I just wanted to take a quick moment to post up some of the truly amazing cyber Monday deals that are going on for watersports equipment. Considering the change of season right now is the perfect time to do some buying for next year.
- The House - Up to 70% off Wakeboards
- Performance Ski and Surf - Steep discounts on Skis, Wakeboards, and Wakesurfers
- BuyWake - Extended Black Friday sales end today!
- Overtons - 20% off of almost everything and FREE shipping.
- EVO - Various discounts all day long!
So there you have it. Hopefully you can find something for a steal!
I don't know if you've noticed or not, but I use the word "rider" a lot on this site. The reason for this is because no matter what activity we engage in behind the boat we are all considered "riders." So it goes without saying that rider is an interchangeable term for wakeboarders, waterskiers, barefooters, kneeboarders, and anyone else who is holding a rope behind the boat.
I for one think it's very important to try all watersport disciplines. Knowing how to perform well at any watersport will only contribute to your overall skill set behind the boat, and isn't that the goal anyway. At the end of the day, as long as you can head out on the boat and enjoy the company of your friends and listen to your favorite tunes, it doesn't really matter what you choose to do with your tow rope.
There's no reason why we have to confine ourselves to one category or the other, we're all just riders. Just make sure you boat responsibly, wear your life vest, and always have as much fun as possible.
So I've been in denial now for a few weeks, but as the frostbite starts setting in I have to come to terms with the fact that it will soon be winter time. I don't know how all of you will be passing the time until spring, but I for one plan to do a lot of snowboarding this year. It is the one thing I can do that takes my mind off of how cold I am.
Aside from snowboarding, I will be building my new home in Charleston, SC -- of which I'm very excited for. Charleston has a much better climate for watersports and is home to the Trophy Lakes, so hopefully I won't have to store my equipment for the winter any longer. Trophy Lakes just so happens to have one of the coolest, most private cable parks I've ever seen and I can't wait to hit their become a regular fixture on their ramps and sliders.
Also, my new home will sit about a hundred yards from the Wando River, so with all my scrap lumber I may just have to build a new floating kicker ramp and a winch to keep myself occupied in the water during downtime. I'm extremely excited for what lays ahead, and I look forward to getting to know the Charleston watersports community.
If there are any other Charlestonians make sure to drop a shout out in the comments. Also, feel free to let us know how you will be passing the time this winter.
Last year about this time I was writing posts to try and keep myself pumped up for the impending off season, this year however I refuse to let the so called off season happen. There are plenty of things to do to stay on top of your game over the winter, and I will be pursuing every one.
It seems that there are a lot of mobile wake apps out there lately, like the Wakescout app which helps find some killer places for watersports travel or the Wake MD app which is like having personal instruction from Shaun Murray right on your iPad. Both apps are worth a gander will likely help you ignore the cold weather. Or if you live by a beach you could certainly use the winter winds to try your hand at kite surfing. But if you find yourself land locked, winter always brings a good opportunity to look back at some of your favorite wakeboard and waterski magazines.
And as always you will get to drool over the 2014 inboards being released this year. Two particularly amazing looking boats for next year are the Tige Apex Riders Edition, and the newly redesigned Mastercraft Prostar 190. With such a strong start for both companies I can't wait to see what rolls onto the showroom floor for next year.
And speaking of great companies, I'm even more excited about where Obscura Wakeskates is headed with their next line of decks. So with so much amazing stuff to look forward to, it will be quite easy to evade the off season this year. But everyone deals with winter in their own way, so tell us how you plan to keep yourself amped up this year.
As another great season comes to an end, we are left wondering what to do to stay busy and inspired during the off season. I know for my part, I will be heading south to Orlando at the end of October to see what new innovations are on the horizon for the 2014 Season. I may even try my hand at using a WakeKite while I'm there.
But one phenomenon that always happens like clockwork every fall, is the unbelievable influx of inboard boats on the market. If you've been waiting to buy your first inboard, then now is definitely the time. Right now there are unbelievable deals at entry level price points of $5,000 and $10,000, so don't miss out on prime buying season. You can always check the forum here for great deals, or head over to Onlyinboards.com which is my favorite boat listing site. On the other hand, if you're looking for something new -- then definitely stake out a claim on the new 2014 Centurion SV230, it's an unbelievable deal.
