I just bought a towboat. What do I need to get started for on the water fun?

Congratulations! You have just opened up another world of entertainment for you your family and your friend with the purchase of a new boat. Here are some ideas for you on how to accessorize and get the most fun out of your purchase.

Follow some of your other interests and outdoor recreation when thinking about purchasing things to use on your boat. If you are an avid snow skier why not try out the water equivalent and grab some water skis. You can purchase training Skis for kids up to 70 pounds, Junior combos for kids and light a writers up to about 130 pounds, or standard adult combos that will fit most adults 100 pounds and up. Combos are a great way to get going. They include two skis one of which has a toe strap on the back of it. As you get more comfortable with two skis you can progress and drop one putting both feet on one ski. Skiing on one ski will make turning easier and allows you to be more aggressive on the water.

If you are a skateboarder snowboarder or surfer take a look at wake skates and wake boards. These are the behind the boat cousins. You hold onto the rope and use the wake to perform different tricks. This will keep you smiling all year round and get you in shape for the next season.

How do I choose a wakeboard?

Size matters. The weight of the people riding the board is the biggest determining factor. If you’re choosing a wakeboard to fit yourself this process is easier. A wakeboard usually has a range of weight that it performs best for. If the board is for yourself make sure your weight is in the middle of that range. If you were not totally sold on the size go a bit longer. Today many manufacturers are revisiting sizing charts. Most seem to be putting riders on bigger boards. More surface area equals more stability and more area to help spread out impact on landings. This tip should make your first wake jump or your first invert easier to land. This doesn’t really matter whether you’re riding behind a boat or in the park.

If you’re buying a board for a group of people weight is still the biggest factor. You need to determine who will be the heaviest rider and choose the board with him or her in mind. Is much easier for a smaller person to ride a big board than for a big person to ride a smaller one. You need surface area to support weight.

What is the difference between a $300–$400 wake surfer and a $700–$800 wake surfer?

For the most part it boils down to construction. Most less expensive boards are compression molded. They are made in a similar way to wakeboards. Layers of fiberglass, resin, and graphics are sandwiched around a molded foam core. There are pluses and minuses to this. A minus would be a heavier weight board. A second negative would be a little bit slower board due to the increased weight and a bit less buoyancy due to a dancer foam core. A significant plus however is durability. Compression molded boards can take more of a beating and will show less damage in the form of dings and dents.

More expensive boards are built with premium materials and often involve more hands on labor. EPS or expanded polystyrene foam cores are used in the construction of most of these boards. This material is lighter, less dense, and more buoyant. It can also be hand shaped allowing for truly custom designs. Light weight, strong, but expensive carbon fiber is also used in creating the shelves of these boards. As a rule these boards will perform better behind the boat. They are lighter and more buoyant which in many cases equals a faster ride. They also allow for the incorporation of different fin boxes which can ultimately give the rider more choices in terms of the fins you want to surf with. But be careful with these boards. They are much more fragile and will ding, scratch, and dent much more easily.

How do I size a waterski?

Ask yourself these two questions
1 How fast do I ski
The answer to this question will determine how wide the Skeans that will work for you and your ability. Wider skis work better for less experienced skiers. Narrpwer skis will perform better for riders with more experience. Don’t be scared of the width. Wider skis make it easier for you to progress. You become a better skier faster.
2 How much do you weigh?
While the speed that you ski will determine the width of the ski or model your wait will ultimately determine the length of the ski. For example if your weight stays the same but you ski slower you will need a longer ski to support your weight. If you ski faster you will need a shorter ski because less ski is needed to support the same weight at a faster speed.

Do I know what wakeboard boots to get?

Like a wakeboard ask yourself if the boots are for you or for a group of people. You can purchase boots to cover a range of sizes or your specific size. If the boot is for you you can choose either open toe or closed toe boots. Closed toe boots should be for your foot and your foot alone. Many have heat moldable liners and are designed to fit one specific size. Closed toe boots give you greater control because they are basically made for your foot. If you ride in a colder climate they’ll do a good job of keeping you warm as well.

Open toed boots are a great option for groups of people or growing kids. Size flexible boots typically come in a small 4–8 a standard 7–11 or an extra large 10–15 size range. They are easier to get off and on, give you adequate support and cover a wide range of sizes. Some of our customers will try to maximize the use of a board and buy two sets of boots to cover the whole family.

How do I choose a tube or inflatable for my family?

Ask yourself whether the people you’re pulling want to lay on the tube or sit in or on the tube. If your answer is lay on then a deck style or flat tube would be your best choice. They come in a variety of shapes and normally hold 1–4 riders. These designs are simple, they have fewer chambers to fill with air and are generally the most reliable. They are easier to get on from the water because their profile is lower. They’re also easy to toe and balance because of their simple design and multiple handles.
If your riders like to sit in or on the tube then a couch style or cockpit style tubes would suit you well. These designs will give the riders a more comfortable, relaxed ride. It will take the writers less effort to hold on. Several couch style tubes give you the option to toe in both directions.; either sitting like on a couch or kneeling holding onto the back rest. Most of these are made for 2–4 riders.

Cockpit style tubes give the rider the ability to sit down in the tube. These work great for younger kids especially if they’re new to the water or to the concept of being towed behind a boat. Parents can comfortably accompany their kids in the multiple rider versions of these.

Remember that tubing is all about the boat driver. The ride can be as aggressive or as tame as the driver wants it to be. The driver needs to be aware of the riders and other boats in the area at all times. Pay close attention to manufactures operating instructions.

What is the difference between a wakeboard rope and a waterski rope?

Wakeboard ropes are more like cords and don’t have much if any stretch. Wakeboarders generate and store energy by keeping constant tension on the mainline that they’re using. They are able to do this knowing that the energy is consistent and always there. Any stretching or recoil in a line is a negative to a rider, and can often pull them off axis resulting in nasty falls.

Waterski main lines are made of nylon which has stretch. Skiers benefit from this by being able to use the stretch to generate speed across the wake. It’s also much easier on a skiers body when coming out of turns. Skiers unlike wakeborders can benefit from stretch or give in the line. Not only can it give the skier better acceleration but it can also protect their joints from injury

Should I buy a tube rope with the purchase of a tube or can I just use my old ski rope?

Tube ropes have two big benefits over ski ropes. The first is length. Almost all tube ropes are 60 feet in length versus 75 for a ski rope. The manufacturers of all the tubes that we carry recommend a 60 foot tube rope to tow their products with. They are all in agreement that 60 feet gives the driver more control over the tube behind the boat. The second advantage is strength. This is especially important when towing tubes that can carry multiple riders. Tube ropes are usually rated 2K,4K, or 6K, meaning 2000 4000 or 6000 pound stress tested. 2K ropes are rated for tubes that can carry up to 2 people. 4K ropes are rated for tubes that can carry up to four people and 6K ropes are rated for 4 to 6 riders.

Take away this. Get a rope that is rated for the tube that you have. Most people dedicate a specific rope to a tube. That way you don’t have to mess with the ski handle from your ski rope. Make it easier on yourself and keep it safe. A tube rope is cheaper than a hospital bill.