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AR195 Surf Setup

QuakeTen

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Year
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AR195
Boat Length
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Hello,

I am considering using the downtime over the winter to prepare a surf setup on my '19 AR195. I have some questions and wanted some help in getting started with my setup. So far, here is what I have:
  • Thrust Vector Wake (not installed - originally bought in summer 2019 to help with tubing spray and slow speed steering)
  • Lateral Thruster (not installed and I realize this won't help me surf)
At this point, it sounds like the TVW is essentially a loss as that product is being replaced with the new Thrust Vector. I figure I won't install the TVW and may trade it in on a TV if that is a reasonable approach. At this point, I don't worry about the tube spray and I'm able to drive the boat pretty well at low speeds. However, a little assistance in this area would certainly help my wife drive more (maybe ... fingers crossed).

The questions:
  1. Should I move over to the new Thrust Vector? Skip the TV and look for a wake wedge? or go with both a TV and add a wake wedge?
  2. What type of board should I go with? My household is all beginners (never surfed) but have kids who will likely pick it up quickly if they enjoy it. They are:
    1. 14 year old female, 5'3", 105 lbs
    2. 12 year old female, 5'2", 118 lbs (will likely out grow her older sister and she is already much heavier)
    3. 8 year old female - who knows ;-)
    4. Wife is 5'2" 105lbs but will likely never surf so it is more for the kids
    5. Me - the heavy one. I'm 6' and 195 lbs. Since I do 99% of the driving, I doubt that I'll be surfing anytime soon so I'd prefer to optimize the board for the girls to ensure they enjoy it and get some use before they outgrow it (if that is possible).
  3. What should I target for ballast? As you can see from the list above, we are not putting a lot of human weight in the boat. I didn't know if I should start with a custom transom bag, ski locker bag, and a bow cube? Recommendations here would be great.
  4. When you add all that water ballast, are you able to back the boat out of a slip in reverse? I imagine these bags get filled while docked. Since I need to back out, I was worried if the added weight makes it more difficult.
  5. Second ballast weight question - when adding all that weight, how much lower does the boat ride? I am worried about my water depth at the dock. Where I dock my boat, the water depth is roughly 32 - 36" high. Will I have a problem with boat hitting bottom?
Lastly, after our first season of wakeboarding this past summer, I am convinced that I need to get and install RideSteady. So, I didn't even include that as a question. It is just a matter of finding the right time to buy this item and install over the winter.

Sorry for the lengthy post and so many questions but some guidance here would be great before I try to jump into this expensive endeavor.

Edit to add: Should I just consider starting with the Yamaha Wake Surf package?
 
Last edited:

marcham

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Comox, BC
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Yamaha
Year
2019
Boat Model
AR195
Boat Length
19
I can't speak to the Thrust vector, but we did get a decent setup for surfing on our AR195. Now if you've surfed behind a wake/surf boat, you'll be disappointed. The AR195 just doesn't have the mass to create a huge wake. But you can create a surfable wake.

I got Yamaha's surf kit for the AR195. I'm currently using the WakeBooster, 1 200 lb bag and the pump.

1. Speed control. Managing the speed by hand was practically impossible and an exercise in frustration for everyone involved. Neither the boat's speedo nor the RPMs were accurate enough. We bit the bullet and bought a RideSteady after only spending 8 hrs on the boat. 2 hours to install, everyone is now happy. We also use it for wakeboarding.

2. Ballast. This was the subject of hours of experimentation and tons of fuel. Since we have riders both regular and goofy, what ended up working for us was a 650lb FatSak in the middle of the rear deck and a 200 lb FatSak on the surfer side. Switching the 200lb bag and the the shaper takes about 5-10 minutes.

3. WakeShaper. We've been happy with the Yamaha WakeBooster (WakeEnhancer in Canada). Easy to install from the boat (before lateral ballast) or from the water.

I'm the heaviest of the bunch at 210 lbs. With a 5' 3" board, I can surf. I'm not catching any air but was able to pull off a few 180 by the end of the summer. My girls (120 lbs and under) have lots of fun on smaller skim style boards.

Plans for next summer:

a) I need a better board (Hyperlite Shim). The tail of that board just doesn't float enough to my liking. Maybe I'll just switch to wakeboarding, don't know ....

b) Tunable weight. I'm thinking of getting 100 lbs of weight bags to tune the placement of the weight. Although I now have a collection of 4 FatSaks, moving them around is a bit of a pain. 100-150 lbs of weight bags would be perfect for fine tuning lateral and fore/aft weight depending on passenger load.

c) Riva Lucky 13 cone. When pulling heavier riders out, the pump did have a tendency to cavitate a little below 8 MPH. Will install a riva 13 cone for the SVHO before next spring.
 

white2kstang

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The 2019 AR195 has thrusters from the factory. I don't believe you can install the JBP lateral thrusters on this boat.

