Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What to Look for in an After Market Wakeboard Tower

Wakeboarding is more popular than ever. Wakeboard towers have helped the sport take off by raising the tie-off point of the tow rope, allowing the boarder more air and more time to perform incredible tricks. Plus, they look awesome. As a result, more new boats are outfitted off the showroom floor with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) wakeboarding towers. So, what if you are not buying a new boat? Is it possible to outfit an existing boat with a wakeboard tower that will perform as well and look as good as original equipment? The good news is, tower packages from Wake Essentials are available in a variety of styles to outfit almost every boat.

Stainless Steel or Aluminum?

The wake tower company Big Air offers two styles of wake towers: custom stainless steel and universal aluminum. Stainless steel offers a sleek brushed finish and solid strength. The aluminum used in the company’s wake towers is aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum, which demonstrates superior strength in relation to its weight. In general, 2.25 inches is the optimal diameter for tubes of either material.

How Strong is Strong?

Towers should test for resistance at least beyond 1500 pounds, and even beyond 2,000 pounds. Certified testing ensures that the tower will remain durable and safe season to season.

Will it Fit?

Big Air requires measurements specific to the boat for semi-custom built towers, but there are general guidelines for deciding which tower will best suit a given boat. There are two main requirements: the boat must be at least 16 feet long, and there must be access under the gunnels. After that, it is just a question of sizing ranges. Universal towers can accommodate a range from 62 inches to 103 inches wide.

What about the Gear?

Some towers come with integrated racks to carry and store wakeboards, but accessory racks may be added as well. Other functional and cool add-ons include speakers, light bars and mirrors. Many towers will accommodate a factory bimini, but it is best to check measurements with the company first to see whether a tower will bind the bimini or not.

How Will it Look?

Sure, a wake tower gives a boarder enough air to pull off some great tricks, but it adds major style to a boat, too. Towers can be shaped slightly differently, can be decked out with a variety of accessories, and can come in different finishes. Black powder coating looks great on most boats. Sleek polished or brushed finishes are popular as well. Any tower can give a boat an instant profile upgrade.

What About Installation?

A Big Air dealer can install an after-market tower to any boat over 16 feet long and ensure a secure fit. Often, however, a boat owner can do the installation in about 4-6 hours and get the same solid result. If the boat has a hull less than 3/8 inch thick, the hull will need to be reinforced with enough material to bring the thickness to at least 3/8 inch.

A wakeboard tower will help put big air in reach while making almost any boat look great. If the boat did not come with one, it is easy to find and install the perfect wakeboard tower and start making waves.

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