The Best Aftermarket Wakeboard Towers (2022 Value Guide)

man driving bowrider boat with yellow Bimini top pulling wake rider behind

Trying to pick out the best aftermarket wakeboard towers can be confusing for buyer without experience. Are you searching a forward-facing or rear-facing model? Are all frames constructed to the same standard? To help you answer these questions and avoid wasting your money I wrote this value guide with comparisons.

Keep in mind, you get what you pay for. I always follow the adage of “pay now, save later.” By spending the extra bucks for a quality product, you get the best insurance in the long run. Yes, a warranty is nice to have, but I don’t like relying on them.

To start, is a detailed comparison table. Second, there are comprehensive reviews of 6 universal wake towers. If you prefer to navigate to a specific section, there is a clickable table of contents. 

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Table of Contents

What Is a Wakeboard Tower?

A wakeboard tower is a frame mounted to the hull of an inboard boat to elevate a tow point. An elevated tow point is crucial for completing aerial maneuvers while wakeboarding.

This board sport first started in the 1980s. In those days, the tow-line point was at a ski tow/pylon or an eye hook at the stern. As a result, the tow-line angled downwards towards the boat. This made the line pull the rider down instead of up. As the sport evolved, riders wanted a solution to help them pop up off the boat’s wake to increase air time. The marine industry answered with wake-specific boats that are very expensive.

Why Buy Aftermarket Wakeboard Towers?

Not every boater has the high budget to pay a wake-specific boat. For most people, a standard new or used inboard boat for leisure boating is much more affordable. But these boats often don’t come with an OEM option for a wake tower. In these instances’ aftermarket wakeboard towers and accessories are great solutions. This bolt-on wake tower is much more affordable and available in a variety of styles.

Learn More: How To Select Aftermarket Wake Towers

Comparison Chart

Absolute Best Aftermarket Wakeboard Towers

Purple label with gold anchor stating Editor's choice
Monster Tower MTK
  • Universal Fit: Boats Over 16 Feet In Length; 76 To 102 Inch Beam
  • Finish: Polished Anodized (Protected)
  • Tube Frame Materials: 6061 T6 Aircraft Grade Aluminum Frame & Fittings
  • Fastener Materials: 304 Stainless Steel Fasteners
  • Tube Size(s): 2.50 Inches
  • Mounting Location: Either Top or Side Mounted
  • Collapsible: Yes - Folds Forward & Aft, Via Quick Release Mounts
  • Includes Integrated Tow Point Navigation Light & Pre-Drilled For Wiring
  • VDouble Header to Support Universal Accessories
  • Illustrated Instruction Manual Included
  • Warranty (years): 5
Pro's & Con's

MTK Wakeboard Tower Review

My #1 pick for best aftermarket wakeboard towers in 2022 is the Monster Tower MTK. It grabs top spot because it’s built with the best materials and is the closest match for many OEM towers.

The Monster Tower MTK is a forward sweep tower that offers a sleek modern look to any boat. Forward facing towers are great because they can mount further back on your boat. Which allows for unobstructed views up front. This universal tower fits boats that are over 16 feet (4.88 m) in length with beam widths of 76 to 102 inches. Or 193.04 up to 259.08 centimeters.

Superior Construction

This used to be the only brand I reviewed which uses actual 6061 aircraft aluminum tubing for its frame. Thankfully more manufacturers are delivering this material for towers. Yet the MTK beats out the others due to the brand giving you the beefiest tubes at a 2.50 inch (6.35 cm) diameter. Most other brands provide half an inch less and weaker aluminum.

What makes 6061 the premier aluminum? This specific grade of aluminum delivers the best stiffness and corrosion resistance. Whereas many brands claim “6063 T6″ is also aviation grade aluminum,” it’s just not true. The numbers 6063 are the universal rating for architectural grade aluminum. This grade isn’t bad, its just not as premium as the 6061 aluminum that Monster Towers uses.

For added protection, the MTK uses billet 6061 T6 aluminum for the fittings and hull mounts. Known as the popular “Monster Paws” that are easy to install. Next, using heim joints and the Monster Paws ensures a precise fit to the contours of your boat. Although the mounts are a bit bulky, but this is a personal gripe. For mounting, you can choose either the top or side of the boat’s gunwale.

