What happens when ocean surfers swap the seas for lake waters? That’s one question Volvo Penta set out to answer when it brought professional surfers Alyssa Spencer and Tatiana Weston-Webb on board with professional wakesurfer Parker Payne for a special crossover event on Lake Martin in Alabama.

Parker shared wakesurfing tips for the group with Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive and Watersports Control system at the helm on three innovative boat models – the Regal LS9 Surf, Cobalt R8 Surf and Paradigm Boats wakesurf deck boat. Below we dive into a few key takeaways from their time on the water.

1. Practice makes perfect: Even seasoned surfers need a bit of time to adjust to a wave that’s powered by boat instead of Mother Nature. “I was expecting a bit of a challenge the first few waves because learning how to get up and get going was new for me,” said Spencer. “Once I got the hang of it though, it was so fun!”

2. Control breeds creativity: While the unpredictable nature of the ocean has its unique allure, the more controlled environment of wakesurfing also offers a dose of spontaneity. “The wave is pretty similar every time, so I feel like you can be really creative and have fun with it because you know you’ll always get another chance,” said Spencer.  
3. The boat brings out the fun factor: Boating delivers a unique atmosphere that even sea dwellers can appreciate. “Everything from riding the wave, to having music blaring, and your friends to cheer you on as you surf is all pretty cool,” said Spencer. “It makes the experience of a day on the lake a lot of fun.”

4. Advantages in accessibility: Wakesurfing is a great option for those who might find themselves in a more landlocked area. Weston-Webb noted the benefits for people who don’t live near the coast: “what’s cool about wakesurfing is that it’s a lot more accessible to people in middle America and anywhere that doesn’t have oceans.” 

5. Wakesurfing is a workout: Like ocean surfing, wakesurfing is a great outlet for people to get exercise while honing their skills in a unique sport. “It’s nice because anyone can try wakesurfing, it’s a great workout and you’re getting better at something that’s really fun,” said Weston-Webb. “Maybe one day, you’ll go to the ocean and know what to do there too!”

While wakesurfing might not be in the cards for Weston-Webb this summer, as she gears up for the Olympic Games Paris 2024, the sport is continuing a steady rise with new demographics that underscore the growing intersection between watersports lovers and boating enthusiasts. According to a research study conducted by Discover Boating, there are 91 million potential future boaters in identified growth and emerging segments – including those with a special interest in outdoor recreation activities.

Forward is the only way

In the spirit of bringing versatility to the forefront, Volvo Penta is cruising ahead with the idea that “Forward is the Only Way” by introducing new projects and partnerships to help drive awareness with expanded audiences. Volvo Penta strives to attract new demographics to boating by demonstrating how its Forward Drive propulsion system is setting a new standard for a variety of active lifestyle customers to enjoy surf and serenity.

“With the Volvo Penta Forward Drive system, it really allows the boat to have the power to get you out of the water quickly and creates a great wave for surfing,” said Payne. “It allows for a lot of extra room on the boat so that way you have room to chill with your friends. You can have a large sundeck and really enjoy your day on the water and maximise that experience.”

Tempted to jump in the captain’s chair or try your hand at wakesurfing? Check out the “Forward is the Only Way” story, or follow these guys on InstagramFacebook and TikTok