Wakeboarding, the now more popular brother of waterskiing, has evolved over the last 30 years since it was first introduced. No wonder it now has greater acceptance than the sport it originated from.
Gliding above the waters is an absolute pleasure, and learning to ride the boat’s wake is a lot more exhilarating. However, it isn’t as simple as you might think. The fun in wakeboarding relies significantly on the wakeboard boat you use. It shouldn’t be just any boat.
This article talks about the best wakeboard boats and what makes them the best to maximize the fun in the waters.
- What are wakeboard boats
- What boat is best for wakeboarding
- Is a wakeboard boat worth it
- What to consider in getting a wakeboard
- Should you get your boat an insurance
Table of Contents
What Are Wakeboard Boats?
Generally speaking, wakeboard boats are vessels designed to create a large, specially manipulated wake for a wakeboarder to jump the wakes from side to side performing aerial tricks.
Wakeboard boats are no ordinary boats. Moreover, they shouldn’t be confused with boats used for waterskiing. Just because both types tow the rider doesn’t mean they are the same. Waterskiing boats create a nice flat surface, while wakeboarding boats create bigger wakes.
Going back to when the sport wakeboarding was still in its infancy, there was no such thing as a wakeboard boat. Instead, riders would push weight into the aft end of the boar. Not long after, companies started selling ballast bags to hold hundreds of gallons to weigh the boat down, shoving the aft end further into the water and generating more of the wakes.
Eventually, V-drive inboard boats became a thing in the wakeboarding sport, and manufacturers jumped on the board, too—no more ballast bags to buy anymore. Instead, the wakeboard boats now feature built-in ballast systems.
Top 5 Best Wakeboard Boats Reviewed
Whether you’re planning to purchase your first wakeboarding boat after relying too much on rentals or your friends’ or you’re looking to replace the boat you now have, picking one can be consuming. The number of manufacturers and wakeboard boats in the market can drown you.
To help you narrow down your choices, here are our top 5 best wakeboard boats you may want to consider:
- Mastercraft NXT22
- Moomba Mondo
- Axis Wake A24
- Malibu Boats 25 LSV Wakesetter
- Nautique Super Air GS22E
1. MasterCraft NXT22
- Boat length: 22’
- Fuel capacity: 49 gal
- Beam: 99”
- Seating: 14 people
- Boat weight: 4,300 lbs
- Ballast with surfstar: 2,150 lbs
- Engine: MPI Class V8
One of MasterCraft’s two value-leading towboats, the NXT22 is more of everything good. What MasterCraft refers to as your happy place features a ready 2,150 lbs of ballast with Surfstar, a spacious layout for 14, plus top-quality Klipsch audio for some endless waves and fun.
The NXT22 comes with a standard manual-folding tower and a surf system. Its surf system has surf tabs to either side and a wake tuning plate at the middle of the transom. More importantly, it has a 4.3-inch display to the right of the steering wheel.
Take note that the screen is for display only. The buttons under the screen allow the driver to toggle between the gauges, cruise and trim settings, and its full menu. Touch screen displays are one of the factors that make high-end tow boats expensive. The NXT22’s system is simple, but it gets the job done.
The driver manages the ballast settings – forward, left, right, and rocker switches to the left side of the screen. The rockers located in a panel in the boat’s shape below the ballast switches actuate the tabs on the surf system.
Overall, this boat offers bare essence and could almost be defined as primal. But, this is all well understandable since it focuses on delivering wakes and waves behind the ship more than indulging its passengers in lavish comfort.
|Cutout windshield for easier access to holding onto a dock||Not recommended for other boating activities like fishing|
|Deep storage underneath the cabin seats|
|Easy to operate even for one person|
2. Moomba Mondo
- Boat length: 20’
- Fuel capacity: 39 gal
- Beam: 102”
- Seating: 13 people
- Boat weight: 4,000 lbs
- Ballast: 3,700 lbs
- Engine: Raptor V8
After a year of hiatus, the Moomba Mondo is back – now better than ever. This year, this wakeboard boat is redesigned to heavily resemble Moomba’s other premium boats in its lineup, like Makai and Kaiyen. Moreover, it offers premium features and performance at a price that won’t break your bank.
