch, get it going, and use it to tune the wake while you’re surfing. You can adjust the NSS and Speed on the fly. I seemed to gravitate more towards the NSS at 4 while others seemed to prefer 2 or 1. Here’s a photo and a video. The wake was so long that I was back at the end of the rope and still had push. Finally Bob took if off the tower and put it on the Port cleat so I could go even further back. It was so weird being able to surf that far back from the boat. I’ve never been able to do that before.

    Unless I find a very compelling reason to do so, I’m planning to stay right here with this setup. I don’t want the boat to be a one-trick-pony and only surf. It needs to be user friendly without a bunch of ballast bags sitting on the seats and floor. I want to have storage space available for towels, sweatshirts, the cooler, etc. I know it can produce an even bigger and longer wake with more ballast. I just don't want to make the compromises necessary to do that. Most of us are beginner/intermediate wakesurfers so this is just fine.

    Click image for larger version

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    Short video: https://vimeo.com/215536832




  • #2
    thanks for taking the time to wright this up this id what i needed
    looks like fun hope to put up some video sooooon

    Comment


    • #3
      Great write up and summary.

      A couple of things to consider.
      1) You can make the 750's work with the rear trays. They may not completely fill, but it does work.
      2) If you fill and empty the ballast through the ballast screen instead of the preset screen, you only need to hit the button once and the wait for water to spit out the vents.
      3) I would recommend an IBS. I don't use it often, but it is nice to help keep to bow down with a big crew or with a small crew and extra ballast.
      4) I agree with trying to keep it simple. If you have a small crew and you do save your 400 pound bag, throw it on the floor along the surf side and fill it with a tsunami pump. My kids love bouncing and laying on it and it makes a ridiculous wave. NSS 4, hydrogate 2, Speed 11.2.

      Have a great summer!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by seveet View Post
        Great write up and summary.

        A couple of things to consider.
        1) You can make the 750's work with the rear trays. They may not completely fill, but it does work.
        2) If you fill and empty the ballast through the ballast screen instead of the preset screen, you only need to hit the button once and the wait for water to spit out the vents.
        3) I would recommend an IBS. I don't use it often, but it is nice to help keep to bow down with a big crew or with a small crew and extra ballast.
        4) I agree with trying to keep it simple. If you have a small crew and you do save your 400 pound bag, throw it on the floor along the surf side and fill it with a tsunami pump. My kids love bouncing and laying on it and it makes a ridiculous wave. NSS 4, hydrogate 2, Speed 11.2.

        Have a great summer!
        Yep, understood. I know the 750's will work with the trays. Not sure how much they'd weigh if they weren't completely filled to allow room for the trays. 650 pounds?

        I really don't need any weight in the bow. There is almost no bow-rise now and I can easily see to drive without even flipping the seat bolster up. If I need weight up there with a big crew, then someone can go sit up there. It's much easier to just move people around than to get out a sack and fill it with a Tsunami. I did that for years with my old 99 Air Nautique and I just don't want to go back to filling sacks...

        -Charles

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for all the detailed responses!!! I think I have a plan and look forward to posting pics after I change my setup. Having just joined Planet Nautique yesterday, I am impressed and look forward to using it again.

          Comment


          • #6
            Just picked up my new 230 a few days ago. Invaluable information. Big Help. Thx.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jmax View Post
              Just picked up my new 230 a few days ago. Invaluable information. Big Help. Thx.
              Excellent! If you learn more about how to get a better wake, please update this thread.

              Thanks!

              -Charles

              Comment


              • #8
                Small update:

                Over the last couple of weeks we've been experimenting with filling the Starboard side to 7/8 or Full. We've found that we cannot do this if there are only 2 or 3 people on the boat. The 230 needs more weight on the Port side to surf there. If we have 5 or 6 people on, we can go to Full on the Starboard side. Here's a video of us surfing with plenty of "human ballast" and Starboard Full: https://vimeo.com/225022779.

