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Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       11-19-2008, 1:04 PM Reply   
we've all read at one time or another that "magazine boat reviews are biased." that may or may not be true. maybe we, the users of wakeworld, can do a non-biased review. reviewers will be the boat whores of wakeworld. naturally, boat owners can't be reviewers. let's face it, boat owners love their boats and would naturally put their boats 1st in the rankings in every category...except for maybe dane. he doesn't wear malibu goggles.

anyway, i'd invite all the manufacturers to meet at a lake. bring your cream-of-the-crop model. i'll test it; exterior, interior, build quality, features, driveability, and of course, the wake; no weight, w/ stock ballast, w/ additional ballast. reviews could include pics and videos. seems easy and fair enough, right? read on.

it would be a "hold-nothing-back" type of review. if there's a feature i absolutely love, i'll mention it. if the wake is sick, i'll say it. but, if there's something i hate, i'll say it. if i think the wake sucked, i'll say it. if the build quality sucks, i'll say it.

(i wonder how many manufacturers stopped reading the thread at this point)

it would probably take a few days to do, depending on participation, but i'd be down to do the review here in cali. but, it doesn't have to be limited to "my" review. this could be done in major markets across the country, and even in smaller markets. then, some sort of spreadsheet could be made up comparing results.

no, it's not my way of getting pulls. i can get a pull whenever i want. am i looking to discredit magazine boat reviews? no. they do a great job of putting them together. it's just could be another helpful resource for a prospective boat buyer.

what do you think? who's in?
Old     (wakeviolater)      Join Date: Sep 2004       11-19-2008, 1:06 PM Reply   
IM A BOAT WHORE! where do i sign up?
Old     (misteve)      Join Date: Aug 2007       11-19-2008, 1:09 PM Reply   
Ummm, sign me up to test out every boat possible....

That sounds like a cool idea, and like it would be an awesome event if it happened.
Old     (stoked_32)      Join Date: Aug 2007       11-19-2008, 1:17 PM Reply   
Great idea. If you can't get enough participation from the boat manufacturers for whatever reason (maybe they don't see value in this, or don't think their boat could compete in an outright consumer review ; )... we could always make a list of high end boats from every manufacturer and wakeworlders could volunteer their boats and meet for the review
Old     (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       11-19-2008, 1:20 PM Reply   
I would absolutely love for that to happen, it would be a dream come true.
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       11-19-2008, 1:21 PM Reply   
I would favor Johns suggestion. IMO you need the boat owner there who knows how to weight there own boat properly.
Old     (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-19-2008, 1:24 PM Reply   
Right, i think it might even be better to get boat owners models so that it is assured they are straight production boats.

As for weight, i figure you'd need to make the aftermarket added equal for all participants?

Joe, you organizing it?
Old     (wakeviolater)      Join Date: Sep 2004       11-19-2008, 1:29 PM Reply   
you could include gas cunsumption too. require the gas be filled to the top. run for a set time for each boat (like 10 mins), then top off the gas to see how much gas is used, multiply = gas consumed per hour.
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       11-19-2008, 1:31 PM Reply   
This is a nice segway to the event I have organised for next weekend. Redbull, Correct Craft, MasterCraft, Epic wakeboats, J-Star, Obrien, Ronix, Seadoo amonst others are all coming to the WNZ DEMO DAY. On the corner of a hydrodam in paradise, little old NZ. Sorry, a bit late notice for cheap flights!

Old     (downfortheride)      Join Date: Jun 2005       11-19-2008, 1:53 PM Reply   
Great idea Joe! I have been trying to set up a program like with with the local dealerships. I have had one step up and bring out their 2008 230 and looking to bring out the 210 very soon. I posted a review on in the blog section, then we had a chase boat while riding the 230 and an 02 SANTE. Photo's are under albums. Huge thanks to for taking us out for the 230 demo!
Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       11-19-2008, 1:58 PM Reply   
haven't read the review yet, but did you post any negatives about it?
Old     (lifetimewarranty)      Join Date: Oct 2008       11-19-2008, 2:04 PM Reply   
Um - We do that at Folsom every year.

Of course it is the Dealers, not the manufactures that are there, but it is similar to what you are asking for.