While it is 2’ shorter than the MasterCraft NXT22, you should let its size fool you. The Moomba Mondo boasts 3,700 lbs of ballast. This counterweight means this boat has both bark and bite, making it one of the more all-around 20-footers in the boating industry – a simple multisport crossover machine.
The wakeboarding waves it produces have a good amount of volume with a user-friendly shape. This means it is excellent for the whole family, including beginners and kids. All while having your group of about 13 people watch you from the boat.
The Moomba Mondo maintains the separation in the interior with an innovative and carefully planned design that doesn’t add extra costs to the buyer. For instance, its cup and phone holders and USB charging ports are spread strategically throughout the cockpit. Moreover, its bow is deep and spacious, with a standard changeable filler cushion in the walkway with nonskid GatorStep flooring.
Overall, the Moomba Mondo exceeded what was expected of a 20’ wakeboard boat. It is simple yet functional and is stylishly designed with the latest touchscreen technology and sound system.
|Multisport crossover capabilities||Smaller fuel capacity|
|Deep and spacious interior|
3. Axis Wake A24
- Boat length: 24’
- Fuel capacity: 76 gal
- Beam: 102”
- Seating: 18 people
- Boat weight: 5,500 lbs
- Ballast: 5,320 lbs
- Engine: Malibu Monsoon M5Di
The Axis Wake A24 is Axis Wake’s largest boat yet in their series of boats. It features the same patented Axis Wake technology that seamlessly creates pro-quality, clean, and customizable wakes and waves. The updated design had improvements on its hull design for smoother rides even in rough waters.
Its higher freeboard and new design give the A24 a more streamlined look while maintaining its bold and aggressive lines, for which Axis Wake is known. Although, you can customize it to make it look the way you want it.
In addition, the freeboard improvement includes additional storage. The A24 has one of the deepest storage compared to other wakeboard boats. Its main portside seat in the cockpit is now fitted with a vertical hinge that offers more accessible access to the optional Engel soft cooler mounted beneath.
This wakeboard boat’s selling point is the perfect wakes and waves brought by the Surf Gate and the Power Wedge III technology mounted at the transom. The improvements for 2021 included the Power Wedge III that features more positions allowing for even greater control over the size and shape of the wake and waves.
The Axis Wake A24 is roomy and well-furnished for 18 of your passengers. Its wraparound interior is configurable with the flip-up Chill-Ax seating options that allow passengers to face back to get the perfect view of all the action. Overall, this boat delivers on big surf, wake, and driving performance.
|Trash bin conveniently located in the walk-through||More expensive than most wakeboard boats|
|Bigger fuel capacity|
|Roomy and spacious|
4. Malibu Boats 25 LSV Wakesetter
- Boat length: 25’
- Fuel capacity: 103 gal
- Beam: 102”
- Seating: 18 people
- Boat weight: 6,175 lbs
- Ballast: 5,180 lbs
- Engine: Malibu Monsoon M6DI
The 25 LSV Wakesetter is Malibu Boat’s most extensive in their line, allowing you to hold up to 18 of your friends on board. And, as with most big boats, they are expected to produce bigger wakesurf, too. Not only does this boat live up to these expectations, but it does so much more.
This wakeboard boat offers classic looks, tons of space, and all the luxury and extravagance only Malibu Boats can offer. Did we mention it offers extensive and long waves, too? Yes –thanks to the Power Wedge II setting that creates long waves that are fun to go back and forth to sans effort in pumping.
Speaking of the Power Wedge II, this electro-hydraulically actuated technology has two lift modes that provide extra ballast equivalent to up to 1499 lbs. With this technology, the wedge tilts down and forward to produce an additional planing surface to allow the hull to lift faster from the rear.
Malibu Boats incorporated in this wakeboard boat a new bolster style helm seating that, aside from being able to swivel 360 degrees, is exceptionally comfortable, too. The entirely new look to the upholstery looks great and wears exceptionally well. Add to that the comfort that the underfoot offers.
