Summer is here, your motorboat is getting regular use and you want to take things to the next level with some wakeboarding.
For this of course you need a strong and versatile wakeboard tower. But which should you buy? There’s a number of options available in 2019 and knowing which will best suit your needs and your boat can be confusing.
That’s where Outdoor Chief comes in. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to. In this review round up we’ve selected 5 top rated wakeboard towers and put them through their paces.
For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For a detailed review of each of the towers plus a dedicated buyer’s guide, keep on reading.
Top 5 Best Wakeboard Towers
Big Air Ice
6061 T6 Tubing
Tower w/ Rope
Wakeboard Tower Reviews
The following towers have been selected based on functionality, features, build quality and affordability. We have also taken into account how easy each unit is to install and collapse after use.
Our testing method involves a combination of hands on use on the water, a study of recent customer reviews and feedback, plus an analysis of how each tower fares against others on the market.
The following selection brings together what we believe to be some of the best wakeboard towers available in 2019.
1. EDITOR’S CHOICE: Origin OWT-I Wakeboard Tower
Our number one pick wakeboard tower for 2019 is the OWT-I from Origin. These guys have found a perfect balance between price point and build quality to bring you an affordable universal wakeboard tower that will fit most boats.
Not only that, Origin have such faith in their product that they throw in a full 5 year warranty on this tower too.
Anyway, we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves, let’s take a lookat some of the important specs.
As mentioned, the OWT-I follows a universal design and will fit boats with a 68 to 98 inch beam.
The tower is has a seamless construction built from 6063 Aircraft Aluminium tubing. The aluminium fittings are also made from CNC machined solid 6061 stainless steel in order to ensure maximum strength throughout.
Important measurements to note: there is up to 86 inches between the front deck mounts and 56″ to 72″ between the front and rear mounts.
The rear legs have the ability to adjust to fit up to 100″, however Origin do advise that the tower has been designed with low storage in mind.
Furthermore, the configuration of the Origin wakeboard tower means that the rear legs can easily be detached from the deck mounts to swing backwards for extra space.
The font legs also conveniently pivot so that you can lower the top section.
Finally, the unit is extremely easy to install for anyone with a tool box and a little confidence.
Overall the Origin OWT-I wakeboard tower is a high quality unit that balances affordable price point with superior construction to a level that will appeal to most.
Sure, there are more stylish towers reviewed in this round up, however in some cases you can end up paying double what you would here.
Our top pick wakeboard tower for 2019 for good reason.
2. PREMIUM PICK: Big Air Ice Wakeboard Tower
Big Air are a well known manufacturer of wakeboard tower and they have produced some good units over the last few years.
This stylish, gloss black tower will only help to maintain their reputation. Complete with powder coat finish for extra durability this universal fit model is designed to accommodate boats between 62 and 103 inches wide.
Let’s refer back to the look however. Understandably us boat owners like to prioritize aesthetic alongside function.
The swooped styling of the Big Air Ice is definitely nice to look at. The oversized tubing made from 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminium also exudes quality, (a chrome finish tower is also available if that is more to your liking).
Extra versatility is provided by the telescoping top section (2.5″ diameter). As far as other dimension are concerned; the tower itself will stand approximately 5’ from mounting points with a 12 degree inward taper. Again, this is a configuration that will work with most boats designed for wakeboarding.
Added convenience comes in the form of the truly foldable nature of the unit. The Ice Tower has been designed so that you can easily fold it below windshield height when placed in storage.
The front to back stance on the Ice tower once fitted is a minimum of 40″ with scope to move up to 60″.
The tower is relatively easy to install, (Big Air state that it takes between 3 to 6 hours and can be done by yourself or via a local dealer). All relevant hardware and backing plates are included of course.
It can be mounted to the side or on top of regular boat gunnels.
Finally, once in place, the Ice tower is designed to collapses simply and efficiently when not in use.
The Big Air Ice wakeboard tower is one of the best premium options on the market. It is extremely well designed, with durability and convenience in mind.
For those with a slightly larger budget, this is the wake tower to buy in 2019.
- Related Content: What is the best dock ladder for the money?
3. MT1 Wakeboard Tower
The MT1 wakeboard tower is another universal fit model that is designed for the same type of boats as the Big Air, namely those with a beam width between 60” to 102”.
6063-T6 Aluminum has been used for the construction of this unit however. Being 2.5” in diameter it offers the strength you need in a robust, well used wakeboard tower. (It also has an anodized and polished finish to enhance much needed corrosion resistance.)
The 2.5” size makes the tube compatible with the majority of accessories you are likely to buy. Whether you wish to attach speakers, lights, racks of bimnis you will be be able to do so without any issues.
One real benefit of the MT1 is the easy installation process. Designed as a DIY install, the MT1 can be fitted to your boat in a matter of hours.
Assuming you have a few tools and a little DIY knowledge you will be able to set everything up yourself.
Also, if you find that the style and size of your boat means you need to mount the tower on a curved surface, the MT1 has you covered with the included ‘Monster Paws’ mounting supports.
The tower also features stainless steel heim joints that allow for precision adjustment when positioning the unit.
Another great feature is the quick release front mounts. This allows you to fold the tower away for storage when not in use.
The MT1 is another high quality wakeboard tower worthy of our top 5 list. Superior engineering and design has gone into this, with the quick release features and inclusion of the Monster Paws being notable highlights.
While not as stylish as the offering from Big Air, this remains a highly recommended wake tower option.
