7 Best Wakesurf Boats | Which Boat is Best?

Wakesurfing has surged in popularity in recent years, offering a thrilling alternative to traditional water sports. As enthusiasts hit the waves, one critical component stands out: the wakesurf boat. Choosing the right wakesurf boat can significantly enhance your experience on the water. With wakesurf boat technology and wakesurf sales hitting their all-time high, the best time for you to decide which wakesurf boat to buy is now.

However, the rising popularity also made way for different boat manufacturers to come up with their wakesurf boats to offer. Each has its own features, aesthetics, warranty, gas consumption, dealership network, and resale value to offer.

Now, deciding which wakesurf boat to pick becomes a challenge. Not if you are familiar with what you should get. This article will discuss the best wakesurf boats, including:

  • What wakesurf boats are
  • How wakesurf boats work
  • Can you wakesurf on any boat
  • How much does a wakesurfing boat cost
  • Buyer’s guide

What Are Wakesurf Boats?

best wakesurf boat

Wakesurf boats are what’s always ahead of wakesurfers. These boats don’t directly pull the surfer but create a wake that they can surf to. Wake boats are no ordinary boats. They are set up differently than other boats to provide the surf the rider needs.

Most wakesurf boats are inboard boats. This means their engines are placed backward in the rear of the boat to keep more weight in the back, creating a larger wake. But, there are also wakesurf specific boat models that are direct drive boats. This type has the engine in the middle of the boat.

Top 7 Best Wakesurf Boats Reviewed

man performing stunt with best wakesurf boat

Wakesurfing has been around since the 1980s. A surfing-inspired offshoot of waterskiing called “skurfing” started to appear in the lakes and rivers around the US, and Australia is what is perceived as the birth of wakesurfing.

Its popularity grew even more around 2015. The trend gave more options for different riding styles, adventure levels, and beyond. This year, wakesurfing continues its big way, and so has every surfer’s yearning for the best wakesurf boats.

  1. M242 by Malibu
  2. Vi24 by Centurion Boats
  3. A20 by Axis Wake
  4. Regal LS2 Surf
  5. 23RZX by Tige
  6. Bryant Calandra 27
  7. Wakesetter 23 LSV by Malibu

1. M242 by Malibu– Best Overall

Malibu M240

Specifications:

  • Length: 24’2”
  • Beam: 102”
  • Ballast capacity: 3,200 lbs (without power wedge deployed)
  • Seating capacity: 17
  • Fuel capacity: 94 gallons
  • Dry weight: 7,500 lbs

Malibu claims the M242 as their unsurpassed, unyielded, and unrivaled wakesurf boat in their line of boats. Every detail of this luxury wake boat showcases the high-class M-Series style and functionality. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, Malibu is known as the global leader in towboat sales.

The M240 was released to the market in 2019 but has yet to be surpassed by other wakesurf boats – even Malibu’s own line. Its features are every surfer’s wish list for a towboat – premium slide-out cooler, powered Gx Tower, multi-view seating, wireless chargers, and so on.

This wake boat features an ultra-fast-filling Malibu Launch System 6 Ballast. It is a trademarked technology that fills in under three minutes. Plus, the Surf Gate feature is incorporated into the exclusive new M-Line Hull for the maximum and purest surf swells in the wakesurf scene.

The M242 is everything you need on the waters. More than its unsurpassed luxury, unyielding performance, and unrivaled innovation will make wakesurfing more fun than ever.

ProsCons
Has surf band that allows you to control the power wedge and speed from the waterObviously, the most expensive wake boat on this list
Features Malibu Boat’s trademark Surf Gate System
Can seat up to 17 people

2. Vi24 by Centurion Boats – Best in Performance

Centurion vi24

Specifications:

  • Length: 24’
  • Beam: 8’6”
  • Ballast capacity: 4,800 lbs
  • Seating capacity: 14
  • Fuel capacity: 63 gallons
  • Dry weight: 5,250 lbs

Not all premium wakesurf boats are expensive. This is what the Vi24 by Centurion Boats proves. The Centurion Boats’ most significant addition to their line of boats, the Vi24, is a classically styled V-Bow wake boat that gives you a powerful surf wave without constraining your view of the lake.

