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Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       09-15-2011, 10:49 PM Reply   
The discussion in the "Heavy Boards" thread about which brands are popular in certain areas got me thinking about this. I still consider myself very new to the sport of wakeboarding and I've only had the pleasure of trying a tiny fraction of the product out there, but I find that I'm gradually building brand images/stereotypes based partly on reading/hearsay and partly on the firsthand experiences of my fellow riders and I. I'm interested to see how your views on wakeboarding brands are similar/different to mine. Would you care to share them? Here's how I see it:

************************************************** **********************

LF: Super easy to ride, feels very natural to me, very beginner friendly (newbies love my Harley), awesome performance. Binding quality/overall board finish not up to Ronix's standards, but compensated for by lower prices. Simple boards that just plain work!

Ronix: Stunning quality and attention to detail, but the feel of their boards (especially the fin setup) doesn't suit my riding style and feels very unnatural/awkward to me. Harder to ride than LF for me. Huge "cool factor" with the people around me. A bit overpriced, but not as bad as Hyperlite and compensated for by excellent quality, although their fins seem to break ALL THE TIME.

CWB: No experience with their recent product, but the 2008 Faze served me very well as my first board. They have a reputation with the people I know of being "old man's boards," i.e. technologically behind the times and just not as "cool" with the current generation of young riders. I personally don't buy it. I bet their products are great and I'd try 'em if I had the chance.

Hyperlite: No firsthand experience. Really cool technology (nova core, system, track mounting system, etc.) but really overpriced! I've always wanted to try their stuff. Maybe it's worth the money, but I'm not sure anything really could be.

Byerly: No experience. Not sure how different they are from the Hyperlite models, but it's hard to argue against a name like Scott Byerly and a talent like Butch. Their image seems to be that of a small company making special boards for a select few who appreciate their quality. I would love to try the Conspiracy!

O'brien: Killer product that doesn't get the marketing it deserves because of Bob Archer's bias towards some of his other brands. The Paradigm is a truly unique and awesome product and the 2012 Nomad bindings are the most comfortable boots I've ever put my feet into. Just a tad more expensive than LF. I will definitely keep them in mind for future purchases.

Slingshot: Probably the most unique mainstream brand out there. Absolutely gorgeous construction and finish. Worrying amount of negative reviews on the durability of the RAD bindings and worryingly numerous accounts of their very thin boards breaking. Hopefully it's all overblown, as I've decided to give them a chance as my new board of choice (see my thread on the 2010 Recoil). Very reasonably priced and super cool. Awesome fun to ride! They've got this flex thing figured out for sure. I think their claims of industry leadership in this category are justified.

************************************************** ***********************************

So, WakeWorld, am I right?

Last edited by TheHebrewHammer; 09-15-2011 at 10:52 PM.
Old    Johnny (johnny_defacto)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-15-2011, 11:22 PM Reply   
sorry, HIGHJACK: in your profile pic, what boat, speed, line length is that? looks like a super wide wake and washed bad on the off side so I am assuming its very slow, but nice air
Old    Johnny (johnny_defacto)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-15-2011, 11:22 PM Reply   
highjack over, as you were...
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       09-15-2011, 11:58 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny_defacto View Post
sorry, HIGHJACK: in your profile pic, what boat, speed, line length is that? looks like a super wide wake and washed bad on the off side so I am assuming its very slow, but nice air
I don't know the speed or line length. It's a Malibu RIDE with a nice load of ballast. That was one of my first tries at riding a proper wake and I had a lot of trouble getting the pop right. There was a lot more height to be had off that wake than I was able to achieve! But thanks for the compliment!
Old    Jeff Seidenstricker (flydenrict)      Join Date: Nov 2009       09-16-2011, 1:54 PM Reply   
I can see this type of thread being read, eyes being rolled, and arguments about personal experience ensuing. That being said, I like it. This is kind of the stuff that I like but no one really wants to sit around and talk about it. My 2 cents:

Ronix: Yes very high quality. I am riding the Kais and they are my favorite boot that I've ever ridden. I dont have any experience on the boards. Some of the "premium" options are a bit gimmicky and superferlous like the patent leather boots, lace covers, elephant skin, and the LED in the boards that light up when it takes a big impact (do they still make that?). Some of those things i like, some i hate. I dont know that you'll find a better quality ride though.

Slingshot: My board of choice. Personally, i love the feel of them and the construction is top notch. I do not care for their RADs but its not because of a quality thing, just not my style. Excellent warranties from my experience.

These are the brands that I've had personal experience with. I dont want to make generalizations about the other ones becasue I haven't ridden their stuff, much less ALL of their stuff.
Old    J.B. O'Neill (gnarslayer)      Join Date: Sep 2008       09-19-2011, 7:54 PM Reply   
My opinion is that OBRIEN and LIQUID make the best product and definitely feel the most natural to ride, i have been riding OBRIEN for all 7 of my wakeboarding years and havent found anything to dislike about it.

ronix and hyperlite feel almost exactly the same to me. i also think that these boards feel super awkward when riding them. for the past two years i have seen so many people breaking them. although the warranty covers the breakage i would still be pissed having to wait on new boards being delivered.

cwb i have never ridden, but have heard some good things. i think i have just mainly stayed away from it because Bill Doyle kind of ruined its reputaion here in texas.

i have ridden a slingshot newton once, but only on cable and it felt pretty good and i have nothing bad to say about it.

