Why choose the Articulating Mirror?

big-air-articulating-wakeboard-tower-mirrorWindshield mount mirrors are so yesterday, am I right?
OK, no. We actually love windshield mount mirrors. However, when you have a wakeboard tower you have the ability to bring that mirror higher up and give you better views of your riders.

With so many styles to choose from, why should you choose the Big Air Articulating Mirror?

Let’s start with the most important part – the articulating arm! single-versus-articulating-wakeboard-tower-mirror-arms
This is key to getting you the perfect spot. Most aftermarket wakeboard tower mirrors use a single piece arm. This means that you mount it to the tower and there is no adjustability to it. Where you mount it is what you see.
When using an articulating arm, you have so many options for adjustment. Since we use a 2 piece arm, there are actually more points that you use for adjustment. We explain that in the video below.

The next feature of our articulating mirror that we like to showcase – the size! Reflection_Of_Light_On_Convex_Mirror
We use a tournament style, 7″ x 13″ convex mirror. That is a HUGE mirror! All that area to look at and additional field of vision, yes please!
Convex mirrors enable to you see larger areas, showcased in the image to the left.
You know the little notation on your cars rear view mirrors, objects in mirror are closer than they appear? That is because they are convex too. This allows you more visibility of your rider when they are cutting in and out of the wake. Not only do you have the ability to adjust the arm, but you find that absolute sweet spot by using the ball joint on the back of the mirror head.

Finally, easy installation!
With a large 2.5 inch clamp we can accommodate not only all Big Air towers, but other manufacturers as well. We provide liners to accommodate down to 2.25 inch and 2 inch tubing as well. Install your mirror higher or lower on the tower, the choice is yours. You can even mount on the top of the tower onto the Top Bar or H-Member. Installation is so simple, and we know you’ll love that!

Not sure how to choose the liner you might need? Check out our helpful video – Liner Selection

What are you waiting for? Get yours ordered and on its way to you today!

Big Air Tower Visualizer!

big-air-waketowers-tower-visualizerWith the Big Air Tower Visualizer, you can see our wakeboard towers on your boat before you even purchase! Just upload a side image of your boat and get started!

One of the hardest parts about choosing a wakeboard tower for a boat, is not being sure what it would look like. I mean, yeah, a lot of boats have similar lines and looks, but if we don’t see it on OUR boat, it’s not the same. Have no fear, Big Air is here! Okay. More importantly the Tower Visualizer is here.

Yep, you read that correctly. See our towers on YOUR boat. The best thing about it, it’s so simple! No more trying to visualize it in your mind, you can actually see it!
Another benefit, you can check where you want to mount ahead of time ensuring that you have clear access to all 4 points!

Let’s begin.

Step 1 – Choose a photograph of your boat that is taken from the side. If you don’t have one already, now is the time to take one. Or, if you don’t even want to do that, Google search your boat and choose one close to yours.

big-air-waketowers-tower-visualizer-start-screen

Step 2 – Go to our Big Air Tower Visualizer page. At this point, you will be greeted with a beautiful blank canvas, like the one to the right, to start your process.

Step 3 – Click “Upload Image” in the top right hand of the screen. You will be prompted to upload the image that you wish to work with.

Step 4 – Click on “Photos and Tools” and select “tools,” followed by choosing the ruler. The ruler will allow you to size your boat and tower accordingly. Now, click on the photo of your boat and size your boat to the appropriate length using the small double headed arrow in the bottom right hand corner of your image.

Step 5 – Once your boat is sized, click on “Photos and Tools” again, this time choosing towers and the tower you wish to see on your boat. You will size the tower, just like you did your boat, to the measurement provided on the tower photo. For instance, the Cuda tower will be sized with the mount gaps at 3.25 feet.

Step 6 – Play around! Move the tower any where on the boats hull line that you think you would like to mount. This will allow you to have an idea of what your boat will look like with a wakeboard tower before purchasing.

We also have a more in-depth instructional video below for those that prefer visuals instead. Just click the play button to begin.
We hope you find this tool as valuable as we do!

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.

 

How to Drill Through Fiberglass

big-air-waketowers-how-to-drill-through-fiberglass
Drilling through fiberglass, scary, we know. There are so many thoughts that run through our minds before we even purchase the tower, let alone right before installation. Hopefully we can help ease your mind a little about making some holes in your fiberglass.

Measure twice, cut once
Many of us have heard this expression, and some of us on a regular basis. Truer words couldn’t be spoken in regards to tower installations. Before any drilling through your fiberglass hull has begun, be sure to measure, measure, measure. If you still aren’t sure, measure a couple more times. If not, this expression will quickly turn into measure once and cuss a lot.

