When you add “Wakesetter” to the name of your boat, you’re pretty much declaring that your mission statement is all about crafting a killer wake. In the case of the Malibu Wakesetter 22 VLX, it’s easy to say mission accomplished.
With an internal ballast system that can be enhanced to add up to 3,800 pounds of ballast on command, the 22 VLX is meant to build a wake. Start with the Surf Gate, a pair of vertical surf tabs that help sculpt the wake to the rider’s preferred side of the boat. Malibu’s hydraulic Power Wedge II, a hydrofoil, deploys to create enough drag to simulate 1,500 pounds of additional ballast. The rider can use the Surf Band, which you wear around your wrist like a watch, to tweak the wave to his preference while you’re surfing.
The waves? They’re ridiculous, thanks to the aforementioned components that make up the Integrated Surf Platform technologies. During testing, we found the face of the wave to be clean, and it had a ton of body to it. Not only was the height impressive, but the length was also next-level. It was really comfortable riding farther back than we ever thought was possible. The 22 VLX wake had a nice steepness to it and a lip at the end that made for a fun ride.
The new stainless-steel G3.5 tower quickly raises and lowers, and it comes with swiveling board racks, Wet Sounds speakers and LED lighting. This is key for towing on a trailer, lowering for bridges and for storing the boat in a garage. A standout feature new for 2017 that can’t go without mention is the side pull point on the tower, perfect for those learning to wakesurf. It allows for the surfer to be pulled up and over to the correct side without getting caught up in the center wash. Add to that the Surf Band, and the wave is completely customizable while riding. This is an amazing boat for beginners all the way up to pro-level riders.
It handles nicely on the water, too, claiming a top speed of 36.7 mph during our sea trials.
* Touchscreen displays (12- and 7-inch) at the dash give the driver quick command of all operations for surfing and driving the boat.
* All-new G3.5 tower is made of stainless steel and easily folds down for towing or storing.
* Power Wedge adds the equivalent of an additional 1,500 pounds of ballast.
How We Tested
Engine: Indmar Monsoon 450 6.2L
Prop: 15" x 16¼" 4-blade Acme Nibral
Gear Ratio: 1.78:1
Fuel Load: 16 gal.
Crew Weight: 380 lb.
Ballast Tanks: Empty
Malibu Boats Loudon, Tennessee; 865-458-4578; malibuboats.com