DIY Wakeboarding Winch

[exhaltingidiotz] is just one of the guys who’s built his own wakeboard winch. These things are pretty low tech, but using a winch to wakeboard has to be one of the most original ideas that I’ve seen in a while. Winches have some interesting advantages over boats: less fuel, no licensing and shallow water that no boat or jet ski would ever work in suddenly becomes usable. Here’s a basic design that’s typical and a simple demo video. The forums are a bit annoying to search for info, so here’s a fantastic winch build writeup.

11 thoughts on “DIY Wakeboarding Winch

  1. Sailplane pilots use huge versions of these to snatch gliders into the air. This is especially common in Europe where fuel is expensive. The basic principle is much like running with a kite. With a few thousand feet of open space to pull the cable out over, they can get altitudes of over 1000 feet. It’s quite an experience; the ground roll is maybe a hundred feet, and most of the climb is done at about a 45 degree angle! This photo will give you a bit of an idea what it looks like; the winch is out of sight over the rise in the background.

    Glider winches are sometimes based off of truck drivetrains — basically a big engine, transmission (generally set up to stay in 2nd gear for the whole run, to avoid any jolts from shifting), and differential, with the winch drums replacing the wheels. A similar conversion based on a moped might make a good wakeboard winch, with a lot less fabbing involved than building the whole thing from scratch.

  2. A very interesting idea, I might find my self building something similar next summer. As a side notice, I really hope that english isn’t the main language of some of videos commenter’s, some of it is just awful.

  3. Yeah, so with all the terrible news going around around torture and mistreatment of prisoners and all the craziness involving the CIA and heads of state…

    I thought this was a DIY WATERboarding winch. I was quite nearly horrified. Then I remembered to READ.

    Lazy saturday in Ohio again, I guess.

  4. This would be kind of useless but:

    they should put some kind of manual gear box on it, with a separate clutch for the reel.

    This would allow them to accelerate the engine to a higher speed then start reeling the cord.

  5. This could be fun in the snow as well. We used to ride be 3-wheelers on innertubes and snow skis this could be handy for when you can’t find a mountain to ski down. Could be useful year round.

  6. First off I noticed a lack of a spooling sheave. Then I noticed they aren’t concerned about spooling the line back onto the drum. Andrew it may take a looong extension cord to run a winch off the grid power. :)

  7. Winching has come a long ways in the past few years. The wakeboard winch will not take away from the boat, but will become more and more common. Probably the most significant platform for promoting winching is the rail jam. In the past wakeboarding events had to get people to the event on a lake; now rail jams bring the event to the people. Rail jams are being setup in bar parking lots, and other general locations outside of the lake areas. Last summer the Texas INT had a 6 stop Rail Jam Tour that attracted some big wakeboarding names, and was sponsored by Nissan of North America; thats right, corporate Nissan not some local dealership. Who’s going to push winching? corporate america. Winching is a big marketing platform that will catch on in the corporate marketing world. Hell, wakeboarding was the fastest growing sport in America in 2006. Any pro rider that is limiting themselves to just boat comps will be missing out on the big purses that rail jams will bring. Why? because there are more eyes to watch at a rail jam than at a wakeboard event on a lake. Eventually rail jams will be the preferred pro rider event.



    Ken Land
    Bullet Lines

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.