Moving on, you also get an anodized finishing on the tubes which further bolsters the corrosion resistance. Plus it provides a shiny stainless steel appearance for a boater who prefer this style. Otherwise, you can choose between, black or white powder coated frames.

Install is easy as Monster Tower provides detailed instructions. With a patented hinged one-piece top section you can get the job done in around 4 hours.

On The Water

The MTK tower is awesome, its very stiff and I didn’t see any side-to-side shaking while towing a rider. The rigidity is due to the one-piece top section, instead of tube-in-tube construction. As well, it has double braced large vertical tubes and header. Having a dual header is great because you can mount a variety of accessories, from speakers to lights. Its pre-drilled for wiring and each hole has a rubber grommet to prevent water intrusion.

On top, the swivel tow point rotates smooth and comes with an integrated light. For shade, you can add an over-the-top Bimini that’s sold separately. I also like how easy the tower folds down for storage or low clearances. It pivots via big quick release mounts, so I don’t have to fiddle with tools.

Disadvantages For The MTK Wake Tower?

My biggest issue with the MTK wakeboard tower is the exposed fasteners. For a product this premium I would prefer better rust protection at connections.

The next point I want to make isn’t an actual disadvantage, it’s heads up for fiberglass boat owners. If you buy the tower, you must use backing plates behind the mounting points. Which I would do regardless of the construction of a boat as it will increase total stiffness. Last, I wish it was cheaper, although this is wishful thinking a quality product.

Verdict:

Want the absolute best aftermarket wakeboard tower? Then you want one from Monster Towers, specifically the MTK. It’s built with ultra premium materials, silent on the water and a near match for OEM. Yes, the price is higher than others, but you need to pay for premium marine products.

Sleek Updated Reverse Arch Tower

Reborn Launch X
  • Universal Fit: Boats Over 18 To 24 Feet In Length; 78 To 106 Inch Beam
  • Finish: Gloss Black Powder Coating (Protected)
  • Frame Materials: 6063 T6 Architectural Grade Aluminum Tubing; 6061 Aviation Grade Aluminium Fittings
  • Fastener Materials: Stainless Steel Fasteners
  • Tube Size(s): 2.25 Inches
  • Mounting Location: Either Top Or Side Mounted
  • Collapsible: Yes - Folds Forward Via Quick Release Mounts
  • Double Header to Support Accessories
  • Easy To Install With Single Bolt Feet
  • Warranty (years): 5
Pro's & Con's

Reborn Launch X Wakeboard Tower Review:

For wider boat owners in 2022 searching to add aftermarket wakeboard towers, a great choice is the Reborn Launch X. This is an updated version of the original “Launch” forward-facing tower.

What’s Different?

  1. Now the tower has a 1.5-inch higher tow point. Which also adds head clearance for speakers.
  2. The addition of heavy-duty reinforced deck mounts to reduce side-to-side swaying for advanced riders.
  3. Easier to fold down with new heim joints and large knobs.

The new version will fit boats between 18 and 24 feet in length. For international boaters, it fits between 5.48 and 7.32 meters in vessel length. It’s the only wakeboard tower in this review that fits beam widths from 78 up to 106 inches, or 198 to 269.24 centimeters.

6063 T6 Aluminum Pipe Frame

The material for the tube frame of the Reborn Launch X is 6063 T6 aluminum in a 2.25 inch (5.71 cm) diameter. This is the most popular metal for mid-range aftermarket wakeboard towers. Its smooth surface, makes it a good fit for anodizing. The 6000 series, uses magnesium and silicon elements, however it’s less strong than 6061. As I mentioned in the introduction, 6063 isn’t aviation grade, it’s architectural.

Next, the “T6” indicates “Temper-6” which is a heat-treating process. Tempering metal shifts the inner molecules of the metal, increasing its durability.

Brands use 6063 T6 because it’s less expensive to manufacture, which trickles down to a lower cost for the buyer. The Reborn Launch uses 6063 T6 for the tubes and 6061 for the fittings. It won’t be as strong as complete 6061 towers, but dependent on installation it performs well in calm waters. To prolong its life, rinse it down with fresh water and maintain connection points.

