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Boat Tower Racks

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What Is a Boat Tower Rack?

A boat tower rack is a rack designed to attach to your boat’s tower and provide you a convenient and safe place to store your board. Before we get into more detail about what these racks are and how they work, it is important to point out something quirky about how some people refer to these boat tower racks. The term “wakeboard tower rack” is often used to describe any type of rack that attaches to your boat’s tower. This means you may hear people refer to a rack designed to hold wakesurf or kneeboards as a “wakeboard tower rack.” The reason for this is that “back in the day” the only boats that had a tower on them were wakeboard boats, hence the tower rack was called a wakeboard rack. Thus, you may still hear some people refer to any type of boat rack as a “wakeboard tower rack.” At StoreYourBoard, we think that naming is confusing, so you will see on our products we refer to a rack that holds a wakesurf board as a “wakesurf boat tower rack” to make things clearer.

As mentioned above, boat tower racks are designed to hold your boards up and out of the way on your boat’s tower. These racks come in a variety of styles and shapes, but the purpose is always the same - storage and organization on your boat. If you’ve ever been out on the boat with friends, coolers, and all your favorite toys, then you’ll understand how precious of a commodity space is on your boat. Wakeboards, kneeboards, ski, and wakesurf boards are especially troublesome because of their sharp edges and large size. Boat towers save you plenty of stubbed toes and ripped interior seats by keeping your boards and skis up off the floor. As we mentioned, space is so limited on most boats that not having a tower rack will mean your seating capacity or floor space is sacrificed.

Another advantage of having tower racks to hold your boards is that the rack can help protect your boards. When your toys are laying around in your boat, you not only expose your to boat to damage but you also risk damage to your favorite ski or board. Premier wakeboards, wakesurf boards, and slalom skis can cost over $600, so it is ill-advised to not protect your investment. As you can imagine, here at StoreYourBoard we like to take good care of our equipment, so we always keep our wakeboards in a boat tower rack in between sessions out on the water. We highly recommend a boat tower rack for your boat’s safety, your boards’ safety, and for the convenience of freeing up more space in your already crammed boat.

How Do I Pick a Boat Tower Rack?

To figure out what type of boat tower rack you need, you will first need to know what type and how many boards or skis you need to hold. There are wakeboard, wakeskate, kneeboard, and water ski variations of boat tower racks, so you can almost certainly find something that will fit your need. Additionally, there are even combination racks that let you combine different types of board storage in one rack. For instance, we carry wakeboard/wakeskate and wakeboard/kneeboard combination racks. One thing we should point out is that most boats have one or two tower racks. The only real limit here is space. If you have room and a need for 4 boat tower racks, then go ahead. To be honest, unless you frequently have lots of riders and lots of boards when you go out, four tower racks is overkill. Most boats will have two racks for symmetry and two racks typically meets the storage needs for most boaters. So the first step to determining what type of tower rack you need is figuring out how many and what type of skis/boards you need to store.

Once you’ve figured out what you need to store in your rack, then the next criterion for choosing your boat tower rack is whether or not you want it to have a quick release feature. The quick release feature is a feature that allows you to quickly remove the rack from your tower. While this feature seems superfluous at first, it can actually make a big difference. There are two reasons you may want or need this feature with your rack. The first is for safety. Meaning, racks are big shiny pieces of metal that “bad guys” may want to take from you, so if you want a quick and easy way to remove your rack when your boat is in storage, then the quick release feature can be advantageous.

The second, and more important reason you may want the quick release feature is if you frequently fold your boat tower down. Many wakeboard boat towers are designed to fold down so you can fit your boat into lower overhead clearance areas. Often times, the geometry between the tower and the rack doesn’t let the tower properly fold all the way down, so you need to remove the rack in order to properly fold down your tower. If your rack doesn’t come off quickly, then this can be a huge headache. We’ve had the experience of having to drop the tower and remove the rack every time we wanted to ride and as you can imagine, it gets old quick. It should be noted that most towers will not need you to remove the rack in order for it to fold down. In fact, almost all new towers knew about this issue and started designing their towers so it no longer was an issue. The place we’ve seen the most issues is with older aftermarket wakeboard towers.

