Let’s be completely honest for a minute here: boats are clearly not the cheapest of investments, but damn are they FUN. Sunshine, calm water, your best friends, some great tunes, a cool beverage or two, and of course, riding. Do you know why they call it a “gravy boat?” Because boats are the vessel that tie all the awesomeness on that holiday plate together. If you and your friends and family are into everything listed above, then one of the new boats in the pages that follow will definitely help you overdose on a feast of fun.

Last year we were able to get five brand new boats together for a great day of hanging out on Lake Butler and BBQ’ing. The question quickly became how do we step that up for this year’s Gear Guide issue? Answer: get six boats, more people, wakesurf all day, and have the BBQ at Shaun Murray’s house. Nobody in wakeboarding knows how to have fun better than Shaun – he’s literally been getting paid to do it for over 20 years. So we gathered a bunch of riders and friends, fired up the grill, filled the boats with gas and spent an 82-degree December day having a blast and surfing endless waves on glassy Lake Whippoorwhill. Looking back we might even go so far as to say it’s the most pitted (so pitted) the sport has ever been.

Having six brand new boats lined up on shore isn’t for the faint of heart – we estimated well over half a million in total value – but once we got them filled with weight and dialed in, it was go time. This year we had brand new boats, redesigned classic boats, and everything in between – Axis A24, Centurion Enzo FX44, Correct Craft Super Air Nautique G21, Malibu Wakesketter 23 LSV, MasterCraft X30, and Supreme V226 Surf. That’s a serious gravy train right there and we were all aboard all day long. When it came time to recording all the barreling, laughs, BBQ’ing, and pig-dogging, we could only think of one appropriate and easy way: GoPro. This whole article and the accompanying video now on alliancewake.com were shot exclusively using the Hero3+ cameras and accessories, with some help from the DJI Phantom quad copter and GoPole gear. The new GoPro app allowed people in the boat to see exactly what the camera was seeing, hit record anytime, and then instantly send an image or quick clip to other friends or social media – which only made everybody who wasn’t there jealous of our warm winter fun.

Throughout the day we switched from boat to boat, taking in everything they had to offer. Each of the boats are unique in their own way and offer up a slew of features to enhance your time on the water, but they all have one underlying thing in common: great wakesurfing wakes. In fact, in looking over each boat’s features, it is more than evident just how much wakesurfing has grown in popularity and how important the boat manufacturers believe it is for the future of their brands. Every single boat on the water that day had some sort of adjustable device made to tweak the shape and/or size of the wave. We all know nothing is more exciting than boosting off a double up at 22 MPH and touching some clouds, but driving slightly to the left or right at 12 MPH with your buddy riding a few feet behind you and the tunes blasting is an ear-to-ear-smile-inducing good time. If you’re in the market for a new vessel and want to seriously up your fun-factor on the water, any one of these boats will bring you the gravy in epic fashion.

Check out the video from this day here: http://alliancewakesurf.com/wake/alliance-wake-boats-surf-and-bbqs/