Best Affordable Wakeboard Towers: 2022 Folding Tower Guide

a white boat with silver wakeboard tower running on a lake toward the observer

You’re here because you want to add a wakeboard tower to your boat. For your own reasons you don’t want to spend a lot, but which affordable wakeboard towers should you pick? It’s a difficult task, as there are many on the market you have a lot of options.

Don’t stress, because today I review three value focused models that also fold. Towers that collapse are great for both storage and towing. While still being stiff enough, for towing riders in a safe manner.

If you want to skip to a specific product, click on the navigable table of contents, or read the whole article. Let’s get started.

Learn More: How To Select Aftermarket Wake Towers

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Table of Contents

Wake Tower Comparison Chart

The Best Affordable Wakeboard Towers

Purple label with gold anchor stating Editor's choice
Big Air Ice
  • Universal Fit: Boats 16 Feet To 25-Feet In Length; 62 To 103 Inch Beam
  • Finish: Black Powder Coat (Protected)
  • Tube Frame Materials: 6061 T6 Aircraft Grade Aluminum Frame & Fittings
  • Fastener Materials: Stainless Steel Fasteners
  • Tube Size(s): 2.25 Inches
  • Mounting Location: Either Top or Side Mounted
  • Collapsible: Yes - Folds Aft, Via Bolt Removal (Tools Needed)
  • Stands About 5-Feet From Mounts With A 12-degree Inward Taper
  • 10 to 18-Inches Above Gunnel When Collapsed
  • Pre-Drilled For Wiring
  • Warranty (years): 5
Pro's & Con's

Big Air Ice Tower Review

The Ice is my top pick in 2022 for affordable wakeboard towers. It claims top spot because it’s made of the best materials. Add to this it has a reasonable price, and it collapses too.

It’s a wakeboarding tower with a classic style that slopes toward the aft of the vessel. Fitment wise, it’s compatible with watercraft from 16 To 25 feet (4.87 – 7.62 m) in length. In fact its truly universal for any boat type, with a 62 to 103 inches (1.77 – 2.59 m) beam width. Expect to position the legs of the Ice Tower between 40 to 50-inches apart but can be up to 60-inches.

Next for this particular wakeboard tower, you get a black gloss lacquer. But you can also buy a polished finish as well, but don’t expect anodized. Powder coats are an extra paint-like feature on the frame to prevent salt corrosion.

Best-In-Class Frame Material

For materials, both the frame and fittings are 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminum. 6061 is the actual grade code for aviation grade, not 6063 which many other brands claim. This is crucial because it’s light in weight and the stiffest grade of metal available. For tube size, it provides 2.25 inches (5.71 cm) sides and 2.5-inch on top, which is decent for in this budget.

On top, is a single telescopic header with rotating tow knob. Being a tube-in-tube design is great for ease of set-up. But it’s also the main downfall of this wakeboard tower as well. Due to creating more connection points that weaken the total structure.

To combat this downfall, the manufacturer supplies all hardware and backer plates too. Fiberglass boats have to install backer plates to prevent cracking the gel coat. Including metal plates are great as you can mold them to your boat’s shape.

Simple Install

Moving on to installation, you can mount the tower on the top or side of your boat. Via 3-ich circular fittings with a single hole, so you only have to drill 4 holes in the gunwale.

Owners of curved boats will also have no problem installing the Ice, as the brand gives you with two sets of gaskets. One is a flat gasket (you will discard these) and the other a curved gasket. The latter helps absorb the curvature of your hull.

Installed, the tower itself is sturdy as I had a friend that weighed 200 pounds hang off it with no movement. On the calm water, it didn’t creak or rattle. But I did see it shift a little when going through choppy waves.

Big Air Ice Disadvantages:

In this cost range you should expect some compromises and the Ice does have some. Such as the telescopic header I mentioned in the beginning of this article. Next it lacks side support and the double header section that another tower in this article has.

