View Full Version : Polar bear/mojo boat review
10-16-2012, 10:33 AM
I had the pleasure of spending the weekend in oroville riding some of the best wakesurf boats out there..
below are some first impressions and thoughts of the different boats. I'd like to preface this by saying I didn't take many pics and some are not great as I believe robert has over 10,000 pics of the event(4 full time photographers all weekend) and I know that mmandley has a review of the mojo coming as well..
I'd like to start by thanking Shane Stillman of Skiers for dragging the MOJO all the way up to lake oroville for the pull on Friday night. I felt honored to be asked to ride behind the boat and Shane was gracious enough to extend the invite to my friend Sue. My hats off to you Shane for the amazing evening and glad you did not get bent over at the marina pro shop :)
If you have never been to lake oroville, it's an amazing body of water that goes forever, but the downside has to be houseboat row. once you put in at the marina it takes FOREVER to idle outside the no wake zone. I timed it on sunday and it was 19minutes 1 way. that's 45minutes of engine time every day you go out. sucks. here's a shot of part of all the houseboats moored..
Now onto the boat reviews..
Friday night we all rode the MOJO. See Mike's pics when he puts his review up. This boat was supposed to be in the Polar Bear, but there were some issues that prevented it from being ran on Saturday so it was booted from the event(Shane, you should have come up on Sunday-you would have had a spot-more on that later).
I'll be honest in saying I did not have high expectations for this boat as I have crawled over one at the last boat show. Mike was running 2hrs late so Shane took the 3 of us out and cruised around. The boat runs amazing and is very comfortable to ride in. The tower had enough room for 8 boards and he talked about a bar that was removed that gave the tower great visibility through it while seated but was still rock solid. I got to sit in the drivers seat for a minute. the gauges are very nice and the overall layout of the dash is very user friendly. I still don't like the overall helm area as it just feels unfinished on the side and I don't care for the top of the dash still, but ergo's are spot on. The boat feels very roomy and was comfortable for 6 adults in the cabin. The only gripe with the interior still has to be the unfinished area under the rear seat. It just looks like they were trying to save a buck there. No other boat had this look all weekend. I know several stated it was great for jacket storage, so finish it up and hinge the rear seat... After picking up Mike/Claudia, we went out to surf. Shane had the front ballast filled and an 1100 in the rear. Again, i'll be honest that I didn't have high expectations for this boat as Skiers has not been selling it as a surfboat. I was wrong. I know that Shane hasn't spent weeks/months dialing the wave in and for what he showed up with, the wake was great. It had a ton of push, lots of height and the length of the pocket was good. I would really like to see this wave after it's been tweaked, such as Drew's boat. The potential was there. As we surfed, I did notice that it's a huge step from the swimstep to the rear sunpad showcasing the true freeboard of this boat. We were nowhere near the rubrail. The boat did not run bow-high either as some of the other surfboats did.
Overall, this boat has a solid platform that with some time and bag placement(all under the seat I might add) should prove to make a great surfboat.
Shane kept asking about our feedback. I think Mike and I both pounded this point home.. Skiers doesn't have a "surfboat" that they are advertising. Surfing is growing faster and faster. This boat needs to be that advertising vehicle. It has the potential for an amazing wave. Will it ever be a competition-level enzo? Probably not, but for 95% of the masses, this boat is the real deal.
Rick-I understand why the boat wasn't at the Polar Bear, but I'll just say this.. Skiers misses a HUGE opportunity to showcase what this boat can do. Based on the other 4 surfboats and the Pavati, this boat would have represented Skiers proudly and put a new definition of Moomba in people's minds.. I kept thinking that over and over all weekend..
Mike behind the boat :)
10-16-2012, 10:33 AM
10-16-2012, 11:29 AM
The first boat out of the gate on Saturday was the Supreme 226. This boat was driven by Charlie the Supreme rep. He was the best boat driver of the weekend(Shane wasn't there so he doesn't count) and was very entertaining. I know why he's in sales after spending time with him. Awesome guy..
The supreme had a very solid wave and was a great start to the day. It was solid, tall and had a decent amount of push, but was not real long. He had nose weight, full back locker and a sack under the side seat. I think it needed more weight in the nose for more length, but for a boat that showed up with a rep and no prep, it was solid. The boat itself was finished well. The exterior had metalflake in the striping that really set it off well. The interior compartments were roomy and the engine had the best access second onto to the pavati. It would be an easy boat to work on for diy guys. It didn't feel like it had a lot of room in the cabin for a 22ft boat but had a big bow. The tall freeboard and low interior deck height made a difficult step into the boat from the sunpad and somewhat uncomfortable seats as the backs were too high. Overall, a great boat and in the high50's-low60's, a solid value.