It’s also easy to install, and you only have to drill 4 holes in your boat.

Using The Reborn Launch X Wake Tower

Installed with backing plates this wake tower does shake a tiny bit but not so much that I worried about it. On the water though when I was towing a rider this shake dissipated. I do worry about long term use when a tower shakes after install, especially with thinner 2.25 inch (5.71 cm) tubes. Boaters who spend a lot of time in open choppy water will want to do regular check ups on this tower. For calm waters like lakes it seems to perform fine.

The glossy black coating looks good and will protect the frame from corrosion. Another bonus for small frame towers are, they will fit off-brand accessories.

Downsides Of the Reborn Launch Tower?

Beyond the less strong and smaller diameter frame, the fasteners could also be better. Reborn uses standard stainless steel hardware, I would upgrade to “316 stainless steel.”

Verdict:

Pick the Reborn Launch X if you have a wider boat and want a less expensive forward-facing wake tower. It has a nice curved shape that’s solid and quiet in calmer waters. But it’s best to do regular maintenance to guarantee life expectancy.

Top Forward Facing Wake Tower For Tall Boaters

blue and gold colored label showing check mark and top marks text
Big Air Cuda
  • Universal Fit: 72 To 102 Inch Beam
  • Finish: Black Power Coated (Protected) Or Polished (Not 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 Toward Bow Via Bolt Removal
  • Pre-Drilled For Wiring
  • Dual Swiveling Rope Head (Tow Knob)
  • Built-In Corner Trusses To Ensure A Rigid Structure
  • Warranty (years): 5 (Limited)
Pro's & Con's

Big Air Cuda Wakeboard Tower Review

If you are a tall boater (6 feet +) this is a top choice for an aftermarket wakeboard tower in 2022. The Cuda tower from Big Air is a popular reverse/forward facing tower for over 9 years. Due to its near OEM styling and use of high quality frame materials.

While its intended to be a reverse mounted tower, you could also mount it at the windshield sweeping to the rear. Making it versatile if you move it from an old boat to a new one that looks better with a classic rear sweep tower.

For fitment, it’s best for watercraft with beam widths of 72 to 103 inches. Or 182.88 up to 261.62 centimeters.

The biggest advantage for the Cuda is the height that it stands over the boat. It stands about 5-feet (152.4 cm) from mounting points. So depending on the vessel, it provides 7-feet (84 cm) of clearance underneath it. Even with a Bimini and speakers attached most tall users will have no problem standing under it.

Aviation Aluminum Frame

Like my number one pick, the Cuda tower uses actual 6061 aircraft aluminum for the frame tubing. At 2.25 inches (5.71 cm) the Cuda comes in 2nd place to the MTK’s 2.5 inches. Although if you boat on calm waters the strength difference of this material is minimal. To bolster the strength of this tower, Big Air built in corner trusses. Yet on the water I found some issues even with this proposed added strength, more about this later.

Next, Big Air mounts via a single bolt, 3″ diameter circular attachment. Which is great, as you only have four holes to drill into your boat hull. I should mention, if the hull is less than 3/8 inch thick or fiberglass you must reinforce it. The brand recommends a 4 × 8 inch (10.16 × 20.32 centimeter) area for this.

Installation wise, you get some of the best instructions. Including an excellent step-by-step video. With two people, you can finish the job in around 4-6 hours. Its pre-drilled for wiring and is capable of adding a navigation light.

Real World Use

After install the Cuda looks beefy and ridged, however on the water I was a bit disappointed. The tower relies on a tube-in-tube telescopic construction for the top/head section. Which is good for install versatility but less so for performance. Due to you having to drill holes and secure the section with bolts. This creates points that can loosen and rattle. Which on the water, I unfortunately did notice it a bit every time I hit a wave.

Otherwise, the tow point offers free swivel movement, and it’s easy to attach any racks or other accessories. As well, the tower folds down for storage or low clearances, albeit via tools.

Big Air Cuda: Downsides

As I mentioned, my biggest gripe with the Cuda tower is needing tools to fold it down. This is such a nuisance; its such an afterthought from this brand.

