Pulling An Inflatable With A Tower

Don’t blow us off immediately. Let us explain.
We know it happens. You see people out on the lake pulling inflatables with their tower all the time. Yes, most towers CAN do it, but let us inform you why you shouldn’t.

The biggest problem with towing tubes, or other inflatables, with a wakeboard tower is the multi directional forces that are applied to a towers tow point that just aren’t as rough when used with a wakeboarder. Its not a question of “will it rip the tower off of a boat?” If the tower is installed correctly and the proper backing is applied (if needed) you won’t have a problem with that.

THE NO.1 REASON why tower manufacturers stipulate not to tow an inflatable with the tower is not so much the integrity of the tower, but the hull of your boat. Most wakeboard towers are thoroughly engineered for the forces that come from a wakeboarder, not for an inflatable.

Sure, you might not notice much the first time, or even several after, but you will.
Often when you see gel coats cracking it is not from a bad install (some are, don’t get us wrong) but from misuse of the tower.

Wakeboards, skis, kneeboards, etc. almost always create less line load than a tube, especially a muti-rider tube. Wakeboarders like to play in the wake, so they typically don’t create large side loads.

4 Person Tube Rope

Let’s take this 4-person Tube rope from Overtons. The breaking point on this rope is 4,100 pounds.

ProLine Wake Rope

Most wakeboard ropes don’t generally give a rating for a breaking point, but do state the rope is intended only for towing a single person on water skis, wake/kneeboards, or barefooting. Any other use may cause rope failure.

This Proline Wakeboard Rope from Overtons shows that is provides 2,000 pounds tensile strength. That is less than half of an inflatable rope.

So, lets take a moment to think about that.
Your out having fun, whipping the tube from side to side. Hit a good wake and the tube takes a nose-dive! BOOM! Rope busted! You just transferred 4,100 pounds (or more) to the tower, which in turn was transferred to the hull of your boat. NOT GOOD! That is a lot of stress that was created just in that one moment.

Let’s do a little math…if a submerged tube can create enough load to break a rope at let’s say a conservative number of 2,000 lbs and say the tower is 5 ft tall above the hull.  A simple torque calculation shows that 2,000 lbs x 5ft would create a torque moment of 10,000 ft-lbs on your boat hull.  Yes..that’s right 10,000 ft-lbs!!!  Even if we disperse that load over each tower mount by 4 , we still see a load of 2,500 ft-lbs.    Now do that same math for a wakeboarder.  A max load would likely be 200 lbs… thus creating a max torque load of 1,000 ft-lbs.  Then divide that by 4 and you get a reasonable torque load of 250 ft-lbs…much better!!

You will find that YOU as the driver have a lot more control on how the tube reacts anyway when sticking with the intended rope connection point on the back of the boat. This spot is MADE for tubes or other inflatables.

Anodized Aluminum Finish

To help determine if an anodized finish is your best choice, we should start with a little research…

  • What is anodizing?

According to anodizing.org, anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish. Aluminum is ideally suited to anodizing, although other nonferrous metals, such as magnesium and titanium, also can be anodized.

Let’s put that in terms us normal beings can understand… Anodizing covers the aluminum surface with a durable finish. This finish bonds to the aluminum and will not chip or flake off.

  • What is the anodizing process?

Anodizing is accomplished by immersing the completely polished piece of aluminum into an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current through the medium. A cathode is mounted to the inside of the anodizing tank; the aluminum acts as an anode, so that oxygen ions are released from the electrolyte to combine with the aluminum atoms at the surface of the part being anodized. Anodizing is, therefore, a matter of highly controlled oxidation—the enhancement of a naturally occurring phenomenon.

  • Why should I choose an anodized aluminum wakeboard tower?

The main benefit we see from the anodized finish for our aluminum towers isits ability to withstand harsher elements, such as salt-water. Aluminum has a tendency to oxidize over time. The anodized finish is a chemical coating over the aluminum that protects it from the oxidation process.

Another great benefit is durability. You can touch, grab, flick, or climb on an anodized tower and it will not be easy to see. This also creates a more “maintenance-free” appeal. The same cannot be easily said about a nice chrome-like polished finish.

