Wakesurfing as a sport is more significant now than ever. 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 one has its own set of 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?
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. Wakesurf 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 5 Best Wakesurf Boats Reviewed
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.
- M240 by Malibu
- Vi24 by Centurion Boats
- A20 by Axis Wake
- Regal LS2 Surf
- 23RZX by Tige
1. M240 by Malibu– Best Overall
- Length: 24’
- Beam: 8’6”
- Ballast capacity: 3,200 lbs (without power wedge deployed)
- Seating capacity: 17
- Fuel capacity: 86 gallons
- Dry weight: 7,500 lbs
Malibu claims the M240 as their unsurpassed, unyielded, and unrivaled wakesurf boat in their line of boats. Every detail of this luxury boat showcases just how high-class M-Series style and functionality are. 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 been surpassed by any 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 M240 is everything you need on the waters. More than its unsurpassed luxury, its unyielding performance, and unrivaled innovation will make wakesurfing more fun than ever.
|Has surf band that allows you to control the power wedge and speed from the water||Obviously, 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
- 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.
|QuickLaunch system makes the boat faster with minimal bow rise||May 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
- 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 indeed work with. This wake boat showcases an 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 that shapes the waves into perfection. When 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.
|With optional shock package that eases raising and lowering||Not 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
- 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 an abundant amount of push.
The LS2 Surf includes the builder’s famous Surf System that safely boosts the wakes, especially for close-quarters wakesurfing. 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 both further shape the wave and turn 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 that the company considers as its best hull design. Regal Boats’ engineers exerted extra work in making sure the water coming off the hull is cleaned up.
|Incorporates a Bimini that folds at the touch of a button||Standard 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
- 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 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.
|Unrivaled surf-storage innovation||Exterior boat design could be better|
|Produces massive waves|
|Ideal for pro surfers|
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.
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.
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
Now 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.
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.
Boats that feature a vacuum-infused construction tend to be stronger and last longer than those that don’t.
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.
Not only does a powerful engine increases the wakesurf boat’s torque, but it also makes the most of fuel consumption that leads to more significant savings in the long run.
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 wakesurf 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, trying 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 the 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.