The 10 Best Wakeboard Boats for 2022

When it comes to picking the best wakeboard boat for your needs there are a number of factors to consider. Primarily, the number of friends you have and the size of your family, along with a few other things, are essential factors to keep in mind. 

Fortunately, the boats on our list can carry a sizeable number of your loved ones on summer boat rides. These boats are big and lengthy, delivering massive waves and wakes and ensuring that you and your loved ones are safe even at their maximum speed. 

Check out the complete list and the buyer’s guide below.

Table of Contents

Buyer Guide to the Best Wakeboard Boats

Since you will be spending a large sum of money on a wakeboard boat, make sure to choose the very best for yourself and your team. When buying from a San Francisco Bay boat vendor, you must go for the best quality model because: 

  • To fully enjoy wakeboarding at sea, you need to use a boat that creates large wakes and waves, so you can jump on those waves and do stunts. Wakeboarders leverage the wakes a powerboat makes to perform gravity-defying maneuvers and jumps.
  • You need a wakeboard boat guaranteed not to break down while you are out there enjoying the sea.
  • You want to enjoy wakeboarding at your maximum speed level. The boat must be able to tow you at that speed level.
  • You want you and your family safe while subject to the dangerous movements of water of the sea.
  • You want that the boat is an investment worth your hard-earned money. Make sure that you choose a durable boat that will last for a very long time.
  • The size and power of the wakes that a wakeboard boat produces depend on its water displacement. Thus, if the vessel can go deeper into the water and displace a large amount of water, it can generate more powerful waves.

Key Points To Remember When Choosing A Boat.

When choosing a boat for wake surfing, there are things to keep in mind. Whether it is a cheaper unit or a bit expensive, the important thing is you are getting the boat that matches your requirement. 

Test drive

Boat dealers and private sellers usually allow buyers to test the boat they consider buying, so take advantage of that opportunity. It is your chance to check if the engine works well and the buttons are in perfect working condition. 

If you have time to try out a few different styles and types, do so and get the one that feels great for you. 

Size and Weight

If you need many people to ride on your boat, you better buy a boat that is 20 feet or longer. Also, check if it is an open-bow wakeboard boat because passengers can sit on the front section on its bench-type seating. 

On the other hand, water skiers look for a smaller boat, usually a closed-bow boat. Smaller and lighter, this type is easier to maneuver for turns and makes smaller wakes. 

Closed-bow boats do not feature front seating, and their bows are necessary parts of the boat’s fiberglass makeup.  

Another factor to consider is storage. Do you have enough space to store your boat? Concerning weight, will it be easy for you to move the boat or tow it? How are you going to transport it to the water? 

V-Drive/Direct-Drive vs. Inboard/Outboard

State-of-the-art wakeboard boats feature either a V-drive system or a direct-drive system. These are professional ski and wakeboard boats with engines located either in the middle or rear section. 

Direct-drive engines are located at the midsection and send power to the drive shaft, which, in turn, runs the propeller. A boat with a direct-drive engine produces smaller wakes, making it more popular among sea skiers. These boats have flat-shaped bottoms. 

V-drive engines run boats in the same way as direct-drive engines, but they are rear-mounted engines, and V-drive vessels produce bigger and more powerful waves. Also, wake boats with a V-drive engine can easily cut through choppy and rough water. 

We have Inboard/Outboard (I/O) powerboats on the other side of the coin. I/O boats have engines located at the back on the interior side (thus, inboard), but their propulsion system is located outside (thus, outboard). I/O boats usually have lots of space for storage and amenities. 

You would consider using an I/O boat if you are a beginner. The wakes I/O boats produce are not that powerful and prominent, perfect for beginners like you. Later on, you will want to switch to a more powerful boat, such as a V-drive or a direct-drive boat. 

You will also notice that the bow of an I/O boat rises too high. This happens when the center of gravity or weight is too much at the rear end. That’s a complaint many users talk about this type of boat. 

When the bow of an I/O boat rises too high, it makes the field of vision of the driver limited, and that situation can be dangerous for all passengers on board. 

