When we went to Oregon a couple weeks ago to visit wakemakers.com we installed something pretty cool and also made some minor mods to prepare the boat for the West Coast Wakesurf Open. We will talk about that stuff shortly, but basically our goal was to create a competition wake on both sides on the same boat. That means the system has to be able to switch sides fast and also be ROCK SOLID stable. Their can't be any leaking or venting of water once the wake is set.
RJ and Dennis and I feel more obligated this time around to make the best wake we can. Not only because we helped test and give feedback to Tige on this hull, but we are using our own boat. We will have a backup Z3 at the event, but we plan on pulling the entire even with one boat and weight it the same on both sides, putting out a great wake. The boats we have had before (RZ2, 24Ve) have also put out great wakes on both sides but we wanted something more from the Z3. It was the single biggest issue we shared with Tige when providing feedback on the Z3. Adjustability. RJ, for instance, likes a steeper wake. It still needs to have a good transition, good length and lots of push, but he likes that steeper wake. Combine the steeper wake with a clean solid face (no double lip) and a solid lip at the top and the wake gives him more pop at the top and more speed to hit it. This is also the type of wake that Chase Hazen prefers when he rides with us. Other riders, mostly skim riders like Sean Cummings, Vanessa Gonzalez, prefer a mellower wake, less steep. Since many skim riders like Keenan and Sean and others are also doing lots of stuff in the air as well, they still want a clean face and solid lip.
So we got some test riders together to test out the wake now that the system was ready. Mitch Lemos is a good skim rider and rides regular. He isn't at the Pro level but doesn't have his own boat and so is always hitching a ride with many others. He has ridden LOTS of wakes and I felt like he would be a great person to test. He liked the RZ2 wake, but felt it would be better if not so steep. Rob and Jannelle Harrington came out with us and also make great guinea pigs. Rob is regular and rides surf style and loved the RZ2 wake. Jannelle is goofy and rides a victoria skim board and likes the wake mellow, the RZ2 is a bit steep for her and she is very sensitive to it, which is why I like to have her test. Of course we also have RJ.
First, the conditions were pretty horrendous. We had to snake into places we normally don't to hide from the wind. The wake was great, but had a bit more spray at times due to wind and turning. Here is the wind graph of the day.
Here is a picture of Mitch when a sustained gust of around 40 mph hit us. Mitch cracked me up here. He was riding and calling out notes about the boards. He had brought with him several boards to test. He would say things like "feels great down the line" or "nice rail to rail response", and other comments about the boards. It was funny because he said these loud as if any of us were really listening, but even funnier was when he kept doing it during the gale. Most people would have just covered there head and turned out. Pretty funny.
So we had the wake dialed in and now could take taps all the way down to 1 or 2 to really knock down the wake and mellow it out. He loved taps at 2.
He still had plenty of length and push to work with.
And the wake still had a solid shape and lip to give him good pop.
This is one of my favorite pics of Mitch riding. Its rare to get a good "grab" pic of Mitch or RJ. They both don't grab real well, they do more rubs and tickles. But every so often the camera catches it just right.
So here is RJ riding, but now taps is at 4, and you can see the difference in the shape.
OK, so a bit off topic, but RJ just got a new Shred Stixx Pro custom. I will share some pics/video of that later. Lots of fun. I bring it up because I noticed RJ was riding better yesterday. Not because of the conditions, or the wake I think. The conditions were bad and he is used to this wake now. But he recently had a great session on the SS and I think it makes him ride better on the Soulcraft. The style of both boards are very different, I think its like cross training for him. He loves both and when he rides the SS, his bottom turns and airs are better when he gets back on the Soulcraft.
He was boosting well.
He aired out Dom's LF board a bit also.
Now to the goofy side skim wake. Taps at 2 again with Jannelle. The conditions now had totally calmed down, it was gorgeous.
She loved the wake, better than even how much she had liked the 24Ve before.
I never even have to ask her how she feels about the wake. Her riding and body language say it all. She couldn't get the smile off of her face.
So I put together a quick 5 minute video of the highlights and it ends with a couple of split screen shots so you can really see how it is on both sides.
In the past, a Tigé has never produced my favorite wake. The Tigés i had ridden behind (23v, 24ve, and rz2) were too steep for my preference. I have always preferred Centurion and Supreme wakes. The Supreme V226 was been my favorite. It is super adjustable so i can get the transition exactly how i like it (mellow with a solid lip), but it can also be adjusted to be really steep. Its just extremely versatile.
As of this past weekend, the Tigé Z3 is now my favorite wake. With trim (taps) adjusted I was able to find my perfect transition while having a crisp lip. The transition allows me to spin with ease, while the lip helps me pop off the wake with less effort. Also by having the mellow tranny, when I land an air of a shuv I am not sliding down the face of the wake into the flats. I instead can land on the tranny and stay there. (note: as a skim rider it is easier to slip down the face of the wake since the fin doesnt catch as easy, while surf style boards can stay on it easier in my experience)
The shape of the wake really did it for me, but then the length and push of the wave was a huge bonus. It was great. This wake checked all my boxes. There was nothing left to be desired.
I love adjustable wakes. RJ and I like different wakes. He likes steep transitions, I like mellow transitions. With the Z3 we can ride behind the same boat and love it equally. We can ride different wakes behind the same boat.
Like I said, the Supreme V226 is also very adjustable, but I think the Z3 can get a little steeper than the V226, which makes the Z3 a little bit more versatile.
If you get a chance to demo a Z3, do it. Its like a Sleep Number mattress. Everyone has an ideal wake shape, and when you get to ride it, you are just so comfortable. So just like that mattress where you figure out what firmness is right for you which makes you sleep better, you can find the right steepness that makes you ride better.
Mike.. Love a tranny? Not! And not the 1300 in front of me....... sorry wrong topic...
Well we had a fantastic time. This was by far the best wake I have ever had the pleasure of riding on. We even messed around with the taps while I was back there and could surf easily with enough push from taps 1 to taps 8 I think that was the highest. It has been fun and educational being involved in the evolution of this wake. I know it is important to all involved with this boat that is able to produce what it claims. I think through a lot of hard work and trial and error it will be a joy to all who are lucky enough to ride behind it. I even think this boat out of the shrink rap with a little more than stock ballast would be an amazing machine.
The boat itself is a work of art. Roomy enough for the11 we had with gear, cameras, snacks, boards (all 6 out of the boat in racks), cameras, shoes, towels, wetsuits, cameras, video cameras, built in trash can and ice chest....oh yeh did I mention cameras....... Tons of room and storage everywhere.
I can't wait to see what the competors think next week.