If all else fails though, you can always spend your winter watching your favorite wake videos, and on the bright side you've finally got an opportunity to start organizing all that GoPro footage you've accumulated this past year. Whatever you decide for this off season, make sure you stay keep in touch with all of us here on the blog and in the forum.
I can remember the first time I set foot on a wakeboard. It was three times my height, the bindings were gigantic and itchy, and it weighed about 300 lbs. At least that's how I remember it. But the absolute worst part of my first wakeboarding experience was by far the life jacket. It was an XL Sea Doo nylon life jacket with the buckles cinched so tight that the vest made a complete overlap.
If that weren't bad enough, when I jumped in the water the vest slipped high above my head forcing my face skyward and encasing me in a nylon dome of pure USCG approved padding. Actually, to be honest, I'm not really sure if you could call what I did wakeboarding -- it was more like immobile floating.
What I am sure of though, is that this is a shared experience by anyone who learned to wakeboard in the early to mid 90's. But nowadays, kids have it great. There are dozens of great junior wakeboards on the market, all geared for the young shredders in the family. So, if you're planning on teaching your kid to wakeboard soon, then don't repeat history. Set them up with the right gear.
And for all you families out there who already have junior riders tearing up the water, tell us about your first experiences in the comments section.
When boat manufacturers and gear makers start announcing new models for 2014, it's the first sign that the season is almost over. One of the best announcements I have seen so far is the release of the 2014 Axis A24 -- which is the long awaited larger offering from one of the best wake boat manufacturers on the planet. That announcement however, only barely takes the edge off of the inevitable truth.
Yes, as we stare down the barrel of September, most of us only have one great month of riding left. So if you're like me, you want to make the absolute best of it. Perhaps you're trying to improve your slalom skiing game, or you're trying to get a little bit more air out of your wakeboarding. Whatever the case, make the most of it, because Fall will come before you know it.
On the upside though, as the season closes out -- you can get great gear from 2013 for incredible prices. I have already seen massive price reductions on HO Skis and Slingshot Wakeboards. If you've come across any other deals, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
A few days ago I was wakeboarding behind a friend's boat who didn't have a wakeboard tower. I know -- ghastly right? You never realize how much a proper wake tower helps until you do without one. Every single jump I hit was completely off axis. With that in mind, I realized how many things we often take for granted in the sport of wakeboarding, because even 7 years ago we were miles behind where we are now. So out of appreciation for the little things that make this sport possible -- especially wake towers. So if you haven't installed a wake tower yet, don't wait -- they're priced more reasonably than ever and installation is a cinch.
If you already have a wakeboard tower, take a few moments to tell us which tower you have, what your must have wakeboard tower accessories are, and if you have an amazing audio system -- what speakers are you using?
Adding cruise control to inboard boats has probably been one of the single greatest advances for wakeboard and waterski improvement. A new company based out of Austin, TX has upped the ante with their new Ridesteady Cruise Control Module. This is by far one of the best boat speed control systems I have ever seen and is the perfect solution for retro fitting on your older model boat. It even makes a great replacement for older cruise control systems that just don't seem to cut it anymore.
Check out the new Ridesteady from Hydrophase and read the full review here.
Image © Hydrophase, LLC
So here we are, halfway through the season already. I trust everyone is having a splendid time on the water, and I was extremely pleased to see the release of the new 2014 Mastercraft X-46. I have to say it made me a little bit jealous, but inspired me to compile the top five tips for keeping your boat looking and running like new, and the best part is - all the tips are contributed by readers like you.
Additionally, after having some down time because of a busted prop I had time to cruise down to the pro shop and check out a few of my favorite new handles for 2013. But now that I'm back in the water I've been primarily teaching folks how to drive and hit double ups and improve their wakesurfing skills.
I'm more interested, though, in knowing how your season is going. Share some of your highlights thus far in the comments.