One of the biggest boating showcase events is now one of the biggest for the inland surf movement and it happens every year in North Texas at the DFW Boat Expo.
This is not any ordinary boat show either, the DFW Boat Expo at Market Hall is one of the go to events of the year for boat buyers and industry professionals and the North Texas market is always on the top five list for boat sales and leads the way in the inboard surfing market. If 2012 marked the biggest focus of new boat surf technology, patents and research, then 2013 seems to have marked the pinnacle year of joint efforts across the board and now in 2014, it’s on! This year at the DFW Boat Expo it was exciting to see that every single inboard boat has some sort of wakesurfing feature, not only that, every boat company is focusing their efforts on the wakesurf market and several on the stand up paddle market. The result, a 2014 boat show filled with surf boats and surfboards.
First stop, Centurion boats at Freedom Powersports where we spoke with President and CEO Kevin Lackey. Centurion is the innovator of the surf boat starting with “The Wave,” the first boat to introduce built in ballast in 1997 that is now a standard feature for all wakeboard boats for the past decade. For the past couple of years, although Centurion has continued to push wakesurfing more than any other boat, they have been in and out of dealerships in the North Texas market. But that’s definitely about to change with the popularity of wakesurfing at hand and a great new home at Freedom Powersports in their four locations throughout the metroplex. For those who have had the chance to ride behind the Enzo 24, you will be even more wowed by the new FX Series and Ram Fill technology host of the World Wakesurfing Championships. As far as performance goes, Centurion remains one of the best for surf.
Next stop was the Slalom Shop where we talked to Chris Coleman about the new Moomba and Supra surf systems. Chris stated that the new Moomba and its flow surf system is the best deal in the boat show. I might have to agree with him, a brand new fully loaded Moomba with surf system, ballast and sleek looks for under 60K. Chris showed us how to adjust the Moomba surf plates into its four different positions manually, meanwhile the advantage of the Supra plates were push button and an even more specific style of adjustment. It was good to see that they are even selling custom boards from Liquid Force and Soulcraft along with some Riviera stand up paddleboards, West Coast surf influence deep in the heart of Texas.
In a bigger boat show with multiple rooms and so much to see in so little time you really have to pick your path. So next up we visited the Waterski America booth and spoke with local surf legend Frank Cvar who has been wakesurfing behind Malibu boats for nearly a decade. Here we got to check out the new A24 Axis model, finally a bigger version Axis to fit more people and to displace a bigger wake. It was good to see pro wakesurfer Johnny Stieg on all the brochures and videos in their booth. Both Axis and Malibu use the patented Surf Gate technology and both are some of the best selling boats in the area. I was excited to learn exactly how the Surf Gate system worked and as a longboarder Frank was excited to tell us how much longer the wave was with the new technology.
What a great idea, a trim plate that did not extend down into the water, but down and away from the boat and would ultimately slow down the water momentum on one side and allow for the wake to develop on the other resulting in the ability to transfer the wake from goofy to regular without having to empty and fill the ballast. We also learned that both of these boats have right rotating props, which means that the wake shape is naturally better for goofy footers.
Last up, the Tige Boats revealing of the new ASR at Eagle Marine which is their new model featuring an open bow with more seating. Here I found some of the best info I could get about a boat’s performance from athletes of the sport like Chris Kinsey and Ashley Kidd there with Tige Boats.