Anyways i am absolutely in love with my OBRIEN FORMAT and would never leave it! my OBRIEN PARADIGM is also awesome, and i love shredding up the cable park with it!
Old    Tyson Bell (TBell)      Join Date: May 2011       09-19-2011, 10:46 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarslayer View Post
My opinion is that OBRIEN and LIQUID make the best product and definitely feel the most natural to ride, i have been riding OBRIEN for all 7 of my wakeboarding years and havent found anything to dislike about it.

ronix and hyperlite feel almost exactly the same to me. i also think that these boards feel super awkward when riding them. for the past two years i have seen so many people breaking them. although the warranty covers the breakage i would still be pissed having to wait on new boards being delivered.

cwb i have never ridden, but have heard some good things. i think i have just mainly stayed away from it because Bill Doyle kind of ruined its reputaion here in texas.

i have ridden a slingshot newton once, but only on cable and it felt pretty good and i have nothing bad to say about it.

Anyways i am absolutely in love with my OBRIEN FORMAT and would never leave it! my OBRIEN PARADIGM is also awesome, and i love shredding up the cable park with it!


totally with you, I've only rode O'brien, and I only will ride O'Brien. I've tried out Ronix and Hyperlite, but they just dont feel as good in my opinion. I was lucky to ride the Format and Paradigm this year and I was a little more leaning towards the Format for preference. I liked the flex, but not the amount the Paradigm had. Hence why I'm looking forward to the baker next year, it's a flex but a little stiffer. The Contra as well looks like a sick board and I'm lookin forward for that. In my bias opinion, no company will ever beat O'Brien.
Old    Jeremy Byrom (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       09-20-2011, 3:47 AM Reply   
my list is more what i think about, hear, and read... especially since i have so little personal experience with boards and riding them

LF
* Its about Options- more gear in more sizes and colors than anyone else (the only thing they lack is waterskis )
* may seem contradictory to "options", but many of the boards seem to have the same features and concaves. but hey if it aint broke...
* Innovation/ trend setter (shorter/wide boards, shallow long based multi-fin boards, twin tip back when part of wake tech, closed toe, velcro strap boots that are high end... the Vantage)
* Competitive high ranking team
* maybe a bit prideful or bullying especially in light of recent events...but could be just my biased eyes judging from LF being a key player in the kent brands
* BroStock, Lake Powell... but not so much anymore

HYPERLITE
* Shaun Murray ohh yea. history there and great spokesman and a legend
* Awsome team of riders, also keeping up with the ranks
* Brain Stormers - feel like there are lots of people coming up with stuff adding different flavors. different board sharpers to get ideas from for example. Greg Nelson, Scot Bouchard, etc. and to dive into something like the system binding.
*most comfy foot beds on average throughout history IMO. wernt they first ones to make double thickness footbeds?

BYERLY
* Scott Byerly, the god father. i bought two of my past boards solely because it had his name on it!!!
* Scott Bouchard once again.
* 3 stage rockers... and blended rockers
* Glass technology (more a recent thing)
* Half wakeskate half wakeboard focused... or maybe 100% and 100%

OBRIEN
* Have to agree that they don't get the respect they deserve. kinda fall into LF's shadow i think
* secretly loved every obrien board i rode (not many honestly) better than my own... till i found Slingshot anyway. have to give the new obrien flexers a try if possible to give them a fair chance again.
* Delta Base - speed... or so i hear.
* Dallas Friday - maybe they don't have the most talked about male team of riders, but they do have one of the most talked about female riders of all time
* nearly impossible to find high-end/pro gear IN PERSON.

CWB
* Spines spines and more spines - nearly every board has a belly spine to soften those landings
* the hinge and other tweaks to their boots
* customer support - always hear good things
* FUNNY - the brand, the team, everything about them is humorous... in a good way
* like obrien, also very hard to find, but not as hard
* like obrien, sometimes gets labeled as department store brand but maybe not as much. "Big 5 sporting goods" for example, but of course never carry the high end stuff
* Zane Schwenk

RONIX
* Opposite theory of CWB for soft landing - Smooth featureless center bellies... absolutely no spines. its all about "momentum" and "glide"
* historic team of riders that hold their own in more ways than one - Parks, Danny, and more!
* Herb Obrien and the other obriens
* truly rider owned
* Intuition liners and other great boot features
* aiming to be environmentally friendly (especially in boot construction)
* independent


SLINGSHOT
* FLEXELLENT!!! - the true trend setters of flex and sandwich construction
* Freeride
* Shredtown
* Wood
* USA Materials, USA labor!!
* Bomberproof and good support
* Removeable Liners
* not much in choices, especially boots, untill next year anyway.
* independent

