We have almost half of the reviews in from the riders, but like every year, getting the last of them is like herding cats! ;-) So if you are a rider and have not filled out your review, please get a hold of me or Rob so we can help you get that done ASAP.
We have amazing video and a bunch of incredible chase footage at 240FPS. I am not gonna lie, its damn sexy. The editor is working hard on it and I can't wait. I am going to give you a sneak peak of some of the chase video this week, but for now I have highlighted... read more
IMG_9745 by wake9, on Flickr
IMG_0168 by wake9, on Flickr
Pretty good lookin' boat right? So what did he pay for it? Here are a few shots of the wake. Here is a chase shot of Dave riding goofy:
IMG_0364 by wake9, on Flickr
And this is about the same moment from inside the boat, so a great comparison.
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Here is the other side, both great.
IMG_9879 by wake9, on Flickr
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Check out this picture of Thomas riding backside on the 22v.
IMG_3745 by wake9, on Flickr
This is an awesome pic, it shows RJ boosting and the boat in action and fully stocked with boards.
IMG_0588 by wake9, on Flickr
You can see it has plenty of room for a family and plenty of room for boards. So how much did he pay for it?
How cool is that? And only 150 hours. Deals can be found! Dave put in his own ballast system and put in a cross link system for quick side to side transfer like we have and it works great. Dave will have to post more detail on his system. I believe he reproped the boat and added a "mud" flap to help keep the wake clean and cut his swim deck a bit. I think that's it, though, for surf mods. All but ballast and prop are simple, do it yourself, inexpensive mods.
Make sure you ask Dave about his setup. He is still tweaking like we all do, of course.
Over the weekend we also did a lot of riding on the Z3 and I got to show Dave how much the Z3 adjusts and he was pretty amazed. Most of that adjustability is stock, but we also made a mod to our taps plate to give it a tad more. Once we fixed our Bennett hydraulic actuator we could really put the plate through its paces and do some serious testing. We immediately found that the Z3 has more adjustment than we have seen but with 2 minor issues. First, some taps/plate positions were perfectly clean and some were more dirty from wash. Mostly cosmetic but we like our wake very clean and are a bit picky. Some experimenting with a flap solved that. Nice and clean at any position. We also found that on the regular side the wake could go from big and steep all the way down to very shallow. Mitch and other skim riders we have had out love the shallow wake, and yet it still has a ton of push and a nice lip. You have seen lots of pictures of mitch loving that setup. On the goofy side we couldn't quite get down to the same shallowness. Close, but not quite. We found we could add more weight to the front or remove weight from the rear to get the same effect. The problem with that is that I don't like putting that much weight up front and the wake loses a bit of push when you remove weight from the rear. We also wanted to be able to weight the boat and go riding and just adjust for whoever instantly with a touch of a button. RJ and I figured that if we adjusted the taps plate to go down a bit more, that would do it. Our TAPS/wake plate goes from 8 (up) to 1 (down) and we never use 7 & 8 and rarely 6. So what if we make the taps range down about 1/4 its travel distance so that old taps 6 is now 8 and old taps 1 is like around 3. Would it work? It sure did. It was super simple to do and worked great on the Z3.
NOTE: You should never run your wake plate below the manufacturer's lowest settings at speeds above wakesurfing. We take care to keep taps above 3 when running over 15 mph which we almost never do. ;-)
Here is a picture of this simple modification and you can see we just drilled new mounting holes and a few washers to shim to adjust the travel about 1 1/8" down.
So to recap, how is our Z3 different from stock?
1. We run a 1235 Acme prop. It works great, but I think its more designed for a 343 motor and eventually I would like to try the same bigger diameter but a pitch that works better at cruising speed. Surfs incredibly and at 2800 RPM @ 11mph. ~$500-600
2. Flap under swim deck just to help clean across all taps positions. This wasn't needed stock, and was only needed to have a super clean wake at all positions and weight setups. $50 at most.
3. Larger plug and play rear bags, about 550 lbs extra on each side along with a cross link pump to help switch side to side in like 3-4 minutes. See fly high for cost.