Next was the Sanger V237 driven by Scott P, the Sanger rep. This boat was by far the best looking boat there on Saturday. I heard that from our entire group and from others. The wake was the best of the day for our group on this boat. It was solid, long and had a lot of push. We all rode a Mendonesia longboard behind this boat(6ft surf style ocean board) and it required no pumping to keep up, just stand on the board and the wake pulled you along. When we asked Scott about the weighting he said the boat was ordered without the surf ballast package as it was a dealer demo boat and that it had some lead in it. We took a ton of rollers over the back/front end and as you can see, this boat was clearly weighted to it's max cap. I don't think it could have taken one more person in it with our group. We did notice that the pocket initially was not that long and that it needed more nose weight so he filled up a front bag. We never really did get him to tell us what the boat was completely weighted like and I'm not sure he knew. This boat had the dual surftabs and they worked as advertised. The wake would get taller/shorter as the tabs were deployed. Slick feature if you have varying degrees of surfers or combo surf/skimstyle on the boat. The boat itself had a goofy extended sundeck that made entry/exit via the swimdeck to the water almost impossible. It had the walkover sunpad and into the rear seat. They had a fiberglass step piece on the floor in front of the rear seat that ate up a lot of floor space. For a 23ft boat, there was a ton of seating but not much floor space. This boat was hands-down the noisiest of the bunch. At surf speed, you could not carry on a conversation while running. I think it was due to the walkover sunpad and losing the seating/padding/foam over part of the engine. One guy in our group pulled on the tower and we decided it was the weakest of the group as well, but did have a great bimini that kept the sun out.
When we left at the end of the day Saturday, Scott was having lighting issues with the trailer. We stopped and helped him get it fixed and somehow after that got roped into unloading his lead. He then told us it had 1500lbs in it and he was removing 50lb bricks from all over the boat. He said he wasn't supposed to be at this event and was not going to be there tomorrow as he had a tee time and a photoshoot. He had another rep that was supposed to bring another sanger. He was in the middle of calling him when we left. Well... Sunday morning rolled around and Sanger was a no-show. There was a rider there named Rob that had is Supreme 226 there. He was gracious enough to stick it in the water and use it to tow the groups that were supposed to ride the Sanger on Sunday. It was too bad Shane didn't have the MOJO there on Sunday as he could have slid into that spot.
This boat had a solid wave, but was maxed and that turned a lot of our group off..
Our last boat of the day on Saturday was the holy grail of all wakesurf boats-----the Enzo240. I was stoked to ride this boat due to it's legacy and our group had 2 centurion boat owners that were super stoked to ride it as well. It was driven by Grant, the owner of CMS boats out of Sacramento that put on the whole event. My hat's off to him as without his participation(deep pockets) this would not have happened. Several boats dropped out last minute and he brought up showroom boats for us to ride. The centurion was the largest wakeboat I have ever been in. We had 11 full size guys in the cabin going back at the end of the day and still had a ton of room. The windshield forward design that makes for a larger cabin/smaller bow paid off, although I don't know 15 people to surf with to fill the boat up. Fit/finish was hands-down the best of the group. It was a solid well built boat. This was the only boat that arrived with stock ballast and the wake was a huge letdown. Every one of our group of 5 felt that this was the weakest wake of the day. It had a nice shape but the boat is just soooo big, we needed another 2k in weight-but the rear locker was already completely full of water so Grant said you either have bags on the seats or lead. It was too bad that centurion bailed last minute as this boat did not represent their company well and I heard the same comments from other groups that the wake was a letdown..
10-16-2012, 11:55 AM
Sunday brought the best/worst wake.
First out was the Pavati boat. I think this one was the most sought after boat at the event as it's just sooo different. The boat is made out of 1/4" aluminum plate, 24ft long and only weighs 3800lbs and has the tallest freeboard I have ever seen on a boat. It looks like an oceanliner coming back to get you.. It should be noted that this boat is the very first one, a custom hand-built boat and still has a ton of issues to sort out, but that's the reason he showed up and Chuck was very open to feedback from the group to improve the boat(and he was one of the few manufacturers that actually showed up) so that being said... We heard a lot of concerns for the quality of the wake from the Saturday riders. The boat has twin 900lb tanks and was initially built as a wakeboard boat, not a surfboat(I did talk to one person who saw the wake at 23 and said it looked like a solid wakeboard wave) so one of the guys in our group had 1400lbs in flyhi sacks and a pump. We spent the first part of our session loading up the boat. The wake is the steepest I have ever seen and has a transition in the flats that just jumps up and grabs your board out. It was tough to ride at first. The best rider of our group took a few to get used to it, but did manage to land some good air and 3's off it. with more weight, it has a lot of potential. The swimdeck got in the way of the wave and the nice thing about this boat-he said he was going to go home, grind it off and weld up a new one with a different design. Chuck was open to all of our suggestions and seemed to want to improve the boat.
