The boat you’re on makes a major impact on your water skiing or wakeboarding experience, whether at the helm or the end of the tow rope. Manufacturers are well aware of this, so watersports boats are among the most competitive in the marine industry—which is excellent for you, the client.
This list was last updated six years ago, which is a long time in the towboat industry. Because what’s accessible today is significantly more advanced than what was available in 2012, let’s take another stab at compiling our own top ten list. The last time we did this, we provided them in no particular order of preference., but this time we’ll group them: skiing just, wake surfing and wakeboarding, and value-priced models. But, of course, we don’t do it in any specific order.
WATER SKIING WITH TOWBOATS
MasterCraft began as a ski boat manufacturer, so it’s only natural that it would continue to produce some of the greatest tournament ski boats available. Even though slalom skiing has lost an appeal to wakeboarding and wake surfing, the ProStar is still functioning at its best.
The ProStar has evolved, but the necessities of the tournament slalom skier have not. Not by much, mind you, but in every way that matters. The interior, for example, is still based on a direct-drive inboard, with a driver-focused helm, two-up observer seat, and a split bench in the back. It’s split because the swim platform now has a step-through made of the same teak wood that came aboard the first MasterCrafts in 1968. The surprise is hidden beneath the bow cover on the front. There’s always room for more folks if you need it. When you don’t, close the bow. Surprise!
Today’s ProStar has more horsepower than anyone imagined a small-block V8 could have in 1968 and all of the current manufacturing techniques we’ve learned to appreciate. It also wisely employs 50 years of hull technology to create buttery-smooth wakes that make slalom skiing more enjoyable.
TXi MO Malibu
Malibu, never one to leave a market untapped, offers the TXi MO, an open-bow tournament inboard with ten world records. The TXi MO was built with a three-fin T-Cut Diamond Hull to leave soft, flat wakes and track like a laser.
The Sea Dek foam deck covering the inside improves everyone’s day on the water, and the TXi MO’s dash has been lowered to improve sightlines at the wheel. Furthermore, the basic displays provide complete control and instrumentation while keeping the energy clean and straightforward.
The TXi MO combines the best of both worlds, using old-school hull magic to create flat wakes and cutting-edge technology to make them repeatable.
BOATS FOR WAKE SURFING AND WAKEBOARDING
The ability to bring the entire crowd you has always been part of the allure of wakeboarding and wake surfing, and it still is, and the Tigé RZX3 contributes to that. It accomplishes this through seating, and it does it with adaptability and the breathless ease that Tigé engineers built in from the start.
The bow area in the front is more than meets the eye, and it’s a full-boogie playpen that fills in and accommodates a large group of people. It presents itself farther aft in the cockpit in the convertible rear bench seat, which flips forward to face the back and includes aft-facing lounges to port and starboard. That is, after all, where the action is.
The helm seat swivels to face all of your buddies, but it’s all business when it’s focused ahead. The driver can concentrate on the work at hand with the low sightlines, uncluttered dash, and Tigé Clear dashboard placed off to the wheel’s right, regardless of how many people are on board.
If you’re seeking the world’s most luxurious towboat and money isn’t an issue, the Malibu M235 is your boat. The corporation didn’t care about the final price and didn’t consider the impact of a high price on sales. It has just completed the construction of the world’s largest and worst wakeboarding and wake surfing boat. And it’s obvious. Everywhere.
The M235 is loaded with cutting-edge technology and design improvements, and it offers everything a wakeboard boat could need.
The boat is mind-boggling, and if you have the resources, I strongly advise you to purchase one. There’s enough ballast for pros, enough flexibility for beginners to become pros, and enough seats for crowds of friends who’ll be able to remark, “I remember him when…”
The biggest-boat-in-the-lineup, price-is-no-object offering from Nautique was debuted in 2016 as a 2017 model; this boat has does it all. If the plank attached to your feet is wide and short rather than tall and slim, it accomplishes everything. It’s all about the boards on the G25.
The G25 uses the Nautique Surf System to divert the water flow of the hillsides to create the perfect wave, no matter who’s riding behind the boat, thanks to 2,850 pounds of ballast buried beneath the decks.
The G25 is as luxurious on the inside as you’ll find in a fully loaded wakeboarding and wake surfing machine. It can accommodate up to 19 people, with enough space for their gear and boards to avoid crowdedness. The G25 was created with the high-end buyer in mind, and it delivers on that promise.
Supra is part of the Skiers Choice umbrella, which also includes Moomba, and as a result, the corporate culture is infused with the idea of “getting a lot for a little.” That’s fantastic news for the towboat industry.
The Supra SE reminds everyone that you don’t need to buy the most expensive boat to get everything you want. On the other hand, the Supra SE can produce up to 575 horsepower. That may be a lot, but the lowest step on the SE power scale begins at 440. That may sound like a lot, and it is, but it’s a fantastic example of what the Supra SE is capable of.
AutoWake is a predictive state technology-based solution. To alter ballast automatically is also included with the boat. The all-new max-coverage bimini comes standard on the FXOne power-folding tower, providing much-needed shade for front passengers. Of course, they won’t need shade if they have 575 horsepower, and the air will be enough to keep them cool.
The Centurion Ri257, which debuted in 2017, uses the revolutionary Opti-V hull design to generate waves and wakes for wakeboarding and wake surfing. Centurion was pleased with the boat, especially since it was used at the 2017 World Wake Surfing Championships presented by GM Marine.
With the optional Ramfill system, which loads as short as 45 seconds, the Ri257 can hold up to 5,500 pounds of ballast. When you think about it, that’s kind of mind-boggling.
The vessel is 25 feet 7 inches long, weighs 6,150 pounds before ballast, and has a fuel capacity of 92 gallons. The closer you get to something, the more you want to gaze at it.
Moomba, a long-established builder of boats that give a lot for a little, has to be included in any discussion of value-priced towboats. Everyone knows that Moomba makes a terrific product for the money and that once you’ve purchased one, you’ll never wish you’d spent more.
Take, for example, the Moomba Mondo. It includes chairs, a tower, power, and some cool features to keep things fresh. The Mondo does not disappoint in terms of cutting-edge technology.
The Flow 2.0 surf system, the new Moomba SmartPlate 2.0 (about 50% larger than version 1.0), could spend more money to gain these features, but why would you want to?
The R20 is Tigé’s most cheap boat, although you wouldn’t know it by looking at it. The appearance is modern, and the amenities that riders demand are all present and correct.
The TAPS 3 Surf System with the Alpha M2 tower is included as standard. The Tigé Touch 2 display keeps an eye on what’s going on behind the boat, and the Zero Off cruise control ensures that each rider gets the pace they want. There are possibilities for adding up to 1,600 pounds of water weight. And the stock ballast systems are calibrated for ‘boarding and surfing.
Of course, we return to the R20’s general design, which Tigé accomplishes as well as or better than any other builder in the industry. The R20 is new, and its design has the staying power to make it a boat you’ll want to own for a long time, which increases its worth.
Axis Wake A20 is a game developed by Axis.
Axis Wake, the value brand of Malibu Boats, creates low-cost boats that allow more people to purchase in the new market without losing quality. Sure, Axis Wake boats don’t have all of the latest technology found in Malibu models, but you won’t notice while you’re surfing the lip behind the ship.
The Axis Performance Wave Package contains the Power Wedge II hydrofoil, SurfGate, and Surf Band, a wrist-worn controller that allows the rider to modify the Wedge, change the surf wakes from side to side, and change boat speeds. It also allows the rider to increase the volume of the music.
None of that was even on the market a few years ago, so it’s now accessible on a budget boat is excellent news, and the A20 is well worth considering.