Ability to Produce Powerful Wakes

The size and power of the wakes that a wakeboard boat produces depend on water displacement. Thus, if the vessel can go deeper into the water and displace a large amount of water, it can generate massive and powerful waves.

If you are looking for a boat like that, consider buying a boat with a deep-V hull. It can thrust deeper in the water compared to a boat with a round or flat hull. Also, deep-V boats allow for smoother rides in rough water, as they cut through instead of bounce over the top of waves. The smooth sailing that these boats also offer works for fuel-efficiency. 

Longevity and Strength

You want a unit that will last a long time. For that, you need to look into the following: 

  • Warranty
  • Engine make
  • Hull construction

Many experts say that boats with unibody vacuum-infused construction are the ones that last the longest. You may want to check that out. 

Concerning the engine, you need to look into the size of the boat. Depending on the size, you may need a powerful engine to help you save on fuel and increase torque. 

Warranty periods vary.

 

Ten Best Wakeboard Boats for 2022

Here are some of the best wakeboard boats out in the market, hoping that you can find one to your liking and for your needs.

Malibu 24 MXZ

Created for the person who enjoys bringing along a large team, the 24 MXZ from Malibu brings everything you could ask for out of a big wakeboard boat. Here, you can get a pro-level wave and incredible volume and height.

Our top pick for the best wakeboard boat, the Malibu 24 MXZ
image credit: Malibu Boats

If you want a big boat with a pickle-fork style, the Malibu MXZ line is suitable for you. The 24 itself promises that you can fit everybody on a single boat and throws some of the best waves on either side of the boat.

Pros:

  • It can seat 18 people.
  • It has its Surf Band features, with which you can control the speed of the boat and the Power Wedge.
  • It features Malibu’s game-changing technology, the Surf Gate system.

Cons:

  • It has a large footprint, which means it takes so much power to displace that amount of water

 

Centurion Ri245

Centurion’s Ri245 is a behemoth of a boat that can create walls of heavy water behind it. It can displace so much water because of its 5,700-pound weight plus the loads it can carry – 15 passengers, 89 gallons of fuel, and 5,650 pounds of factory ballast. Users say it can displace up to 15,000lbs of water.

Centurion Ri245 wakeboard boat
image credit: Centurion Boats

Pros:

  • Flexibility to dial in the waves and wakes you want
  • Tanks that are filled with 2650 pounds of water in 90 seconds
  • Cuts through the water with minimum resistance

Cons:

  • The accelerator handle is inconveniently placed too close to the right-side panel

Heyday WT-2

The Heyday WT-2 dual console (under 23 feet) offers a layout with wraparound cockpit seating and a full windshield. Its bow seating area is massive and complete with starboard adjustable armrests. 

Heyday WT-2 wakeboard boat
image credit: Heyday Wake Boats

The consensus among users is that this boat is a pleasure to drive at high speeds because it has a speed control system. If you are looking for a boat that creates thick and powerful waves, this Heyday model is the right unit to take.

Pros: 

  • Hot-tub lounges that hold 12 people
  • Transom angle creates a natural curl and push

Cons: 

  • Seating capacity of only 12 people

Watch the walk through video of the Heyday WT-2

Axis 22

If you go for the Axis brand, you better look at this 22 model. Compared to the Heyday model above, you have an additional seat space for three more people, so, in total, you can bring along 15 people on the fun ride.

Axis 22 wakeboard boat on the water
image credit: Axis Boats

This boat is one of the best to consider if you are looking for a smaller boat that you can easily maneuver. Also, all features and performance are controllable and can be monitored through a surf band remote placed on the driver’s wrist.

Pros:

  • Handling is easy because of analog and digital gauges and switches
  • Customizable wakes and waves made possible by its Power Wedge  system

Cons: 

  • Performance is top-notch, but the boat comes with a hefty price

Tige RZX20

The smallest boat in the budget-friendly set of the RZX Series of Tige, the 20 puts function at a premium but minimizes the luxury one can find on more expensive Tige boats. This boat is perfect for a buyer who is only looking to wakeboard on a small boat that is easy to store.

