2020 Alliance Wake Gear Guide: Tokyo is probably the first place that comes to mind when thinking of Japan. Busy streets, seas of people coming and going, and neon signs lighting up every corner of the city. Not exactly an ideal place to ride a wakeboard. Lucky for us, we scored big time with some calm water out in the bay and Massi took full advantage to send some double ups amidst the busy highways and byways. Sometimes things just work out! (photo: Vanthof)

Japan is one of those places that almost has a mythical tone to it. An island on the other side of the planet, there have been many stories told about the breathtaking landscapes of the Japanese countryside and just as many about the hustle and bustle of the big cities like Tokyo. Capturing the wonder of this place can be a little intimidating but exhilarating all at the same time. Add in a couple of world class athletes in the form of Massi Piffaretti and Brian Grubb as well as the versatility and powerhouse that is the new GoPro HERO8, our job became a lot easier. We were able to see a bit of everything that this amazing country had to offer and you can bet that we’ll be back for more one of these days. 

Right out of the gate, you’re probably reading “review” thinking that we spelled “test” wrong … well, this year we’ve decided to refer to it as a review because so many companies are putting out quality gear that we wanted to give straight, honest feedback on each board rather than pitting them against each other. Simple as that. We’re still ripping each board through and through to let you know what we were stoked on, it’s more of a semantics thing. But we’ll get through it together! Either way, we took to the water for our annual shreds of the latest and greatest for cable, boat, and surf and are stoked to share our findings. We had some obvious stand outs and a few surprises as well. If you can’t find your next deck out of this crop then you might want to reevaluate yourself. 

The Alliance Wake Surfboard Review has proudly established itself as wakesurfing’s most extensive and accurate product test, bringing you honest and relatable opinions from real surfers. With the overwhelming amount of boards and gear to choose from, it’s not getting any easier to know where to spend your hard-earned money when everything is marketed as “the next great innovation in performance and technology.” That’s why we’ve stepped in to help navigate because, like everyone, we get bummed when something does not measure up to the hype. The boards submitted for this year’s board review run the gamut from beginner-friendly cruisers to high performance shred sticks. With about half surf-style and half skim-style. The ultimate asset and upgrade to this test came at the hands of the crew at Nautique. We were fortunate enough to have them offer us the much-ballyhooed new Super Air Nautique G23 Paragon as our test boat. Talk about the perfect wave to put new wake surfboards to the test. This is far and away the best and most fun wake surfboard test we have ever done. Thank you Nautique!

So you’ve got your board dialed in and you’re ready to rip but you’re still missing one crucial element: a boat. And with boats becoming more and more high-tech each year, choosing the right water displacement device can be quite a daunting task to say the least. Are you going to be just wakeboarding? Or surfing as well? What about skiing and barefooting? Just a handful of things to consider when looking into that new wake machine. A little research here goes a long way and we’re here to help. There’s no use throwing away your hard earned money into a boat that doesn’t fit your needs. The wakes and waves are the biggest we’ve ever seen and we’re stoked to see the progression. Get yours and get huckin’!