Top wake and surf boats are a must-have for water sports enthusiasts and families seeking non-stop excitement. These boats deliver huge wakes, launching wakeboarders to the moon and letting surfers catch waves without hitting the beach. The secret formula? Hull design and ballast, plus adjustable hydraulic tabs and plates for shaping the wake. Surf-specific mods enhance the wave face, giving you the perfect push to ride without a towrope. While V-drive models used to rule the wake boat world, nowadays, boat makers who embrace Volvo Penta's Forward Drive or jet propulsion can create killer wakes without any pesky props getting too close to the rider. Totally tubular, right?
Ready to air it out, or catch a wave? Here’s our roundup of the top wake and surf boats of 2023.
- Super Air Nautique G23
- MasterCraft XStar S
- Supra SE
- Malibu 26 LSV
- MasterCraft NXT24
- Tige 24 RZX
- Moomba Mojo
- Axis Wake T25
- Regal LS2 Surf
- Centurion Ri230
- Yamaha 255XD
- ATX 20 Type-S
1. Super Air Nautique G23
The Super Air Nautique G23 has long been one of the premier wake and surf boats on the market. They maintained that reputation with their 2022 redesign that introduced a new look, more amenities…and yes, an even better wake. Those features carry on into the 2023 model year, keeping this boat firmly in place among the top wake boats on the market this year.
The G23 is clearly influenced by Nautique’s flagship G23 Paragon, with faceted hull sides above the waterline and smooth riding, deep-V entry below. Surf/wake amenities include 2,200 pounds of subfloor factory ballast; Nautique’s tooled-into-the-hull Surf System featuring actuated transom plates that move outward to disrupt water flow and create a surf wake; the Nautique Configurable Running Surface (a large transom trim tab that can adjust the running attitude to further control the shape of wakes for both wakeboarding and surfing); the Nautique Surf Pipe that directs exhaust emissions underwater; standard folding wake tower; and the intuitive LINC Panoray touchscreen helm control.
In the plush cockpit, look for wraparound seating (total capacity 16), with a rear-facing transom seat and flip-up bench backrests to take in the action in the wake. Last year Nautique expanded tower options and an optional supplemental ballast option that adds two midship, adding 1,450-pounds.
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2. MasterCraft XStar S
The XStar S is currrently the top-of-the-line flagship of the MasterCraft lineup and when you take her for a test drive, you'll certainly see why. The integrated SurfStar technology, combined with additional ballast for 2023, is known to produce the most adaptable, polished and reliable waves in the industry. Beyond that, every aspect of the XStar S is designed with luxury in mind, featuring first-class amenities and standard telematics that provide an exceptional boating experience. In short, the XStar S is the epitome of a perfect summer wake boat.
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3. Supra SE
Looking for a luxurious and spacious boat for family outings or entertaining guests? Look no further than the Supra SE! At 24'6" in length, she comfortably seats up to 18 people and boasts ample seating for everyone to relax and enjoy the ride. With 4,700 pounds of ballast and a wide 102" beam, the Supra SE is the perfect vessel for creating optimal wakes and waves for wake surfing and wakeboarding, while also providing a stable ride. Plus, the elegant and high-function walk-through transom design with step-down features surf locker storage and a spacious swim platform. And don't forget about the heated captain's chair, featuring advanced features like software integration, power motion, and a heated base and back. The Supra SE sets the bar for what a towboat should be, offering both performance and luxury in one package!
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4. Malibu 26 LSV
The Malibu Wakesetter 26 LSV is making big waves as the newest addition to the Luxury Sport V-Drive Series! This bad boy is Malibu's biggest boat yet, and it's ready to party like it's 2023. With room for you and your 17 coolest friends, this 26.5-foot-long vessel is jam-packed with plush transom seats, the Max-Pivot Seat™, and a port side cooler storage locker, all begging to be lounged on after a refreshing swim or a sunset cruise. And don't even get us started on the wake and wave performance! With over 6,000 pounds of ballast and customizable features like Surf Gate® and Power Wedge III®, the 26 LSV will have you carving up the water like a pro. So grab your crew and make some memories that'll last a lifetime with the all-new Malibu Wakesetter 26 LSV!