I am sure you could ride behind all the boats you wanted, just "pretend" you are getting close to buying one.
Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       11-19-2008, 2:06 PM Reply   
please post up your write up that includes the pros and cons of each boat. thanks.
Old     (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       11-19-2008, 2:09 PM Reply   
Joe, great idea, if your looking for test riders send me a PM.
Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       11-19-2008, 2:12 PM Reply   
how could i review it if someone else is riding?
Old     (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004 Location: Minnesnowda       11-19-2008, 2:35 PM Reply   

I suggest we hold a Wake Boat TUG-OF-WAR! Man i have always wanted to do that.
Old     (downfortheride)      Join Date: Jun 2005       11-19-2008, 2:40 PM Reply   
There were a couple of negatives about it, but i wrote mostly what I like about the boat. I will look at another angle when we get their 210 out on the water for a test. Just need to hold back the cold temps and snow.

I'm a boat whore and I'm in!

(Message edited by downfortheride on November 19, 2008)
Old    walt            11-19-2008, 3:57 PM Reply   
I think it would be interesting to see how many boat builders are willing to participate knowing that the review might not go their way.
Old     (unclejessie)      Join Date: Jan 2004       11-19-2008, 4:32 PM Reply   
Here is how I see it going down-
The wake issue...You'll get so many different answers because we all like different shaped wakes. I have super steep wake and I love it (SAN), while some people like rampy wake and absolutely hate the steeper wakes. The other problem is added weight... you can make my boat less steep by adding weight in the nose and make an X-1 more steep by overweighting the back... infinite opinions and infinite weight setups = no clear winner, or all are winners.

As for the other issues... you can't evaluate a boat's build quality until you are in your 2nd or 3rd year of ownership. Taking great care of a low end boat, might make the vinyl and quality quality look great. The same guy who never cleans that bad vinyl or cares for his boat will see it in bad shape after 2 years.

Service is a huge consideration... you can't evaluate that in a few days...and you can't trust the sales guys, we all know that.

Interesting idea... but in the end, there is no winner and that's why they are all in buisness.... for now anyway!

just my 2 cents...
Old     (steve_jones)      Join Date: Jun 2006       11-19-2008, 4:36 PM Reply   
I like this idea and props to those in Folsom and Darren above. We would love to see your results posted on a website somewhere.

For those of you that might be working on this:

In addition to obvious things such as cost, basic options, handling, wake shape, wake size, ease of ballast transfer from a beginner to pro, engine options, company reputation, dealer reputation, ect; I'd like to see topics include "general boat information", listing things such as where the batteries and heaters are placed at the factory, if the boat has a usable cooler in it and the location, how the driver seat is set up and feels to the driver (designed for a small person, average person, or big person), how ergonomic and convenient the controls are, extra ballast options, storage space - other than the rear trunks and nose which are most often taken up by extra ballast bags, is the boat going to need extra protection anywhere to keep it from being scratched by everyday use (like the fiberglass platform on an X-Star), snap out carpet options, does the boat have a contained interior (such as on an X-Star) or could water seep to under the seats, what tower options available in the tower size, vinyl quality - rated against others, how the boat sits in the water -unusually low nose when weighted?, etc.

If you could update it yearly, and/or get someone like Consumer Reports involved, you could include things like common warranty items/claims, common or known mechanical or design issues, overall owner satisfaction, and other items typically covered by CR.

I think you would find that this information would affect buying decisions and popular beliefs.

It would be great if Consumer Reports could do something but it obviously would be hard for them to discuss wake shape, size, and other wake-specific thoughts without consulting someone in our industry. In addition, getting companies to put out the dealer invoice (like they do for vehicles) would radically change the industry.

Again props if you have the time to work on this type of project. Joe, if you are an entrepreneur, there could be a business model here if you think it through. You could obtain information/surveys from owners after they have owned the boat for some time, and sell this information on a website or publishing of some kind.
Old     (adam_balon)      Join Date: Jul 2003       11-19-2008, 6:53 PM Reply   
joe i think it's a rad idea. come on companies..... you scared of a bad review????

i sa do it... any mfg thats not into it... is hiding something.

if boat manufacturers are not into get people that own 2009 models to volunteer thier boats... weight them the exact same and make it happen.

good on you.
Old    mendo247            11-19-2008, 8:13 PM Reply   
IMO Their is no such thing as a un-biased review from anyone into Wakeboarding as much as any of us are.
Old     (lifetimewarranty)      Join Date: Oct 2008       11-19-2008, 8:14 PM Reply   
Please no consumer reports. They would have the Yamaha at the top of the list.

