In this series of articles we are reviewing the significant changes to the sport of Wakeboarding. This week we will be discussing the tower and how it evolved the sport. If you missed last weeks blog on how wakeboarding was invented. The Skurfer is where it all started and you can check it out here.
It is not necessary to wakeboard from a boat with a tower, but can make it a whole lot easier. The early version of the wakeboard tower was patented by Ski Nautique in 1996. This is when Nautique started selling wakeboard boats with the factory installed wakeboard towers. The tower changed the sport allowing riders to jump even higher. When it comes to wakeboarding you want a boat that produces a good size wake. The rope use to be tied to the back of the boat, this caused more friction when riders would try and do a jump the rope would be pulling them down. The Tower fixes this problem by having the rope tied up about 7 feet high, allowing for jumps with less restriction, resulting in higher jumps and sicker tricks.
Wakeboard towers serve more than just towing, they also are used for hanging wakeboards and give the boat a nice and clean look. Another common use for the tower is mounting speakers to it. Having a custom tower speaker package gives users the option to have music as loud as they want it.
Nowadays towers have evolved into different types of metal, with most of the manufacturer's making them with aircraft grade aluminum tubing or stainless steel. The stainless steel versions are much stronger than aluminum. Both will hold up and pull the rider easily. However, if you are dealing with poor weather conditions or salt water the stainless steel will last longer.