Designed and engineered for adventurers looking to enjoy the lake, the Vi24 performs like a big boat at a reasonable price. Its Opti-V Hull takes wakesurfing to the next level with as much as 4,800 pounds of ballast displaces for the world’s best waves and wakes.

More than half of the Vi24’s ballast is located sub-floor; therefore, it does not encroach on your storage areas. In addition, when you opt to use RAMFILL, it fills it in as little as 90 seconds. That’s power filling for one wake boat.

The Vi24 also lets you choose your seating to help with the wave. The 4-position slide seat can reposition the passenger’s weight for fine-tuning waves and wakes. This seating configuration can be switched from Flip-Up Stadium seating or rear-facing.

ProsCons
QuickLaunch system makes the boat faster with minimal bow riseMay not deliver the best performance in choppy waters
Well-thought of and accessible storage
Color can be customized

3. A20 by Axis Wake – Best Budget-Friendly

A20

Specifications:

  • Length: 20’
  • Beam: 8’2”
  • Ballast capacity: 3,810 lbs
  • Seating capacity: 11
  • Fuel capacity: 42 gallons
  • Dry weight: 3,500 lbs

Solid wakesurf boat performance can still be achieved without breaking the bank. The A20 by Axis Wake lets you have all the on-water fun at a price your budget can work with. This wake boat showcases outstanding performance and value in a small package.

The A20 is a compact powerhouse. It leverages all the same wake technology the big boats have to create clean and powerful waves you will enjoy. The water ballast sets the boat deep while having the ballast housed within the storage compartments in the bow and stern.

The waves are then amplified with its Axis Performance Surf Package, which shapes them into perfection. Combined with the Surf Gate’s vertical tabs that pivot outward, it builds and shapes the wake on a particular side, allowing surfers to switch sides without pausing to reconfigure.

From a passenger’s point of view, the rear-facing skybox seat is another feature to love. This center bench is slid into the cockpit on a track to produce ample legroom. A backrest for these seats would be lovely, but they may obstruct our back driver’s view of the waves.

ProsCons
With optional shock package that eases raising and loweringNot suitable for choppy waters
Garage-friendly size without sacrificing wake
Wet Sounds stereo with six speakers

4. LS2 Surf by Regal Boats – Best Crossover Alternative

best wakesurf boat

Specifications:

  • Length: 22.4’
  • Beam: 8’6”
  • Ballast capacity: 1,500 lbs
  • Seating capacity: 12
  • Fuel capacity: 56 gallons
  • Dry weight: 3,900 lbs

Intended for water sports enthusiasts, LS2 Surf by Regal Boats offers a ride of a lifetime – every single time. Regal Boats’ stylish bowrider provides comfort, performance, and safety while putting up an enjoyable wave with abundant push.

The LS2 Surf includes the builder’s famous Surf System that safely boosts the wakes, especially for close-quarters wake surfing. Moreover, the Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive, the wake boat’s primary component, transposed its dual propellers to the front drive, where they are safely slipped below the hull.

This configuration is beneficial as it gives out less exhaust. Plus, it can do something that most V-drives can’t – trim to shape the wave further and make everyday cruising more relaxed and comfortable.

The LS2 Surf hull presents many of the same characteristics as its predecessors, like the 2300’s running surface, which the company considers its best hull design. Regal Boats’ engineers exerted extra work to ensure the water from the hull was cleaned up.

ProsCons
Incorporates a Bimini that folds at the touch of a buttonStandard power seems a bit low
Fusion RA670 stereo with blast speakers
Low-to-the-water swim platform

5. 23RZX by Tige – Best for Pro Surfers

best wakesurf boat

Specifications:

  • Length: 23’
  • Beam: 8’5”
  • Ballast capacity: 4,100 lbs
  • Seating capacity: 16
  • Fuel capacity: 65 gallons
  • Dry weight: 6,000 lbs

Be impressed with the 23RZX by Tige. An upgraded version of the 2005 24V, this boat has the technology, performance, and overall experience that any pro wake surfer needs in a wake boat. Like most Tige Boats, its control system is very intuitive and has excellent functionality.