The tower also loses points on the head section not being a one piece design. Although I understand the reasoning for ease of install, but it means you need to re-tighten over time. Not something I want to deal with, yet you might disagree.

Likewise, I would upgrade the fasteners. Many brands will cheap out here and Big Air is no different. Do yourself a favor and upgrade to “316 stainless steel” bolts/nuts. Also add some lock-tight grease to further level-up the rigidity and corrosion resistance.

Verdict:

Need the best aftermarket wakeboard towers geared toward tall boaters. The Big Air Cuda is a top choice. It’s built with superior materials, almost an OEM match and its easy to install. Although due to some design/performance caveats it doesn’t beat the MTK wake tower.

Best Classic Wake Tower For Boats With Wraparound Windshields

Purple label with gold anchor stating Editor's choice
Monster Tower MT2
  • Universal Fit: All Boats With 60 To 102 Inch Beam
  • Finish: Polished Bright-Dipped Anodized (Protected)
  • Tube Frame Materials: 6061 Aircraft Grade Aluminum Tubing & Fittings; EPDM Rubber Monster Paws
  • Fastener Materials: 304 Stainless Steel
  • Tube Size(s): 2.50 Inches
  • Mounting Location: Either Top or Side Mounted
  • Collapsible: Yes - Front Legs Fold Forward & Rear Legs Fold Aft
  • Best Suited For Boats With Long Or Wrap-around Windshields
  • Zero-Torsion Mounts Reduce Stress Damage Caused By Fixed Mounts
  • Awesome PAper & Video Install Instructions
  • Warranty (years): 5 (Limited)
Pro's & Con's

Monster Tower MT2 Wake Tower Review

My choice for best aftermarket wakeboard towers in the classic rear-facing design is the Monster Towers MT2 model. Due to its construction and whisper quiet performance. If you own a boat with a long or wraparound windshield this is the wakeboard tower for you.

The MT2 is a universal wake tower which fits all boats with a beam width between 60 and 102 inches. In metric this measures between 152.4 up to 259.8 centimeters. Like the MTK, it uses a heim joints built into the “Monster Paws” base. The aids in accommodating the curvature of your boat’s deck for a precise installation.

Proven Best-In-Class Construction

As I mentioned in the MTK review, it uses true aviation grade aluminum. Using 2.50 inch (6.35 cm) diameter 6061 T6 anodized aluminum pipes for both the frame and fittings. You can rest assured, it delivers ultimate stiffness and corrosion resistance for a well-used wake tower. Anodizing the aluminum creates extra strong protection from rust.

In fact, the MT2 is an improved version of Monster Towers revered MT1. The older version was one of the most popular aftermarket towers in the industry. Improvements for the MT2 include:

  1. Cold-forged legs increase height 2-3 inches over MT1
  2. Big easy to rotate quick-release knobs for folding down tower
  3. Longer leg design means better fitment for boats with longer windshields

For mounting, you can choose either the top or side of the boat’s gunwale. Plus, the MT2 has zero-torsion mounts to reduce stress damage caused by fixed mounts.

Install is easy with the provided paper instructions and simple online videos. I like that buyers who run into problems can call Monster Tower specialists for help. No other brand reviewed offers comprehensive on-the-phone install help.

Monster Tower MT2 Performance

Compared to the MTK, the MT2 is pretty good but not perfect. Unlike the 2-piece design of the MTK, the MT2 is a 3-piece design. As such, it will have extra connection points that can possibly flex and make noise. On the boat I notice the tiniest amount of shake but overall the tower is rigid. To prevent shaking I always install backing plates behind the mounts. Then re-torque the bolts for the first few uses and shaking tends to stop.

On top of the tower the nylon swivel mount is smooth and reacts like a bearing allowing the tow-rope to move side to side. The pivoting one-piece top section has a double header to attach any accessory you could want. Its pre-drilled for wiring and each hole has a rubber grommet to prevent water intrusion.

For shade, you can buy an over-the-top Bimini from Monster that measures 65 × 62″. If you do, make sure to install the rear bases as close to the back of the drivers seat as possible. Otherwise, the driver may not may get covered by any shade.

Any Downsides For The MT2 Wake Tower?

