Looks don’t always tell the whole story. Sure, the Wakesetter 22 MXZ has the signature pickle-fork hull shape that Malibu made famous with its wakeboats. Only the 22 MXZ had a hull redesign for 2017 that, combined with the Integrated Surf Platform technologies, helps it produce even larger and more consistent surf waves. The most notable thing about these waves is how much power and body they had. The waves behind this boat were heavy and substantial. They weren’t quite as long as the waves behind the VLX line, but they still had a really big pocket and enough power to play around farther back. Another thing you’ll notice once behind this boat is how tall the wave is. This boat isn’t huge by any stretch, but it produces a monstrous wave that is comparable to much larger models.
As with the entire 2017 Malibu Wakesetter line, the 22 MXZ features the Surf Band so you can control the wave’s shape and size, switch sides, and adjust speed, all right from your board. This wave is truly versatile and can be customized to accommodate riders of all skill levels, from beginner to pro, so crew members of different abilities can enjoy the same session without too much effort required to change it up.
The seating aboard the 22 MXZ is as outsized as the wake is, with enough room for 15 people. That means no one has to be left behind. The seats are plush in both the bow and main cockpit area, where a rear-facing backrest to port provides the perfect area for a spotter. Malibu offers cutting-edge color schemes that will look cool to even the most jaded millennial in the family.
Performance? While this boat is designed to shine at 10 to 12 mph for surfing or 20 to 22 mph for wakeboarding, it is capable of a top speed exceeding 37 mph, fast enough to get out first in the morning and home before last light. The most economical cruise speed from our test data is 25.9 mph getting 2.88 mpg. At that speed, the boat’s range is 124 miles. At 3,000 rpm, closer to surf speed, the boat burns 6.3 gph to achieve 1.83 mpg.
* 12- and 7-inch touchscreen displays give the driver fingertip control of the boat’s functions.
* Integrated Surf Platform technologies include Surf Gate, Power Wedge and Surf Band.
* Pickle-fork design creates wide-open bow seating for the crowd, adding to the boat’s overall seating.
How We Tested
Engine: Indmar Monsoon 450 6.2L
Prop: 15″ x 14¼” 4-blade Acme Nibral
Gear Ratio: 1.76:1
Fuel Load: 40 gal.
Crew Weight: 380 lb.
Ballast Tanks: Empty
Malibu Boats Loudon, Tennessee; 865-458-4578; malibuboats.com