After you’ve figured out what you plan to store in your boat tower rack and determined whether you need the quick release feature, then the rest is pretty much just preference. There are some key features that any good boat tower rack will have that you should keep a lookout for. First, the construction should be Aluminum or Stainless Steel. No matter how much powder coating or painting is done, standard steel will not work - it will rust. Second, you’ll want ample soft padding between the forks on the rack. This padding is what will keep your board from getting damaged by the board hitting up against the metal in your rack. Last, you will want the rack to come with an integrated bungee cord. The bungee cord is what wraps around the top of your boards and secures them tightly into the racks so they don’t come out as you turn or hit choppy water.

Another option we carry and you may see elsewhere is rubberized forks. Rubberized forks mean that the rack has been dipped in liquid rubber and solidified around the rack arms. This means you lose that brushed aluminum finish, but you gain tons of protection. Rubberized forks on your boat rack can help take protection of your boards one step further and will almost completely eliminate any rattle noise between your board and the rack’s forks. Another feature you may see on some racks is the ability to adjust their angle relative to the horizon. Confused? What we mean is that there are built in adjustment slots that allow you to compensate for the angle of your tower leg. You see, most tower legs are curved or come up at an angle, so when you mount your rack to it, it will be stuck at the same angle as your tower leg. In order to compensate for this, manufacturers have developed slotted channels in the rack and clamp that allow you to adjust how the rack sits respective to the horizon. This can be a deal breaker for many racks. Luckily, StoreYourBoard carries a variety of racks and many have this adjustment feature. To be clear, this is different from the swivel capability which allows you to swing the rack back into the boat to load your boards - please keep reading to learn about this feature.

Clamps and Swivels

Wakeboard boat tower clamps and swivels accomplish the same task – they bind your rack to your boat’s tower. They are a necessary part of a rack system. Clamps simply lock onto your rack on one side and then lock onto the metal tubing of your boat’s tower on the other side. The clamp should provide a solid mounting point for your rack. Features you will want in a clamp are that it is rustproof (either Aluminum or Stainless Steel), and it is rattleproof - a rattling rack is a noisy nuisance. Swivels are just like clamps, but they have the added functionality of …well, swiveling. In their normal storage position, clamps have the rack and your boards pointing out away from your boat. In order to remove or place boards into your rack, you have to reach to the outside of your boat. The swivel allows you to easily spin the rack around to face the inside of the boat. This seems inconsequential at first, but after you’ve had the convenience of not having to lean out over your boat to get your board out, you’ll be hooked and won’t want to go back to a non-swivelling wakeboard rack.

OEM Tower Rack Replacements and Upgrades

If you own a boat that has a tower that is designed to hold specific types of racks, then you will want one of our OEM tower rack replacements. Whether you never bought the rack in the first place, damaged your original rack, or are looking to upgrade, getting a boat-specific OEM replacement rack is your best choice. Unfortunately, there are only a few towers out there that have replacement racks built for them, but we do recommend it if you own the tower. Here is our list of replacement/upgrade racks:

So, Which Boat Tower Do I Choose?

We may be a little biased, but we highly suggest picking up your boat tower rack here at StoreYourBoard. We’ve taken extra care to curate the best selection of wakeboard tower racks out there. As you can see, we know our stuff and it is reflected in our product descriptions and our product selection. You can rest assured that anything you find on our site will include the features we explained above that make a great wakeboard boat tower rack. All of our boat racks are Aluminum (rust-proof), have well padded forks, come with an integrated bungee, and we offer both quick release/non-quick and clamp/swivel options. We also carry all the biggest names in boat towers: Krypt, Bullet, Skylon, and Big Air. These manufacturers are all known for quality and StoreYourBoard is a premier, certified dealer of their racks.

On a budget? Check out Bullet’s Wakeboard Tower Rack

Looking for something in the goldilocks range? We suggest the Big Air Wakeboard Rack | Aluminum

Want the premier, end-all-be-all wakeboard rack? Check out Skylon’s Triple Up Wakeboard and Wakesurf Rack