- Related Content: Learning to Kite Surf an OC Guide
4. Vulcan Boost Wakeboard Tower with Rope
The Vulcan Boost Wakeboard tower differs from others in our top 5 in that it includes the wakeboarding rope too.
From the off you are getting some real value for money here.
How does the actual tower design hold up however? We’re pleased to say not bad at all, (it has made this list after all).
A universal fit for boats between 62” and 103” wide is the standard spec for this type of wakeboard tower and the Vulcan is no different.
It does have a slightly thinner diameter however, coming in at 2.25” rather than the more common 2.5”. Most accessories will fit this sized tubing though.
6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminium has been used for the construction of the tower because of the strength and anti-corrosive properties this material has.
The unit can be mounted on the side or on the top of boat gunnels, and all necessary hardware is included.
The Vulcan also has the ability to fully collapse to near windshield height when not in use.
The included heavy-duty rope is a real bonus. This high quality accessory features an 15″ EVA Double braided handle construction.
Measuring 75 feet in length, the rope is sectioned – 45’+10’+5’+5’+5’+5′ with a 1,600 lb. break point tolerance.
Dual neoprene floats are also included to increase visibility in the water.
Finally, the manufacturers throw in a very generous 5 year warranty on the tower to provide extra peace of mind.
The Vulcan wakeboarding tower is another highly recommended unit. While it may not have all the features or the quick release mode that you will find in the MT1, the stylish finish and bonuses such as the included wakeboarding rope do make it worthy of your attention.
5. Origin Catapult Universal Wakeboard Boat Tower
The final wakeboard tower in our top 5 is another offering from Origin.
These guys know how to build towers that both have the strength you need at a price that will suit most pockets.
Here we have the Catapult, a tower designed to fit boats up to 76″ to 106″ wide.
Similar to our top pick above, this tower has been CNC machined with 6061 feet and joints throughout. The hardware is stainless steel, with main tubing made from aircraft grade 6063 aluminum.The Catapult has the ability to fold below windshield level for storage. However, unlike the MT1 and other towers in this list, to fold the tower you will need to remove 1 screw in each of the 2 front legs.
A quick release option would definitely be a worth while design enhancement.
Installation time is good on this Origin tower mind you, the average being around 3 hrs.
While the Catapult offers similar value for money as our top pick from Origin, it misses the post on a few design decisions.
A cost effective solution for those looking for an affordable wakeboard tower, but nothing more.
- Related Content: Top 5 best bimini tops on the market today
What to look for when buying a wakeboard tower
There are various things you need to consider when buying a wakeboard tower.
Many of them are what our editorial team discussed while researching this article; quality of construction, ease of installation, price point are all factors that should be on your mind as you look for the best wakeboard tower for you.
Let’s take a look at some of this points in greater detail.
A wakeboard tower will experience a lot of strain during its lifetime. Everything from the load it will be pulling through the water, to actual exposure to the elements itself.
A number one priority for anyone looking to buy a new tower is that they buy the best quality model they can afford.
A seamless design is one of the best types of tower to go for. High grade aluminium construction is another variable you need to be aware of.
The premium pick in our review round up is made from 6061-T6 aircraft aluminium. This is incredibly durable and is one of the strongest aluminium alloys available.
This comes at a cost however. More budget friendly towers will have tubing made from 6063 aluminum. This is a weaker alloy, however it will be up to the job in hand.
Finally, some towers will be made from stainless steel. This is a strong material but will also add weight to your boat and can be more difficult to install.
We have touched on this above; a tower will need to withstand salt or fresh water and constant demands of the environment.
You will definitely want your tower to have a finish that will help prevent corrosion.
Polished aluminium is one of the most common preventative methods. While this works well, you cannot actually beat a powder coated finish when it comes to increased durability.
Other options include anodized aluminium and brushed aluminium.
Which ever wakeboard tower you buy, ensure it has been treated to withstand the elements.
Ease of installation
Many brands of wakeboard tower will boast that they are easy to install. It is worth checking the specifications and supporting materials (online manuals, youtube videos) to see exactly how easy they are to install in practice.
Do they come with additional mounting feet? Are they designed to be mounted on curved areas of the boat? How much will you be expected to drill into the body work of your boat.
You should be able to gather this information in order to ascertain the installation complexity.
Of course, if the manufacturer has dealers able to fit the tower for you, or you plan on visiting the local boat yard with your new project these issues are not such a problem.
- Related Content: Best wakeboard bindings on the market in 2019
Collapsible for storage
A collapsible wakeboard tower is a real bonus. When not in use you will want to at least semi-fold the tower away.
Most collapsible models will fold so that they are close to windshield level in height.
Look at the specifications to see how easy they are to fold away. A quick release system is what you should be buying.
A tower that requires you to remove screws in order to collapse could be a nuisance.
Accessories and compatibility
What kind of accessories are available for your chosen wakeboard tower.
Bare in mind that most available add on accessories (speakers, racks etc) will be made to fit 2.25 or 2.5 inch tubing.
If the tower you buy falls outside of this you may have to resort to different types of after market clamps or other ways of mounting the various items you plan to use.
- Related Content: Best windlass on the market – Maxwell, Lewmar, Five Oceans & More
Warranty & Customer Support
Finally, what is the reputation like of the brand of tower you are interested in? Do they provide a warranty? Where is the head office based and do they have a track record of good customer service and being easy to contact?
Knowing that you have bought your tower from a trusted brand with a good history of customer satisfaction is worth paying the extra money for.
That peace of mind and having everything sorted efficiently should an issue arise is another important consideration when buying the best aftermarket wakeboard tower for you.