A BRIEF HISTORY
The genesis of the wakesport boat began in 1959, when Leo Bentz, a Miami Beach water-ski coach, set forth to make a boat made of fiberglass that focused on the needs of the water-skier. His 17-foot-9-inch-long ski boat powered with a 185 or 215 hp Interceptor engine, which he named Ski Nautique, was the first effort in which a boatbuilder focused on designing a hull that would cast a wake specific for water skiing. Bentz’s Ski Nautique created smaller wakes than the heavier wood boats of the day by using a hull that featured a very low deadrise at the transom. Today, nearly six decades downstream since the debut of Bentz’s Ski Nautique, the idea of designing a specific wake for a specific wake sport has been elevated to a sophisticated level. Boatbuilders are directing the water that flows past the hull in a variety of ways, which includes designing more or less deadrise in the hull and including features such as strakes and pockets into the hull so the water flows past the hull in a specific way. Boat designers are also adding features into the boat under the floor and to the transom to also direct the way water flows past the hull. — Z.B.