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5. MasterCraft NXT24
MasterCraft’s NXT24 promises big-boat thrills — like 16-passenger capacity and the wake-boosting potential of the flagship X line — but at a more value-oriented price point. The interior is classic MasterCraft, the bow cockpit benefiting from a picklefork design for added room and seating ringing the perimeter of the main cockpit. A convertible rear seat turns aft to focus attention on the wakes. Below nearly all, spacious storage awaits, including a pass-through port console. Overhead, the standard ZFT2 watersports tower can be outfitted with an optional Bimini.
MasterCraft’s Gen 2 Surf System includes 2600 pounds of factory ballast, combined with custom wake-shaping devices (unique to each model) at the transom and the software to tie it all together presented in an intuitive form on a 4.3” LCD color screen at the dash with a simple five-button interface. Use it to fine-tune wakes from mild to wild for both wakeboarding and wakesurfing, or customize it to the individual rider’s liking.
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6. Tige 24RZX
Tige redesigned their RZX class last year, flashing bold designs and a wide, picklefork bow design. Largest in the RZX line, the 24' offers room for 18 passengers and all the comfort and upscale touches buyers have come to expect from the Tige brand.
Tige’s wake and surf performance starts with the Convex V hull, a patented design that gives a Tige hull the continuous rocker of a surfboard. Combined with the adjustable TAPS 3T trim plates at the transom — a central plate to affect running attitude, planing, and maneuverability and twin outer plates to pump up and shape surf wakes on a rider’s preferred side — TAPS 3T “trims” the hull to settle deep into the water for board sports, fine-tune wake shape for beginner to advanced rider, or even run more level for slalom skiing. The 24RXZ's Raptor power system is specifically designed to work hand-in-hand with the Convex V hull, allowing the boat to run at a lower RPM, increasing fuel economy, and providing myriad other benefits. The massive, 11” Tige Clear touchscreen display, with convenient GO presets and cruise control, simplifies all settings. Watersports performance is likewise optimized through the Alpha M2 tower, easily collapsible with swiveling board racks.
The 24' also has impressive storage capacity, 162.45 square feet spread throughout the boat. Cool feature? The surf locker, a trunk under the transom seats that will keep boards readily at hand.
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7. Moomba Mojo
Get ready to conquer the water with the Mojo towboat! This beauty is packed with power, Flow Surf Systems, and an enhanced AutoWake system that will give you a legendary performance. With the Moomba SmartPlate™ and AutoWake®, creating a consistent, epic canvas for wakesurfing and wakeboarding is a breeze. Plus, you'll get 4,000 lbs of standard ballast to crush those waves. And let's not forget the optional G6 system that doubles your pumps for even faster fill time. With AutoWake's Go Home Leveling feature, you can enjoy a comfortable, stable, and level ride on your way back to the dock. And with multiple views on the 7" display, you can customize your user preference and optimize the wake. Upgrade your Moomba and let AutoWake® take the weight off your shoulders so you can focus on delivering an unforgettable day on the water.
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8. Axis Wake T235
Get ready for the latest addition to the Axis family: the all-new T235, fresh for 2023! With the same performance backbone that made the T23 a fan favorite, the T235 takes wakeboarding and wakesurfing to the next level. Crafted by hand and engineered specifically for water sports, this 23.5ft vessel is just the right size to create world-class wakes and waves while still being easy to handle and tow. The classic bow lines and bold styling add a touch of elegance, while the ample speakers, cup holders, and storage in the bow and wraparound lounge offer comfort and convenience for your entire 16-person crew. It's the perfect compromise for families who want it all!
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9. Regal LS2 Surf
V-drive boats may produce the ultimate surf wakes, but sterndrives often prove more versatile for all-around boating. The catch, of course, is that sterndrives locate the prop dangerously close to those plying the wakes in close proximity to the transom. Volvo Penta makes its Forward Drive surf-friendly by positioning counter-rotating props in front of the drive, tucked well under the hull. All while retaining another benefit of sterndrives — the ability to trim to compensate for load, water conditions, or achieve greater top-end speed.