The main downsides with the MT2 are the exposed fasteners and that it only comes with a polished finish. Expect to see some rust if you use it in brackish water and don’t do regular cleaning. The second, is the appearance of the mounts, they don’t look as OEM as other mounts. But cosmetics is a personal decision. Last, if you buy or own off-brand accessories you may have trouble fitting them on the big 2.50 inch (6.35 cm) frame.

Verdict:

Owners of vessels with long or wraparound windshield will love this wake tower. Its built-tough with the best materials and if installed right, rattle is non-existent. None of the other rear-facing wake towers available come close to the strength to price ratio of the MT2 tower.

Sleek Mid-Range Classic Wakeboarding Tower

Sale
Krypt Towers Catapult
  • Universal Fit: Boats Over 17 to 24 Feet In Length; 78 To 108 Inch Beam
  • Finish: Black Coated (Protected) Or Polished Aluminum (Not Protected)
  • Tube Frame Materials: 6063 Architectural Grade Aluminum Frame & Fittings; 6061 Grade 360° Swivel Mounts
  • Fastener Materials: M12 & M10 Stainless Steel
  • Tube Size(s): 2.25 Inches
  • Mounting Location: Top, Side Or Angle Mounted
  • Collapsible: Yes - Folds Toward Aft
  • Fully Adjustable Tower, Can Slide Forwards Or Backwards For Minor Adjustments
  • Custom Sidebar Design That Follows The Boat's Windshield
  • Folds Down In 2 Minutes
  • Warranty (years): 5
Pro's & Con's

Krypt Catapult Wakeboarding Tower Review:

Looking for a mid range tower that is rear sweeping and classic yet gives off sleek looks? If so, then choose the Krypt Catapult tower. The Catapult is a wakeboarding tower that has been on the market under many names for many years. Including being re-branded as Reborn, Origin and today under the Krypt shop.

One unique design feature of this model, is it has a custom sidebar which follows the boat’s windshield. Which is very popular with many ski boat manufacturers, so it’s an near factory look. The side bars measure 65-inches (165-cm) between front and rear mounts.

Compatibility wise, it’s great for vessels in length from 17 to 25-feet with beam widths of 78 to 106-inches. In metric this measures between 198.12 up to 269.24 centimeters.

Adaptable Frame

Another interesting feature of this tower is that it slides forward and backward. This aids in making small adjustments during the installation. One thing to talk about when it comes to installation, the brand claims to include instructions. Although, I didn’t get one, nor are there any videos available. So, you will need to be good at puzzles to install this tower.

As a mid-range product, the tubes are going to be seamless 2.25 inch 6063 T6 architectural grade aluminum. Don’t mistake their claim that “6063” is aviation grade though, because it’s not. Where you will see 6061 aviation grade aluminum is for the mount fittings. Adding extra rigidity here is paramount as this is an area that sees a lot of stress. I appreciate the single bolt for mounting the feet. Likewise, the feet being adjustable to attach to the top, angle, or side of the hull.

Next, for fiberglass boat owners, you need to install backer plates under the boat deck. Are these included? Unfortunately they’re not, but a piece of alloy or plywood works great. In general, two people can do the installation in around 6 hours.

Depending on the style of the boat, the head tubes will fit four speakers. For the side tubes, you will have no problems adding a wakeboard rack on either side.

Rough Water Use

If you tend to operate your boat in rough waters, expect wobble as you hit waves with the Catapult. No matter what speed I used, the tower shifted ever so slightly. Considering the brand left me in the dark for the install, a bit of wobble isn’t a surprise. I would upgrade the fasteners and use lock-tight to help stiffen up this tower.

Next, the model for this review had the polished aluminum finish, which is okay for freshwater use. But if you tend to tow riders in brackish (salt) water upgrade to the black colored model. Any coating will go a long way to help reduce rust issues in harsh environments.

Krypt Tower Downsides?

The first two issues are the less strong 6063 frame and lack of installation guidance. Third, I wish they included better fasteners. Krypt uses standard M12 and M10 stainless steel hardware. I recommend to upgrade to “316.”

In fourth, the tower isn’t pre-drilled for wiring meant for speakers, wakeboard racks or lights. Which is a nuisance for some boaters. Lastly, you need to add extra backing plates under the hull deck, for ones less than 1-inch thick. Not doing so risks cracking damage to the gel coat.

