Malibu Wakesetter 21 XTi
The innovative seating makes the Malibu Wakesetter 21 XTi stand out from the other boats in this guide. It and its big brother, the 23 XTi, are the only models that marry a direct-drive engine with a wraparound lounge. The transom even has a built-in 27-quart cooler, a step to the swim platform, a removable table and dual speakers with stereo remote. We're lovin' it.
Somehow the engineers still found room for a swiveling driver's chair, an observer's seat with lots of legroom and an open-bow playpen – all making this 21-footer seem much larger than it is. As if the interior benefits weren't enough, the 21 XTi is laid out on the SV23 hull, designed with world-class wakes in mind. Top to bottom, it gives riders and families a lot to be excited about.
The 21 XTi comes with a pop-up pylon, so you know that even though this is a wakeboarding hull, it's a direct-drive that has an eye on the slalom course, too. The wakes dramatically soften when you hit slalom speeds, letting the skiers in the group take a set through the course behind wakes that are somewhat soft.
Riders will find wakes comparable to those on the number-less Wakesetter. The lip characteristics ranked among the best in our tests, while the transition and landing zone were both very good. This 21-footer can dig in with 1,500 pounds of down force with the factory ballast and the Wedge.
-A fresh approach to seating transforms the direct-drive engine box into a unique sun deck.
-The rear wraparound lounge is equipped for the ideal wakeboard party – table, speakers and cooler all super close to the action on the water.
-Stainless-steel accents light up the boat, from rub rail to grab rails.
-The SV23 hull throws up big wakes for the riders while going softer at higher speeds for the skiers.