18.1 | In Focus – New Year, New Gear
Black & White = Artsy, words/photo by Jeff Mathis
Well, well, well….here we are ladies and gents! It’s that time of year when the freshies start rolling out and even though it’s getting cold, the thought of some new (and usually improved) gear keeps us going through the chilly months. That stoke is usually fueled by the good times at Surf Expo but sadly that was cut short this year due to Hurricane Irma. But before we really dive into it, allow me to introduce myself. Some of you may know me but most probably don’t; My name is Jefferson Mathis and i’m a rider just like you. Nothing gets me more hyped than the thought of carving some glassy water on a brand new deck. And seeing as this is my first issue as editor, I feel it is only fitting. So without any further ado, welcome to the Alliance Wake 2018 Gear Guide!
- Shreddin’ on a Budget
As in the past, we’re releasing the Gear Guide just as soon as we can get all of the awesome info squeezed onto these pages, just in time for everyone to get all the info they needed on the gear they want for the holidays. So if you’re looking for the right board for yourself or that special shredder in your life, you’ve come to the right place. Not only will you find honest reviews about tons of different boards, you’ll get the specs of those boards along with the MSRP so you can decide what is best for you in terms of size, as well as budget. Nobody wants to break the bank when it comes to their next board purchase so we lay it all out in black and white so you have all the information you need to make the right choice for you.
- Pick the Right Board!
With most board brands steering away from “do-it-all” boards (we still have a few goodies in that department for you to check out, but more on that in the following pages), we’ve kept the Board Tests broken down into two categories: Boat and Park. Enlisting the help of some knowledgeable riders from the sunny state of California, we not only rode a bunch of boards, we scored them out in the aspects that really matter and laid it all out in a nice little graph for your eyes to enjoy. This way, you can get the best idea of how a board will ride without purchasing it first. Obviously, the best way to get the feel of a board is to jump on it first and take it for a spin, but not everyone has that luxury. So if this sounds like your situation then rest easy knowing that we did a lot of the heavy lifting for you.
- Riding the Endless Wave
Same goes for wakesurf boards this year. Boat manufacturers are coming out with more and more surf centric boat models and we’ve seen a surge in boat sales due to this fact. So we sent our Creative/Marketing Director and all-around surf wizard, Mr. Steve Reiley, out to ride the endless wave provided by the Axis A-24 to get some honest opinions about some of the raddest boards out there. A wakesurfer is a pretty big investment these days and there’s nothing worse than purchasing a board and finding out it’s not the right one for you. So we have broken down different aspects of each board and put them in a graph as well for you to get the best idea on how each board rides, just like our wakeboard test. So if you’re in the market for your next wave slaysher, read on because you’ve come to the right place.
- The More You Know…
As far as the wakeboard section goes, it’s rich with detailed information on each board as well as what the pros had to say about them. Whether it’s a rider’s pro model or a team shape, we’ve talked with some of the top names in our sport to get a little direct insight as to what makes them (and their boards) tick. This section, is broken down into boat, park, and crossover boards. Like I said earlier, the market for true crossover boards isn’t what it used to be in the past but there are still some companies making it happen for the rider that likes a little bit of everything.
- Go Ride!
So there you go boys and girls! All the goodies for the next season right in the palms of your hands. If you can’t find something in here that gets you stoked to ride then we haven’t done our job! I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together for you and it helps guide you in your search for your next shred stick. You could sit here and look at the facts, figures, testimonies, and pretty new graphics all day but at the end of the day, it’s all about the feeling you get while you’re on the water. So keep pushing everyone. Winter will be gone before you know it and the new season will be upon us.