So to bundle all of this up into a short sentence…
Anodized finish means a longer lasting finish and less maintenance cleaning it up!

Current towers available in an anodized finish are:
Ice tower, Vapor tower, Torrent Tower, X Tower, Predator Tower, Cuda tower, and the Haus Tower.

 

Tips to Choose Your New Wakeboard Tower!

Some of the best compliments that we get from customers is when they tell us, “it (wakeboard tower) totally changed the look of my boat” , “adding the tower to my boat took years off of it” or “the new tower definitely turns heads!”


Finding the right wakeboard tower for your boat can seem like a task, we understand. There are so many to choose from and many options with each model.

If you are still deciding on a purchase, or know someone who is we are here to help.

First things first – PRICE!
Determine your price range and let us know what it is. Does that price range include accessories too? We can find a tower in your price range that you’ll love.

Next – DESIGN!
If you have a certain style or design you like, let us know. We can work with that.
Some prefer a standard windshield mount style like a stainless steel H2O tower or an aluminum Vapor tower, while others like the more modern look of aluminum billet plating shown on the Torrent and Wave towers. With over 10 different models to choose from, we are sure to find a wakeboard tower style you like.

Finally – BOAT
Our towers are extremely universal. This means that almost every wakeboard tower will accommodate almost every boat. We do not make one certain tower for one style of boat. We make several styles for all boats!

Best of all, we urge you to research.

With several different manufacturers out there, we try to maintain the best record. With over 20 years under our belts, we have set the bar high and expect you to expect that from us.

Here is hoping that the new year brings you much joy and many blessings, on and off the water!

3 Obscure and Fun Water Sports

obscure-and-fun-watersportsWakeboarding is a popular water sport that attracts more attention every year due to incredible athletes and average Joes who are finding out how fun the sport can be. As fun as it is to go wakeboarding, here are three more obscure water sports that might be a little more fun (and crazy). If you ever want to make your wakeboarding excursions a little more memorable, give one of these weird and obscure water sports a try.

 

  1. Underwater Hockey

This sport is definitely not for the faint of heart, because it involves a significant amount of underwater composure and control. Two teams of six players each play hockey six to eight feet underwater, at the bottom of a pool. Apparently hockey is simply not challenging enough when it is played with skates on ice.

If you ever feel the need to chase a weighted hockey puck around the bottom of a pool while holding your breath and avoiding the swinging sticks of other players who are chasing the same puck, then you should give water hockey a try. There are approximately 50 underwater hockey clubs in the United States, so you may be able to find one near you.

 

  1. Glacier Surfing

Surfing glaciers might possibly be one of the most dangerous water-related sports out there, which is why it is also one of the most obscure water-related sports in the world. Very few individuals have had the nerve or the patience to attempt this sport.

In order to glacier surf, individuals must first wait for a large piece of glacier to break away from its wall and create a huge wave as it crashes into the water. Surfers position themselves to ride the large waves resulting from falling glacier slabs, which requires them to wait within dangerous range of falling glaciers. If surfers are too close to the falling glaciers, the consequences could be disastrous. This is one obscure water sport that you may not want to try for yourself.

 

  1. Underwater Rugby

Rugby is challenging enough when it is played on dry land, but a few crazy souls decided to turn it into a water sport. Underwater rugby is a contact sport that is played by two teams of six players. The goal of the game is to get a water-filled plastic ball from one side of the pool to the other side. The team with the most goals and points wins the game.

If you would rather stick with a less-weird sport like wakeboarding, we don’t blame you. Here at Big Air, we offer a wide variety of wakeboard towers and accessories that will make your wakeboarding experience as convenient and fun as possible.

Pro Highlight of the Month: Jimmy Lariche

pro-highlight-jimmy-laricheIf you know anything about wakeboarding, then you’ve probably heard of Jimmy Lariche. When it comes to wakeboarding pros, he is just about as dynamic as they come. At 25 years old, Jimmy has been riding competitively for six years and has gathered a bevy of sponsors to be jealous about.

