Strap yourself in for Leisure Boating’s annual Super Shootout, where we review the hottest and most thrilling watertoys currently on the market, giving you the luxury of handpicking your toy of choice for your next visit to the dam.
Ok, so you’re probably thinking, “Jeez, these Leisure Boating guys have it made. Not only do they get to cruise around in flashy boats all day, but they also get to play with the coolest watertoys and then…wait for it…call it work!”
Fair enough, we say. However, reviewing watertubes, wakeboards, skis, kneeboards and towropes isn’t just all play. We worked hard to bring you a detailed review of about 20 of the hottest watersport products currently on the market.
We also provide you with expert analysis from some of SA’s best wakeboarders and other watersport enthusiasts, should you have any difficulty choosing the product specifically suited to your needs.
Whether you’re a family man who prefers something more placid for the kids or an adrenaline-fuelled daredevil who’ll settle for nothing less than wild and extreme, Leisure Boating’s 2010 Super Shootout has something for everyone.
Our Super Shootout took place at Kwaggaskloof Dam, a scenic destination between Worcester and Rawsonville. The dam allows waterskiing, jetskiing and speedboats. It also has a clubhouse, launch pad and stunning views of the surrounding mountains along with glass-like waters.
Need to know? It’s situated on the R43 Villiersdorp Road, about 15 km from Worcester. Ablution facilities are available and it’s open weekends and public holidays. GPS coordinates 33º 46’ 29.32” S, 19º 25’ 44.70” E will lead you to Kwaggaskloof. Contact Kwaggaskloof Waterski Club on (023) 340 4163.
PRICE: R4 300 (Incl. VAT)
CONTACT: O’Brien on (011) 824 5666 or email email@example.com. Alternatively, visit their website on www.obriensa.co.za
METHOD to the MADNESS!
The Body Glove Method kneeboard (137 cm long x 52 cm wide) is as safe as houses! Its patented On-the-Fly retractable fin system allows you to drop the fins for hard carving action, or raise them for quick 360s, all without having to stop riding.
A moulded mad with deep knee wells provide maximum control. It’s pending Hydrohook allows anyone to get up on a kneeboard for the first time, with no strain on their backs or arms. The Hydrohook retracts flush with the deck when not in use, so there is nothing to bang, bruise or cut yourself on.
It’s very easy on the knees thanks to the extra comfort in the deep rails on the bottom and a nice centre spine to channel the water away. With a wide profile and unique channelling, the Body Glove Method is an easy board to ride.
Rus: This kneeboard is for any level rider to enjoy and have fun on. I’m not an experienced kneeboarder, but I found it really easy to get up and going on the Method kneeboard. The kneestrap is very useful and one feels stable on the board and allows you to perform a few cool tricks.
Kyle: I absolutely love this kneeboard. The board is solid and stable, the strap keeps you safely strapped in and you can bust out the moves! The kids will love this as it offers hours of fun on the water. RATING: 9
PRICE: R1 836.97 (Excl. VAT)
CONTACT: Rutherford Marine on
(021) 932 0568 Cape Town or (011) 878 2600 (Johannesburg). Alternatively, visit www.rutherfordmarine.co.za
ROUTE 142 – IT’S A TRIP!
Liquid Force’s visually stunning TRIP 142 is built for any type or level of rider. The TRIP is a user-friendly board that is designed for fun or serious riding. It continues to impress the critics with its “can-do” attitude. It sports some wicked graphics and a very smooth ride. We strap the TRIP 142 to one of SA’s favourite female riders Deidre van Niekerk to get an honest opinion about her capabilities. Features include a variable edge rail, a rolled edge through the midsection becoming sharper as it moves towards the tips, forgiving catch free through the middle, hard cutting and fast off the tail. It also has a Double Inside Single Concave (DISC) hull for softer landings and to maintain board speed. A modern bat tail is fuller than the original for more lift off the tail of the board and tucked in tips for quick transitions. The TRIP 142 comes equipped with Index bindings, moulded-in warped long based side fins and two centre fins.
Dee: Liquid Force’s TRIP 142 is really a fantastic board. It is aggressive, the continuous rocker provides smooth, fluid carves with a high arching pop off the wake. Doing tricks seems so easy with the TRIP! Its low volume rails make it faster on the edge, and a deeper hold in turns. It has a superior tracking hold with minimum drag.
Whether you’re beginner, intermediate or pro, you won’t be able to fault the TRIP 142 – a fantastic board with mind-blowing graphics in typical Liquid Force fashion.
