What tower is right for my boat?

big-air-waketowers-how-to-choose-the-right-tower-for-your-boatAhhh yes… likely the most common question we are asked here at Big Air.
“What tower is right for my boat?”
It’s a great question.  But before we can answer that question, a few more details are needed.big-air-wakeboard-towers-narrower-tower-choices

1. What is your boat width?
All of our tower models are made to try to accommodate all boat makes and models. However, some do have their limitations.

Narrower boats like the older Nautique style, American Skier, Ski Sanger, Mastercraft, or similar style boats, generally mount narrowest in the front mounting area. If the front mounting area is narrower than 72 inches wide, we would recommend an Ice tower, Storm tower, Fusion tower, or a H2O tower. These tower models have the narrowest mount width capabilities, making fitment to these styles of boats easy.

If your front mount location is over 72 inches wide, all of our tower options will accommodate.

2. What is your budget?
We have a tower for every budget.  In these hard economic times, we know you want to ensure that you are getting a great product for the money you are spending. We are here to guarantee that! Our products go through many rigorous tests before even being brought to our line.

The best “bang for buck” are our combo packages! These are specifically set up to save you money. The more you buy, the more you save!

3. What’s your style?
Are you going for a traditional or OEM look? Maybe a more modern look?
Do you prefer the tower to mount by the windshield, or back to the stern of the boat and sweep towards the bow?
Do you have a metal preference? Remember, we manufacture both stainless steel and aluminum wakeboard towers. Not sure of the difference? Read our blog; stainless vs aluminum

The above questions are all great questions to ask yourself (and your family) that can help narrow down your choices.

4. How do you plan to use your tower?
Ahhh… this is a great question! Even better yet is our simple answer.
It doesn’t matter if you are skiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, or wake surfing. Our towers can handle it all! We even love to see booms on the tower for those that barefoot! Yes, Big Air towers can handle that too!

5. What accessories do you intend to install on the tower?
This one can be a little trickier. Why? Well, because if you plan on mounting a lot of accessories, or heavy accessories, it is best to know which models are best for that. Standard accessory weight for most towers is about 50 pounds. We have known of several tower speakers to be on the heavier side and when you get 4 or more of those mounted on top, it can cause sway that we don’t want to see. 

6. Are your mounting your tower on the top or side of the gunnel?
All Big Air towers are universal in their mounting hardware. What does that mean? It means you can choose to mount on top or on the side of the boats gunnels without different mounting hardware being required. However, if you are limited in the size of your mounting location it could.

Our aluminum towers use a 3″ circular mount. Our stainless steel towers use a 2″ x 4″ rectangular mount. When mounting on the top of the gunnel, sometimes you may not have adequate room for the mounts. If the top of the gunnel isn’t sufficient in width than you may need to mount on the side. Good thing our mounts can do both, right?


So many of the answers that are given can still relate to all of the towers that we carry, but we want to be able to help narrow it down.

Our Universal towers are made to accommodate all boat models which means several towers may be a great fit for your boat. It really will come down to your personal preference.

 

Top 10 Best Places to Wakeboard in the US

10-best-places-to-wakeboard-in-the-uswakeboard destinationThe only thing better than wakeboarding is knowing the best places to wakeboard. If you’re thinking about testing your wakeboarding skills out in new waters, then Big Air Wake Towers has come up with this list for you of the top ten best places to wakeboard.

1. Colorado River, US Southwest

The cool and still water combined with the hot weather make the Colorado River one of the most popular water-ski locations in the US. The summer is an especially good time to go since there are so many activities going on. If you’re so inclined, you may also want to check out the annual speedboat races.

2. Lake Shasta, CA

Lake Shasta has long been considered to be one of the absolute best wakeboard lakes. There are four arms, each with a separate lake as well as a main lake near the dam. While you’re here you’ll also have thousands of inlets and coves to explore.

3. Lake Havasu, AZ

Lake Havasu stretches 45 miles long and expands across roughly 19,300 acres. This particular lake is also one of the most popular in the southwest for boating enthusiasts. Not only that, but with its warm water, weather, size and location near Las Vegas, the lake is one of the most popular water-skiing locations in the West.

4. TSR Extreme Sports Complex, TX

One of the best things about the Texas Ski Ranch Complex is that you don’t need a boat for wakeboarding. The cableway is perfect for wakeboarders of various skill levels. A coach, professional driver, Mastercraft towboat and wake-free waters all combine to make you feel as though you’ve arrived in wakeboarding paradise.

5. Lake Lure, NC

You can’t help but mention the Chalet Club when you talk about water-skiing sports. Recently, the Chalet Club has taken steps to become the premiere destination for wakeboard lovers by upping the wakeboarding ante.

