It's the season of giving and I'm a giver. That's why I'm going to give you some last-minute gift ideas for that wake enthusiast in your life. Most of these are not too high on the price scale either, so it will be easier on your pockebook to spread the holiday love!
The first item on the docket is something I just discovered and is great for pretty much anybody that has a boat. It's the Exile Audio boat buoy. I have no idea why a stereo company ventured into the buoy market, but these things are great if you value your precious boat like I do. They resemble the old Hippity-Hops we had as kids and are 18" in diameter. You just hang these off your dock or the side of your boat and that boat isn't going anywhere near another object no matter how many crazy waves come your way.
These blow away those little white buoys that I've been using up until now. I've got two of these hanging off each side of my dock (got to be ready for the arrival of unannounced guests) and they've changed the way I dock my boat. I used to leave the front attached to a buoy away from my dock and the rear would be tethered to my dock, but the wind would always come up at the worst times and pound my swimstep into the corner of the dock. With the help of my new Exile bumper buoys, I'm a changed man. Click here to order yours online for $20 each.
Speaking of stereo companies, Wet Sounds recently sent me a few new items to check out and I was impressed with both. The first is their latest version of a product I've been using for about eight years now, the WS-420SQ 4-Band Parametric Equalizer with 3-Zone Operation. This is the first thing that gets installed every time I get a new boat no matter what the stereo setup is like. It's also the one item I usually remove from any boat I'm getting rid of. I can't do without this thing.
The WS-420SQ allows you to control the volume for the three zones in most boats, tower speakers, in-boat speakers and subwoofer, independently. There is also a master volume knob if you want to control them all at once. You can make EQ adjustments to the tower and in-boat speakers separately as well. All this control really allows you to get your system setup for the best sound for the people in the boat AND the rider on the water.
As if that wasn't enough, the WS-420SQ also includes a talk back microphone that works like a PA system through your tower speakers. When you press the button on the microphone, the tower speakers turn off and your voice gets thrown out to the rider. When you let go of the button, the tower speakers resume playing music. This is especially handy when giving tips to riders because you don't have to stop the boat to talk to them. Click here to order your WS-420SQ online for $300.
The second Wet Sounds product is their new Bluetooth Volume Control, which I've been waiting for ever since I discovered the wonder of Bluetooth in my truck. I love the fact that my phone is connected to the stereo as soon as I turn on the boat and I play my playlist directly from my phone without having to plug it in to anything. That comes in really handy when someone else on the boat wants to take control of the DJ duties. I just hand them my phone and they take it to any seat in the boat and have full control of the music.
Even cooler than controlling your music from the phone, is the fact that you can control your phone from the Bluetooth Volume Controller. You can pause, play, track forward, track backwards and adjust volume up and down all from a single knob. So when I'm driving and I don't want to be distracted by changing music on my phone, I can easily make it happen from this magical know. Click here to order your Bluetooth Volume Control online for $75.
A great gift idea for anybody with a camera, especially a GoPro, is any of the specialized Fat Gecko camera mounts and booms from Delkin. The three I've been playing with are the Stealth Mount ($23), Dual Mount ($70) and the Kaboom ($100). So far, I've only scratched the surface of what I could possibly do with these, but it sure is fun getting creative.
The Stealth and the Dual Mounts are suction cup mounts that work great on any smooth surface, including your boat's gelcoat. I'm partial to the Dual Mount because I feel better knowing that two suction cups would have to fail before my GoPro camera becomes part of the river. They also have a triple mount for even more security and heavier cameras. Just because I'm paranoid, I still wrap the camera/mount in enough floatation to keep them on the surface in case they do end up in the water. So far, it hasn't been a problem because these suction cups are incredibly strong. In fact, the Dual Mount I used for the video below was mounted on the very bow of the boat with no floatation (I guess I'm not that paranoid) at all and it never flinched.
The Fat Gecko Kaboom is a sectioned carbon fiber boom that is extremely versatile. It collapses to less than 15 inches long with a cool tube case for easy transport. However, it gets up to 60 inches long with all pieces put together. You can also use is as a tripod extension to get shots from five feet higher than your standard tripod since it has a threaded handle. It comes with two mounts that allow you to place it in a variety of creative locations, such as on a helmet or off the side of your boat or vehicle. It's also great to get even closer shots of wakesurfers or for taking selfies that won't look like selfies.
Fat Gecko also has strap mounts, clamp mounts, sticky mounts, light mounts and accessories to work with them all. There isn't much you can't do with all these. Click here to see the whole collection.
If all else fails, you can always fall back on the gift that literally works for anybody on your list...the gift card. The House is a great place to get one because they come in many denominations and their website not only has tons of wake gear, but they also have bike, skate, snowboard and camping gear.
If you've really left things to the last minute, your only option will be an electronic gift card from BuyWake.com. These gift cards get emailed directly to the recipient, so you can put it off until Christmas Eve if you want. They are available in increments of $25 up to a maximum of $500. Oh, by the way, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org in case you're feeling especially generous this year. :)