Friday, April 27, 2018

Just say NO to inflatables on your tower

A question we hear literally every single day, "is this tower okay to pull a tube with?" As a fellow water enthusiast I could say yes, but the truthful answer is no. Now, let me be a little more specific on that. We carry a lot of different towers and the towers are capable of pulling a tube, but it's not good for them. Let me tell you why.

Did you know that each rope has a breaking strength?
These strengths differ from rope to rope, but one thing that doesn't change: a tube rope is a lot stronger than a ski or wake rope. A couple examples are that a 2 person tube rope is a little over 2,000 pounds and this 4 person tube rope is over 4,000 pounds! That is a lot of weight to be transferring to the tower AND the hull of the boat!

A couple things we have noticed on some of the boats we have installed on is that even the ski eye on the back of the boat has a pull rating. Most are generally about 2,000 pounds. This area is to be used for all towables, including inflatables. 

In some cases the you have a tower that is strong enough to pull inflatables. At this point the question becomes is the hull of you boat strong enough to take the excessive amount of force. If it is not you could see some spider cracking in the gel coat, hull or worse. Most manufacturers tell you not to pull a tube from the tower. There are so many factors in pulling a tube its hard to ensure you are not going to run into issues. I know its the boring thing to do but we recommend playing it safe and continue pulling inflatables from the back of the boat. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Wiring a Wakeboard Tower

Wiring a wakeboard tower for speakers or lights can seem daunting. Do you go with a wiring harness or run your own wires? Do you need a quick disconnect? Choosing to go with normal wire or a wiring harness is a choice you need to make.

 If you are just wiring one thing running a normal wire is not a bad option and may be the most cost effective. However, if you are running wire for multiple things a wiring harness is generally the way to go. A great feature to have in a wiring harness is a quick connect/disconnect, especially if you are collapsing or removing your tower. Not to mention this provides a much cleaner look.

If you decide to go with a wiring harness we have a few options listed below that available on out website.

Tower with Big Air 4 pin Wiring Harness 
Most towers do not have an entrance or exit hole for your wiring, so your going to have to drill one. Before you do this step I recommend determining what size hole you are going to need. If you are using a wiring harness most manufacturers tell you what size hole to drill. If you choose to run your own wiring I recommend determining how many wires you will be using and then choosing a drill bit that is a little larger that the wire would be around. This allows the wire to slide in fairly easy.

Once you have made the decisions above its fairly simple. You will determine which side of the boat your head unit/ power source is on. In most cases you will want to run your wiring to this side. Decide where you want your speakers/light bar ect. to mount and drill your entrance hole.

Now in my opinion it is easiest to run the wire through the tower as you are assembling it. This can allow you to fish it thought each piece with ease. If you have your tower installed already you can normally run a pull string with a nut on the ends through the tower. This allows you to pull your wire through with ease. (Note with some towers you may have to jump a connection to continue running your wire.)  Then you mount the quick connect/disconnect if you have it. Connect the wire to your speakers/lights ect. and to the head unit/power source.

If you have any questions you can always contact us  and the tower manufacturer may have tip and tricks for their tower.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Pylon Vs. Tower

You may have noticed a Pylon was the original way to get your rope higher, later came towers. Which one is better? Which one is more beneficial? This is definitely a tough question to answer as both options have their pros and cons. 

Pylons came out first. Some are made into the boat and others are aftermarket or extended and have cables that run from the pylon around the bow of the boat to hold it in place when under a load. These lines can get in the way especially if you have a crowd with you or an open bow boat. When you store an aftermarket pylon you have to remove if from the base and remove the cables. This generally leaves the base in the floor and personally prefer the floor to be clear. However, this allows it not to be permanent.  

If you have a pylon you may notice an uncomfortable amount of flex when pulling a larger person especially when they edge out. Some people say this is because all of the force of that weight is applied to one place and the flex can be reduced with a tower because you have the weight dispersed over 4 mount locations. 

Towers are a little more expensive than pylons. A tower allows you keep your seating room and there are no cables to run to the bow. You can mount board racks, speakers and lights on it. Plus with most towers you can run your wiring through the tubing. Now some towers are not very tall so if you are above average height you may hit your head especially if you have hanging accessories. On the bright side there are some manufacturers like Big Air and Vulcan that make their towers about 5 feet tall. This means with an average gunnel (2ft) your at about 7 feet, so most people don't have to worry about hitting their head.

To be honest a lot of this argument has to do with personal preference. Some people say "if it ain't broke don't fix it" and prefer the slightly less expensive and less permanent pylon. While others prefer the more permanent and clean approach of a tower. Below is a list of forums that have discussed this topic. Keep in mind the forums are a little dated so the prices are a little off. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Want To See A Tower On Your Boat?

Big Air is one of our most popular manufacturers that we carry. They have been in business for nearly 20 years! In our experiences with them they have been very easy to deal with. They are very serious about their customer service. They are a Christian based company and with these values in mind they try to keep their customers first and their prices affordable, which allows us to offer great pricing to you!

Big Air has out done themselves. They have released a feature on their website that allows you to see their towers on your boat. They call it the Tower Visualizer. This is so nice! It definitely helps you know what a tower will look like on your boat. This could also help you decide between towers if it is down to the aesthetics.

The way it works is, you can upload an image of your boat (or select a boat similar to yours if they have one) adjust the image size to fit the length of the boat. Then choose a tower you would like to see. You can even print or save the image if you want to show your spouse or friend. 

The Tower Visualizer is definitely worth a look if you are struggling to decide on a tower, just want to see a tower on your boat or trying to talk you spouse into a tower. It has definitely helped some of our customers. If you have questions about a tower just contact us. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

How to Choose a Wakeboard

Looking for a board? Don't know what to buy or how to pick? First you need to decide what style, shape, and length is right for you.