6. Coble Ski Camp, NC

Coble Ski Camp has become one of the most comprehensive and foremost wakeboard training centers in the entire world. Here you’ll have access to ten private lakes, but only a single boat is allowed on each lake at any given time.

7. Bow Lake, WA

Bow Lake has attracted beginning wakeboarders and professional wakeboarders alike. For the most outstanding wakeboarding experience, make sure that you visit anytime between April and October during their spring and summer seasons.

8. Lake Powell, AZ/UT

Lake Powell is the second largest manmade reservoir in America and is a fantastic looking lake. You’re sure to find some primo riding spots if you decide to make a trek to this particular wakeboarding destination.

9. Lake Michigan

Not only is Lake Michigan a great spot for wakeboarding, it also boasts some of the best parties for boaters. Imagine wakeboarding with the Chicago skyline sweeping by.

10. Blue Lake, FL

Wakeboarders who are looking for a more private spot may want to check out the waters of Blue Lake. Something else that this particular destination has going for it is that the crystal blue waters make you feel as though you’re in the heavenly Caribbean.

The wakeboarding experts of Big Air Wake Towers have all of the equipment that you need to enjoy the top ten wakeboarding destinations in America. Let us know if you’ve got an upcoming wakeboarding trip and we’ll get you completely set up.

Can I mount a tower on my boat?

can-i-mount-a-tower-on-my-boatA classic question we get asked at Big Air is “Can I mount a tower on my boat”.

Fair question!

Here are a few simple guidelines/questions  we suggest for making that decision.

1. Is my boat large enough?

Our recommendation is that your boat be a minimum of 16 ft long and have a beam of at least 6 ft.  The reason for this is to give your boat stability when pulling with a tower.

2. Is my fiberglass hull strong enough to have a tower installed on it?

We recommend a minimum of 3/8″ of thickness for fiberglass hulls for tower                          installation.  If your hull is thinner than this, then reinforcement can be done by                    laying additional fiberglass on the interior of the hull or installing aluminum or treated plywood reinforcement.

3.  My boat hull is radiused, how can I attach a tower mount that is flat to the curved surface.

Some towers come with radiused rubber inserts to help conform to the shape of your            hull.   If this is not the case, then you can often use a belt sander on the supplied                    rubber insert to shape it to fit your hull.  Extra inserts can often be supplied by                      dealers upon request.

4.  My boat is an aluminum boat… Can I still mount a tower?

The answer is yes you can mount to aluminum boat gunnels.  It is recommended                   that you place extra aluminum sheet or plywood on the interior of the mount location to help spread the load out across the aluminum hull.

5.  There is restricted access to the interior of my hull.

This is not an uncommon situation.  Many of today’s boats use interior panels to hide any of the hull.  Typically you can remove many of the panels on modern boats by lifting upward on the panel, which will un-hook it from the hull.  Sometimes there maybe screws buried deep into the interior cushion..check closely for these.  Occasionally there will be no open access once these panels are removed.  In these cases you can use a large diameter hole saw to cut a hole in the area that the panel covers.   (Note: make sure you aren’t cutting in a critical support area or through wires or cables).

Pylons to Towers

For all those curious how this industry developed here is a short description.  Ski pylons had been on tournament inboard boats for decades.  In the ’90s pylon extenders for tournament boats came on to the market to enable boarders and skiers to get more air for tricks.  However at that time only tournament boats had this option, standard run-about or inboard/outboard boats had no option.

Universal Slip-on Pylon

Slip-on Pylon for Inboard Ski Boat

 

 

Then a couple companies realized that it wasn’t only tournament boat owners who desired bigger air when boarding.  Thus in the mid ’90s came the introduction of universal pylons that allowed users to put extended pylons in their I/O boats.  Big Air Pylons was incorporated in 1996 and began production of pylons in a single car garage in Duncan, OK.

Universal Pylon

Universal Pylon

One of the issues of a pylon is that it is in the center walk way of your boat and it was not easy to store boards or hang speakers on.

In the late ’90s the industry began to make the shift to wakeboard towers which allowed users to hang biminis, board racks, speakers and other accessories.   Once again the tournament boats had towers that were pre-fabricated and had to be shipped by freight truck.  In 1999 Big Air developed its UPS ship friendly tower that would fit virtually any boat.  The tower was made using stainless steel tubing to offer extreme strength and corrosion protection for harsh environments.

Today the market has gravitated towards towers nearly completely.  We see new designs and accessories continue to be created to work with and on towers.Big Air Waketowers H20 Tower

Who knows what the future holds for towers…but it looks to be an exciting future.