The interior of the boat was amazing and had more storage than you could even imagine. Under the cabin seats had compartments like any boat, but they went almost 4ft down. We stored 2 huge buoys(the large inflatable skulls), a dozen lifejackets and some other odds/ends under the seat behind the driver and still had a small amount of room left and this was not even into the rear seat corner yet. The seat you see on the back lifted up to expose the front of the engine. I bet I could do an impeller change in under 5 minutes on this boat. the downside was all the water that kept flowing into the bilge from this and questionable as to it's legality while the boat is underway, but it sure was a fun seat. sitting in it, the wake was over my head. We commented that you need to get a pair of tallboys in each cupholder to hold you in and practice your rodeowave... The front was way too shallow in depth(6" or so) and anyone with kids would shy away from this boat quickly. I think it'll be lower on version #2. As stated, it had some issues, but out of the hole, was a very solid well built boat and looking at the little things like wiring runs, components, it's solid. interior looked to be straight out of a mc, livorsi gauges, 2 amps, 2 subs, 8 or so cabin speakers, 5 batteries, procharger, dual bilge pumps(they got a workout from the seat and surfwave). He spared no expense on this prototype and I hope that he's back next year with a production boat. The best pic and I wish I had one was of that boat beached on the rocky shore and leaning from 2k in ballast. It looked like it was ready to fall over... Try that with any other wakeboat. I heard a couple of comments from people that boat in rivers that this boat would be a good choice from all the wood/rocks that you can encounter.
This pic was taken as the wake was forming from the "rodeo chair".. You can see how tall it is. I had the camera in front of my face using the screen as a viewfinder..
10-16-2012, 12:09 PM
The final boat of the day was Robert's (ragboy) Tige Z3. I was looking forward to riding this boat to see if the hype was true and to try out the new "device" that Tige has invented. I will say hands down this wake was the best of the event, but it should be as this boat is a personal boat to someone and has been tuned all summer. I heard feedback that the Supreme that Rob drove on Sunday to replace the Sanger was the second best wake of the event for those that rode it, but again due to it being a personal boat that has been tweaked all summer.
The Tige wake was tall and had a lot of adjustability with the wakeplate and was long. Getting pulled up with a standard surfrope, the wake still had 2-3ft behind me as it was forming.. Turning to the goofy side while pulling a regular rider did almost nothing to the wake. It was still long and tall. I won't go into the details of the boat to keep my bias out other than to say it was like any other z3.
At the end of the day as we were riding back to Reno Sunday night to crash for the evening, I had some time to reflect on the overall event and have to say:
-It was great to meet Mike/Claudia and put faces with names. The mexican food was good and you should have enjoyed a beer at Robs house..
-Shane was awesome and I will never forget the experience of having a boat brought up and being invited to a single session and then the boat leaving... THANKS SHANE.....
There were a lot of great wakeboats there and I wish Moomba would have been one of them throughout the weekend. They would not have had the best wake since the boat was not a personal-owned boat that was dialed in, but it would have represented well and put the brand out in front of the "common guys" that are buying these things... I get that it's expensive to do an event like this, but Skiers needs to get out in the wakesurf community and this would have been a perfect opportunity..
Here's to hoping you're there next year with a boat Shane....
10-16-2012, 12:12 PM
poor form by Sanger and I hope they aren't invited back next year.
The Walker family loves their Supreme. Never been on one, so thanks for the feedback. FYI - Supreme boats are actually manufactured in the Calabria factory.
Centurion Enzo SV244 is like any 24ft boat. It's big and needs a lot of weight to get a great wave which ultimately turns that 16-18 people capacity to something like 10. I thought some of the hardware on the Centurions looked like it came off a Tahoe from Bass Pro. I have serious OCD and didn't like the screws on the driver's dash being allen heads and the ones on the passenger's glovebox hinge being phillip heads.
10-16-2012, 12:20 PM
Agreed on the sanger 100%. my friend sue wants to buy a new one and she was inline on sunday to ride it. sad that she didn't get to. still enjoyed the supreme immensely and she got to review both boats showing it helps to bring a properly weighted boat to this event. sanger will be invited back as I would think the goal is to get every manuf. there representing, I just hope if they make the commitment, they show. It was sad to see moomba and centurion bag and sanger only show one day..
10-16-2012, 12:39 PM
Great review of all the boats from the riders perspective. I have lots of comments and thoughts but there from a buyers perspective and i didnt get to surf any boats this weekend.
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