Out of Florida

Born in Boca Raton, Florida, it’s no surprise that Lariche is comfortable on the water, but to reach his level of success required hard work and perseverance. Jimmy was born on January 19, 1990 and didn’t waste any time learning the sport. From phenomenal rookie stats to consistently placing as a pro, La Riche is a serious contender at every event in which he participates.

Making a Name of His Own

As a rider, Jimmy uses a regular, all the way stance, ducked just a little. His ability to jump the waves has carried him through many competitions as a junior and as a pro. Over those years of riding the water, Jimmy has learned a thing or two. Coming up as part of a new generation of competitors in a fairly new sport, Jimmy La Riche has a style that is often compared to the great Danny Harf of Pointless Posse. When it comes to winning, though, it’s all about Jimmy!

Competitive Success

He has been a pro since 2008 and currently belongs to the Hyperlite Franchise team. As an amateur, Jimmy finished 2nd at the Pro Tour in Jr. Men and took 1st at the 2008 Board Up Miami. He also placed as the Masters Jr. Champion and the World Champion. After this successful start, Jimmy was more than ready to join the pros, bringing a new level of competition to the water.

Pro Career Highlights

  • 2nd: Australian Pro Tour: Pentrith
  • 2nd: Australian Pro Tour
  • 1st: Australian Pro Tour: Stoney Park
  • 2nd: Wake Games

Jimmy’s been called a number of things through his career. Those nicknames include Yimmy, Jimbo Slice, and The Crème (or Dele Crème), but one thing that everyone calls him these days is a winner. Check him out!

How to Perform a Heel Side Backroll

how-to-heel-side-backrollMost wakeboarders expect to receive a little friendly competition and perhaps some snide remarks from their friends regarding their wakeboarding skills. Even if you are a really great wakeboarder, it can be difficult to come up with moves that will really impress your friends and give them newfound respect for your dexterity and talent. If you are getting a little tired of the constant arguments about who is the best, you need to have a few wakeboard tricks up your sleeve that can be used at a moment’s notice to establish your position as The Alpha Wakeboarder.

All joking aside, learning one or two impressive tricks can be beneficial in a great deal of situations, including winning a bet against your buddies, impressing your girlfriend, and even seeing if you have what it takes to go pro with your skills.

 

Choosing the Right Trick 

If you are going to take the time to learn a wakeboard trick, it is a good idea to come up with one that is universally fun and capable of winning you some serious respect. One such trick is the Heel Side Backroll. This is an intermediate-level trick that can get you familiar with how inverts work. Here are the individual steps:

  1. Begin on the outside of the wake (but not too far out)
  2. Enter the wake while making sure you are edging all the way through in order to get the right amount of lift
  3. As you leave the wake, shift the bulk of your weight to your back foot while keeping the handle tucked in close to your hips with both hands
  4. For normal stance, start to look over your left shoulder while rotating your body in the same direction. For goofy stance, look over your right shoulder and rotate in the same direction.
  5. Your body will begin to swing into an upside-down position, and it is important to try and spot your ideal landing while you are in this position
  6. Prepare for a smooth landing by softening your knees and preparing for impact

 

Safety First

It is important to note that safety is of paramount importance when it comes to learning new tricks on your wakeboard. Never try a new trick until you have mastered several easier tricks and have naturally worked your way up to more difficult tricks.

If you want to make it easier than ever to practice new wakeboard tricks, Big Air offers attractive and sturdy wake towers that are designed to give you a steady, rigid pull. Check out our impressive selection to find a wakeboard tower that will look amazing on your boat.

How to Perform a 360 on a Wakeboard

how-to-perform-a-360-on-a-wakeboardAre you ready to take on the Heelside 360? This classic trick demands respect and also allows for some creativity on the part of the rider. This move is used by riders who want to advance to more difficult and complicated tricks. It’s also a favorite when it comes to making personal tweaks and touches to a routine.

Before You Start

If you want to conquer this move, you’ll need the proper equipment and preparation. A high-set wakeboard boat tower will allow you to achieve the big air you need to successfully complete this trick. You ‘ll also need to get a few skills firmly under your belt:

  • Successfully jump from wake to wake with ease.
  • Accomplish a solid Heelside 180 – then do it again!
  • Get comfortable passing the handle behind your back.

