Today’s youthful, adrenaline-fueled wakeboard culture proclaims its rebel lifestyle with tribal tattoos, flat-bill caps and seemingly impossible jumps and tricks. It has also fostered waves of tow-boat innovation.
The latest example is the 2013 MasterCraft X-Star. In the quest for the perfect wake, MasterCraft lengthened the running surface from 21½ feet on the previous X-Star to 24 feet on the 2013 version. Water ballast, pumped in and out to adjust wake shape and size, was increased to 1,400 pounds from 1,000 in the ex-X-Star. Designers also incorporated a pickle-fork design into the bow with a boarding ladder between the two tines.
MasterCraft points to a number of wakeboarding “firsts” behind this model in its initial summer (2012) in competition use, new tricks that sound like items on a sushi menu: double Indy half-cab roll, Moby Dick 9, KGB-7 and crow-9.
A V-drive transfers power to the water. Our test boat was equipped with a 522 hp Ilmor 7.4L V-8 — the most powerful engine available for the X-Star. Top speed seemed lackluster — just 43.6 mph — but with the X-Star, you’re not looking for velocity, just tasty waves. The Ilmor 7.4 was impressive out of the hole, jumping on plane in four seconds.