Best Wakeboard Boat for 2023 – The Ultimate Guide
The 2020 NXT22
2020 Moomba Kaiyen
Super Air Nautique GS22E
If you haven’t tried wakeboarding before, let’s just say you’re missing out on a spectacular sport. It’s fun and has a myriad of health and fitness benefits to boot if you make it a regular part of your lifestyle. After all, going to the gym is so mainstream…
If you’re on the hunt for the best wakeboard boat and need a little help choosing the right one, we happen to be experts. We’ve ranked the 10 best wakeboard boats to help point you in the right direction, and also put together a comprehensive buyer’s guide with lots of helpful tips on how to pick the best one.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
1. The 2020 NXT22
MasterCraft is no stranger to the boating space. So, when they launched the NXT series of wakeboard boats, it just reinforced what we already knew them to be – true masters of their craft.
The 2020 NXT22 is a true masterpiece. It is feature-rich with a host of comfort and convenience features that leave you wanting more.
Standard features of the NXT22 include a 60 hp Ilmor 6.0L engine mounted on to a vector drive hull that leaves a thick, powerful wake that’s the dream of any wakeboard surfer.
It also has comfortable seating that can accommodate up to 14 people at a time, analog gauges and switches for easy control and viewing of the boat’s settings, and a 4.3-inch digital screen that comes with factory presets suited for a host of water sports activities.
All in all, the NXT22 delivers a next-generation wakeboarding experience.
● Packed with loads of comfort/convenience features
● Has a digital screen that comes with factory presets to deliver a superior wakeboarding experience
● Powerful wake shape
● Not ideal for other boating activities like fishing
2. Centurion Vi22 (Best Wakeboard Boat for Deadrise)
Centurion is best known for its sleek and stylish range of boats. If sporty-looking crafts are your thing, then you will love the Centurion Vi22 series.
One of the first things you’ll notice is its lower gunwales in addition to the built-in wave/wake-maker that delivers an impressive 20 degrees of deadrise. You know… the kind of waves you find in the ocean.
What’s even more remarkable is just how symmetrical those waves and wakes are, which is, in large part, due to the Opti-V hull. Standard features of the Vi22 you also enjoy include the QuickSurf Pro system, Stinger Wake Plate, a transom-mounted tow pylon, and the raw power delivered by the PCM 409 engine.
● Stunning good looks
● Convenient transom storage
● On-the-fly adjustments to the Stinger Wake Plate and cruising speed
● May not deliver the best performance in choppy waters
3. 231 SL from Sanger (Best High-Performance Wakeboard Boat)
If there’s a wakeboard that delivers on all fronts – performance, handling, and efficiency, it’s the new 231 SL from Sanger. You can tell that the folks there really took their time with this one. Driving this 23-foot beauty is a breeze. It almost feels like you’re driving a much smaller boat.
It handles well, cranks into turns, and picks up speed remarkably fast. It uses a 900-pound Flash Flood Wake System on each side to generate deadrise that comes from the 16-inch transom. Standard features include a full-length stringer, adjustable driver’s seat, seat bass storage, bow storage, tilt steering, automatic bilge pump, and a deluxe upholstery package.
It comes with two engine options: The Indmar Raptor 440 that generates 398 hp or the Indmar Raptor 575 that produces a whopping 510 hp. The choice is yours. The 231 SL is backed by a lifetime warranty on the hull.
● Excellent handling
● Ample storage
● Feature-rich and fully customizable
● Can’t be used for anything else other than skiing and wakeboarding
4. 2020 Moomba Kaiyen
Many wakeboard boats come with a hefty price tag attached to them. However, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy this exciting water sport. The 2020 Moomba Kaiyen is one of the most affordable wakeboard boat models we’ve come across so far.
At 21 ft. 5 in., the Kaiyen can comfortably accommodate up to 15 people at a go, while generating impressive waves and wakes thanks in large part to the 3,700 pounds of ballast, as well as on-board systems like the Flow 3.0 Surf and Autowake tabs.
One thing that we particularly like in the Kaiyen is just how great its handling is, particularly in tight docking situations. That’s something you don’t often see with other wakeboard boats.
The standard features of this beauty include a 6.2L Ford Raptor engine capable of generating a whopping 400 hp, non-skid walk-through transom design, 7-inch dashboard display, wireless phone charging pad, and GPS mapping. The interior upholstery stitching is truly exquisite.
