Malibu Wakesetter 21 VLX
Recommendation: Hard-core wakeboard
Malibu is known for pulling out all the stops when it comes to making boats, and the Wakesetter 21 VLX truly exemplifies that commitment. The company's flagship wakeboarding model is on a world-class level as the official boat of numerous events and pros, including Darin Shapiro and Dallas Friday.
In addition to the sweet riding, the VLX has a sweet style. The new interior has 38-ounce G&T marine vinyl for passenger-friendly plushiness. The driver's view is as unobstructed as possible thanks to the sleek postless windshield and the optional Illusion X cast-aluminum tower that attaches well behind the helm. If that isn't enough, the driver also gets a heated seat and a perfectly positioned throttle with stereo and other controls within easy reach. Even small touches add to the luxury, like etched billet Wakesetter emblems, neat upholstery seams and stainless-steel grab rails. The new Gorilla fins help keep the ride smooth for all.
Just like you see in competition, these wakes have terrific peaks and lips that are great for charging and going wake to wake. Our test team shifted a little more weight to the front to really dial it for pro-level moves. For a 21-footer, this boat handled driving through double-ups very well, though its ability to ram through choppy water was understandably less than that of a bigger boat. The double-ups themselves proved to be among the very best of all the boats we tested. The combination of the Gorilla fins with the SV23 hull led to great tracking that was reminiscent of a direct-drive's performance. We liked the Illusion X tower because the rope doesn't get caught up if there is a board in the rack when you're picking up a rider.
-World champions have been proud to wakeboard behind this boat.
-Everything feels top-of-the-line in the interior, from the cushy open bow to the soft sun deck.
-Drivers will really appreciate the wide-open visibility without windshield stanchions or tower support bars in the way.
-The Gorilla fins keep the boat cruising straight ahead.
-The ballast system includes center and rear ballast tanks, which get enhanced further with the Wedge.