Overall, the Malibu Boats 25 LSV Wakesetter is not just a rider’s boat. It is a driver’s boat, a passenger’s raging vessel, and a rider’s well wake-setter. No doubt riding it will make you feel like a king.
|Optional bow camera and thrusters||The exterior design looks a bit dull and plain|
|Extremely comfortable and luxurious|
|Steering wheel controls|
5. Nautique Super Air GS22E
- Boat length: 22’
- Fuel capacity: n/a (electric drive boat)
- Beam: 100”
- Seating: 11 people
- Boat weight: 6,175 lbs
- Ballast: 1,850 lbs
- Engine: Malibu Monsoon M6DI
The world’s first all-electric wakeboard boat, Nautique Super Air GS22E, delivers performance and innovation rivaling any boat class. You will be surprised at how this zero-emission boat can produce a decent amount of torque to pull wakeboarders.
The good news is, water sports are joining the call to become more eco-friendly. This call prompted Nautique to team up with the electric propulsion company Ingenuity Electric to craft Super Air GS22E. The two geniuses designed the first fully electric towboat explicitly designed for towing wakeboarders and wakesurfers, too.
The Super Air GS22E takes from the popular gas-powered Super Air GS22 – same length, sleek and sporty design, and fully customizable interior. The only difference is the power that runs the boat. The electronic drive system used in this boat fits seamlessly into Super Air GS22E’s body. This system gets its juice from the 120 kW/hr high-density battery pack that provides instant torque delivery.
The Ingenuity Electric promises the boat has more than enough power to tow wakeboarders behind it for two to three hours at a time. As with anything eco-friendly, zero emissions for wakeboard boats come with a cost. In GS22E’s case, it’s time. If you are looking to wakeboard for longer hours, this boat isn’t your choice.
Overall, the Super Air GS22E is a whole new ballgame for wakeboarding. Nautique and Ingenuity working together not only proved that electric boating is possible, but they’ve also steered in the future of boating epically.
|Remote monitoring of the boat’s systems||Less running time, longer recharge time|
|Zero fuel and filer consumption|
|Hard-to-believe quiet operation|
What Boat Is Best For Wakeboarding?
People often get confused between boards for wakeboarding and water skiing. But the best boat for wakeboarding has a specific identifier – the tower that elevates the pulling position of the rope. Without it, the rider will have to put too much effort into launching themselves into the air and staying there longer.
In addition, wakeboard boats are now designed to have fiberglass or aluminum tower that encompasses up and over the boat’s cockpit. This tower is divided into sections in which the top center has the attachment for the tow rope.
Over time, manufacturers slowly incorporate sound systems and head units to make riding the boat and wakeboarding more fun. Some boats even have cameras attached strategically to record the wakeboarders’ activity.
There is a good chance that almost any lake in the US has a variety of wakeboard boats. You’ll identify them with their sporty style, aggressive stance, and wakeboard tower. Their presence makes you understand just how the sport is growing in popularity.
But is the wakeboarding boat worth it? Wakeboarding boats are undoubtedly expensive, but it’s worth a try if you are truly a fan of this sport. If your talents are unique, you won’t have a hard time closing sponsorship from wakeboard companies. Or, you can also get value boats that get you the benefits of high-end boats sans the advanced technology like electronic components.
Just one thing before making the big decision of getting a wakeboard boat – make sure to test drive before committing.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Why are wakeboard boats expensive?
A: Wakeboard boats hold a great deal of value because, first of all – they are not toys. They are specialized, high-end modes of transportation. In addition, features like ballast, surf systems, more extensive and more sophisticated cockpits add to the expensive MSRP.
Q: Are wakeboard boats bad for lakes?
A: There are a few environmental impacts of wakeboard boats for lakes. For instance, the larger waves coming from wakeboard boats may result in accelerated erosion in the shoreline. Erosion and deposition are slow natural occurrences, and wakeboard boats accelerate their rate.