They would have to be independent, not have advertisers, etc... that would work.

It's amazing how few people were out at Folsom this year. Nautique dealer didn't even show up (after he told me they were going to).

I did test out the Epic, Malibu, and the new X2. Had a freakin blast!

This would also allow consumers to test boats that were broken in already so the salesguys don't crap themselves. I had the Mastercraft guy freaking out when I drove the X2 and just doing basic powerturns - the Malibu guy made me look like an old lady driver, though. That guy know's how to push those boats.
Old     (sinkoumn)      Join Date: Jan 2007       11-19-2008, 8:34 PM Reply   
Awesome idea! And D.F.T.R. Josh, that was a great write up - I'm stoked to get that type of review on the 230 and wanted to give you much thanks for the link and the review/pics.

Definitely would love to see more of these!
Old     (mkrueger313)      Join Date: Jan 2007       11-19-2008, 9:39 PM Reply   
Andy- The Min-Aqua Bats up in northern Wisconsin did the tug of war with two identical twin rig hydrodynes in the 80's.. I have had family in the show since the 50's and have heard of all the crazy things that have gone down but the tug of war was one of my favorite badass stories ive heard about the club. it was late at night after-bar and one of the boat's transoms ripped right off the back of the boat. It obviously was an extremely bad idea but as the legend of this event goes the engines sank and the boat was only barely out of the water because there was enough air in the gas tank or something along those lines. Needless to say there were some questions that had to be answered in the morning, luckily no one was hurt and everyone escaped trouble and the club is still going strong today!
Old     (alotta_fagina)      Join Date: Dec 2003       11-19-2008, 11:34 PM Reply   
Ok, so Joe's statement of "maybe we, the users of wakeworld, can do a non-biased review. reviewers will be the boat whores of wakeworld. naturally, boat owners can't be reviewers." proves that half the people on here don't actually own these boats. They just give opinions like they are expert but really don't know as much as they think they do.

Then after a few more free ride moochers jump on the wagon, its now a used boat comparison from the few owners of 'high end' boats. What happened to unbiased 09 manufacturing tests? But at least some of the recent buyers get a pat on the back for supplying such a great ride!

After market weight? That is no longer a test of what the manufacturer designed and built. Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe the typical boat buying family isn't concerned with how much storage there is for fat sacks and lead shot?

TC, good way to create a relationship with your dealer and sales personnel by 'pretending' that you are interested so you can waste their time and cost them money. Aren't they hurting enough right now? They are taking it in the shorts so that everyone here can enjoy the past time of finding stuff wrong with their boat.

Andy's tug o war... though that might actually be entertaining to watch, not sure what dumb a$$ would be willing to tie up his new 65k+ boat to another for a... wait, i think i saw some redneck crap like that on YouTube.

Steve, great comments on what to look for... granted it sounds a little bit like what a consumer actually in the market for a new boat should go to a boat show and compare for themselves, but then again this whole thread is what the subsequent demo day (when all the boats you are interested in buying are on the water to compare side by side) should be doing instead of letting ww tell them what is best-[unbiased sponsored from my buddy at the xxx dealership (shout out bro), used boats (thx 4 da ride-sic), w/ stupid amounts of after market weight that my son put in], of course.

You are right on one thing... i would imagine that if invoices we're posted online that the boating industry would be gone faster than the big 3 auto boys can ask for a bailout. Things really seem to be working out for them, lets model the boating industry after that!

Not taking a personal shot at anyone, just poking some fun at the obvious.

(Message edited by alotta_fagina on November 19, 2008)
Old     (wakeshoe)      Join Date: Jun 2004       11-20-2008, 7:05 AM Reply   
Did I miss something? I thought you worked for Epic?
Old     (lifetimewarranty)      Join Date: Oct 2008       11-20-2008, 7:59 AM Reply   
Garrett, who said I was pretending. I said that others "could" pretend. I bought a boat within weeks of that show. I learned a lot about the local dealers as well.