Prepare the area
It is best to protect the area you are working on, we recommend painters tape. This will also give you something to write on without fear of writing on your boat. For instance, marking where you will be drilling. For some towers it could be 1, or 2 holes per mount. Older version towers could even be drilling 4 per mount. When preparing the area, be sure that there are no obstacles in the way and you have clear access internally.

Start your engines! Ok, drills don’t have engines but you get the point.
1.  Make a small indent in the surface of the fiberglass hull where you will be drilling the hole. Use a sharp scribe or ice pick. This will prevent the drill from wandering and damaging the surrounding surface.
2.  Drill a small pilot hole running the drill in reverse. Please refer to your installation instructions as to which size is best for your wakeboard tower.
3.  Drill the main hole, still running drill in reverse, in a high speed with medium pressure. Again referring to your instructions for final sizing. Let the drill bit do all the work.
4.  Lastly, dress up the hole. This can be done with a grinding ball/stone. This will reduce the sharp edge of the hole exterior to prevent cracks in your gel coat.

Need a little visual reassurance?
Check out this video we made to help!

If you have some tough areas to reach internally, we have another great video for you!
Interior Mounting Access Tutorial – Check it out!

Stainless Steel vs. Aluminum wake towers – Is one better?

Stainless steel versus aluminum wakeboard towers

Many customers are surprised by the fact that we offer both Stainless Steel and Aluminum wake towers here at Big Air.
The main question we get asked is, “is there a certain metal I should choose?”
Unfortunately, the answer to that isn’t so simple. There are many properties that we appreciate between both metals.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a strong metal. Due to that, we can use smaller tubing. Our stainless steel towers use 2 inch diameter tubing. The stronger metal also means a slightly tougher installation, except the Fusion tower which requires no drilling through the tower. Drilling through stainless steel requires you to use a low speed and steady pressure, or you’ll spend most of your installation time getting new drill bits. However, we provide helpful tips in our installation instructions, and even a couple bits. Once you understand the drilling process, the installation will go much smoother.big air waketowers fusion wakeboard tower - stainless steel - made in USA

Stainless steel is also very durable. For those in harsh elements such as salt-water, this is the metal to choose. While it can be polished up to a “chrome like” finish, we produce them with a brushed finish. This finish allows the tower to have a great sheen, but doesn’t require as much upkeep as the polished aluminum. Most of our stainless towers are also available to be powder coated for an additional fee.

Our current line-up of Stainless Steel towers are the following: H2O tower, the Fusion tower, and the Beast tower.

Aluminum

Aluminum has many advantages as well. The most popular feature of aluminum is the ease of drilling. With the softer metal you can drill right on through the tubing for your installation. Another popular feature would be the bright “chrome like” polished finish that we offer with the aluminum towers. The polished finish will create the bling that will get it noticed from across the water. You can also choose to have the aluminum towers in a gloss black powder coat finish, or the premium anodized finish.

Another added benefit with aluminum, for us as manufacturer’s, is design. We are able to add more “style” to our aluminum towers by using billet pieces. This brings one of a kind towers like the Storm, Torrent, and Wave towers to our line.

big air waketowers Cuda wakeboard tower - aluminum towerOur current line-up of Aluminum towers are the following: Ice tower, Storm tower, Predator tower, Torrent tower, Vapor tower, X tower, Haus tower, Wave tower, and Cuda tower.

The bottom line… no matter what tower you choose, if it’s installed correctly, you will have one solid ride.

Boat LED’s Light Up The Night!

boat-underwater-led-lights

Boat envy. It’s a real thing!

Not only can you possess one of the best wakeboard towers on the market from Big Air Waketowers, but now you can steal the show at night too!

Big Air Waketowers now offers Underwater Boat LED lights that will light up your night!
Offering you an affordable underwater boat light with 3 color choices to choose from; Blue, Green, or White.

  • 6 Super Bright LED’s per assembly
  • 180 Lumens
  • 100,000 hour life
  • Does not produce heat like most other underwater lights allowing you to mount above or below the water line
  • Stainless Steel Hardware Included
  • Mounting Spacer with wire passage provided
  • Dimensions: 3.5″ x 1.5″

These lights can be used on the hull or in the interior. They’re also suggested for transoms, trim-tabs, and T-tops!

big-air-underwater-led-cuda-tower

 

Add our Speaker Light Bar Combo with LED speaker upgrade option to get the look shown here!

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.

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!

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.