Tige RZX20 wakeboard boat
image credit: Tige Boats

With this small boat, you still get the signature Tige diamond stitching, the vinyl accent on the base of the boat’s tower, and the minimal and modern looks of the dashboard.

Pros:

  • Maintenance-free platform made of fiberglass
  • Non-skid transom seat set at the perfect height for attaching on the wakeboard

Cons:

  • The engine’s horsepower (343 hp) should have been higher considering the 20’s capability and size.

Malibu M240

The 240 from Malibu has solidly planted its flag on Malibu’s line of luxury boats. It features a slide-out cooler, multi-view seating, powered tower, and wireless chargers.

The M240’s Surf Gate Fusion integrated into the M-line hull will give you the cleanest surf swells the wake boat industry has never seen before.

Malibu m240 wakeboard boat
image credit: Malibu Boats

This boat is for you if you are looking for performance and unsurpassed luxury.

Pros:

  • Ultra-fast ballast that fills in under three minutes
  • Pure surf swells
  • Can seat up to 17 people

Cons: 

  • One of the most expensive models of Malibu

Centurion Vi24

Not all premium wakeboard boats are expensive, and that is what the Vi24 has proven. Even with its affordable pricing, the Vi24 still features the Opti-V hull that most Centurion models have. With that feature, you can have 20 degrees of deadrise.
Centurion Vi24 wakeboard boat
image credit: Centurion Boats
From the helm, you can control this boat’s speed and running altitude behind the steering wheel. You can also choose between a shorter, beefier wave and a longer but mellower wave.

Pros:

  • Well-thought of storage
  • Customizable color
  • Features QuickLaunch system you can use to make it move faster with minimum bow rise.

 Cons:

  • Low-level performance in choppy waters
 

Axis Wake A20

Another budget-friendly wakeboard boat, the A20 from Axis Wake, showcases top-notch performance and value in a small package. This economical boat leverages high-end technology to create powerful waves that will thrill you from start to end. 

Axis A20 wakeboard boat
image credit: Axis Boats

The waves you create with this boat can be amplified with its Axis Performance Surf Package features. You can build and shape waves on one side, allowing you to switch sides without pausing to reconfigure. 

Pros:

  • Optional shock package that eases lowering and rising
  • It can fit in a medium-sized garage

Cons:

  • When you take big waves with this, sometimes you can hear noise coming from nowhere
  • Windshield is shaky

MasterCraft NXT22

MasterCraft’s NXT22 is another proof of the high reputation of its makers. They are true masters of their craft, and they have come up with this boat that offers complete convenience and comfort.

Mastercraft NXT22 wakeboard boat
image credit: Mastercraft

Relax and enjoy nature’s beauty in comfort with this boat’s roomy pickle-fork bow and convertible rear-facing seat, providing you with epic views of all the action.

Standard features include a 60 hp Ilmor 6.0L engine that leaves a thick, powerful wake that pro wakeboarders can only dream of. Plus, the 22’s narrow beam and lightweight will give you an easy time storing and towing.

Pros: 

  • 5-year warranty
  • Color screen
  • Black trim around the windshield

Cons: 

  • Less factory ballast and there is no room for additional ballast because of factory-hard tanks

Centurion Vi22

With its stunning good looks and metal-flake treatment, the Vi22 from Centurion is your thing if you like sporty-looking wakeboard boats. It flashes a bright-pink color that can surely catch everyone’s attention. However, what sets this boat apart is its lower, sportier gunwales and ultraclean lines.
Centurion Vi22 wakeboard boat
image credit: Centurion Boats
With its 20 degrees of deadrise and Opti-V hull, the Vi22 can shape up sizable and symmetrical waves and wakes. You can tweak the waves with the push of a button.

Pros:

  • Convenient transom storage
  • On-the-fly adjustments for cruising speed and Singer Wake Plate
  • It throws a great wave

Cons: 

  • A lower profile boat

What to Look For in a Wakeboard Boat

Carefully look into the following when evaluating the boat you are eyeing to buy. 