Another common issue that plagues a lot of less expensive towers are the folding mechanisms. Like other cheap models, it needs tools to complete the task, which is annoying.

Verdict:

The Catapult is a decades popular wakeboard tower model that’s been re-branded often. They are best aftermarket wakeboard towers to match an original look with certain ski boats. The purchase price is reasonable, but most users might be less than impressed by rough water performance.

Most Affordable Rear-Facing Wakeboard Tower

green and white colored budget friendly label
Vulcan Boost
  • Universal Fit: All Boats With 62 To 103 Inch Beam
  • Finish: Polished Aluminum (Not Protected)
  • Tube Frame Materials: 6061 T6 Aircraft Grade Aluminum Frame & Fittings
  • Fastener Materials: Stainless Steel
  • Tube Size(s): 2.25 Inches
  • Mounting Location: Top Or Side Mounted
  • Collapsible: Yes - Folds Toward Aft
  • Mount Hardware & Backing Plate Included
  • Compatible With Inboard & Outboard
  • Warranty (years): 5
Pro's & Con's

Vulcan Boost Wake Tower Review

For wallet-conscious boaters, this is the most affordable classic wake tower for 2022. The Vulcan brand is new to the USA and the Boost model in particular fits any style of boat, both inboard or outboard.

This is the most basic of rear-facing wakeboard tower that you can find on the market. Like all the others, its collapsible to near windshield height. Beam width for this model is between 62 to 103 inches or 157.48 up to 248.92 centimeters.

Premium Material At An Inexpensive Price!

Well this is a bit of a surprise, often to save costs brands will use 6063 grade aluminum in cheaper wake towers. Not so with the Vulcan Boost, in fact you get 6061 T6 aviation grade tubes for the frame of this tower. Likewise, the diameter of the tubes match mid-range brands at 2.25-inches (5.71-cm). For hardware, you get basic stainless steel, but you do get backer plates too, which is a bonus.

Trying to install the Boost is an exercise in patience. The included instruction manual is useless and none of the parts have labels. Expect a certain swedish furniture maker level of annoyance trying to attach it to your vessel. But when you do, appreciate the good welds.

Budget Performance

The Boost wakeboard tower uses the telescopic tube-in-tube design for the header. This is great for ease of installation but not so great for performance on the water. Add to this the rest of the tower comes in many other pieces to round out the design. Using the best frame material can only get you so far, especially when the design uses many parts.

As a result, its noisier than others on the water, but at this ultra low price its as expected. Side-to-side movement is a tiny bit worse than front-to-rear. So I’m not very confident trying to rip hard corners in rough waters with this tower. But on a lake in light to no wind it seems fine.

Disadvantages: The Least Rust Resistance

Bare in mind, this particular model has the least rust protection. Due to the polished aluminum finish, that will oxidize overtime allowing corrosion issues. With this type of finish, you have to rinse and wipe down tower after every use.

If more maintenance isn’t an option for you, there’s also a black colored powder coat model. That’s actually the same price, check out pricing for this model here.

Another problem with the Vulcan Boost is the method to fold it. You need to use an Allen wrench to remove bolts to allow it to collapse. I hate having to use tools to do a function that a simple quick release can manage.

As with most cost saving measures, Vulcan also uses inferior fasteners. Upgrade them to 316 Aluminum to increase longevity of the tower.

Verdict:

Need to stick to a budget or have and old boat that needs a classic wake tower? For the low price, the Vulcan boost is a decent pick. You get superior frame material but a complicated install. On the water it performs as expected for the cost. But, for peace of mind it has a long 5-year warranty.

Final Thoughts: The Best Aftermarket Wakeboard Towers

Now picking aftermarket wakeboard towers shouldn’t be hard. Choose the best wakeboard tower you can afford. Remember that 6061 T6 aluminum is always preferred over 6063 aluminum. Finishes matter too, anodized and powder coating will always perform better than simple polished aluminum. That’s it, now you can move on to find a wake tower that fits your specific style of boat and budget.

Finally, thanks for letting Outdoors Informed help with your research. We enjoy helping out, so you can spend less time indoors and more ripping hard turns!

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