Skip to main content

There is No Replacement for Displacement

We are often asked why Centurion boats create such awesome surf waves.  There are multiple factors that combine together to make a world class surf wave, one of which is experience.  Centurion created its first surf boat hull way back in the 1990’s, way before surfing was the cool thing.  Additionally, there are things like CATS, Quicksurf and trim tab shapes that allow for wake customization and tweaking.  But the most important factor, by far, is displacement.  There is no replacement for displacement.

What do I mean by this?  Well, it’s simple; physics really does matter.  There are natural laws that apply to wave/wake size and shape.  The wave or wake of your boat (what you surf on) is created by your boat displacing water.  So, in basic terms, with all things being equal (the hull shape, size, etc. of the vessel), the boat and ballast combination that weighs the most would displace the most amount of water and thus create the biggest wave.  This is an absolute fact, but not all things are equal when it comes to boat hull shapes and sizes, so weight is not the only determining factor for displacement.

Let me illustrate. I’m guessing that, if you are a boater in Utah, you have probably been to Lake Powell and seen a houseboat traveling down the lake.  Have you noticed that a house boat that has a flat bottom hull and weighs tons (I know my houseboats weighs over 100,000 lbs. or 50 tons) does not make a very big wake behind it, really not any bigger than the 22 ft. runabout that passes by?  This is because the hull does not draft/sink very far into the water.  It displaces very little water relative to its size and weight.  Now, think about when you have passed by the Lake Powell tour boat running down the main channel and its wake.  This large boat is like a big houseboat, but the wave it puts out behind it is scary big.  Why is this?  Why is the tour boat wave so much bigger than that of the houseboat just described?  It’s the hull shape.  The hull on the tour boat has a deep v-bottom.  It drafts/sinks deep into the water and, as it runs, it has to move a large amount of water out of the way (displaces it) to move forward.  The wake you see behind it is all the water it has moved out of the way.

Hopefully now I’ve given you something to relate to so you can see that displacement is more than just weight.  Weight is a must have ingredient when making a big wave, but weight alone will not produce a big surf wave.  You have to get more of the boat into the water. The more of the boat that is in the water, the more water it has to move out of the way to move forward; this displacement is what makes a large wave.  A simple way for you to see which of two boats is most likely going to displace more water and make a bigger wave is to look at how much draft each boat has.  In general, if one of two similar size boats has more draft, it will make a bigger wave.

Now comes the final step in; not only do you need to displace the large amount of water to make a great wave, you also need to shape it so it has power and push, just ask ocean surfers.  The best surf beaches (like Mavericks and Pipeline) not only have big waves, but they also have the best wave shapes.  Once again, think of the tour boat at Lake Powell.  Although the wake is huge, it leaves the back of the boat without breaking so it just rolls in big swells until it hits the shore and dissipates on the beach.  This is a perfect example of a big massive wave that has no push or real surf power behind it.  The secret to creating a wave with power and push is to shape how and when it breaks, not flop over in a pile of mush, but really breaks.  A wave that breaks has much more power and push than one that just rolls over. Centurion has refined their Surftech V hulls and even the side walls of their boats to channel the water displaced by the massive amount of boat draft and ballast weight into a wave that breaks with power and push, far back behind the boat.

In a nutshell, Centurion boats create amazing surf waves because of their specially designed deep-v hulls that displace great amounts of water that are then shaped into huge waves that break with power and push.  Don’t be fooled by pictures or video of small people surfing with big boards on big mushy waves that have no power. Huge, clean waves that break and have awesome power and push are the real thing for wakesurfing.

Your Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Click here to continue shopping.
Thanks for contacting us! We'll get back to you shortly. Thanks for subscribing Thanks! We will notify you when it becomes available! The max number of items have already been added There is only one item left to add to the cart There are only [num_items] items left to add to the cart