While the Malibu Wakesetter 22 VLX has the classic tow-sports hull shape with the tapered bow, the boat’s wake production is cutting-edge. With an internal ballast system that can be enhanced to add up to 3,800 pounds of ballast on command, the 22 VLX builds a righteous wake. It starts with 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 or her preference while surfing.
Our test crew described the resultant wake as ridiculous thanks to the aforementioned components that make up the Integrated Surf Platform technologies. During testing, our riders found the face of the wave to be clean with a ton of body. Not only was the height impressive, but the length was also next-level. It was really comfortable riding farther back than we ever thought possible while still getting excellent push. The 22 VLX’s wake had a nice steepness to it and a lip at the end that made for a fun overall ride.
Ready for some excellent amenities? The stainless-steel G3.5 tower comes with swiveling board racks, Wet Sounds speakers and LED lighting, and it quickly raises and lowers. This is key for towing on a trailer, passing under bridges and storing the boat in a garage. Also note the side pull point on the tower, perfect for those learning to wakesurf. It allows the surfer to be pulled up and over to the correct side without getting caught up in the center wash. Because of that and the ability to customize the wake, this is an amazing boat for beginners all the way up to pro-level riders.
With the ballast tanks completely drained, our test 22 VLX powered with a Monsoon 450 inboard exceeded 38 mph during our top-end run. It climbed onto plane in under 4 seconds and reached 20 mph in 9.1 seconds. With full ballast, the 22 VLX still planed in an impressive 5.3 seconds, a stat that will be appreciated by the wakeboarding set.
* Touchscreen displays (12- and 7-inch) at the dash give the driver quick command of all functions.
* Zero Off GPS allows the driver precise speed control.
* Rear-facing WakeView seating provides passengers with front-row seats to the action.
* Soft-grip flooring provides comfortable traction throughout the boat and on the swim platform.
Price: Unavailable (at press time)
How We Tested
Engine: Indmar Monsoon 450 6.2L
Prop: 15″ x 16″ 4-blade Acme Nibral
Gear Ratio: 1.78:1
Fuel Load: 38 gal.
Crew Weight: 380 lb.
Malibu Boats – Loudon, Tennessee; 865-458-4578; malibuboats.com