When it comes to watersports, towers are second only to your boat in terms of essential equipment. After all, it’s pretty much impossible to tow high-quality wakeboarding and wakesurfing sets without one. But today’s towers offer boat owners a lot more than just a tall tow point. They are a blank canvas to which you can add an array of accessories that will further enhance your watersports experience.
Choosing a tower that is strong, self-supporting, and versatile is the first step to assembling your perfect tower setup. Regardless of whether you’re looking at an OEM or aftermarket tower, it must be structurally sound and unflinchingly strong in the face of a powerful pull. Look for substantial tubing that doesn’t so much as budge if you hang, swing, or otherwise jerk it around. Next, look for a self-supporting design that won’t stress your deck. “You want it to be over-center, so the center of gravity is over the tower itself and it’s standing on it’s own,” says Ben Smith, vice president of towers and accessories at Roswell, which produces towers and accessories for the likes of Centurion, Nautique, and Skiers Choice. “You want to avoid having big levers that are torqueing against themselves.” Finally, look for a tower that is primed for additions and makes it easier for you to adapt to your unique boating situation. If, for example, you have to navigate under bridges or other low-hanging obstacles on the way to your waterway, you’ll want to opt for a tower with weight-assisted fold-down. Pre-wired towers make it easy to add on everything from speakers to light bars.
Hold This, Please
Technically, you only need the tower itself. If you stop there, though, you’re going to miss out on a ton of utility. Short on storage? Adding a pair of board racks allows you to stow your wakeboards, wakesurf boards, and wakeskates safe and out of the way. This not only helps preserve your boards, but it also frees up in-boat storage for everything else you want to bring aboard like life jackets, lines, and lunch. If your budget allows, opt for racks that spin or swivel into and out of the boat, which makes board retrieval a breeze.
Throw Some Shade
We all love a bright, sunny day on the water. Sunburns? Not so much. Don’t fret, because your tower can help here, too. Add on a bimini and you and your passengers will enjoy acres of shade, even in the middle of the day. If you raise and lower your tower frequently, make sure to opt for a collapsible bimini like the new Shadow Top system from Roswell.
Hear Me Now
Ever see a tower without tower speakers? Just doesn’t look right, does it? Aesthetics aside, towers speakers serve as a powerful addition to your audio system and provide a soundtrack to your rider’s session behind the boat. For audio that is as crisp and clear as it is loud, opt for a component speaker like Roswell’s Neptune 8.0.
Light It Up
Equipping your tower with a lightbar helps illuminate nighttime docking, trailering, and loading. Some even boast interior lights, allowing you to stay out a little longer on those late-evening cruises.