Before you try out this trick on the water, give it a few trial runs on a trampoline and on land with a rope handle.

Ready to Go?

Step One: Set yourself up just outside of the wake with slightly bent knees and the handle in tight. You’ll want to execute a relaxed cut that can carry you through both wakes in a consistent, controlled progressive edge.

Step Two: Wait for the moment when you stand tall and pop off the wake, with the handle still in tight, and then begin moving the handle around to your back. This will start your rotation. Don’t try to rush this move. When executed properly, you’ll be able to stay on axis up in the air.

Step Three: Stay focused on holding that handle in tight. Don’t release the handle with your back hand until you have firmly grasped it with your front hand. With your head up and your shoulders on axis, you can start looking for your landing AFTER you’ve successfully passed the handle.

Step Four: Spot your landing with your head up. Slightly bend your knees and remember to keep that handle in tight. This is particularly important at this point because that jerky line move isn’t going to help your performance appeal!

Take It Up a Notch

Once you master this move, you can change it up a lot with new grab methods, by learning to switch, and moving off axis, among other variations. You’ll also be well-prepared for several new and harder tricks!

Big Air Wakeboarding Music of the Month: July 2015

wakeboarding-music-of-july-2015Wakeboarding isn’t the same without some great tunes to listen to while you ride. The right music can give you the energy and confidence you need to complete some of your more challenging tricks, while the wrong music (or a lack of music) can make you feel less energetic than usual and can cause you to lose steam more quickly. Here are a few of our top wakeboarding music selections of the month for your enjoyment with a killer set of wakeboard tower speakers:

 

AC/DC 

There is nothing new about AC/DC, but despite the fact that they have been around forever, their songs are always able to pump you up and make you feel invincible while riding. “Thunderstruck” is especially effective at inducing energy and should be included on every wakeboarder’s playlist. “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)” can help restore your resolve and courage after suffering from a particularly painful failed stunt.

 

Fallout Boy

Fallout Boy has some great older music that can make a day on the lake more enjoyable, but we have found that “Centuries” is particularly inspiring for wakeboarders who are working hard to earn a name for themselves in the sport. If your goal is to make sure you are remembered for your skills and perseverance, crank “Centuries” while you practice some of your more difficult tricks.

 

Metallica

Every wakeboarder should have at least one Metallica song on their playlist, and some of our favorites for their ability to get us motivated include “And Justice For All” and “Seek and Destroy”. Of course, Metallica has a very large selection of heavy metal music that can get you pumped up and ready for a day of riding.

 

Foo Fighters

If you want energetic music that is a little less loud than some of the other selections listed here, Foo Fighters is a great option. Some of our favorite selections from them include “Stacked Actors” and “All My Life”. Whether you prefer their older or newer albums, this versatile band has a song that will resonate with almost any wakeboarder.

 

Jake Owen 

For wakeboarders who are also fond of country music, Jake Owen offers some laid-back tunes that can help you enjoy the sunshine from the back of a boat or wakeboard. He also loves wakeboarding, which may be a big reason why we like his music.

 

Make Sure Your Music Can Be Heard 

No matter what type of music motivates you while you are riding, you need to make sure it can be heard. Check out the selection of high-quality speakers we offer at Big Air and get ready to rock your favorite tunes the next time you go riding.

Daniel Grant Wakeboard Pro Highlight

pro-highlight-daniel-grantWakeboarding typically takes years to master, and many of the most successful professionals know how difficult it can be to make a name for yourself in the sport. That is why so many professional riders have been surprised and impressed at the reputation of Daniel Grant, who surprised the wakeboard industry by earning top-level rankings in wakeboarding and wakeskating competitions at a very young age.

Although he is only 17 years old, Daniel Grant has already accomplished what many wakeboard pro aspirers can only hope to accomplish at some point in their lives: a renowned and respected name in the wakeboarding community. His raw skill and likeable style have won him a reputation for being one of the most trendy and interesting wakeboarders to watch.