Ballast System

The ballast system supports the boat in making waves challenging enough for the wakeboarder without pumping all the time. Check out top-of-the-line models that come with subfloor tanks installed throughout the boat’s body. 

Power

Bigger wakeboard boats can hold more passengers and ballasts. The bigger the boat is, the more powerful its engine should be. Engines must keep up and power everything the boat carries through the water. 

Touchscreen Displays

Check out if the boat’s systems are integrated into a single interface. Are there large, clear-view displays that allow you to control all functions while monitoring ballast, speed, navigation, waves, etc.? What about a touchscreen that passengers can use to control lighting and audio? 

Customizable Seating

Look at the seating system. It must be that the boat can provide seating options for all passengers it can hold. Some boats have a seating system that can be configured in different ways. 

Folding Towers

Do you need a boat with folding towers? Such a feature is essential if you do not have ample space for storage. Check out if the towers are easy to fold and carry.

“If you’re having a bad day, catch a wave.”

Frosty Hesson

Choosing the Best Wakeboard Boat for You

How do you choose the best wakeboard boat for you? You can narrow it down to five questions. 

What do I want the boat for? Wake boarding or skiing? 

If you are strictly water skiing, you do not need a boat that creates enormous wakes. What you need is a boat with a nice, flat bottom surface. Whereas water skiing requires that kind of boat, wakeboard boating is all about catching air to create a bigger wake. 

However, some people want to use a boat for multiple types of water sports. If that is the case with you, think about purchasing a crossover, which means you can use that boat for surfing, wakeboarding, and skiing. 

If you are strictly wakeboarding, you should consider a big boat, like 23 feet or more. Water sports boats, on average, are 18 to 25 feet long. 

How many people will I go wakeboard boating with?

Are there just two kids, you and your wife? You will need only a small boat for that. 

You can also consider co-owning a boat with another family, where, in total, there can be eight or ten of you riding. Note that some boats have a lower capacity. The bigger ones can carry 15 or more people. 

Where will I use the boat? 

Is it on a river, on a lake, or out in the sea? Is it freshwater or saltwater? You will have different needs and uses out of your boat based on these factors. 

Saltwater can corrode metals and electrical wirings of a boat. You may want to consider something with a cooling system that flushes out saltwater on its own if you saltwater wakeboard. 

The next thing you need to determine is storage.

Where will you store the boat when it is not used? Will it fit into your garage? 

Consider the height of the boat’s towers. The tallest ones are about three meters and can fold to two and a half. So, ascertain that aspect as well. 

How much weight can I tow?

The last thing to consider is weight and what you will tow the boat with. Some boats weigh up to three tons plus. If you are not in the market for a new vehicle, you want to check the turning capacity of the car that you have now and the weight of the unit on the trailer. 

These are some of the things you need to consider when buying a wakeboarding boat that matches your requirements. You would also want to check about other wake accessories, versatility, and extra amenities. 

“We’re all equal before the wave.”

Laird Hamilton

How Much Does It Cost To Own A Wakeboard Boat

Towboats, such as wake surfing and wakeboarding boats, are pricey, with price tags reaching $200,000 or more. The most common price tag is somewhere near $150,000. 

Boats, like cars, have maintenance costs. A new unit costs less to maintain than a used unit, at least for the first few years. Prices for maintenance services vary. Cost determining factors include: 

  • Boat and engine size
  • Fresh or saltwater
  • Oil change
  • Anti-fouling

Using your boat on fresh water will keep your maintenance and cleaning costs low. Saltwater wakeboard boating is harsher on the boat and its engine, so expect a higher maintenance cost for that. 

According to Bloomberg, annual maintenance is roughly ten percent of the cost of the boat. That includes painting the hull each year and deck cleaning. So, for a $200,000 boat, the estimated cost for maintenance and cleaning is $20,000 yearly.

Conclusion

The wakeboard boat models featured in this post are some of the best that you can find in the market. Smaller boats are less pricey, but they can rival more expensive boats in terms of performance. 

Take note of the size capacity of these boats, or make that clear with the seller. Also, when buying your wakeboard from a San Francisco Bay seller, test-drive the unit before purchasing.

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