Malibu calls its Wakesetter 20 VTX the Crossover King, which is another way of saying it’s versatile enough to cover all your watersports bases with aplomb. Here is a V-drive boat capable of producing a great wake as well as flattening out when it’s time to water-ski.
After surfing behind it, we had to remind ourselves that this 20-footer was a multisport crossover boat. The wave was so nice that it was easy to believe this boat was made solely for surfing. For such a small boat, the 20 VTX throws a powerful wave. There was a ton of push, even as we went really far back. Many 20-foot boats don’t produce a wakesurfing wave with long pockets, but the 20 VTX is different. And we were stoked by the steepness of this wave, which was actually on par with the waves produced from Malibu’s bigger models. Thanks to the Integrated Surf Platform technologies, the waves on this boat can easily be adjusted to accommodate riders of all ages and skill levels. And with Malibu’s Surf Band, you can control the wave right from your board, making it more steep or mellow, faster or slower, and even transferring sides, all at the touch of a button.
When it’s time to ski, the VTX relies on Malibu’s diamond hull, a smaller-footprint design that it also uses for its pure tournament-level inboard ski boats. The standard ski pylon mounts in the middle of the boat like a traditional ski boat so you can drain the ballast tanks, get up and go, and run a slalom course within a matter of minutes. It tracks straight and true like a ski tow boat should.
With no ballast, we got the 20 VTX to hop onto plane in 3.5 seconds. When we hammered the throttle, we achieved a top speed of 38.1 mph, a fast speed for a boat designed to perform best at surfing and towing speeds. Best cruising speed for a jaunt around the lake is 23.7 mph, burning 3.34 mpg. So you can do that all day if you feel like it, too. Since the boat is truly multisport, whatever you want to do depends on you.
* G3.5 tower holds speakers and lighting, and it easily folds down for stowage.
* Integrated Surf Platform technologies include Power Wedge, Surf Gate and Surf Band to complete the ride experience.
* Ski pylon mounts amidships to keep the pivot point in the center of the boat for water skiing.
How We Tested
Engine: Indmar Monsoon 410 6.2L
Prop: 15″ x 14¼” 4-blade Acme Nibral
Gear Ratio: 1.76:1
Fuel Load: 18 gal.
Crew Weight: 380 lb.
Ballast Tanks: Empty
Malibu Boats Loudon, Tennessee; 865-458-4578; malibuboats.com