Z3 Slam and More Longboard Fun
We have had fun all year dialing and experimenting with the Z3, it has been a great platform to play with. It has responded very well to all the things we have done and it has been very rewarding to feedback our work to the factory for the benefit of others. In the back of my mind, and as I have stated several times throughout the year, I have always planned to "slam" the boat at least once to see what it would do. I mean, when you dial in a boat you want to know what setup makes the best wake. There are usually several setups that make a great wake on a good boat, and you make trade offs with each. For instance you may have a setup when you have just a few people out, and another when you load it up with people. One setup for calm mid week surfs, and another for rough days. We did this on our other boats because sometimes the funnest wake was when the boat was loaded down to a point that you didn't feel comfortable if it was rough out. Well, we haven't really done that with the Z3. It has seemed no matter how much weight you put in it, it just didn't care. The rub rail never comes close to the water and with the pointed bow and hull its the driest boat we have had.
That said, we went out on a weekday in late October with some extra sacks and the chase boat. I invited several of my friends and we had a blast. We figured 5k of water should get that rub rail down. That is 4k completely hidden, and one 1100 lb sac in the middle of the boat. Please note that this is just an experiment. We did this once, and probably won't do it again. The boat felt safe at all times and the lake was empty for us to do this test.
IMG_9922 by wake9, on Flickr
We had fun all day with that sac in the middle of the boat. Don't even get me started about antics that happened when RJ or Dave would slap the sac and make us all giggle like school boys, even Janelle. Lets just say, it had a familiar sound to it. You can see this is something we don't want to do normally, but had to try it once.
So how was the wake, and did we get the rub rail down?
IMG_9940 by wake9, on Flickr
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The best way I can describe the wake is "extra meaty". You could tell the boat was pushing a mass amount of water. The rollers were huge and it looked like you could surf the secondary wake that follows the boat on its own. It wasn't better though. There was so much water that when riders got to the back of the wake the curl could grab you and take you down. The pocket also felt a bit shorter. Our previous weight setup and with the Convex VX you get a really nice long wake with a small, flat curl that makes for a great long pocket with lots of push and a transition that even makes Janelle happy. So we decided to empty Sacagawea (our nickname for the ginormous sac that shared the interior of our boat) and get back to that wake we love. You can also see in the pictures, we still were NO WHERE near the rub rail. I have no idea how much weight it would take to get that rub rail down, but its more than I am willing to try and we determined that there is a point where it doesn't make it better anyway.
We had a bit of a "boys will be boys" moment here.
IMG_6960 by wake9, on Flickr
The Convex VX likes a bit more weight than we rode before we had it on the Z3. With it we setup 350 more lbs on the surf side, fill up the entire front of the pro ballast system and then set list to about 8 or 9 degrees. Our setup without the Convex VX was a custom PnP sac (1250 lbs) in the rear surf corner on top of the 250 lbs hard tank. Fill up the front and weight the other side and people to get the 8 or 9 degrees of list. With the Convex VX we just add a 400 lbs V-Drive sac into the side seat storage just in front of the end of the custom PnP sac. We only get 300-350 lbs in this sac, and then weight the rest of the boat to 8 or 9 degrees.
For those that haven't followed our previous posts, the Z3 only requires 8 or 9 degrees of list for the best wake. This means you almost weight the boat flat and the boat doesn't lean much at all. The Z3 also has a ton of freeboard, like 5 inches more than the 24Ve had so it doesn't seem to be concerned.
So we spent the rest of the afternoon having a blast, it was perfect conditions and the sun was out. I think we all were glad we tried to slam the boat, but it was also very rewarding to know that our dialed in setup was the better wake. The slammed setup was too much weight and too uncomfortable, and if it was much better we would have been tempted to do it more and probably end up getting a hit put out on us by some group of fisherman.
RJ got a chance to try some Futures Black Stix in his Soulcraft Fangtail and he absolutely loved them. It gave him the drive and speed and control he wanted and he was boosting.
IMG_3435 by wake9, on Flickr
Thanks to the folks at Airbaze (www.airbaze.com) we got a chance to try out a couple of Next boards. It was fun, but I think we need some more time before giving a solid review. The boards were gorgeous and even with only the stock twin plus boozta fin RJ was able to hold on some pretty solid bottom turns.
IMG_3506 by wake9, on Flickr
Tahoe Dave rode several boards and showed his classic surf style.
