Do most tow boats on your lake resemble dune buggies more than competition ski boats these days? The changing look of today's tow boats is largely due to the growing popularity of the tower. Originally introduced as a wakeboard-specific option used for big-air moves, the tower is now being used by all water-sports disciplines.
The advantages of a tower start with the pull it provides the skier. Attaching a tow rope to a high tower rather than the standard lower pylon gives a skier a more upward pull. This helps to stay on top of the water. For wakeboarding, hydrofoiling, and even trick skiing, the upward pull will let you soar to new heights and also might give you that little bit extra when you might have gone “tips in.” Barefooters like it, especially for learning back deeps.
Having the tow rope attached high overhead also allows passengers to use all of the seats in the boat while a skier is in tow. A tower also comes in handy as a sturdy object to hang onto while entering or exiting the boat; this is especially nice in rough water conditions or when the fiberglass is wet and slick. Finally, tower racks allow you to stow boards, skis and accessories out of the way, allowing more open floor space and more importantly keeping the gear away from your boat's plush interior.
Many boats came to WaterSki magazine's boat tests this year in Lake Nacimiento, California, equipped with towers. Look for the Jan./Feb. issue for full reviews on these 2000 models due on newsstands in early January. Or, click here to subscribe now.
Towers Vs. Extended Pylons
Towers – boat stays more stable when skier pulls.
Extended Pylons – boat sways around more, but pylon is portable and less expensive.
Guide for events in which an elevated pull is beneficial:
Slalom – No
Barefoot – Yes
Wakeboard – Yes
Tricks – Give it a try; you can even attach a release up there.
Jump – Beginner, yes; Pros, no
Hydofoil – Yes
Show Acts (multiple acts): No
Recreational (tubing, etc.): Go ahead and use it to keep the rope(s) out of the way.
– World Publications, Inc. is not responsible for injuries sustained by readers or failure of equipment depicted or illustrated herein.