1. Not sure on the TV. This is likely more about preference than anything. I have not seen a wake wedge for the 19ft. As far as I know one is not available. Your only current option for a 2019+ 19ft boat is the Yamaha Wakebooster. It does a good job of cleaning up the wake.
2. My 14yr old is a beginner. We are running a Slingshot Coaster 5.0. They also make a 5.3 which will help with a smaller wave bit may be too mich board for the smaller kids. Very happy with this board. She got up on her first outing with it only riding behind another boat a handful of times.
3. I'm still dialing this in. Part of my issue is people weight varies a lot for us by outing. I have the 650 custom transom bag, the 2 yamaha sacs that come with the booster kit for the 19ft(210lbs each) and 300 lbs of steel. The trick is balancing bow and stern weight. Too much on the back you'll never get up to speed. 1200lb is capacity, so that makes that a juggling act. 650 on swim deck and 250 in bow with 300 in people as been a good start.
4. The boat most definitely handles differently with th added weight. I usually do the tube first and then we stop to swim somewhere and I fill the bags before we leave the cove. I honestly would find a spot close to where you plan to surf to fill the sacs. You'll burn a bunch of fuel with the boat loaded down too.
5. I have t really thought about this. However I'd image 3 ft is plenty for the bottom clearance even with it weighted down.

RideSteady is worth every single cent. It's great for tubing, wakeboarding, surfing and cruising. Its easy to install as well. I should have bought this first.

I feel the wakebooster package is a good value. Comes with 2 sacs a pump and the booster. My daughter was able to ride this on our first trip out with it on the Coaster 5.0 and was happy with it. Its a good starting point and then you can add the transom bag and move the cubes.
 

mistercool88

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Ok I might have to semi thread jack real quick. Question...

Is the best set up a wakebooster and the thrust vector? Asking because I have the wake booster but should I purchase more? Or does it not make a difference once you have a wakebooster???

Thanks in advance.
 

gallobg

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Ok I might have to semi thread jack real quick. Question...

Is the best set up a wakebooster and the thrust vector? Asking because I have the wake booster but should I purchase more? Or does it not make a difference once you have a wakebooster???

Thanks in advance.
Your profile says you have a 24 series boat, so the following may or may not apply. I have a 19' so here's my advice:

The two most important things for surfing behind the 19' boats are (1) speed control and (2) ballast. Do these first before anything else.

#3 is probably the Wakebooster kit. #4 is the right board.

-- The Hydrophase Ridesteady gps speed controller is the single best mod I have done to the boat. It's wonderful for everyday use and essential for surfing.

-- The custom 650 Gantlin transom bag was the gamechanger for me. The 2x200 cubes with the wakebooster kit just weren't enough. Ordered the bag from @jcyamaharider here on the site.

-- The Yamaha Wakebooster kit really cleaned up the surf wave. The 2x200 cubes are small enough to put at different places in the boat to help dial in your wave.

-- I use the Slingshot Coaster 5'3" board I got from @J-RAD here on the site. Highly recommend it (or possibly the 5' one for smaller surfers). It's a fast board that helps with our smaller wakes. For reference I'm 5'10" and 180lbs.
 

mistercool88

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  1. Done with connext system
  2. only have stock ballast
  3. done
  4. have the new 2021 Slingshot Boss Hoss that will be tried next weekend
My question is do I need to add a TV/deflector to the wakebooster?
 

gallobg

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  1. Done with connext system
  2. only have stock ballast
  3. done
  4. have the new 2021 Slingshot Boss Hoss that will be tried next weekend
My question is do I need to add a TV/deflector to the wakebooster?
In that case I would go with what you have - you should be able to surf on that setup for a 24' boat. If you can't then the TV isn't going to help. Instead, you might need more ballast or different placement. Or a different speed. There's a ton of posts here about the 24 boats. Write to @J-RAD and he'll give you all the info you need.
 

gallobg

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To the OP, see my comments in the post above re necessary equipment for 19' boats.

I currently have the TVW installed, but honestly can't tell you how much improvement it gives for surfing because I had it installed before I started surfing. So I don't know what the delta improvement is. For me, it has cut down the tubing spray for the kids. Not sure if that's enough to do the epoxy install, only you can make that decision. I'm not sure if it really helps the surf wake since I already have the wakebooster installed. That said, some form of steering enhancement is a good idea for these boats (TV or Cobra).

As for surfing, it took me a lot of trial and error to dial in the wave that worked for me. Here is what finally did it to go ropeless with control:

-- Calm lake conditions

-- GPS speed 9.8mph

-- Gantlin transom bag on the rear deck, center position

-- (1) 200lb cube on surf side rear seat

-- (1) 200lb cube in the bow floor

-- Slingshot Coaster 5'3" board

I had one adult driver and two small kids in the boat. I was able to drop the rope on multiple runs and have great control.


With all this ballast, I would say that the boat easily sits 6" lower in the water. The rear deck rub rail is about at the water line. Since your dock space is only 3' of water, I would recommend that you fill the ballast in deeper water. My dock is also about 2.5' depth and when I idle the bottom muck gets churned up quite a bit - don't want to ruin your day by sucking up something. All of these ballast bags take at least 15 minutes to fill, sometimes more if you fuss. Also, the boat steer like a pig with all this added weight, so navigating docks will be harder.

Lastly, you don't need lateral thrusters. They're already built into the 2019+ boats.
 