While some may say that bigger is not always better, it isn’t the case for the 23RZX. This trendsetter raises the bar in the next-generation wakesurf boating technology. With a patented ConvexV Hull, the wake boat produces high-quality wakes that are superior to others you may have experienced.

The 23RZX is also the first and only of its kind that features full trim capability. Moreover, its standard features include TAPS 3T technology that delivers excellent waves and powerful swells. The Wet Sounds Audio System also makes riding more exciting and fun.

ProsCons
Unrivaled surf-storage innovationExterior boat design could be better
Produces massive waves
Ideal for pro surfers

6. Bryant Boats Calandra 27 – Best for a Family Outing

Bryant Boats Calandra 27 one of the best wakesurf boats

Source: DiveIn

Specifications:

  • Length: 26’ 8”
  • Beam: 102”
  • Seating capacity: 15
  • Fuel capacity: 49 gallons
  • Dry weight: 5,601 lbs
  • HP range: 350 / 380 / 430

Bryant Boats are exceptionally built for watersport activities, from wakesurfing, to wakeboarding, to waterskiing. Particularly known as one of the most fantastic wakesurf boat brands out there, Bryant Boats delivers a luxurious and carefree boat experience that you can share with up to 14 additional passengers.

With seemingly endless features that benefit the wakeboarder, this powerful boat is still easy to manage while packing a serious punch. Featuring racks on the tower to hold any size wakesurf board, an unlimited amount of space for additional storage, and a 12.3” BryantVUE Touch Display with GPS, this luxurious wakesurf boat has all the essentials and so much more.

This beautifully designed boat features several details that make it the ultimate boat for a family outing, including wireless phone charging, a removable cooler, a JL Audio Stereo System, a fiberglass cockpit table, and a transitional aft lounge seat.

ProsCons
Sleek, luxurious designAccessories are expensive with some unnecessary add-ons
Holds 15 people and everything you need for a full day of wake surfing
Great for wake surfing, waterskiing, and several other watersports
Significant attention to details

7. Malibu Wakesetter 23 LSV – The Best Selling Towboat of All Time

Malibu Wakesetter 23 LSV one of the best wakesurf boats

Specifications:

  • Length: 23’
  • Beam: 102”
  • Draft: 32”
  • Seating capacity: 15
  • Fuel capacity: 246 liters
  • Max ballast: 5,200
  • Dry weight: 5,601 lbs
  • HP range: 360 / 400

The legendary Malibu Wakesetter 23 LSV is the best selling towboat – ever. There are several reasons for this wake surf boat’s popularity among both beginner and pro wakeboarders, but this boat’s ideal size and outstanding performance are what make this the perfect boat.

This wakesurf boat offers two different haul types, the Wake Plus and the Diamond, allowing you to perfectly customize your water sport experience. From available space, to the outstanding performance, to the bow that cuts through chop effortlessly, this compact, yet luxurious boat is the go-to wakeboard boat for many.

ProsCons
Luxurious blue and brown designNone to report
Holds 15 people and everything you need for a full day of wakesurfing
Customization options for the perfect wakesurf experience
Significant attention to details

Comparison of Wakesurf Boats

Pros and Cons

Boat Model
Pros
Cons
M242 by Malibu
– Cutting-edge design

– Exceptional wave quality

– Luxurious amenities

– Higher initial investment

– Maintenance costs may be higher

Vi24 by Centurion – Innovative hull design

– Versatile wake shaping capabilities

– Spacious interior

– Fuel consumption may be higher

– Limited availability of dealerships

A20 by Axis Wake – Affordability

– Compact size for easy maneuverability

– User-friendly features

– Limited seating capacity

– Wave customization options may be limited

Regal LS2 Surf
– Sleek design

– Versatility for both wakesurfing and other water activities

– Surf system may not be as advanced as other models

– Limited aftermarket customization

23RZX by Tige – Massive surf wave

– Advanced surf technologies

– Spacious layout

– Higher price point

– Maintenance costs may be higher

Bryant Calandra 27 – Roomy interior

– Competitive wave quality

– Comfortable seating

– Limited customization options

– Resale value may depreciate quicker than other brands

Wakesetter 23 LSV by Malibu – Superior wave customization

– Spacious interior

– Advanced surf technologies

– Higher price point

– Limited availability of dealerships


How Wakesurf Boats Work

The wakesurf boats’ process in producing wakes for surfers to ride is simple – the boat gets loaded up on one side with weight to put ballast on the one side. Then people get seated on one side to create a wake on the side that a surfer can try to surf while letting go of the rope.