PRICE: R5 500 (Incl. VAT)
CONTACT: Liquid Force on
(011) 462 9724 or 082 606 0606. If you reside in Cape Town, call the new LF shop on (021) 556 8172 or visit their website on www.liquidforce.co.za for more information.
O’Brien’s X-Scream towable tube proved to be a blast on the water, leaving the riders screaming for more! It sports a low-profile round disc shape with a large 230 cm diameter. It also sports eight foam-filled handles with knuckle guards for protection, including two boarding handles on the back to help you get back on after a fall.
This bad boy accommodates up to four riders and is capable of blistering speeds across the water. Other features include a 30 gauge PVC bladder, fully covered 840 Denier nylon cover, one bottom drain, quick connect tow system, Boston valve and one year limited warranty.
Ras: This is a hardcore tube. It’s very hard to stay on as it generates strong G-force. What’s great about this tube, is its ability to be easily flipped. One has to hold on for dear life.
Jono: This is intense, awesome tubing at its best! Adventurous, exhilarating and a lot of fun!
Egg and Burger: The older crowd will really appreciate this tube, as it’s heart stopping, like a Ratanga Junction ride, but without being strapped in! Not the safetest tube, but definitely the most fun!
Rating: 6 Rollo: Definitely the coolest tube thus far! Its speed is legendary and it’s capable of overtaking the boat in sharp corners. Not for the kids, but definitely for the slightly older, avid watersport nuts.
PRICE: R2 050 (Incl. VAT)
CONTACT: O’Brien on (011) 824 5666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit their website on www.obriensa.co.za
PUT ON THAT GAME FAZE!
There is no comparison to the Faze by CWB. None. Where else can you get a shape that looks aggressive or a graphic that says pro deck? All this for a price that is so ridiculous, it screams value.
CWB’s Faze wakeboard has a shape that’ll carry the beginner to the next level with its smooth and forgiving ride. The Faze uses CWB’s Axis core, giving the rider a ride that’ll hold them for a swing. It’s soft and smooth in rough water and a great start while learning to get your first air!
The Faze has a subtle three-stage rocker shape, it weighs about four kilograms and can hold riders of up to 90 kg (great for the younger ones and the entry-level wakeboarders). With a tip/tail width of 25 cm and a full length of 135 cm, she’s the perfect board for beginners.
Lauren: This is not a bad board for the ladies. It’s light as a feather and is very smooth and forgiving. Its three-stage rocker shape is very basic, but with cool graphics and a soft ride, she’s a very good choice.
Dean: This is a very good board for beginners and intermediate wakeboarders. It’s smooth on the water and very forgiving when landing off a wake. It’s a bit light, but otherwise, not bad for the entry-level wakeboarders.
PRICE: R3 750 (Incl. VAT)
CONTACT: Waterworld Cape Town on (021) 511 0220 or visit their website on www.waterworld.co.za
A FORCE to be reckoned with…
Liquid Force, renowned for producing some of the best wakeboarding gear in the world, has a fantastic combo deal for the avid wakeboarder. Designed for PWT Champion Phillip Soven, LF’s S4 board features everything a top rider could ever want.
It features a progressive 3-stage rocker and low volume rails, it’s fast on the edge with more hold to go where you want. Whether you’re trying to win a pro championship or just out riding with friends, you’ll fall in love with this board.
Attached to this board, you’ll find the 2010 Shane LTD bindings with closed toe technology for better control over your board. Its redesigned AIR ride chassis is airbag cushioned for the biggest landings with ease. With standard features like the Liquid Fit, pillow top liner, glide lacing, flex patterning and perfect-fit design, this is one heck of a deal…
Egg and Burger: With the S4, it feels like you and the board are one on the water. It’s got good heel support and excellent for the beginner/intermediate rider as you can progress on it. It’s very fast, cuts the wake well and is slick off the rails and slides.
Dee: I absolutely love the S4 with Shane bindings. Nursing an injured heel, the Shane bindings were very forgiving and the Soven board lessen the impact on your knees when hitting the water. She cuts well, rides smoothly and is a very good board, whether you’re intermediate or pro. The weekend featured sublime, warm weather and clear skies. However, our test day was met with a blustering wind, making the shootout a bit more challenging, but our riders were certainly up for it.
We had the privilege of getting some very special toys to play with on the day, aside from the inflatable’s on offer. Agon Marine was our first choice when it came to picking a craft that would not only look good, but provide a great ride for passengers on board, and on the water. With a thumping sound system, precision handling, the perfect size wake for the application, and the envy of every person in the area, it’s easy to see why she was the tow craft for the day.
