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Universal Wakeboard Tower Buyers Guide
by Lane Dawg Bowers
The right wakeboard tower can transform your boat from an average boat into the ultimate water skiing machine. If you want to keep from making a big mistake, then you will need to get some of the facts straight about the difference between a great tower and an average tower. Pay close attention and you can be an expert.
Most Tower are made of aluminum. After using almost every tower out there, I believe that stainless steel is the best choice.
A stainless steel tower has the advantage of never rusting or chipping on the surface. In addition, it can always be polished out to its original luster!
Getting a tower to fit your specific boat is always a critical challenge. A universal wakeboard tower is designed to fit many different types of boats. The key to getting the right tower is to make sure you get the best features, best fit, and the best tower. Here are the critical tower features.
The first lesson to learn concerns the tower mount. Every tower is attached to the boat via a mounting device called a tower mount. The thing to know here is that you need a very durable mount made of aircraft aluminum. In addition, you need to make sure that the mount and design of the tower allow it to be attached to either the flat deck surface, the side of the boat, or any other angle on the deck of your boat.
Below are pictures of the front and rear mounts of the tower.
One feature that adds great value to the tower is a built in board rack. A board rack is designed to hold either skis or wakeboards up and out of the way by attaching them to the tower like a ski or board organizer. Most board racks that you purchase after you own a universal wakeboard tower can cost from $300-600. Why not get a tower with a board rack built into it. Another great feature to look for is a tower that folds down as low as your windshield.
*** photos at the top of the page show the built in board rack with board pads that will save you hundreds.
Almost all towers "fold down." They real question is, after it folds down, how high does it stick up in the air. You want one that folds below your windshield.
WARNING: Almost every tower feels rock solid when you first see it or use it, but the real whistle blowing insider secret is that there is a huge problem facing manufacturers. Most towers are not designed for the real world abuse that occurs in the lake when you are traveling over rough water or on land when the boat is being trailered. This constant shaking takes most towers from solid to extremely lose inside of a year. A huge indicator is if the manufacturer warns you to not tube or use towables on their universal wakeboard tower.
I was flabbergasted to find out that the most abusive activity you can do with a tower is to tow your family or buddies in a tube. But who wants to change the rope to down low when it could be up and out of the way of passengers while keeping the rope from creating spray in the faces of those riding the tubes.
The answer to the problem of towers loosening over time was ingenious. By adding an over-head cross bar attachment that expands, the universal wakeboard tower was so solid that it did not budge. The one manufacturer that came up with this solution, actually proved their point by encouraging boat owners to tube with their tower.
One of the greatest industry secrets is the knowledge that most towers will get loose over time so if you do not want to have this problem, make sure your tower has an over head cross-bar attachment. This is built into our tower above and doubles as a wakeboard rack and is guaranteed for life!
Do you feel like you have enough information to get the right tower for your boat? You should feel pretty confident!