Wakesurf boat manufacturers got this idea from the earliest designs of towboats. Nowadays, modern wakesurf boats have added weights to the existing hauls and small devices that help lift or lean the boat to give an additional push on the side of the wake.

The general rule for wakesurf boats is – the deeper the boat in the water, the bigger the wake will be overall.


Can You Wakesurf On Any Boat?

The hybrid between surfing and wakeboarding is an incredible experience. But can you get that grand wakesurf escapade with just any boat? Even with the right wakesurf board, you can’t.

The type of boat you ride for wakesurfing is critical – so much that it can even be a matter of life and death. A safe practice is to wakesurf only behind a boat whose propeller is not exposed in the back. It should be riding less than 10 feet behind an inboard or V-drive boat. A similar type of boat are wakeboard boats, though there are still some distinctions.

Wakesurfing behind an outboard boat is very risky. Its engine and transmission are mounted outside the boat to the transom. This exposure makes it very easy for the rider to hit the propeller and inhale the harmful fumes from the exhaust.

The local news even reported about the dangers of wakesurfing with the wrong boat. Here’s to give you a better look.


How Much Does a Wakesurfing Boat Cost?

Many factors are considered in wake boat pricing – length, engine choice, brand, model, trim level, and additional customizations. Moreover, a variety of dealer differences choosing how to price their boats can add up to. Generally, a wakesurf boat may cost you anything between $93,009 to $175,979.

Nautiques, Malibu, MasterCraft, Pavati, Axis, Tige, Centurion, Moomba, Supra, Supreme, and Heyday are the most prominent brands for wakesurf boats. They are usually fiberglass hulled boats powered by an inboard engine with a fixed shaft, propeller, and rudder for propulsion.

Some guidelines can help you decide if the wake boat is for you and if it can work with your budget. But to give you an idea, here’s how wakesurf boats are priced in its popular size range of 20 to 25 feet in length.

Type Length Surf Ready Well-Loaded
Entry Level 20 $85,393 $93,009
22 $94,953 $108,919
Crossover/Midrange 20 $107,415  $139,128
22 $117,831 $151,504
25  $139,050 $173,271
Premium 20  $111,936  $145,308
23  $142,685  $175,979

The “Surf Ready” versions include a surf system (ballast and devices), base engine, zero off speed control, trailer, and covers. The “Well-Loaded” features the same plus tower speakers, improved tower and board racks, touch screen dash, upgraded colors, and various next-level selections.


Buyer’s Guide: How To Choose The Best Wakesurf Boat

best wakesurf boatsNow that you understand how vital a wakesurf boat is to achieve the best ride, the next step is to be familiar with the factors you need to consider in picking the right surfboat. These factors make up the wake boat’s ability to generate the sort of waves you need.

Skill Level

Consider your skill level when selecting a wakesurf boat. Beginners may prioritize stability and ease of use, while advanced riders might seek boats that can generate larger waves for aerial maneuvers.

Boat Size

The size of the boat impacts not only the riding experience but also storage and transportation. Smaller boats may be more maneuverable but could sacrifice wave size, while larger boats offer ample space but may require more significant investment.

Customization Options

Look for wakesurf boats that offer customization options to tailor the riding experience to your preferences. Adjustable ballast systems, surf tabs, and wake shaping technologies allow riders to fine-tune wave characteristics for optimal performance.

 

Hull Design

The hull design comes first on this list for a reason. See, wakesurf boats can be designed for different water sports – some with hulls notably engineered for water skiing while others for waterboarding or surfing.

More traditional flatter hulls are suitable for tubing or water skiing. What you need for wakesurfing is a boat with a deep-V hull which efficiently creates a surf you will enjoy riding. Boats made with flat or round hulls are not capable of doing this.

Hull Construction

Boats that feature a vacuum-infused construction tend to be stronger and last longer than those that don’t.

