Surf? Skate? Wakeboard? Even ski? The Malibu Wakesetter 21 VLX is designed for the watersports enthusiast who wants a boat that can do it all.
While the 21 VLX shines in all phases, it’s the wake it produces that sets it apart. All new for 2017, 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 all-new G3.5 tower comes standard, too. Throw in the trailer and the 21 VLX becomes an absolute steal for the surfing set.
Our staff’s wakesurfing experts were amazed that a boat this size can throw such a long and powerful wave, but, like Malibu says, the truth is on the water. We were really impressed with the length of the pocket on the 21 VLX. We were able to drop back so unbelievably far and the wave still had a ton of push, an uncommon trait for a smaller-size boat. But because of the Surf Gate, combined with the Power Wedge II, all the boats in the 2017 Malibu lineup throw clean, consistent and massive waves. And with 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, as well as the smaller 7-inch display at the helm.
While the 21 VLX shines at 11 mph surf speeds with full ballast, it’s no slouch when it’s time to empty the tanks and climb onto plane. With no ballast in the hull, we were able to push it onto plane in 4.3 seconds en route to an almost 41 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. Sometimes you really can do it all.
* 2,200-pound-capacity ballast system fills quickly.
* New 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.
* In-dash 12-inch touchscreen command center gives driver easy command.
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.
Ballast Tanks: Full
$79,995 (with test power)
Malibu Boats Loudon, Tennessee; 865-458-4578; malibuboats.com