The last problem is more of a nuisance for this wakeboard tower. The Ice tower collapses by the use of extra tools. You need to remove two bolts from the rear legs and loosening two bolts from the front legs. I prefer brands provide quick release knob for this. The U-joint rear leg connections do allow for smooth folding though.

Verdict:

Want to balance cost to material quality? Then these are the best affordable wakeboard towers. You get the superior structural materials for only a bit more money than others. The main caveat is dealing with a single header that telescopes. Although for lake life, this shouldn’t bother you.

Sturdy Double Header Tower

Krypt Towers Indy Liquid
  • Universal Fit: Boats 17 Feet To 25-Feet In Length; 67 To 102 Inch Beam
  • Finish: Gloss Black Powder Coat (Protected)
  • Tube Frame Materials: 6063 T6 Architectural Grade Aluminum Tubing; 6061 Aviation Grade Fittings
  • Fastener Materials: 316 Marine Grade Stainless Bolts & Washers
  • Tube Size(s): 2.25 Inches
  • Mounting Location: Either Top or Side Mounted
  • Collapsible: Yes - Folds Toward Aft Via Removal Of Rear Vertical Tubes (Tools Needed)
  • Full Welded Double Top Bars For Added Strength
  • Thick 3-mm Walled Tubing With Hidden Fastener Connections
  • Innovative Patented 360-Degree Rotating Deck Mounts
  • Warranty (years): 5
Pro's & Con's

Indy Liquid Wakeboard Tower Review

In 2022, the Indy Liquid is a great budget rear-facing wakeboard tower. It sits right in the middle of the pack price and performance wise. The Indy liquid, is a step-up from the Origin but a bit lower material quality than the Big Air. It also costs the most out of the three picks.

The Indy Liquid tower fits vessels 17 To 25 feet (5.18 – 7.62 m) in length. With a 70 to 102 inches (1.77 – 2.59 m) wide beam. This specific tower is a rear-facing model that is black power coated. Power coating not only prevents corrosion, but delivers minimalist looks too.

I like that its strong enough for the cost, shaking/noise is minimal, and it folds for storage. Install seems easy, consider it as a DIY project that will take around 4/5 hours.

Popular Wakeboard Tower For 10 Years

Indy has been selling Liquid since 2010. It’s designed to close the gap between Universal fit and OEM towers. For materials, the frame is 6063 seamless aluminum. The pipes are 2.25 inches (5.71 cm) in diameter and 3 mm thick, plus CNC 6061 solid aluminum for the fittings.

These materials are pretty strong and reduce rusting, but will need regular maintenance. On top, is a solid welded double bar top section for rock solid strength when towing your friends and family.

Unlike other brands that skimp on the hardware, Indy uses the best bolts and washers available. Supplying boaters with 316 grade stainless steel M12 bolts and washers. This high-quality hardware is the most corrosion-proof hardware for marine environments.

“Cleanest” Looking Wake Tower On The Market

On first look this universal wake tower is by far the closest to an OEM tower. This is because it’s the only tower that has hidden connections, so no exposed bolts.

Another bonus is the patented rotating deck mounts. With these there’s no need for exact alignment like all other brands to allow for folding. The mounts will rotate under pressure to let the tower to pivot and lower flat, almost anywhere you install it. For ease of installation you can mount on the top or side of your boat.

Having hidden fittings and sleek hull mounts creates a near factory tower appearance. An added bonus is that the height from tow point to mount position is about 55 inches (1.4 meters). This is more than enough to help riders pop off the wake to create big aerial tricks.

Downsides Of The Indy Liquid Wake Tower?

As a mid-range budget wakeboard tower, the Indy Liquid ticks off a lot of boxes. Yet there is one issue, top mounting can create an interference issue when folding the tower. Indy designed the tower to lower via the front legs toward the stern. If you top-mount the front legs too far in the bow section, they may rest on the frame of the windshield when folded down. No one wants a damaged windshield. A solution for this could be to mount as close as possible to the outside edge of the boat or side mount.

Also, to fold the frame you need to use tools when removing the rear vertical legs. I’d prefer a quick release knob for convenience, but I suppose Indy did this to ensure stiffness during use.

