We showed you a bunch of pictures in the last post and talked about the theory behind the Bonzer 5 by the Campbell Brothers. Well we got a chance to take it out yesterday and give it a little wakesurfing test spin. It’s crazy fun and we’ll share a short wakesurfing video and some wakesurfing pictures for you.
The very first thing that you notice about the board is it’s speed. Now speed is often cited as one of the BEST attributes of wakesurf boards, but there is an optimum value, really. With the nose rider, speed is actually a problem. What happens when you put weight forward on a board? It goes faster and pretty soon you’re in the back of the boat! Even in your normal short board configuration, we find that too much speed isn’t a good thing. We like the ability to generate quick acceleration, but the ability to travel 30 mph doesn’t really serve any purpose on a wake that is 20 feet long and the native speed is 12 mph. HOWEVER, being able to get from 12 to 18 in the blink of an eye is a very useful attribute, going from 12 to 30 over the course of a minute or so, not so much. So acceleration is key, not so much terminal velocity or how fast a wakesurf board goes and much like cars, acceleration and top speed are often mutually exclusive due to gearing and other concerns.
Cars that run on the Bonnevile salt flats that attempt record speeds usually takes AGES to get to that top speed. Dragsters on the other hand can’t match those top speeds from Bonneville, but rocket through the quarter mile QUICKLY. We prefer the DRAGSTER sprt of acceleration and find that far more useful when wakesurfing. Come on, when was the last time you went 30 wakesurfing behind your boat? Right, NEVER, but how often have you wanted to get from way back at the back of the pocket to BACK in front of the pocket NOW! All the dang time, right? Acceleration is king!
So back to out Thumb. Once you were on the nose, it was a flat out race to the transom of the boat! So we’ll play with our fins a little and the worst case scenario is we’ll put a little lip on the bottom of the board to cat like a brake when we are up at the nose. This was a completely new design so it was a little bit of guess work, but for the most part right on target!
Now for some of the wakesurfing pictures, here is one of James hanging 5 and you can see him stalling to get the tail in to the wake to hold it down as he scampers forward.
James was also able to pop up on it, like he was paddling into a wave. The prone and standing up photos below. The board really could be used on a nice wave out in the ocean.
Not sure if that board would make a good training aid, but it’s certainly a fun trick to add to your bag – being able to pop up on your wakesurf board behind the boat and we’re sure it couldn’t hurt your skills if you ever try to go to the ocean to surf.
One last picture and it does require a little explanation. It’s a picture of James’ mom, Judy Walker. Now Judy is very petite, about 4’11″ tall and around 100 pounds. This Thumb at 5’5″ long is waaaaayyyy too much board, but she always likes to try our new toys. We put her out on the board and then sped the boat up to about 12 mph. So you can see the wake is crazy long and in the picture we kept yelling for Judy to go further back. In this picture was was actually surfing back there. She could recover from way back there, not pumping which we believe isn’t a reflection of the board, but of the riders ability to jump up and down. She would just ease the board out of the wash and then lean forward and the board would scoot along the very edge of the transition. The lift that starts with the transition into the face is enough flow to be captured by the Bonzer 5 wakesurf fin pod, for someone as light as Judy.
Is that crazy far back, or what????!!!! Anyway, it was a fun board to play with and a wonderful alternative to the rather mundane choices available in wakesurf boards at the moment. We sure hope that you’ll use your imagination and look into the various surf craft that are available and that you may want to add to your quiver!
We’ll close with a short unedited video clip of one of James Walker’s rides on the Bonzer 5 Thumb. When James first popped up on this wakesurf board, the video camera wasn’t ready so we had him go back to prone so that we could film him popping up.
Well that was great fun, thanks for letting us share it with you!