Regal’s LS2 Surf is one of the best, most affordable Forward Drive surf boat we’ve tested to date. Regal tweaked the running surface to clean up water coming off the hull, then turned to Wake Worx for the wake-influencing tabs, modified to Regal’s proprietary specs. Add in 1,800 pounds of ballast split between aft storage compartments and the ski locker, the integration of a Volvo Penta touchscreen for integrated control, and yes, that trim to further boost and shape wakes, and the result is a surprisingly large, clean wave with plenty of forward push…all from a 22’ bowrider!
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10. Centurion Ri230
Like other models, the Opti-V hull on Centurion’s latest 23’ Ri230 is designed to displace more water with less weight, a key to wake and surf success— but this time, in a smaller package. Like predecessors, the Ri230's 20-degree transom deadrise smooths out its ride, while flat, triangular pads at transom corners promise symmetrical wakes. Yet, for all that chop-busting and wake-boosting prowess, it’s one of the most efficient models of its class. The proof is in the real-time fuel consumption and range readouts, incorporated into side-by-side 12” touchscreens at the helm.
The Ri230 locates ballast in as many as seven different locations, including two sub-floor tanks that can add 2,650 pounds of water in as little as 90 seconds. Total ballast potential is 5,400 pounds. Long-blade, QuickSurf Pro plates displace more water for improved surf wakes. Relaxation can be found in lay-flat sun-pad lounge seats. Overhead, a power Roswell DropZone tower is stylish, strong…and rattle-free.
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11. Yamaha 255XD
Jet propulsion is yet another surf-friendly source of power, but jets aren’t typically known for their stellar wakes. Yamaha’s flagship 255XD could change that reputation by combining ballast and speed control with a unique wake-enhancing system tailored specifically to jet power.
The 255XD’s hull is designed to sit lower at the stern to displace more water and naturally boost wake size. To that hull Yamaha adds the WakeBooster system, integrated, electronically controlled plates that lower below each corner of the swim platform to influence water flow and both boost and shape the wake on a rider’s preferred side. A total of 1,600 pounds of ballast further augments wake size. Fill and empty the ballast, control the WakeBoosters, and set speed and acceleration preferences via a massive 12.3” Connext touchscreen at the helm.
Other highlights? A unique paddle system on the steering wheel controls forward, neutral and reverse during docking or other slow-speed maneuvers. Yamaha’s Stadium Seating configuration on the swim platform is also ideal for coving or time at the sandbar. All this for what price you may ask? The boats start around $108,799.00
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12. ATX 24 Type-S
The ATX name may still be relatively new to the wake sports market, but the company behind them is one of its biggest players — Tige. That means models like the 24 Type-S feature many of the same features, construction and style that make Tige a perennial favorite, but at lower cost of entry. The 24 Type-S boasts cockpit space and plenty of seating for 18 passengers. Crew forward benefit from a picklefork bow shape that maintains much of the boat’s 8’ 6” beam. Behind the windshield, scatter the rest along a wraparound perimeter lounge, with an abundance of storage space below. Sunpad seatbacks and reversible seating allow passengers to spread out and create their own conversation spaces or come together.
Type-S models feature Tige’s familiar Convex V hull, which naturally squats at the stern at board riding speeds to beef up the wake. TAPS 3T wake plates further increase the size and definition of wakes for both wakeboarding and surfing, but can also level the hull when it comes time to hand the towrope to that slalom enthusiast in the crowd. Other standout features include a gas-shock-assisted tower, Wet Sounds audio system, and a 7” touchscreen with simplified presets. For power, the 6.2L Indmar 400 Raptor Engine comes standard, although there are upgrades available. ATX offers their 20', 22', and 24' Type-S boats in special editions, such as the Ghost Edition, that come with a custom graphics package, additional amenities, and optional extras.
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Buying a new boat is an exciting process, and this year's crop of wake boats is the icing on the cake. With models delivering maximum luxury and sporting opportunities, plus a variety of unique features, designs, and propulsion units, you'll want to ride these wake boats straight into summer.
Editor's Note: This article was last updated in April 2023 to reflect current model line ups.