Towing the craft to the destination and back would take an extra special vehicle. Enter, the latest Land Rover Discovery 4. Her looks are the perfect match for the Agon A23, and because of her brute power, towing the craft there and back was going to be a pleasure.
In fact, because the Discovery 4 is one of the strongest contenders for tow car of the year, we’ll be doing an in depth review of her – so make sure you catch it, along with part two of this Super Shootout, in the August edition of this magazine.
O’Brien Watersports’ Cat Eye Deluxe, which not only offers loads of exhilarating fun, but it also has a deeper seat area for even more protection. Great for little kids at medium speeds and adults at blistering pace, the Cat Eye can be as wild as a jaguar or as gentle as a little house kitten.
The O’Brien Cat Eye Deluxe
(203 cm) tube seats two riders and features a 30 gauge PVC fully covered bladder, 840 Denier Nylon cover, six handles with EVA knuckle guards, 1 EVA pad, 1 bottom drain, 1 quick connect tow hook and 1 Boston valve.
Rollo: By far my favourite tube! It’s deceptively quick. It starts off chill and relaxed and then picks up a blistering pace, especially in hard corners. It’s easy to grip onto and it’s easy to flip, but also extremely safe.
Jono: It’s a pity the Cat Eye can’t hold more riders. This is a real fun, exciting tube that can be flipped easily and it’s extremely fast! Even though you can easily tip it, it still sits solidly on the water. In terms of speed and fun, this is one of the coolest tubes on the market. Just look at our facial expressions!
CONNELLY BUZZ BOMB
The Connelly Buzz Bomb tube has a unique shape. With its elongated centre tube (seats three) and stabilising outboard wings (seats two), it resembles a WWII fighter plane, and believe me, you’ll definitely be flying across the water.
This fully covered concept tube is a 1-5 rider design and well balanced for a combination of riding styles. Its wide wing span makes for very stable wake crossings and it’s easy to board, even in deep water.
Other features include: 840 Denier nylon cover, 30 gauge PVC bladder, inflatable back support for seated riders, eleven padded handles with knuckle guards, padded seating on centre section, Boston valve and Delrin quick connect tow system. Maximum weight limit: 295 kg
Dee: What an awesome tube! This is the ultimate “fun with friends” watertoy. It sits nicely and steady on the water, crosses the wake with ease and generates plenty of speed.
Jono: This tube is fun and stable! It’s excellent for a group of friends who like playing rough with each other on a tube. I’ll have to say in terms of stability and speed she’s very capable.
Egg and Burger: We tried out best to flip this tube, but it just wouldn’t. This means it’s safe and stable, but very fast! I wouldn’t recommend it for small children, but definitely for a group of fun-loving friends.
Rollo: It was fun and cool, but I prefer tubes that are easier to flip, so the Buzz Bomb was a bit boring.
PRICE: R3 700 (Incl. VAT)
CONTACT: Waterworld Cape Town on (021) 511 0220 or visit
A SKI ODYSSEY!
Connelly’s Odyssey offers great value in combo skis for the recreational skiers. Learning is made easy with a free stabiliser bar that holds the high gloss skis the proper distance apart.
Simply remove the bar when you have mastered deep-water starts. The wide tail and shallow narrow tunnel provide control, stability and smooth turns. It’s incredibly easy to use and features slide bindings and a proven ski design that makes this combo accommodate many different size and skill levels.
It’s constructed from reinforced composite with slide-type adjustable bindings. It’s 173 cm in length and sports a glass-filled nylon fin. Whether you’re entry-level or pro skier, you’ll absolutely love the Odyssey.
Mark: The Connelly Odyssey skis are legendary. For all those avid slalom fans, you’ll absolutely love the Odyssey. It even features a stabilising bar that helps the novice skier with deepwater starts, making it real easy for any level of rider to learn and advance easily.
Lauren: Besides making it really easy for novice skiers to learn and progress on, the Connelly Odyssey is also great for the intermediate and pro skiers as its wide tail and shallow tunnel provide stability and cuts smoothly through the water.
PRICE: R1 750 (Incl. VAT)
CONTACT: Waterworld Cape Town on (021) 511 0220 or visit their website at www.waterworld.co.za for more information.
*Stunts were performed by professdionals. Do not try stunts at home. Pictures on this page illustrate what happens when you tow the inflatables well over double the recommended speed. No riders were hurt durting the making of this feature.