                -Charles

                Comment


                • #9
                  The port wake definitely needs about 200-250 pounds of offset towards the surf side. If you have an extra 400 pound bag (I call mine our friend Timmy), next time your out fill everything evenly and put the 400 pound bag on the floor along the surf side. NSS 3-4, hydrogate 2, speed 10.8-11.2. If you have an IBS, I fill it enough to allow me to see without using the bolster. This seems to be the best wave I can produce without 13 people in the boat.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Charles,
                    with the extra 500 pounds of shot, do you find that it hinders other activities in the boat? Do you ski or just cruise? If you wanted to ski, would you have to take them out or can you get by with the extra 500 pounds? I currently have a 2010 X15 and it needs a lot of weight. I may play with the shot to help alliviate the lack of storage when the lockers are stuffed with sacks.

                    I am also going to get a new boat in the next year or so and have always said my next boat will be a SAN 230. Love the classic look but the GS22 is something I want to text drive as well. My wife still skies and she hates the wake behind the X15. Anyway, thanks for the info.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by portbigcity View Post
                      Charles,
                      with the extra 500 pounds of shot, do you find that it hinders other activities in the boat? Do you ski or just cruise? I
                      It doesn't hinder other activities, and that's why I went with shot bags and limited it to 500 pounds. I know the boat will surf better with another 500 pounds, but I just don't want to carry 1000 pounds of shot around all the time when we're cruising or dock-hopping. I've thought about buying another 10 bags and just leaving them on the dock when we're not going to surf but jeez, that sounds like a PITA to me. We're all decent enough surfers and I'm not entirely sure we need all of that. Everyone seems to like the wake as it is.

                      We don't ski. In fact, nobody has wakeboarded or skied behind this 230 since I bought it. We're either surfing or wakefoiling.

                      If you intend to continue to ski, then yes, the GS line is something you should investigate. That's exactly the design goal for that boat.

                      -Charles

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the input, greatly appreciated

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Gang,

                          I haven't updated this thread in a while, mostly because everything we have is working just fine. We're still at 500 pounds of shot bags (300 Port, 200 Starboard) and leaving the Starboard side at 3/4 unless we have 6 or 7 people on the boat. With that many people, we can go to FULL all the way around. We seem to be keeping the speed at 11.2 or so these days. This is a minor change from the original post above. I've also gotten away from NSS at 3 or 4. I'm almost always on 0 or 1. This doesn't produce a wake as tall, but it's so much longer. I don't have any problem with push regardless. There's plenty of that.

                          The Pebble watch integration is just about perfect. In fact, none of my regulars even want to surf without it anymore. It's just too handy to be able to change the boat speed a bit and adjust the NSS. Mostly we stay on 0 or 1 but it's really nice to be able to change it from behind the boat. A couple of us are using it to switch sides. I'm terrible on the Starboard side with my heels to the wake, but I'm getting better. I can toss the rope but it feels so weird surfing that way.

                          Again, I encourage other 230 owners to chime in. The more input we have here, the better it is for everyone.

                          Thanks!

                          -Charles

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the update, Charles! For me, it depends on the lake. My home lake is really shallow (6'-12') and NSS at 5, hydrogate forward, and around 10.7 works best for me. Pro-ballast system (stock) with port and belly full, starboard 3/4. If right foot forward, then all full and the wave is MASSIVE. We are happy with this setup. Tall and long. When in deeper lakes, I will tone the NSS down and maybe do hydrogate at 2.

                            STILL trying to get a good, even wakeboard wake... :/


                            Sent from my iPhone using PLT Nautique

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wonder if the changes in 14 made the port side need more weight? I say this because in my 12 with NSS I find its the opposite my starboard likes to have slightly more weight than the port for goofy riders and the port is great with it all even.

                              I also find it odd you don't have bow ballast, perhaps that's what the port needs.

                              My setup:

                              Removed rear hard tanks, installed 1100lb sacs
                              Added 650lb V sac from fly high under bow seats piggy backed off center tank.
                              Everything fills from the linc screen. Hard tanks reinstall in 15 minutes for resale.

                              Port Surf:
                              ALL ballast FULL
                              NSS 0 Hydrogate 2
                              10.6-10.8

                              Goofy Surf:
                              Port 7/8
                              Starboard FULL
                              Center FULL
                              Bow FULL
                              NSS 0 hydrogate 0-2
                              speed 10.4 skim, 10.8 surf

                              I ride goofy, my bro rides normal. Small crew usually, in fact theres a lot of solo riding, as in the mirror is the spotter lol. otherwise theres only a driver and a spotter in which case if the spotter sits on the surf side all ballast can stay full for both sides, and if they switch with the wake shift crossing from side to side its perfect!

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