4. Simple TAPS/Wake plate mod. $2 for some washers to use as shims.
That's it, all else is stock. So the main result is that we just hit the taps button to adjust the wake significantly. For instance, when Jesse would ride, we would stop and take weight out to make the wake small and shallow for her, but Dennis or others couldn't ride it well or at all because of loss of push. We used to setup the wake for RJ and then some adjustment from there, but not much. Whenever frank would ride with us, we would sometimes add a sac or need more people to give him a good ride. On the Z3 we don't do any of that. We just setup and adjust with taps. We may change the amount of water in the opposite rear ballast to account for where people are sitting, since they can pretty much sit anywhere. Here are a few pictures from this weekend.
IMG_0904 by wake9, on Flickr
Yes, she rode this out, even knocked down it has plenty of push, even Dennis can ride at TAPS -2. Taps 3 is what he likes more and has more push, but he can ride Taps -2 fine.
IMG_1514 by wake9, on Flickr
Here is Dave and his girlfriend Buffy with taps at about 1 or 2.
IMG_0675 by wake9, on Flickr
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And here is Dave with taps around 3 or 4, Dennis also but hard to see since he was riding a 4.2 Bomb Pop designed for Maddie and Jesse.
IMG_5081 by wake9, on Flickr
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Every one of these pictures was the exact same weighting except for minor adjustments on the opposite side corner to account for people. For instance, Dennis was sitting on the opposite side and when he got up to surf I added a bit to the opposite side to account for it. No changes to the weight up front or anything other than TAPS up and down.
One of the really cool aspects of this is watching how good my kids are getting. They get to ride the wake just like they want and feel comfortable with without ANY hassle. RJ has also progressed a ton because he practices his spin tricks like surface and air 180s, surface reverse, air reverse with taps down and then his airs and other stuff with the taps higher. Once he nails his surface rotation tricks with the taps down he has me adjust it up so that he can land them with more air or flare using that bigger wake and lip. He also can practice for a comp, like he did for the Northwest Open, setting up the wake more similar to what he knew to expect from the Enzo 244 at the comp.
We have 176 hours on the Z3 since April 15th and we are having a blast. RJ says he wants to have children with the Z3 wake. ;-)
I will have some video of all of this soon and we have something else we are working on for the Polar Bear event. Can't wait to share. Way too much fun.
Quick Note on Ballast
Both Dave and I have upgraded our ballast systems with the help of wakemakers.com. Dave completely, and us with just a few changes like the cross link system and cross venting. A lot of people ask me about this, including Dave and I recommended wakemakers. However, both Dave and I have had some unpleasant experiences and I have had several people and 2 dealers report back to me the same types of problems with wakemakers. The main issue being that one day they will just stop returning all calls or emails and completely ignore you for an indefinite amount of time. There are other issues that are worse, but I think its just best to say I don't recommend them and hope to find another company I can have some fun with within driving distance in the near future.
Don't try this at home! Seriously this is a weekday, lake was empty and 2 experienced drivers. RJ was able to surf and switch from boat to boat without the rope, pretty cool.
IMG_3919 by wake9, on Flickr
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I know this is a long post but we REALLY had a ton of fun and we got out the longboard. I have a mini nose rider at 8'6". Here it is:
IMG_1691 by wake9, on Flickr
Dave was determined to get all the way on the nose. Here is a bit of cross stepping.
IMG_1714 by wake9, on Flickr
We sped up a bit and knocked the wake down with taps for the best results.
IMG_1767 by wake9, on Flickr
Dave was really getting up there.
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Dennis wasn't to be outdone and got out there. He doesn't quite get as far, but he weighs like 120 lbs more and is like 80 years old or something, pretty cool.
IMG_2043 by wake9, on Flickr
It was getting dark and this isn't the best pic but you can see how much board is behind Dave.
IMG_9008 by wake9, on Flickr
I take a lot of pictures. I think I took like 2500 or so just the 2 days with Dave. I know, I am nuts. But there are always some really great ones, and then sometimes you get one that you want to frame. This is one of those, and I will end with it. Dave held this for a few seconds, not much, but it was pretty darn cool and the pic is a keeper.
IMG_2290 by wake9, on Flickr