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Swim Platforms and Boat Propellers
Swim platforms play a significant safety role in wakesurfing. Swim platforms need to be positioned so that if you surf up to the boat, the platform is just underwater and your surfboard rides on top of the platform. If the platform is too high, your surfboard could go under the swim platform. You do not want your board or body to go under the swim platform.
Fuzzy math estimates that a medium sized adult falling into the water is hit
with about 800 pounds of force, the water pushing them away from the boat.
(If anyone reading this is more familiar with the formulas and constants for this calculation, your help would be appreciated).
We do not believe that a person can get into an inboard boat's propeller while wakesurfing if your swim platform is properly positioned. The propeller is about 3 feet in front of the rear of the swim platform. The boat's rudder also partially blocks the propeller. To reach the propeller, your body would have to move forward about 3 feet, pushing against about 800 pounds of force.
If the boat should stop suddenly, the rider could continue forward and strike the boat, though the closing speed would only be a few miles an hour. It is important that theswim platform be properly positioned to keep the board and rider from going under the platform. Also, if the boat should stop suddenly, the rider could hit the boat and fall into the boat with enough force to cause injury. A head strike is possible. Wearing helmets while wakesurfing would not be inappropriate; especially for children and beginning riders.
If the swim platform, on the side you are surfing on, is not just underwater,
you may need to add more ballast to that side of your boat. Be sure to
read the chapter on Ballast before you add ballast to your boat. It is up
to you to insure that you don't overload the boat. If you are unable to
safely ballast the boat heavy enough so that the swim platform is underwater
on the surf side, that boat is not suitable for wakesurfing.