Verdict:

Pick the Indy Liquid tower if you want an excellent low-cost rear facing tower. Yet it’s the most expensive in this review article. It has the strength and height to deliver great wakeboarding. You just have to be aware the if you need to top mount it, it might interfere with your windshield.

Most Budget-Friendly Universal Wake Tower

green and white colored budget friendly label
Origin OWT-I Advancer
  • Universal Fit: Boats 17 Feet To 22-Feet In Length; 68 To 98 Inch Beam
  • Finish: Polished Aluminum (Oxidation Hazard)
  • Tube Frame Materials: 6063 T6 Architectural Grade Aluminum Tubing; 6061 Aviation Grade Fittings
  • Fastener Materials: Stainless Steel
  • Tube Size(s): 2.25 Inches
  • Mounting Location: Either Top or Side Mounted
  • Collapsible: Yes - Folds Toward Aft Via Removal Of Rear Tubes (Tools Needed)
  • Single Bolt Feet For Easy Installation
  • 56 To 68 Inches Between Front & Rear mounts: Rear Legs Adjust To Fit Up To 100 Inches
  • DIY Installation
  • Warranty (years): 5
Pro's & Con's

Origin OWT-I Advancer Wakeboard Tower Review

For buyers looking for the most affordable wakeboard towers in 2022, this is the tower for you. This is the bare-bones, Origin OWT-I Advancer. It’s a super basic rear-facing tower best suited for boats 17 to 22 feet (5.18 – 6.71 m) in length. For beam width it fits measurements between 68 and 98-inches (172 – 2.49 m).

Two Wake Tower Companies In One

Origin is the same company as Reborn, so expect a somewhat similar build quality. The OWT-I Advancer has a 2.25 inch (5.71 cm) diameter pipe frame made from 6063 architectural grade aluminum. For fittings, it’s aircraft grade 6061 billet aluminum and stainless steel hardware.

Keep in mind, the finish for this tower has the least protection. It has a polished aluminum finish, which tends to oxidize fast, increasing corrosion. As such, you need to rinse and wipe down tower after contact with salt (brackish) water.

No Instructions?

Something about this budget aftermarket model that I find hilarious is that Origin claims install is easy. Well, they don’t include paper install instructions, so how is it easy? On the box there is a small label with a link to their basic online instructions. But don’t expect to have it installed in under 3 hours and don’t use thread locker until you are set to finish.

If you plan to add speakers, the tower rack can only support a max of two. Routing of wiring is also problematic as you can’t route speaker wiring all the way through the tubes. The wires need to go out and back inside due to the upper bracket joints. Otherwise, this frame will fit universal accessories for many wake brands.

Expected Performance

The OWT-I wakeboard tower is a multi-piece tube-in-tube design. As a result, I noticed some noise and rattling out on the water. For this low price though, it performs as expected, and you do get a collapsible tower. You can fold the tower by disconnecting the rear bolts, loosen front bolts and pivot toward the stern.

If you want shade, Origin sells a flat Bimini, or choose the special combo package. Since Origin uses smaller diameter pipes the frame is very versatile for off-brand accessories. Beyond two speakers, it will fit wakeboard racks, a driver’s mirror and more. On top the swing mount works good, but I wish there was an integrated, LED navigation light.

Verdict:

Sticking to a budget or have an older boat that doesn’t need a flashy sleek tower? The most affordable pick is the Origin OWT-I Advancer wakeboard tower, one designed with low storage in mind. As a basic tower it isn’t super stiff but for the price it’s a decent performer. Plus, it has a 5-year warranty period for peace of mind.

Finishing up: Affordable Wakeboard Towers For 2022

Now you have the information to be able to buy a sturdy wake tower for your boat. Keep in mind that a budget model doesn’t have to be worthless, but expect to compromise on features. Most are good performers in calm waters but lose stiffness in rough salty waters.

Thank for letting us help with your research, so you can spend more time out enjoying the water and not indoors.

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