● Easy to tow and can fit through a standard garage door
● Great value for money
● Excellent fuel economy and handling
● Not ideal for offshore use on choppy waters
5. 2020 Centurion Vi24 (Best Wakeboard Boat for Stability)
Wakeboard boat stability is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a vessel to buy. The 2020 Centurion Vi24 is built upon the Opti-V hull, which makes it one of the most stable crafts around. It features 20 degrees of deadrise, which becomes apparent when you hit the wake-surfing waves, and wakeboarding wakes.
The Vi24 has onboard QuickSurf and Stinger Wake Plate tabs that allow you to tweak and tune the waves and wakes generated by the boat while it is in motion. This particular model uses the Centurion Ramfill system to fill the subfloor ballast in less than 90 seconds.
The ballast has a capacity of 3,050 pounds in addition to the three plug-and-play bags in the bow and rear of the vessel that add an extra 1,750 pounds. These are what give the Vi24 unmatched stability while cruising the water.
● Stable on the water
● Wakes and waves can be tuned and tweaked using the QuickSurf and Stinger Wake Plate tabs
● Comfortable and customizable seating
● The dash screens look slightly dated
6. Wakesetter 23 MXZ (Best High Tech Wakeboard Boat)
If you’re all about tech and features when looking for the best wakeboard boat, you will love the new 2020 Wakesetter 23 MXZ from Malibu Boats. It’s a cross between the previous Malibu 23 and 24 models, which have been quite popular due to their high-performance specs.
The 23 MXZ, which incidentally stands for “MaXimiZed,” takes “high performance” several notches higher. The two major things that stand out are the Stern Turn and the Command Center.
To deal with slow-speed maneuverability, which was a bit of an issue with the prior models, Malibu incorporated the Stern Turn feature. The electric thruster has a water cooling system and allows you to control it without ever having to take your hand off the throttle. Another great thing is the fact that it is fully integrated into the rear platform, so you don’t have to worry about it eating up too much space.
The Command Center has a vertically-oriented touch screen that sits to the driver’s left and a rotary knob on the right. It also has a mount that supports wireless charging. Everything on the dash is intuitively placed, which makes for easy access while operating the boat.
All in all, the MXZ is pretty functional, makes fantastic wakes, and is backed by a 5-year factory-covered warranty.
● Packed with loads of high-tech specs
● Intuitive positioning of features
● Backed by a 5-year warranty
● The exterior design looks a bit drab
7. Super Air Nautique GS22E
The Super Air Nautique GS22E is a total game-changer in the wakeboard boating world. It uses the latest electric propulsion technology to meet all kinds of water sports demands. Nautique now has a range of electric wakeboard boats.
The system uses clean energy to deliver unmatched performance in water sports with zero emissions. It looks stunning on the water, is available in multiple seat configurations, and relies on an electric drive system that delivers the torque required to give you 2-3 hours of wakeboarding on a single charge.
Standard features of the GS22E include the Nautique Surf System with Waveplate technology on both sides of the transom, a pop-up pylon for skiing capability, and the MyNautique telematics platform for remote monitoring.
It also has a combined charging system inlet that can be paired with both DC and AC chargers for shorter charging times, as well as Nautique Configurable Running Surface technology for optimal speed and performance during any water sport activity. Plus, it’s super quiet.
- Silent operation
- A single charge lasts up to 3 hours
8. 2020 Supra SA (Best Versatile Wakeboard Boat)
The 2020 Supra SA is no doubt one of the most versatile wakeboard boats we’ve come across in the market right now. Anytime you see an SA, you know that you’re looking at a distinct pedigree.
Its subfloor ballast holds up to a whopping 3,500 lbs. of water. And, unlike other brands that boast a plug-and-play ballast option in the bow and the rear, the folks at Supra opted to go a different route altogether. They claim that it’s not necessary and doesn’t affect the overall performance of the boat. And, from what we saw, they are right.
The plush interior is made of Chill Tech Vinyl, which ensures that everything remains cool even on the hottest of days. You might also like the convertible rear bench that can be altered to allow for multiple seating arrangements on the vessel.
If you want to amp up the entertainment factor, the premium JL Audio System is up to the task. So, you get to enjoy your favorite tunes, whether you’re inside the boat or riding the wakes behind it.
Other standard features of the SA include a high-function transom design with a spacious swim platform and locker storage, Supra auto-leveling that provides a smooth ride regardless of where the passengers are seated, and an Indmar Raptor 6.2 L, V8 engine that delivers raw, unadulterated power.
So, whether you want to ski, wakeboard, or cruise up the lake, the SA is perfect for any on-water activity you have in mind.
