Boat Test: 2024 Regal 38 Surf

The Regal 38 Surf is not just the world's largest wake surf boat. It also offers luxury, fishing, diving and overnighting.


The Regal 38 Surf is unique in the boating world—a model unlike anything else on the water. So versatile is the 38 Surf that not even the title of world’s largest wakesurf boat does it full justice. It also entertains, hosts overnights and fishes. Read on to learn how.

Regal 38 Surf cruising
The 38 Surf rides solid and handles responsively. Tom King


The magic in much of the 38 Surf stems from the integration of twin Volvo Penta ­forward drives. Working closely with Volvo Penta, Regal designed the 38 Surf to make it easy to use. In surf mode, the drives work in tandem to offset each other and create a wave on either side of the 38 Surf. Simply push a button, and this boat is ready for endless-wave fun without having to worry about ever adjusting ballast tanks (there aren’t any) or micro-plate-position shifting. By adjusting the trim of the drive units, the shape and size of the wave can be customized to suit different riding styles and preferences. The pictures tell the story: This boat creates great waves. A rear-facing camera in the 38 Surf’s hardtop gives the captain a view of the action on the helm display, so monitoring when a rider falls is easy. (Still assign a spotter though!) Just note, because the 38 Surf is so much bigger than other surf boats, its waves are longer, and a normal-length wakesurf rope often isn’t long enough. ­Lengthening your rope will make it easier for riders to get into the pocket of the wave.

Regal 38 Surf bow seating
Bow seating is deep and plush. Courtesy Regal Boats

Interior and Accessories

With its center-helm design, the 38 Surf features steps leading to the bow area on the starboard side. Eliminating a true center-console’s walk-through on that side makes for more cabin space below. Here we found a well-appointed air-conditioned cabin with a full head and walk-in shower. Both the forward and midberth areas quickly convert from settees into a queen-size berths, providing comfortable room for four adults. There’s a skylight, and the trim and finishes are top-notch, making this Regal a more-than-comfortable overnight-capable vessel. 

Regal 38 Surf helm
The helm is equipped with dual 22-inch Volvo Watersport Garmin displays. Courtesy Regal Boats

Back up at the helm, the captain is treated to dual 22-inch Volvo Watersport Garmin displays. Every system is controlled from here, including the wakesurfing functions, thanks to Volvo Penta’s integrated software. Dual throttles and joystick piloting, bow thruster, trim-tab controls and a wireless phone cradle round out the dash. Helm seating takes the form of four-across captain’s chairs. This proved comfortable, and the two outside seats swivel 180 degrees to allow viewing the on-water action. Plus, all four seatbacks fold down, turning the area into extra tabletop serving space.

Regal 38 Surf refreshment island
At the refreshment island you’ll find dual refrigeration, plus a grill, sink, trashcan and storage. Courtesy Regal Boats

Aft of the helm, you’ll find the aptly dubbed “­refreshment island,” complete with all the amenities to keep everybody on board well-fed and entertained. Above the sink and grill is a separate MFD, giving the grill ­master control of nearly any system, including ­audio, lighting, the powered lounge and swim ­platform, and more.

Regal 38 Surf aft seating
The large lounge bench can face forward, face aft, and convert to a sun pad. Courtesy Regal Boats

For even more lounging and entertainment, head aft. Unlike an outboard-powered boat, Volvo Penta’s forward drive allows for a wide-open transom to swim, fish or do anything else. The large lounge bench can face forward, face aft, and convert to a sun pad. Plus, with the push of a button, it slides out over the swim platform to extend cockpit space. Can you say dance party?

Speaking of party, the lounge is also equipped with four optional JL Audio ­speakers and two JL Audio “wake subs,” which bring up the entertainment factor of the 38 Surf’s transom even more. Need shade? A PowerShade is integrated into the hardtop. And those who like to fish can opt for ­Regal’s unique rocket launchers, which also ­feature tow points for the wakesurf rope. Dual dive doors make boarding the 38 Surf easy, and ­giant insulated storage lockers to both the port and starboard add to the versatility. These can be used for general storage or as coolers. 

Regal 38 Surf cabin
Belowdecks areas are well appointed. Courtesy Regal Boats

Captaining the 38 Surf isn’t just ­comfortable, but it’s also a lot of fun. It rides solid and handles responsively, with plenty of power. Even for captains accustomed to much-smaller wakesurf-specific V-drives, the 38 Surf is nimble in tighter spaces thanks to joystick control of the forward-drive units and the independent bow thruster. Sightlines are clear through the large windshield, and the added sunroof in the hardtop is a nice touch. 

You can’t really comparison-shop ­Regal’s 38 Surf. There isn’t anything like it on the market. Aviara’s AV28S ($298,625 with a single 430 hp MerCruiser Bravo 4S) offers ­luxury, performance and wakesurfing, but that single-engine boat won’t fish or handle overnights, and it’s 10 feet shorter. Or you might consider a center-console, such as ­Formula’s 387 Sport  ($1.22 million with ­triple 300 Mercury outboards), which can fish, entertain a crowd in luxury, and weekend a couple in comfort. But it won’t wakesurf. 

Regal 38 Surf cabin
The midcabin has a comfortable settee that converts to a queen berth. Courtesy Regal Boats

If I had to choose one word to describe the 38 Surf, it might be “unbelievable,” because if you look at all the capabilities on paper, it seems hard to believe. So, “versatile” seems to be the most apt descriptor, because this special boat is just that. You can cruise on it, fish on it, entertain on it, wakesurf behind it and, when the day is done, sleep on it. For ­big-water boaters who want to easily and comfortably do all those things, the 38 Surf is a must-see.

Read Next: Regal LS9 Surf

Regal 38 Surf shower
There’s a spacious head, with modern styling, alongside a separate walk-in shower. Courtesy Regal Boats

How We Tested

  • Engines: Twin 380 hp Volvo Penta forward drives
  • Drive/Prop: Forward drive/K4 stainless-steel propset
  • Gear Ratio: 2.3:2 Fuel Load: 231 gal. Crew Weight: 360 lb.
Regal 38 Surf wakesurfing
The wave can be customized to suit different riding styles and preferences. Tom King

High Points

  • This innovative boat offers luxury, fishing, wakesurfing, diving and overnighting.
  • The world’s largest wakesurf boat delivers waves that live up to that name, and does so without ballast or complex systems.
  • Power platform below the swim platform extends, providing a convenient board step or underwater lounge seat.

Low Point

  • Some wakesurfers might have reservations at wakesurfing at higher speeds (12 to 12.5 mph) due to the 38 Surf’s size, but after a set or two, you can easily adjust.

Pricing and Specs

Price:$808,660 (well-equipped)
Draft:3’0″ (drives down)
Displacement (approx.):19,400 lb.
Transom Deadrise:18 degrees
Bridge Clearance:11’5″ (light); 9’4″ (hardtop)
Max Cabin Headroom:6’3″
Fuel Capacity:249 gal.
Max Horsepower:960
Available Power:Twin 380, 400 or 430 Volvo Penta gasoline forward drives

Speed, Efficiency, Operation

Regal 38 Surf performance data
Regal 38 Surf Certified Test Results Boating Magazine

Regal Boats – Orlando, Florida;