 

Accomplishments

Daniel travels quite extensively in order to compete in various wakeboard and wakeskate competitions throughout the world, including those located in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. He has won many awards in 2013 and 2014 alone, including:

  • Best Wake Park Rider 2014
  • Red Bull Rising High Big Air event 2014: 3rd place
  • Wakeworld: Cable Rider of the Year 2013
  • Wakeworld: #2 Wakeskate of the Year (Tao) 2013
  • Wakeworld: #2 Rail Rider of the Year 2013
  • Wakeworld: #10 Overall Wakeboarder of the year 2013 (cable rider voted)
  • Transworld: #2 Wakeskater of the Year 2013 (Readers Poll)
  • Transworld: Cable Ride of the Year 2013
  • Transworld: #10 Wakeboarder of the Year 2013 (Readers Poll)

At the pace he is currently going, Daniel is setting himself up for continued success in the highly competitive wake world.

 

Plans for 2015

Clearly, Daniel is just getting started as a wakeskate pro, and he will almost certainly continue competing to show off his hard-earned reputation as one of the most unique and interesting wakeboarders to watch during the year 2015. If you want to have a chance at meeting this multi-talented professional face to face, you may just get your chance during the 2015 Surf Expo at Orlando Watersports Complex.

Several of the world’s top wake professionals, including Daniel Grant, Tom Fooshee, Nick Davies, Kaesen Stuyderhoud, Grame Burress, Jeff Langley, Brenton Priestley, and Bob Soven are scheduled to provide attendees with pointers and on-site tips for aspiring wakeboarders and wakeskaters.

 

Just the Beginning

With such a young start and so many prime years ahead of him, Daniel is poised to become one of the greatest wake professionals in the history of the sport. If you want to start practicing some of the impressive wakeboard moves that you have seen Daniel Grant perform, a durable wakeboard tower from Big Air can help give you the pull you need to get some serious air.

Highlights of the Vapor Wake Tower

vapor-wake-tower-highlightsThe Vapor Tower carried by Big Air is one of the most attractive and sturdy wake towers available on the market today. If you need the reliability of a rigid pull in order to practice your most difficult tricks, the Vapor Tower may be exactly what you are looking for. Here are a few product highlights:

Appearance

The Vapor Tower is a very stylish wake tower, thanks to its swooped design and factory-polished finish. Made from high-quality polished flex-reducing aluminum, this is one tower that will definitely add to the overall style of your boat. The tubing is rigid and thick, which gives The Vapor Tower a strong and impressive appearance. The tower is available in polished anodized, polished, or black powder coat finishes, depending on your preference.

Design

The Vapor Tower is designed to fit any boat that is between 72” and 108” wide. This means that almost any boat on the market will be able to accommodate the versatile Vapor Tower. Product design highlights include:

• Very easy installation (normally two or three hours for installation)
• A telescoping top section makes it easy to install The Vapor Tower on any boat
• Secure design does not moan, rattle, or creek in choppy water
• Tower is fully collapsible and can lay down flat within 60 seconds for low clearance areas or for storage
• From mounting points, the tower stands approximately five feet, with an inward taper of 12 degrees
• Swivel rope head design boasts free rope movement
• Pre-drilled for wiring installation ease
• 70” front-to-back stance
• Tower flexure is reduced with the help of finite element analysis structures
• Capability of accommodating the Big Air Bimini, Collapsible Bimini, and Super Shadow Bimini
• Backing plates and mounting hardware included
• Accessories and wakeboard racks are sold separately

Warranty

The Vapor Tower offers an impressive 5-year warranty, so you do not need to worry about receiving a poor-quality tower that will not withstand heavy and frequent use. If something happens to your Vapor Tower within the 5-year warranty time-frame, you will be taken care of.

Optional Tow Point Navigation Light

Big Air offers a tow point navigation light for those who are interested in improving visibility while on the water. The light boasts a 2-mile nautical radius and is certified by the U.S. Coast Guard. It is compatible with towers that are 2013 or newer.

Learn More

If you are ready to increase your ability to perform wakeboard tricks with ease, contact Big Air to find out more about the Vapor Tower today.