I took what I learned and decided to buy what I bought from that day and information from friends. It was my first real tow boat, and they are there to test drive them. I did not waste their time. As far as finding stuff wrong with their boat...I was looking for the opposite. Glass is half-full, don't ya know.

I know how retail works, and I am not the type to buy something without testing it out first - especially a large item like a boat.

I actually read - not sure if it was this site - about a guy that had 3 separate dealerships meet him personally at the lake to do his own head to head, and that was 1 day of like 10 test driving days. Being my first boat, and not ever spending time in a real tow-boat, I decided that I needed to make sure I had a firm grasp of the differences between manufacturers. This was the guys third boat, and I applauded his determination to nail down his favorite.

Also - I think the boat industry works a lot on word of mouth. Case in point - I bought a Sanger. All of my boating friends had nothing but positive things to say about them. I believe that this event was billed as a Challenge for the industry. They would know going in that this was for bragging rights, word of mouth, whatever. Basic Public Relations.

The old "you have to spend money to make money"

But I digress - I can't participate since I am biased now...
Old     (snowboardcorey)      Join Date: Jan 2004       11-20-2008, 8:21 AM Reply   
Every spring in MN we have Dare To Compare. Every inboard dealer along with some I/O and Jet boat dealer is invited. It started out really good with MC, BU, CC, SC Centurion and Gekko turning out. Last year only MC and BU put forth the effort to be there, well Centurion brought one boat that was used and a last years model.
Old     (dlamont)      Join Date: Apr 2003       11-20-2008, 10:30 AM Reply   
I am in!! Which MC do you want to ride?
It looks like another beautiful day on Sammamish.
Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       11-21-2008, 8:46 AM Reply   
garrett, you really think i'm in it for the pulls? i can go anywhere in this country and get a pull. it's about doing something cool for the wake community and maybe help those that's buying their 1st boat or even those that are thinking of upgrading.
Old     (dlamont)      Join Date: Apr 2003       11-21-2008, 10:36 AM Reply   
if you can come up to WA I will put every MC in the water for review. PM me if you want to set something up.
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       11-21-2008, 10:37 AM Reply   
As long as the Mfg's are doing this out their own pocket maybe we can get them to send their wives and GF's along. Free pulls everyone! Who's in?
Old     (deltawake)      Join Date: Sep 2004       11-21-2008, 12:46 PM Reply   
I think it's a great idea to totally bypass the manufacturers. Get Wakeworlders to volunteer their boats, under the owner's supervision of course. Test each boat with stock ballast and slammed. Let every one know how much weight each boat takes to get a nice wake. Have pro and semi pro riders do the evaluation. NO riders with boat sponsors. Give an accurate gallons per hour report. etc. etc. The buying public needs this kind of information. Great idea Joe.
Old     (dcooper)      Join Date: Mar 2005       11-21-2008, 2:35 PM Reply   
This is what the magazine tests should be. It could be similar to ski testing take a bunch of people that know boats, wakeboarding, skiing, and surfing. Then have them all drive, ride etc then fill out the same form for each boat with a personal comments section. The manufacturers would bring their boats and spend a few days testing. Car companies do this with letting their cars be tested individually or in comaprisons. You could also just have a group of people go to a location near or at the manufacturers to do the test on each boat.
Old     (alotta_fagina)      Join Date: Dec 2003       11-21-2008, 5:44 PM Reply   
Joe, since your boat of choice is 'slut' i'm guessing i hit a little close to home. If you need help buying your first boat, then why dont you just go to a boat show, dealership, or a demo day and figure it out for yourself? The point is that the 'boat buying public who needs this kind of information' would be relying on those that dont own a boat at all but claim to have immense knowledge of them. Probably the same people that do the boat show circuit regularly and 'report' back to websites. Not exactly the most reliable source i would want to use to base my decision. But then again, i take what i read on the internet lightly.
Old     (tversetti)      Join Date: Jan 2008       11-21-2008, 11:37 PM Reply   
Garrett, I can tell you are rather new to the internet and also are not proficient at being pleasant. Your profile leaves quite a bit to be desired, so please leave your rubbish elsewhere.

A full write-up from an experienced un-biased rider willing to sack out boats (to a certain extent) and find out the best about all of them would be great. Just from cruising these forums I already have biases about MB and Centurion for having non-desirable wakes, but if some experienced person would have a review detailing how to get a mackin wake comparable to the legendary SANs or xstars or the great but not talked about malibu wakes.

