Wakesurfing is all the rage, but that doesn’t mean people are ready to hang up their skis, wakeboards and wakeskates just yet. Many crave the ability to do it all. The Malibu Wakesetter 21 VLX is designed for just that crowd: watersports enthusiasts who want to do everything possible behind a boat. You can order the boat with either the multisport Diamond hull, based on Malibu’s tournament ski-boat hulls, or the Wake Plus hull, if you’re focused more on surfing.
For surfing, this 21-foot crossover produces a wave with the quality to compete with the best boats out there. It comes standard with the Integrated Surf Platform, including the wake-optimized hull design, Quad Hard Tank Ballast system, Power Wedge II hydrofoil and the revolutionary Surf Gate. The boat throws a long and powerful wave. We were really impressed with the length of the pocket and ability to drop back unbelievably far with the wave still having a ton of push, an uncommon trait for a smaller-size boat. But because of Surf Gate, combined with the Power Wedge II, all the boats in the 2017 Malibu lineup throw clean, consistent and massive waves. And with the Surf Band, which you wear on your wrist while surfing behind the boat, you can control and tweak the wave to your liking while out on the water. The driver can easily command all settings from the 12-inch in-dash touchscreen display at the helm. An additional 7-inch screen helps the driver work all the surf settings. Once everything is set, all the driver has to do is take the wheel and give the rider the best session possible.
While the 21 VLX shines at 11 mph surf speeds with full ballast, it also put up solid numbers with empty tanks and running at speed. With no ballast in the hull, we were able to push it onto plane in 4.3 seconds en route to an almost 38 mph top speed, very speedy for an inboard-powered tow boat. The open-bow cockpit and wraparound benches in the main cockpit can accommodate up to 13 people, so the whole crew can get in on the action, be it surfing, skating, or cruising around the local lake. The all-new G3.5 tower comes standard too. Throw in the trailer and the 21 VLX becomes an absolute steal.
* The 12-inch touchscreen command center gives the driver easy control over boat systems.
* Extended swim platform lets riders slip into and climb out of the water with ease.
* G3.5 tower stores your quiver and folds down for garaging.
* Wet Sounds stereo system with six speakers carries tunes throughout the boat and out to the rider.
Price: $79,995 (with test power)
How We Tested
Engine: Indmar Monsoon 410 6.2L
Prop: 15″ x 13″ OJ 4-blade Nibral
Gear Ratio: 1.50:1
Fuel Load: 36 gal.
Crew Weight: 380 lb.
Malibu Boats – Loudon, Tennessee; 865-458-4578; malibuboats.com