● Highly versatile
● Smooth ride
● Intuitive dashboard design
● Price is on the higher end of the spectrum
9. Axis Wake A20 (Best Wakeboard Boat for Beginners)
If you’re new to the water sports world, it’s always a good idea to get something small and within what would be considered a “reasonable” price range. This, however, doesn’t mean that you should compromise on performance. The Axis Wake A20 delivers on all fronts. At around $74,000, it is an excellent choice for wakeboarding beginners.
This compact machine is powered by a Malibu Monsoon M5Di/M6Di engine that offers unmatched performance, reliability, sound reduction, and fuel economy, making it easy on your pocket. If you’re worried about the quality of the wakes it generates, well, don’t. The A20 produces surprisingly solid wakes that you wouldn’t expect from a boat of its size and price range.
Standard features include 11-person seating capacity, 3810-pound ballast, Axis Skybox Seat, Mooring Cover, Stereo Pack, Surf Gate, and Surf Pipe, and a Tandem-Axle Trailer. It is easy to tow and fits in most standard garages.
● Easy to stow
● Generates solid wakes
● May not be ideal for choppy waters
10. 2021 Tige 23RZX (Best Wakeboard Boat for Pro Surfers)
They say bigger doesn’t always mean better. But, whoever came up with that, clearly wasn’t talking about pro wake surfing. The 2021 Tige 23RZX is a trendsetter. It raises the bar in next-generation wakeboard boating technology.
It has a patented ConvexV Hull that allows the RZX to produce massive high-quality wakes that are superior to all the others you may have come across. It is the first and only boat that features full trim capability.
Standard features include TAPS 3T technology to deliver remarkable swells and powerful wakes, a Tige Clear touchscreen, an Indmar Raptor 6.2 L, V8 engine, Wet Sounds Audio System, and the Alpha M2 Tower that’s outfitted with swivel board racks and a surf pocket bimini.
All in all, the Tige 23RZX is a step above the rest, making it perfect for expert surfers looking to ride a challenging wave.
● Produces massive waves
● Ideal for pro surfers
● Large seating capacity (16 people)
● Exterior boat design could be better
How to Choose the Best Wakeboard Boat – Buyer’s Guide
Not all boats are designed for water sports. So, if you’re looking for something that you can use for waterboarding or skiing, you need to get a boat that generates the sort of waves you need to be able to do this.
The question is – How do I choose the best boat for waterboarding? There are two main factors you need to consider.
1. Hull Design
The shape of the hull is first on our list for a reason. Wake boats can be engineered for different water sports, with some having hulls specifically designed for water skiing while others for waterboarding or surfing.
If you enjoy tubing or water skiing, you want a boat with a more traditional flatter hull. If you intend to go wakeboarding or surfing, then you want to get a boat with a deep-V hull, which is what creates a surf-able wave. Boats with flat or round hulls are not capable of doing this.
2. Internal Ballast
When looking for the best wakeboard boat, you need to get one that has a lot of internal ballast. This weighs the hull further down into the water to create larger and longer wakes and waves, which is ideally what you want when you’re surfing.
There are generally two things to look out for when it comes to ballast besides the overall weight.
First, you need to consider the placement. If all the ballast is concentrated at the back of the boat, then you can expect the vessel to have a lot more bow rise, which, as you would expect, would make it quite difficult for the driver to see what’s up ahead. Plus, it burns through a lot more fuel in the process.
You want a wakeboard boat with ballast that’s spread evenly throughout, with a little extra in the rear.
The second thing you need to consider is the fill-time. How long does the ballast take to get fully weighted? You want a boat with settings that allow you to adjust the length and steepness of the wake/wave to customize it for individuals with different skill levels and surfing styles. That way, you can instantly switch between different wave/wake profiles and empty/fill-up the ballast at the touch of a button.
Other Factors to Consider
Aside from the hull design and the internal ballast, below are a couple of other elements that you need to keep in mind when shopping for a craft.
- Hull Construction – Boats with a vacuum-infused construction tend to be stronger and last longer than those without.
- Engine Make – A boat with a powerful engine not only increases torque; it also maximizes fuel efficiency, which leads to greater savings in the long run.
- Warranty – You want a vessel that’s backed by a warranty on the engine and hull.
Test Drive Before You Commit
If you’re in the market for the best wakeboard boat, ensure that you buy a boat from a reputable manufacturer. Any of the 10 detailed in this guide would be a great option depending on your needs.
Get in touch with any of the dealers listed on their respective websites to arrange for a demo. That way, you’ll get a true on-the-water fill for them before you sign on the dotted line. It’ll be worth it.
Shopping for a new ski boat? Check out our comprehensive review on the best ski boats.