Below is a rough chart. However, each manufacturer has their own length recommendations. Please go by the manufacturer recommendations. 
   Rider Weight (lbs)             Wakeboard Length (cm)
 Under 100                            130 or Under
90 - 150                                 130 - 134
130 - 180                               135 - 139
170 - 250                               140 - 144
       200 - 275+                           144 or Greater

Construction: Some high end boards are made of wood covered in fiberglass. However, most boards are made of high density foam covered with fiberglass. The amount of fiberglass determines the amount of the flex a board has. Thus, the less thick the fiberglass is on a board the more flexible a board is. Flex in a board is good for beginners, especially in choppy water. The flex of the board helps adapt to the rough choppy water. More advanced boards are more stiff. This allow them to get more "pop" off the wake. 
A flex board is compression molded. This allows the board to be stiff in the middle and flex at the ends. Some manufacturers of these board recommend this type of board for sliders and rails.  

Shape: There are a ton of different styles and combinations of styles. Choosing a style has a lot to do with what kind of rider you are. A wide board allow you to get more "pop" off the wake but not carve well. More Narrow boards allow you to carve better but you won't get the same "pop". The tip and tail of a board have a lot to do with the way the board releases off of the water. A board with a more rounded tail and tip will release off the water slower. While a square one is more snappy. 

Continuous: A Continuous Rocker has a smooth arch. This is normally found on beginner boards. You also get a smooth and consistent release off the wake and when cutting into the wake. Due to the curvature of the board it has more contact with the water. This allow smoother transition and a softer landing. 
3 Stage: A 3 Stage Rocker has 3 areas, a flat center and (2) curved edges. This board style normally for more advanced riders. This shape allows your board to stay on top of the water a little more, which in turn provides less drag and a more explosive "pop" off the wake as well allow you to keep speed. 
Hybrid: A Hybrid Rocker combines the best of both worlds. You get a fast and consistent board. 

Fins: There are different types of fins, such as deep or shallow,fat or thin, removable or molded. Deeper fins are generally for beginners.

The above explanations of each feature should help you decide what you want out of a board. 


Friday, June 30, 2017

Skylon X3 Rack: Product Review

Skylon has been around for about 30 years. WOW! That is a long time. They strive to make a very high quality product. They also strive to keep their customer service top of the line as well. Skylon not only makes universal wakeboard towers and accessories they also make factory towers for a few boat manufacturer.

Skylon X3 Wake/Surf Rubber Dipped
Skylon recently introduced a new style rack, the X3 series. Skylon generally sticks with a classic and sleek style. They did not vary from this when designing their new X3 series. Their are multiple racks offered below in this series, listed below.
  • X3 Combo Wake/Surf Rubber Dipped 
  • X3 Combo Wake/Surf Anodized 
  • X3 Double Surf Anodized 
  • X3 Double Surf Rubber Dipped 
  • X3 Triple Shocker Wake/Surf Wake Anodized 
  • X3 Waterski Rack Rubber Dipped 
  • X3 Pro Series Surf 3x3 Rubber Dipped 
  • X3 Pro Series Surf 3x4 Rubber Dipped

All of these racks are a brushed anodized finish. You may have noticed that some racks are anodized and others are rubber dipper, these racks are similar the only difference is the forks as shown in the photos.

 Skylon also offers adapters as well as clamps. All of these are listed below. This is one thing that Skylon offers that few manufacturers do. This is really nice if you have a OEM tower and are looking for a nice rack. 
Skyon X3 Wake/Surf Anodized 

  • Round Tube Clamp 1 7/8" and 2"
  • Round Tube Clamp 2 1/4" and 2 3/8"
  • Axis Tower Adapter 
  • Gladiator Tower Lower Mount Kit 
  • Illusion X and Evolution Adapter 
  • Moomba OZ Tower Adapter 
  • Sanger Tower Adapter 

Overall, you are getting what you pay for with these racks. Not very many manufacturers offer OEM tower  Definitely good racks but not a recommendation for the frugal buyer.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Big Air Torrent Tower

Big Air is one of our most popular manufacturers that we carry. They have been in business for nearly 20 years! In our experiences with them they have been very easy to deal with. They are very serious about their customer service. They are a Christian based company and with these values in mind they try to keep their customers first and their prices affordable, which allows us to offer great pricing to you!

The Big Air Torrent Tower is a very unique tower that fits most boat 72"-103" . It has gussets in the corners to ensures a solid pull. This aluminium tower stands about 5ft tall, which should give you a significant about a head room. Do you store your boat in garage or boat lift but want a tower? No need to worry, the torrent is collapsible to near windshield height. The best part is the racks swivel! This feature makes getting boards and putting them away a breeze. 

Polished Aluminium Big Air Torrent Tower
The torrent is available in three finishes, listed below.

  • Polished Aluminium 
  • Polished Anodized (+$50)
  • Black Powder Coat 

Big Air also offers a option for a navigation light that integrates into the in to the tow knob. This is a really nice aspect especially compared to the ones that clamp on. Oh, and it is half the price of most competitors navigation lights.  

Big Air Torrent Tower Plate 

This stylish tower has built in racks Big Air allow to fit you board storage needs. This tower hold to racks, each rack can hold multiple boards. Below is a list of what you can hold on one side of the tower. Please note you can choose to hold to the same or different boards on each side. 
  • 2 wakeboards 
  • 1 wakeboard and 1 kneeboard 
  • 2 wakeboards and 1 kneeboard
  • 2 wakeboards and 1 surf 

Overall, The Big Air Torrent tower is a great, unique and durable tower. You will definitely enjoy the built in swivel racks. Plus not only will you have a "boss" tower you will have a great company backing that tower. Honestly, you can't go wrong with the Big Air Torrent Tower.