Deadrise is basically the angle of the bottommost part of the hull as it rises up to meet the freeboard. A deeper deadrise creates a more severe point at the keel of the boat that will cut through waves more easily, making for a smoother ride in rough water. And, by contrast, a shallower deadrise makes for more lift and a more blunt, jarring effect as it cuts through waves, but also an extremely fast time to plane and an efficient, sporty ride in smooth water.
It’s also important to have realistic expectations about your boat’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, while modern marine technology (think strakes, chines and trim tabs) can do wonders to knock down the wake on a 22- to 24-footer for a slalom set, the fact is you’re never going to get as flat and soft a wake with a bigger boat as you would with a nimble 20-footer with minimal deadrise. The physics principles are working against you. And the differences don’t end there.