J-RAD

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Write to @J-RAD and he'll give you all the info you need.
@mister and I have actually been in discussion for a couple of weeks now. He purchased the new Boss Hoss wakesurfer from me.

  1. Done with connext system
  2. only have stock ballast
  3. done
  4. have the new 2021 Slingshot Boss Hoss that will be tried next weekend
My question is do I need to add a TV/deflector to the wakebooster?
Personally, I would not bother with the Thrust Vector Wakes. They won't improve your wave over the booster. JBP does have the ladder attachment gizmo that might come with them, but I think the WakeBooster is superior, especially with a stock setup. The Thrust Vector fins by themselves won't make a noticeable improvement to your surf wave if you purchase them. In fact on some models, they will actually make contact with the booster and inhibit steering.

Improving your surfing beyond your current setup will be a matter of dialing in ballast placement or adding additional ballast. The one consistent rule of thumb between models is that the majority of ballast needs to be focused on the rear surf side corner. Human ballast can help. With the booster and stock ballast I would start with filling the surf side under seat to 100%, non surf side to 30%, ski locker 40%, and sit all available passengers in the back on the surf side and see where that gets you. You can make a slight turn surf side to help list (lean) the boat further. See where that gets you.

At a certain point adding weight in the bow and ski locker will sink the bow and begin defeat the ballast in the rear. This is where adding ballast to the swim deck becomes a exponential equation. The more you place in the rear allows you to run more in the ski locker. In terms of the custom settin deck bags, it will allow you to fill the ski locker bag at 100% or closer to it. It all works to add to the overall displacement of the hull which generates a bigger more powerful wave.

For some, a big bag on the swim deck it's a no go. For those folks I recommend the consider a few hundred pounds if lead ballast to move around. Evenly distributed its like having 2 extra people on board, but shift it all to the rear corner of the swim deck when you're ready to surf and you'll see a improvement.
 

QuakeTen

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AR195
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I can't speak to the Thrust vector, but we did get a decent setup for surfing on our AR195. Now if you've surfed behind a wake/surf boat, you'll be disappointed. The AR195 just doesn't have the mass to create a huge wake. But you can create a surfable wake.
Thanks. We’ve never surfed and our lake limit is a 19’ boat so I’m fairly confident I just need to maximize what I can do with the AR195.

The 2019 AR195 has thrusters from the factory. I don't believe you can install the JBP lateral thrusters on this boat.


4. The boat most definitely handles differently with th added weight. I usually do the tube first and then we stop to swim somewhere and I fill the bags before we leave the cove. I honestly would find a spot close to where you plan to surf to fill the sacs. You'll burn a bunch of fuel with the boat loaded down too.
5. I have t really thought about this. However I'd image 3 ft is plenty for the bottom clearance even with it weighted down.

...

I feel the wakebooster package is a good value. Comes with 2 sacs a pump and the booster. My daughter was able to ride this on our first trip out with it on the Coaster 5.0 and was happy with it. Its a good starting point and then you can add the transom bag and move the cubes.
Thanks for this. I did confirm the lateral thrusters are a no go with the 2019 models.

Our place is on a pretty small lake. The distance from the dock to the surf area is 0.73 miles. If I can get away with filling the bags at my dock, is this a reasonable drive distance with the bags filled? Maybe if I back the boat in, it will make the exit much easier. I could also clean up the bottom to remove any rocks and stones. Similar to you, I also churn up the muck when I start the boat. I typically have everyone ready before staring so the boat is only running at that depth a few seconds before we clear the dock and get to deeper water. Speaking of that ...

The designated area for water sports is 15’ to 25’ deep. I’m reading that water depth plays a role. If so, will this depth work as I don’t have an alternative.
 

gallobg

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My lake is similarly small and we have a 20’ limit, so AR195 is what I can do. It works well enough for us without spending double on a wakeboat.

You’ll be fine going the 3/4 mile. The boat can do it no problem, it just steers slower. My point was to be careful if you are navigating a tight dock space. Also my lake maxes at 15’ depth and I can go ropeless so you will be fine on yours. Have fun!
 

Nordicron

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Ive only got about 4hrs on the boat so far and for me most has been tuning to see what is possible with the wakeboard and surf wake. I will tell you that with the right weight and placement this will be a great boat for you and the family. And it sounds like you are on the right track, SPEED CONTROL IS A MUST! I installed ridesteady and it is great, impossible to truly judge the capability without it. Anyway the next thing that is a must for u will be the yamaha rear 600lbs platform bag. I'll attach a quick vid link
of the kid riding behind our 195, the 600lb bag plus 300lbs lead in rear, 100 in nose of boat and a bag in the center locker is what we had. Granted this isnt a nautique wave(i currently own a SAN210 that I will be selling in spring) but it is plenty of fun, especially if you dont know what your missing. I am in the process of also installing an automated ballast system to autofill rear bags and center locker but I will still need to fill the 600lb bag for ultimate fun. I dont have a yamaha wake enhancer but have built a knockoff that I am still in the testing stages of and can tell you that the wake enhancer does have some benefit in cleaning up the wave and maybe providing alittle more length, but it is not needed to surf and at $1000, no thanks.
 
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