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dezul 07-29-2012 8:12 AM

Another board buying question
I know there is about 8 million of these type questions on this forum but I am looking for a little insight in purchasing a new board. About me, I am 5'9 and weigh about 210lbs. It is my first year into wakeboarding and I have been riding an 07 Ronix Vault 144cm with Divine bindings. I was having a difficult time getting very far over the wake on my jumps. So I decided to rent a performance board and see if it would help.

Well, I rented a 2012 LF Watson Classic 142 with some Watson CT bindings. My pop over the wake increased alot. Now I am almost going W2W on the rented board. I love the feel of the board/ binding combo. My question is, I know I am going to stick with a nice pair of closed toe bindings, but should I try another board or two and see how it feels before purchasing the Watson Classic? The guy at the board shop suggested I try the LF Harley. Anybody have any experience on the Harley?

Orange 07-29-2012 8:46 AM

If you want to save money one of the first things I'd try is close toed bindings on your Vault. The Vault should have plenty of pop for w2w jumps. It's possible the close toed bindings fit you better and are giving you the confidence to approach the wake more aggressively. W2w jumps don't take a particularly high amount of pop or board performance if your technique is correct. On the other hand, a new board and bindings will be fun to purchase and may have a placebo effect that does boost your performance.

dezul 07-30-2012 3:28 AM

I know your right about the bindings. The closed toe definitely helped with confidence considering they felt more snug on my feet and like I had more control on everything I did. The board helped on the landings. It made landing feel pretty darn smooth. I may do like you suggest and buy a new set of bindings and go from there.

jperkinsttu 07-30-2012 4:04 AM

I started with a new set of bindings on an old board and felt pretty confident, but soon realized that I needed a new board bc the old boards have an 8" binding pattern and the new bindings are 6". This makes is very limited as to what stances you can have when mixing old an new. After I realized this I started demoing boards that were similar to my old one and also some that were shaped completely different. I ended up getting something that I'd never thought I'd like. My progression before then was 3 summers of learning basics and by the end of the 3rd summer I was solid hs w2w and that's about it on what I was doing consistently. This year started off the same way until I got a whole new set up. Maybe it was my mind set, maybe it was the new board shapes and lighter boards, or maybe a combo of both. But in the past two months I have gone from only consistent on hs w2w to switch hs, hs fs 180s w/grabs, half cab, ts w2w, ts fs 180, and attempts at 3s and backrolls that are getting very close. If you gain confidence and can afford a new set up then I'd say it is worth it's weight in gold. Try out as much as you can if they will keep putting the rentals towards a purchase. Good luck

wakedaveup 07-30-2012 5:02 AM

Watson Classic= 3 stage rocker..... Ronix Vault= hybrid continous rocker... LF boards are typically aggressive 3 stage rockers and will give you more abrupt pop than most boards. That said, you are more likely to get more air on a LF Watson (con being the pop is less controlable and sometimes harder landings) than on a Ronix Vault. The Vault will have a more "controlled pop" and possibly a more consistent landing. It's apparent you like the feel of a 3 stage better than the continous so if your Ronix loyal try a different board, if not, stick with a watson its one of the most proven boards on the market.

dezul 07-30-2012 8:11 AM

Do you have any experience with the LF Harley? I have heard tons of positive comments about them, if it is a lot like the Watson Classic, then I definitely want to give it a try.

jburbo 07-30-2012 8:36 AM


Originally Posted by dezul (Post 1772045)
Do you have any experience with the LF Harley? I have heard tons of positive comments about them, if it is a lot like the Watson Classic, then I definitely want to give it a try.

I really liked the Harley a lot, its a faster version of the Watson Classic. same straight up pop

wakedaveup 07-30-2012 8:37 AM

By all means, try as many boards as you can until you find one that just feels right. I grew up (literally since 14yrs old) riding LF and have tried riding other non LF boards and I just don't get the same feel. I'm 100% sold on all LF products with the exception that the older CT bindings were not for me. I don't work nor am I associated with LF so trust me I'm not pushing LF on you but if you liked a Watson than it sounds like you found a brand you like, just try a few other models to see which fits best. As far as the Harley I haven't ridden it. I've bounced between shanes and lymans for the past 5 years and currently ride the 138 shane hybrid. Love it but it has much different edges (and more aggresive) due to being the new hybrid with liquid rails compared to the older shanes or watson classics that had a slightly more forgiving and rolled edges in the center of the board.

wakedaveup 07-30-2012 8:40 AM

One more thing to consider is that a lot of these manufacturers have different beliefs in rocker lines. If you look at LF most of their boards have 3 stage and agressive 3 stage rockers. If you look at hyperlite, a lot of their boards have continous and blended rockers. Find a rocker you like (in this case you did well on a 3 stage and not so well on a continous rocker) and stick with it.

dezul 07-30-2012 9:39 AM

Thanks for the replies. When I go take the Watson back today I will ask about demo'ing the Harley. I have never been brand picky as long as I feel comfortable riding it. Anyone have an insight on a comparable binding? The Watson CT's fit my feet very well. I am curious if the Harley bindings are very similar.

07-30-2012 9:52 AM

Harley bindings are totally different from Watson bindings. Whole different feel. Above poster is correct about the Harley. I also have the '12 Watson

Readyaimfire 07-30-2012 10:10 AM

What line length are u riding at what speed? The reason I ask is sometimes shortening the rope a bit to get over the wake that first few times will help u learn faster. Once you get he feeling of riding all the way through the top of the wake and landing on the downside of he second wake, u can let the rope back out 5 feet at a time. U most certainly should be able to go wke to wake on a vault 144. It has a ton of surface area to create a lot of lift.

dezul 07-30-2012 10:19 AM

I am riding at 22mph and at 60'. My biggiest problem with the Vault is the bindings. I definitely am in love with the Watson bindings. They fit snug and gave me more control. Anybody recommend a comparable binding that is a little less costly?

07-30-2012 10:21 AM

Yeah...a '11 closeout pair of the Watsons. Its all preference in comfort. Some guys swear by other brands but if you like the Watsons, then find a pair from last yr.

Readyaimfire 07-30-2012 10:29 AM

Ok, 60' should be fine.

dezul 07-30-2012 11:01 AM

Is the Ronix Cell bindings comparable to the Watson's in stiffness?

jburbo 07-30-2012 11:23 AM


Originally Posted by dezul (Post 1772101)
Is the Ronix Cell bindings comparable to the Watson's in stiffness?

I have ridden both, and they are pretty comparable in stiffness

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