Internal Ballast

As hinted above, the deeper the boat in the water, the bigger the wake will be overall. The boat’s hull must be weighed further down into the water to generate larger and longer waves to achieve this. This is done when the boat has an efficient amount of internal ballast.

When it comes to ballast, there are two things you also need to consider aside from its overall weight:

  • Placement – Be sure not to have the ballast concentrated at the back of the boat. This will result in the boat having more bow rise, making it difficult for the driver to see what’s ahead. In addition, this placement also has a significant effect on fuel consumption. The best wakesurf boat has a ballast spread evenly throughout, with a bit of extra in the rear.
  • Fill-time – The time spent for the ballast to get fully weighted matters, especially if you have wake surfers with different skill levels riding the waves. The best wakesurf boat features settings that let you adjust the length and steepness of the wave.

Engine Make

Not only does a powerful engine increase the wakesurf boat’s torque, but it also makes the most of fuel consumption that leads to more significant savings in the long run.

Warranty

Be sure that your dealer gives you the warranty you will need for your wake boat. This can come in handy when issues with the engine or hull arise.


Our Top Pick

Unlike coastal surfers, wakesurfers don’t have to find the perfect wave continuously. All they need is the right wakeboard boat that can give them a clean and powerful wave until it’s time to refill the boat’s engine tank.

It makes you wonder what boat throws the biggest wake, right?

Every manufacturer may promise to have the biggest wake. In reality, they provide the best wave you need. Spending time wakesurfing with different people, riding on different boards, and riding behind different boats makes you understand that the biggest surf for one person is not necessarily the biggest for another.

The biggest or the best wake may be objective. But, there is always that one wakesurf boat that can produce just the proper wake for almost anyone. In this review, the M240 by Malibu made it our top pick.

The M240 is Malibu Boats’ undisputed flagship boat. It offers the highest comfort, convenience, technology, and most importantly – the best wake performance. No doubt, it is the most excellent wakesurf boat in the market.

FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Do swim platforms reduce the risk of wakesurfing behind an I/O?

A: We see a few boats with installed large swim platforms or an extended back over the drive. This platform makes wakeboard boat owners feel safer as the outdrive’s recessing gives good protection from a wakesurfer falling into the prop.

While it serves as a good cover, it presents another risk. The driver might slow down or stop unexpectedly. The rider may likely get pushed under the outdrive. And, the shape of the platform and the height at which they are installed possess a chance to hit the rider.

Q: What is the difference between wakeboarding and wakesurfing?

A: You may think they are similar because they both involve riding behind a boat. But they are not. The most significant difference between the two is how wakeboarding has the rider keep his hands on the rope that tows at all times. Wakesurfing pulls the rider using a rope but only until he gains his balance.

Q: Are wakesurf boats suitable for beginners?

Yes, wakesurf boats cater to riders of all skill levels, with many offering beginner-friendly features such as stability and ease of use.

Q: How much does a wakesurf boat cost?

Wakesurf boat prices vary depending on factors such as brand, model, and features, with entry-level boats starting around $50,000 and luxury models exceeding $150,000.

Q: What maintenance is required for wakesurf boats?

Regular maintenance, including engine servicing, hull cleaning, and winterization, is essential to keep wakesurf boats in top condition and prolong their lifespan.

Q: How do I create the best surf wave with my wakesurf boat?

Achieving the optimal surf wave involves experimenting with ballast configurations, trim settings, and speed adjustments to find the perfect balance for your riding style and preferences.


Conclusion

In the dynamic world of wakesurfing, the choice of boat plays a pivotal role in shaping the rider’s experience on the water. With an array of options available, from industry-leading models to budget-friendly alternatives, finding the perfect wakesurf boat is within reach for enthusiasts of all levels. By considering factors such as budget, skill level, and desired features, riders can narrow down their choices and select a boat that aligns with their preferences and riding style.

In conclusion, the quest for the best wakesurf boat is an exciting journey filled with possibilities. Whether you’re drawn to cutting-edge technology, luxurious amenities, or competitive pricing, the top wakesurf boats offer something for everyone. With careful consideration and research, riders can embark on thrilling adventures and make unforgettable memories on the water with their ideal wakesurf boat by their side.

 

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