That other thread was getting a bit messy. Here is part 1 of my review:
First, thank you very much to Ben Pigeon and Tigé boats for giving wake9.com this opportunity. We really appreciated it. We have been proud Tigé owners, and it sure was a pleasure to review a boat that represented so many improvements that have been suggested by their customers. It's nice to know they listen.
So I will be writing up a review here but will also be editing a video review over the next few days to release in our podcast and youtube.com. Stay Tuned!
As many of you know, RJ and I started a quest to either find or build the best wakesurf boat for our family. We documented out quest HERE
. This video and blog is a good read/watch before this review because it lays out what our criteria was for what Wake9 considered a GREAT wakesurf boat. After all, you can wakesurf behind many boats, but we had some very tough criteria. Here is our criteria, slightly updated:
*We host a lot of riders, and we have noticed that surf riders prefer the steep wake and well defined lip for launching. Skim riders seem to prefer a flatter wake, not as steep. This was bought to our attention when we hosted Sean Cummings behind our boat and then a few others.
- Clean and steep wake with a well defined lip for launching
- Wake plate or some type of device to allow adjustment for shape of wake which accommodates both SURF and SKIM riders. *
- Long pocket for recovery and momentum for tricks
- The quality of the wake should be NEAR competition level to allow for practicing for upcoming competitions.
- All ballast should be water and hidden away, no sacs other ballast material on the floor or in main cabin of boat
- When in Surf mode, the boat must retain enough storage for a large family like ours.
- GREAT Goofy wake.
- GREAT Regular wake, in other words, a great wake on BOTH sides. The wakes on each side should be as similar as possible.
- Quick automated ballast pump system so that the boat can be switched from Regular to Goofy duty in approximately 15 minutes or less
Well, that's a tall order for any boat. And at the time, RJ and I (and mom) came up with this criteria, and we didn't know of any boat that you could buy that fit this list. We knew that we were going to have to modify our Tigé 24Ve or buy another boat and modify it. My hope is that manufacturers would continue to take notice of the great sport of wakesurfing and someday build a boat that you could buy from the showroom that accomplished most or all of this list, with little to no modification. Sometime in the early summer of this year, I had a chance to speak to Danny Gutz the Senior Designer for Tigé. As I understand it his responsibilities include product development. He talked to me specifically about how we weighted our boat and asked me about our swim deck and other questions pertaining to wakesurfing. Danny said Tigé was working on a new SURF option for the 2010 line, which of course perked me up. I didn't hear much after that about the surf option but heard rumors of the new 2010 boats and exciting touch screen and all. Then when the SURFEXPO hit, pictures surfaced and I was very excited to hear of the new ballast options including the surf and pro options. I even emailed a dealer that was on the floor with the 2010 boat and asked specifically about the ballast and the swim deck.
I heard back pretty quickly from this dealer, and he told me about how the surf option ballast included two in hull tanks, one on either side and a fat sac in the v-drive compartment that actually tucked away when not in use. Wow, that sounded VERY innovative and something I never thought about. But he also gave me what I considered bad news. He said that the swim deck was NOT smooth underneath and still had the LIP on the bottom. The new deck was definitely smaller than the 2007 RZ2 deck in order to not negatively impact the surf wake; but it still had the lip. If you have followed our quest, you will know that we found that the big 1.5 inch lip on the bottom of our stock swim deck created nasty turbulence in our wake and altered the lip of the wake. Our new smooth underside aluminum deck resolved this problem. I was a bit dissapointed, but hey, they did so much great stuff. I could always make some decks for these boats and possibly sell them through wake9.com.
So all of that leads me to where I was yesterday when I heard the boat was coming to me. It seemed this new RZ2 was going to be much closer to my Wake9 Wakesurf Boat Checklist than any other boat I knew of but still not quite there. So I prepared by calling my dad to help me out by being ready to tweak this boat on the ramp. I wanted to test it stock; then I wanted to modify it to be at the level of my 24Ve. I pulled my 24Ve out of the water and put it in the wake9 lab. I pulled the swim deck off and found my wood prototypes for my deck. I figured that either I would use the aluminum deck or if that wouldn't work, I would attach one of the wood prototypes to the RZ2. Another problem we had on the 24Ve is that when we weighted it with our 1000lb custom sacs and surfed, it would cavitate. You could feel the prop slip with this setup quite frequently. I called ACME propeller, and they suggested the ACME 1235 custom prop. Wow, what a difference it made. My boat handled better, and the cavitation was virtually eliminated. So I pulled this prop off of my 24Ve to be ready to throw on the RZ2. I also planned on bringing a 750 lb sac to stuff in any empty space in the VDrive locker since the pro ballast didn't seem to be quite enough ballast. So I formulated our test plan:
- Meet my Dad (the mexican MacGuyver) at 7:30am at Wake9 HQ and make sure we had everything ready: boards, tools, decks, prop, wetsuits, whatever.
- Ben comes in at 8am, and we would check which deck we would use while at my shop.
- Hit the lake at 9am and get out the pontoon boat for chase and setup all of our cameras and stuff to document the testing/review.
- Run wakesurf tests on goofy and regular sides with the stock setup, possibly add more ballast to this stock setup, we will see.
- Get the boat out of the water and then swap decks on the ramp, and retest.
- Get the boat out again, swap the prop and then add full ballast and see if we could then get this thing to the same level as we have with my 24Ve.
So that was the plan, and I had to get Ben off to Sacramento by 2-3pm. It was going to be fast and tight, but we were up for it. My whole crew had prepared all summer for this kind of review, we were ready. I also felt comfortable with adding more ballast because the way the Tigé was setup, it would seem you could buy this boat and just order a custom sac to fill every nook and cranny in the locker and the side of the boat and replace the current sac. You would retain all automation and convenience, just have more weight. It was clear from the pictures I had seen that the Tigé definitely left room for a bigger sac in there.
So 8am rolls around and Ben shows up. In the words of my 4 year old, "Wow, what a sexy beast."
The sexy beast shows up.
Even the cover was beautiful.
We actually told Ben to leave the cover on. It looked incredible with it on. Here is a couple more.
baby got back
The other side
Here are a couple of pictures of us checking out our wood prototype deck. We had already determined the aluminum deck wouldn't fit because the brackets were too wide.
Our deck shape is about same size. Ours has the corners cut.
rear view of the deck with prototype
Well, it was time to hit the lake with the wake9 crew in the Yukon XL, my dad in his utility truck, and Ben with the RZ2. Stay tuned for part 2 and hopefully final part of our review, but it could take 3 parts. I should have it done by tomorrow. This will include lots of pictures and some video. Then the full video review will be done in a few days. Here is a sneek peek photo. Check back in the next couple of days!
Yes, the conditions were THAT good