GATOR
* "The Gator"
* doesn't get recognition deserved probably
* Randall the "Vandall" and Ricky G - pre Company Wake and Phallanx that is
* West side riderz ^

JSTAR now JOBE
*wont say much... i know so little
*interested to see what comes in future
* seems to have lots of options and potential to be big player

OTHER BRANDS (Humanoid, Phalanx, etc.)
* many i feel are trying to claim a slice of the sandwich construction trend pie before the established brands pick it up
* add more variety and independent flavor and "stick it to THE MAN" the man= kent watersports
* Great names (Kyle S = humanoid, Ricky G = Phallanx, etc.)
*Phallanx - special note about integrity's factory and pricy
* Sine - special note on unique durable construction and best video advertizement of all time. and first "Hybrid flex board " and truly customizable boards
* Humanoid - special notice in being unique with web page and art and such
* CTRL - Starting off with a great buzz, team, and variety of product and innovation in boot connection and fins. very surprising. first company with a major focus on cable

Last edited by wakerider111; 09-20-2011 at 3:55 AM.
Old    Jeremy Byrom (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       09-20-2011, 3:55 AM Reply   
ohh and
WAKEOLOGY
*independent
*Utah
*DFTR Josh from Wakeworld forums
*interested to see what comes in future
*seem to be involved with internet and facebook/ social networking and such more than other brands especially with how small they are

Last edited by wakerider111; 09-20-2011 at 3:58 AM.
Old    Jeremy Byrom (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       09-20-2011, 12:11 PM Reply   
forgot to mention
CWB
pretty giving - has a lot of contests going on with great prizes and has always donated a good amount of gear (i'd dare say more than any other brand) to contests and other promotions here on WW for years.

O'BRIEN
forgot a shout out for Andy Nintzel not only do i think of Josh for Wakeology, but gota think of Nintzel for Obrien
Old    Cole (rclester89)      Join Date: Mar 2010       09-20-2011, 8:09 PM Reply   
I'm a liquidforce guy through and through, so my opinion is obviously going to be biased towards their boards. I also love their bindings, but the 2007-2009 bindings had terrible base plates and I broke 3 pairs when I started learning whirlys

With that said, I do like a handful of Ronix boards I have ridden. I really couldn't find a board they made that I fell in love with. Liked the one, but it was just too tight and the landings felt pretty rough.

I really liked the cwb absolute, and bought a few of those before switching over to the lf watson. Their bindings always seemed to break on me though, and within a couple weeks I had replaced the snaped laces with shoe laces.

Hyperlite: never understood this company. They have so much at their disposal, yet I'm always underwhelmed by how heavy their boards are and how bulky their bindings are.

Never ridden an Obrien, Slingshot, or the rest mentioned.
Old    Jo Shmoe (joeshmoe)      Join Date: Jan 2003       09-21-2011, 3:40 PM Reply   
We should start a "hyperlite sucks" campaign, but I do have to give them credit, they get there boards out their here in the midwest and you can demo their boards pretty easily, but nobody else is demoing, if there was a demo day for a board within 150 miles of me , I would go!
Old    JD (jealous_soul)      Join Date: Sep 2007       09-21-2011, 7:10 PM Reply   
My favorites: CTRL for boards, Ronix for bindings.

Really impressed with both so far...by far the CTRL is my favorite board to ride, and Ronix's bindings seem to be the best for comfort (at least for me).the LF Tex looks interesting so I may give them a shot again..... I had good luck in the past with some of the LF models, but did break quite a few of their early grind editions.

All the Hyperlite gear I've owned lasted less than a month for me, Slingshot has wonderful customer service and their boards are pretty cool as well.
Old    Henry Gates (captain_vilfo)      Join Date: Apr 2007       09-21-2011, 7:36 PM Reply   
ronix = best boots
liquid force = best boards

everything else is alright
Old    Matt (Rad_Matty_D)      Join Date: Jun 2011       09-23-2011, 10:05 AM Reply   
AS a CWB guy myself who as ridden other brands. I think a board is a board... It's all about which company you like the most. If you like the company, you're going to find a reason as to why their products are the best are the best for you.

With this industry, every company is always innovating and coming up with new stuff and it's always getting better, lighter, stronger...

With that said, I like CWB because, they are a company who has been around for a while and have had their ups and downs but when it comes to product, they always deliver. They make hilarious videos, have awesome contests who that always gives away great prizes and their customer support is beyond awesome.

What I've learned is that if you're cool and nice with CWB, they'll do their best to make it happen for you.

this sport is awesome to watch evolve...
Old    Jamie (Wiatowski)      Join Date: Aug 2011       09-27-2011, 8:56 PM Reply   
Agree O'briens are not mentioned very often and dwell secretly in the shadows of awesomeness. I own 3
Love Ronix bindings and even there cheapest ones are better then some of the other brands high end stuff.

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