IMG_4274 by wake9, on Flickr
Here is Dave on Chris Martinez' smaller 4.5 TWP Bomb Pop with the Carbon top.
IMG_7124 by wake9, on Flickr
This is a great picture because you can see how we can adjust the wake from the steeper setup that Dave and RJ love down to the shallow setting that Janelle loves. You can look at the rail and nose of the board and see how nice the transition is. Janelle has a way of surfing, kinda buttering side to side that gets caught in anything but a nice smooth transition. I love being able to set that up without changing weight, just TAPS.
IMG_4338 by wake9, on Flickr
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Maddie likes the wake in between what Janelle likes and RJ likes. This is a great picture showing the entire boat with all of us chilling and all of our boards.
IMG_7410 by wake9, on Flickr
It was starting to get dark and cold but this group is pretty die hard. One thing I love about this group, and Chris Martinez epitomizes this, they are very critical and honest. I like that. If the wake isn't right, they are going to tell you, and CM will definitely tell you. He flew all the way down from the Seattle area just to surf with us so we better give him a good ride. ;-) Once we got back to our dialed setup, he was very happy.
IMG_4622 by wake9, on Flickr
OK, so I am almost done, but we are getting to the best part of the day. Rob Harrington really saved my butt at the Polar Bear event and I wanted to thank him by giving him some extra time on the Long board, which he was dying to ride. Rob is a great guy and I REALLY had to push and twist his arm to take the ride in to himself. He got on the long board and had us all in stitches and smiling the whole way in.
IMG_7634 by wake9, on Flickr
IMG_7783 by wake9, on Flickr
The pictures don't do it justice, he was having a great time and had such control when lying down which he made look easy. What you can't see, is Rob was basically surfing with his Butt Cheeks. You could see him steering by clinching, it was pretty darn funny. He also could walk back and forward a bit with his butt, that is some serious talent. Janelle must be very proud.
Rob's magically dexterous butt in action.
IMG_4803 by wake9, on Flickr
Sorry for waxing on so long but it was a fun day and it was the last time for this entire group to ride together. It capped off a great 2012 Wakesurf season. It was such a great year with a great boat and an amazing group of people that love to Wakesurf together. It is so much fun building this small community of wakesurfers up here in our neck of the woods. Come surf with us sometime.
very cool, thanks for sharing. I always wondered what the Z3 would do when slammed.
it is slammed but damn theres so much freeboard to go.
I forgot to post the link to the rest of the images for that day:
Yes, it is pretty amazing that the water is no where near the rub rail with all that weight in it.
That 8-9 degree list you mentioned, is this from your own experiments with weighting the Z3 or did the egr's over at tige design it that way?
They designed it that way. Rick Correll had told me they wanted to design a boat that didn't require so much list to surf. At the time I didn't see that as an important issue and didn't think much of it. I think Rick dealing with lawyers and those kinds of issues is more sensitive to it. However, flash forward to now and I would say I don't want to go back. Surfing with such little list is so much more enjoyable in the boat, so much safer "feeling" and I think it is one of the reasons the Z3 has so much push, because you weight the entire boat down instead so heavily in a corner. It is something you don't think of much, if you are used to surfing with the heavy list, until you do it without. I know my 24Ve requires a lot of list and it would sometimes freak Amy out when taking a roller from the side. Even me at times but less frequent. It just doesn't happen in this boat.
One more thing...
Tige originally told us they designed it to work best at about 7 degrees of list, but in our testing we found 8-9 provides the best shape/push/etc.
That day was an absolute blast!
Good friends, good times, good laughs, and good memories........smack, smack
Yep that was a smacking good time LOL. Cant wait for some more fun with everyone. I see many more fun and funny longboard days in our future.
Some day Harold,I and our wives will have to fly down and hang with you guys for a weekend! I love that wake on the Z3!! Actually going thru surf withdrawls as we speak!! Rob makes every session just a bit more fun!!!
Yes, and you have to give props to a guy that can steer a longboard with his butt.
That was a blast of a day! Rob had butt skills on that longboard, must be from his prison days.
Thats a Turkish prison to you boys.....
Ever serve time in a Turkish prison? ( insert voice of Leslie Nielsen from Airplane)
Tony, come on down! We have room. We can make your head swell up from a buoy shot like Chris!
Oh man, no more buoy! ;-)
So Rob, you have those same butt skills on a sled? Got a lot of snow up here.
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