Frequently Asked Wakeboard Tower Questions
Which wakeboard tower will fit my boat?
To find out which wakeboard tower will fit, your first step is to measure your boat’s beam width. Depending on the beam width, you will be able to fit one or even several wakeboard tower models. All our universal wakeboard towers are designed to be adjustable and can fit just about any inboard boat made in the last 50 years. Aerial's "universal" are carefully designed and tested so that strength and performance are not compromised when installed properly. To find your boat's beam width, you can also ask you boat’s manufacturer, find your boat online at nadaguides.com, or we can find your boat in the database if you call us at (843) 948-6915.
Can I install a wakeboard tower by myself?
Our instructions are very simple and anyone with basic skills and tools will have no problem. If you get stuck, not to worry- we are one of the few wakeboard tower companies with a fully staffed, fully trained, full-time support staff in our Southern California office. We're available by phone, email and live chat Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm PST. Although most of our customers do the installation themselves, some will have their local boat shop do the installation for them. We have a list of some boat shops in your area listed along with "preferred" Aerial Authorized Dealers and Installers.
How long does it take to install a wakeboard tower?
The average time to install a wakeboard tower is 4-6 hours. If you are adding accessories like speakers, lights, or tower bimini, it will take longer.
How much does it cost to install a wakeboard tower?
You should expect to pay between $1,000 to $1,500 to install just a wakeboard tower. The cost will vary depending on the boat shop you hire and their hourly rate. Also, the number and type of accessories you want will also increase the total cost. For example, electric accessories speakers and lights are east to mount but the wires must be run through the tower's tubing then properly connected to a power supply.
What diameter tubing are your wakeboard towers?
We use 2.25" diameter tubing for the main wake tower frame and 2.5" diameter tubing for the top connecting section. All our clamp-on accessories ship with clamp inserts to match the diameter depending on where you install them.
What kind of aluminum are your towers made of?
Aerial's wakeboard towers are made from 21⁄4," outer diameter 6061-T6 aluminum. 6061-T6 is a high grade aluminum alloy that is commonly used for airplanes, race cars, premium bicycles and other applications that require high strength and less weight. “T6” indicates the highest level of temper offered in wakeboard towers. To achieve a T6 designation, the metal is heat treated by precipitation hardening and involves two steps of solution heat treating and aging. Ultimately, the process changes the molecular properties and increases strength. There are different temper levels and smaller numbers indicate lower strength- T5 is weaker than T6, for example. It's important to you because it has properties that will make the tower suitable for wakeboarders, knee boarders and wake surfers. Aluminum, in general, is also great because it is light weight, corrosion resistant and easy to clean. Weight is important because it's both easier to install and will have minimal effect on the boat's performance and stability.
Some manufacturers use weaker 6063 aluminum for all their towers, unfortunately. It is NOT aircraft-grade as it is often claimed to be. It's primarily used as an architectural metal alloy. Most common industrial applications are window and door frames, roofing and other products that require light to medium strength. 6063 has a different molecular composition that gives it lower tensile strength and is more malleable. Some manufacturers that state they are using 6063 don't even specify what level of temper they are using on their website or on the phone. This is suspicious in our opinion. Are they using 6063-T6 or even weaker 6063-T5? See the strength chart below to see why it's a big deal. We feel that 6063 is used by manufacturers mainly to save cost. It is also easier to extrude and bend which increases their profits. A quick Google search online will give you many results that compare 6061 to 6063 in detail.
Below is a table illustrating why 6061-T6 is superior to 6063 and an important feature to find in a tower:
ULTIMATE TENSILE STRENGTH
6061-T6 (Aerial Wakesports)
290 MPa (42,000 psi)
240 MPa (35,000 psi)
190 MPa (28,000 psi)
160 MPa (23,000 psi)
140 MPa (20,000 psi)
97 MPa (14,000 psi)
How do I clean the wake tower and accessories?
Regular light cleaning is recommended using clean water and a micro fiber cloth. We have a wakeboard tower care and maintenance article that details not only cleaning, but also general maintenance tips like keeping nuts, bolts and screws torqued down.