The people who cant be "sluts" appreciate these type of things.
Old     (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-22-2008, 5:26 AM Reply   
MB undesirable wake? I missed that thread.

I do think that it might be tough to have an unbiased review though. Even the auto reviews are skewed as you can tell some journalists prefer certain brands.

I was thinking maybe create some sort of contraption that you pull behind the boat to actually show the wake characteristics. So, it would show the height and width by putting the same object behind every boat at different lengths, giving perspective on the difference.

Obviously, the review of the likes and dislikes would be personal opinion (there is no way around that).

But you could do time to plane, gph and get other factual information that can't be skewed.
Old     (oakley84)      Join Date: Nov 2008       11-22-2008, 1:16 PM Reply   
Here's an idea:

Set a date and place, send invitations to the CEO's of all the manufacturers with RSVP, if you get 4-5 RSVPs it would definitely be worthwhile to get the word out on wakeworld in enough time for everyone to plan a long-weekend trip to the "mfg demo day".

What would be awesome is a "traveling" demo tour over a period of a week and make three different stops strategically located east, mid and west.

A formal survey/judging sheet for all participants so each boat is equally judged. To ensure that only serious people are included, donations of $20 in exchange for the judging sheet. All donations could go to a favorite charity.

For a mfg with confidence in their product, it might be well worth the marketing $$ spent.

Just a thought.
Old     (forwaken)      Join Date: Jan 2003       11-23-2008, 10:32 AM Reply   

First I appologize, I did not take the time to read the thread.

Not to criticize, but don't you work or have worked for Epic at one time? Don't get me wrong I agree with you about the biased magazine reviews and think this would be a great idea, but working for Epic would put you in the same category that you put me in as a boat owner. And there are a few of us out there other than Dane w/o those "goggles." Please don't take this as a flame, I was just curious that' all.
Old     (themxercr85)      Join Date: Jul 2007       11-23-2008, 10:50 AM Reply   
I think no matter who you use for the review, if they have a boat, they will lean to that side more then the other. Even if you get a reviewer who has ridden behind boats he might lean to that side as well. If you could get this done completely unbiased that would be pretty sick. Its almost like you'd want the average person to inspect the boats. Then you know that they are reviewing the boat based on quality, style, how well things function etc, and not on the pull they got or the one they owned.
Old     (sinkoumn)      Join Date: Jan 2007       11-23-2008, 11:08 AM Reply   
Less talky, more reviews/pics.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       11-23-2008, 1:14 PM Reply   
You just need a reviewer to review boats they wouldnt be bias on... I own nautique, so reviewing Malibu, MC, Supra, Sanger, MB, Moomba, Gekko, Epic, Centurion, etc etc etc wouldn't matter to me....

I think the review should be based on
Wake Stock Ballast
Weight need to make the wake "good"
Weight to make the wake "AMAZING"
Wake Firmness/Shape/Height

Features unique to the boat -- who cares about PP/zerooff whatever they are on all boats --

stuff like:
switchblade, wedge, other unique wakeplates, holeshots/plane time, stock stereo, seating (comfort and setup), ballast fill/empty time, build construction/tower strength

I'm a pretty set nautique man but this last week I was down with Will Christien and her X-star, and all I can say is WOW. We loaded that thing down and the wake was AMAZING. We ran stock + pro-tour + 2 extra sacks in the bow + 4 people and it was insane, way bigger than our 210 and it had a great shape....

I'm throwing up some pics in another thread about the star
Old     (scramison)      Join Date: Nov 2008       11-23-2008, 8:40 PM Reply   
I think the way to get around the bias is to make sure that your audience is broad enough to remove any skewing. I think if you had 50 people review each boat and you made sure they were picked at random from all parts of the country bias wouldn't be a problem.

Sure you might have some MC owners but there will be an equal amount of CC, Malibu, MB, Tige etc owners.

I think it is a great idea.
Old    wiz            11-30-2008, 12:31 PM Reply   
they have done an event like this here in knoxville. mc, malibu, nautique, supra , moomba, & tige all showed up. they had a good turnout but not many sales. i dont think many showed up for the next year if i remember correctly. the local dealers footed the bill so u cant blame them for pulling the plug if its not beneficial to them.


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