Ronix Eight.3 Ballast Bag

Best Ballast Bags For Wakesurfing

I have a 2017 Mastercraft X46 and am in love with the boat.  I am also in love with wakesurfing, but to be honest, what the X46 makes up for in style, amenities, and comfort, it lacks in standard ballast (a mere 2015 lbs which by today’s standards is incredibly low).  To remedy the problem, I decided to add some additional ballast to the boat to increase my wave. Here is the list of best ballast bags for wakesurfing.

Lead Bags

Pros

  • Easily moved to specific areas of the boat
  • Heavy construction prevents bag tearing

Cons

  • Not easily transferred on and off boat
  • Cost

The lead bags come in a variety of brands, but they are all basically the same thing.  A black nylon bag that is carefully constructed and filled with 50 lbs of non toxic pellets, usually made of steel.  These bags are really great because they are extremely durable and have the reputation to be resistant to tears, rips, and scuffs.

Most come with a multi year warranty (depending on where purchased) so that is a nice assurance in case of defect or you beat the bag into submission.

The biggest draw about these bags is that they give you the ability to really dial in the wave that you are looking for without moving people around on your boat.  Move these bags to the front of the boat to extend your wave or to the back corner on the side you are surfing to make your wave steeper. Because they are 50 lb bags (different weights are available as well), it’s easy to pick them up and drop them wherever you need.

Although these bags are appealing, they are expensive in comparison to some alternatives. A 50 lb bag costs around $60-$65 per bag.  If you are looking to add a significant amount of ballast, like I was (around 800 lbs.), it’s probably going to run just north of $1000.  That’s a pretty heavy investment, pun intended. 

Additionally, carrying these bags on and off the boat is cumbersome and exhausting.  Leaving them on the boat all the time, adds ballast for surfing, which is fantastic. However if you don’t remove the bags when you’re not surfing and just going out for a cruise, you are adding additional weight, which is burning more gas. This is not a deal breaker, but certainly something to keep in mind.


FATSAC

Pros

  • Come in variety of sizes and shapes
  • Heavy construction prevents bag tearing

Cons

  • Time to fill bag
  • Takes up room on the boat

I have tried out the FATSACS and they are pretty awesome!  They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so whatever weight and size you are looking for, you are certain to find it.

The FATSAC bags are constructed using precision cutting machine, welding system, and Valmex material.  It is the Valmex material that really makes the bags amazing, since Valmex allows for elasticity while staying air tight. Valmex is also resistant to abrasions, UV rays, weather, and high temperatures.  

Placement is fairly simple and basically anywhere you can find room.  On a seat, on the floor, front, or back of the boat. It’s pretty much a seamless process of setting down your bag, filling it up, and then surfing.

The best pump that FATSAC sells is the Supa Tsunami Pump that states it can pump 168 pounds of water per minute.  So if you have a 750 lb bag you’ll be waiting about 4 ½ minutes not including setting everything up to fill the bag, which is not an incredibly long time, but still worth noting.


Ronix Eight.3 Ballast Bags

Pros

  • Fastest water pump on market
  • Comes in variety of sizes and shapes

Cons

  • Not easily moved once filled in place
  • Takes up room on the boat

This is the bag I ended up buying to stick on my Mastercraft X46 and very happy with the purchase ultimately.  The bag itself is well constructed and I feel it will stand up against the test of time.

The Ronix Eight.3 telescoping bags are proprietary and can only be used in conjunction with the Ronix Eight.3 pumps.  There is no cross branding of using a Ronix Eight.3 pump with a FATSAC bag due to the different fittings.

I opted to the get their best pump, the 3700 GPH Submersible Pump.  The pump is pretty awesome and I can attest it gets through a lot of water quickly. The specs state that it can push and pull up to 514 lbs of water a minute and after watching this work, I do believe those claims.

The 800 lb bag that I got is the right size to sit in my back corner seat and helps to increase the wave tremendously.  Like FATSAC, these bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes so depending on what you are looking for, you should be able to find it.

I also ended up getting a pump float, which to my disappointment is really nothing more than a cheap inflatable. It is still worth getting though because if you end up accidentally knocking the the pump in the water with the float, your pump won’t be lost to the great unknown.


Plug and Play

Both the FATSAC and Ronix Eight.3 ballast bags come in plug and play versions as well.  Plug and play means that they are directly tied into the your boats ballast system so there is no need for the additional pump.  The plug and play ballast bags are usually stored in empty lockers. If you have the space available and your boat will allow for it, you should definitely consider this options as there is no easier way to add weight and dispose of weight, then to flip of a switch or button on your boats console. 

You really can’t go wrong with any of the 3 options above and it will really boil down to whatever suits you best. 

Personally, I like the fact that I can fill and empty the water filled ballast bag quickly, is very easily moved on and off the boat, and if I decide to add more ballast later on, it will be cheaper to buy another water filled ballast bag than adding lead bags.  For those reasons, I ended up going with Ronix Eight.3 bag, pump, and pump float, but get what best suits your needs and lifestyle because again, you really can’t go wrong with any of the above choices.  Happy surfing!

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