What type of material is used for the tower bimini canopies?
We use Sunbrella™ Plus marine-grade fabric for all our canvas tops. Sunbrella™ is pretty much the undisputed best option for the marine industry. Just about every single boat you see in your local marina is dressed up with Sunbrella™ canopies, biminis, covers, seating, etc. Fade-resistant Sunbrella™ fabrics protect against salt water and all kinds of weather. They breathe so it doesn't trap heat and moisture like vinyl, which can mildew. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends Sunbrella™ as an aid in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin. A properly cared for Sunbrella™ t-top canopy will out-live a competitor's marine canvas by as much as 10 times. Be careful! We have heard from many customers who have purchased from some of our competitors and said their canvas faded drastically in only a few months.
Can I tow the boat with an Aerial Eclipse or FreeRide Tower bimini installed?
No. Although our tower biminis are tested up to 50 mph, you do not want to tow with it on. The frame down not need to be removed, just the canvas portion. We designed them using Velcro so it’s an easy-on, easy-off process.
Can I pull tubes, inflatable or any towable from a wakeboard tower?
Absolutely not! You should never tow a tube from a wakeboard tower. The amount of force could damage or break a wakeboard tower, lead to damage of your boat's fiberglass hull and possibly injure someone. Towing a tube is very different than towing a wakeboarder. There could be significantly more drag or anchoring force than a wakeboard tower was designed to handle.
In fact, even factory installed wakeboard towers found on the most expensive wake boats don't allow you to tow tubes. They all have warning labels that specifically state not to otherwise it will void your warranty. If an aftermaket wakeboard tower manufacturer claims their towers are strong enough to pull tubes, we would advise you not to.
We recommend you use a low transom mounted ski tow eye hook to tow tubes.
Is there an Authorized Aerial Wakeboarding reseller or installer in my area?
Please check our Where to Buy page to find the closest Aerial Authorized Resellers & Installers. We have also added some local boat service and repair shops that are in your area. You can be confidant that any reputable boat shop can complete the installation with no problem. In our experience, there are very few shops who have not installed a wakeboard tower. That said, be sure to do your homework, reads shop reviews, get a written quote and get their warranties in writing.
Is Aerial Wakeboarding a Member of the Better Business Bureau?
Yes we are! In fact, we are proud of our A+ rating. Please visit our BBB profile page with customer reviews.
Important Additional Resources
Please take the time to read through some of our buyer's guides, articles and other resources. They will all help you be a more informed shopper before purchasing a wakeboard tower package. Like with any other manufactured product, companies make their wakeboard towers and accessories differently and the quality varies greatly. When safety, performance and the value of your boat is at stake, be sure you buy right the first time.
- 6 Things to Know When Buying a Wakeboard Tower
If you read nothing else, you have to dive into this one. It tells you the most important shopping comparison points that gives shoppers the power with buying a wakeboard tower package. It could save you lots of time, money and hassle.
- Wakeboard Tower Care & Maintenence
Good to read through before you buy a tower. Learn the right way and how often to clean your tower keep it looking new.
- Shopper's Guide: Wakeboard Towers 101
This is an expanded FAQ article that includes some of what you just read here, plus, it dives a little deeper into what a wakeboard tower is, what it does and what features are important to wakeboarders and boating in general.
- Installation Guides
All our installation guides are downloadable. We recommend reviewing the installation guide(s) from all the manufacturers you're thinking of purchasing with. Not only will it give you a good idea of what the process will be, it can also give a little insight into the professionalism of the company. A few poorly written sentences are one thing, but almost illegible instructions in broken English is not acceptable.
- Customer Photo Gallery & Reviews
All reputable wake tower manufacturers have a customer gallery on their website with many photos and reviews. It shows you the number of excited customers who are happy and proud enough to take the time to submit them. In most cases, your boat or one that's very similar is listed and you can see how a tower package looks and where they installed it on the hull.
If you have more questions, we're here!
We are available Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm PST:
104 Pinnacle Way Suite B
Summerville, SC 29483