Waterskiing and wakeboarding are 2 of the most popular watersports of all time. Each year, over 11 million Americans head out to the lakes to have fun performing cool tricks out on the water.
If you love to wakeboard, water ski, or any other watersports, you've probably considered buying a boat. It's a very economical choice for those that find themselves renting a boat every week.
But, before finalizing your decision, it's essential to know a few things about watersports boats. In this watersports boat buyer's guide, we'll tell you the ten best boats for watersports, plus the key characteristics that make them so great.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
Not all boats are designed for towing people on the back—choosing the wrong type of boat often results in serious injury.
There are also many different watersports boats like ski boats, wake surf, and others. Before buying, make sure you consider all of the watersports you'd like to do, then find a vessel that safely handles all of them (if possible).
Many towboats are multi-versed and capable of supporting a variety of watersports, as they tend to be specialized to just one.
For example, most wake surfing boats support wake skiing and vice versa. But, a wake surfing boat is bigger and produces more wake than a ski boat. This is to create more power and a better experience for the rider.
As we mentioned above, there are different boats for each of the most popular watersports. We've included the best ski, wake, and crossover boats available in our list. We'll start with the best wake boat by the famous brand, Nautique.
The G23 Paragon wake boat from the Nautique G Series creates the largest wake surf waves ever. The unique engineering of the hull allows the driver to make the wake size they want.
The Nautique Configurable Running Surface is an extension of the hull that automatically deploys and stows based on the user's preferences. The NCRS allows you to optimize the wake and wave shape and makes getting the boat on a plane easy.
This vessel is also fitted with the company's Nautique Surf System with WAVEPLATE Technology. The NSS lets riders switch sides immediately without changing ballast or moving passengers. It also includes a variety of settings that let you adjust the shape of your wake.
To pair with the NSS, Nautique uses what's called a WAVEPLATE. This device extends down from the transom and redirects the flow of water. This nifty little tool lets you customize the waves on either side of the Paragon.
The G23 Paragon incorporates many highly technical features inside the boat as well. For example, it uses a dashboard that provides drivers with excellent visibility and easy access to settings and critical information.
MasterCraft is a trendy brand among boaters. The MasterCraft XT21 features the technology of SurfStar, a software program that allows you to customize your wakes to your preference. In the XT21 model, this program got a complete makeover.
SurfStar now allows drivers to make quick adjustments to their wave settings. The adjustment settings are on a sliding scale from 1-7. Drivers choose the setting they want, and the position-sensors calibrate the boat to match, giving them the perfect wake.
Other excellent components to the boat include MasterCraft's Dock Dtar, industry-leading towers, advanced dash mechanics, and many more.
This boat isn't just the pinnacle of innovation; it's also a lot of fun to drive and hang out in with friends. It fits up to 14 people and makes an excellent boat for a party out on the lake.
This boat is truly one of a kind with its brand-new Hybrid Bow that cuts smoothly through the water without sacrificing seating space. It fits up to 12 people and employs a handful of fantastic features that make your boating experience convenient and straightforward.
One of the many convenient features of the boat is the Malibu Command Center at the front of the helm. This streamlined dash utilizes touch screens that make it easy to flip through and adjust settings.
Another great feature is the storage space at the back of the boat for you to store all kinds of gear for wakeboarding and skiing.
One of the most impressive components of the boat is its Malibu Monsoon Engine. These engines are unmatched regarding reliability, durability, and power. Plus, they are quieter than the average engine and more fuel-efficient!
The Tige 20 RZX offers the deepest freeboard, broadest beam, and more storage than you'd ever imagine! This 20' boat seats up to 13 people and has 85.75 cubed feet (2.43 cubed meters) of storage space. If your goal is to stay out on the water all day boating with your buddies, this is the one to do it in.
The helm features a user-focused interface patented by Tige, Tige Clear. Brand patented GO and TAPS 3T systems are already installed into Tige Clear. With one click of a button, your cruise control, ballast, and preferred TAPS wake settings automatically engage for the perfect boating experience.
One of the best safety features on the boat is the rear-view camera. This lets you keep your eyes forward without missing anything going on behind you. It's also fantastic for backing up, docking, and keeping passengers and riders safe.
If you're looking for a boat that makes everyone wish they were you, the Supra SR is the boat for you. This 21 ft. boat boasts 3,300 lbs. of ballast and an Indmar Raptor 6.2L 16-Valve V8 engine for optimal power.
It also comes with the AutoWake hull management system that automatically adjusts the hull to produce precise waves and wakes. The best part? You won't even notice.
AutoWake works with the Supra Swell System to provide riders with tall waves on either side of the boat. This is perfect for those that like to transfer from side to side or throw down awesome tricks in competitions.
For those who prefer water skiing and don't want a lot of wake, both of these wake management systems work to minimize wave and wake size. It is a little pricey, but the crossover capabilities provided by the Supra SR are well worth the investment.
This is an excellent boat for those just entering the competitive side of water skiing. It's perfect for beginners that want a boat that grows with them.
The boat utilizes Malibu's Advanced Rudder control. This creates soft, gentle wakes with robust tracking and provides the rider with a consistent pull throughout the ride.
It's also equipped with Malibu's T-Cut Diamond Hull, which is ideal for all types of skiing, including slalom, trick, and jumping. The TXi also features an Open Bow layout that fits up to 7 people. Don't worry; it's still tournament-approved.
If you're here for speed, power, and reliability, the Response TXi is one of the best choices. Malibu's Monsoon Engines are reliable, durable, and powerful. Plus, they have a high fuel economy and the lowest carbon emissions in the industry.
The boat has plenty of storage for trips on the lake and competitions. It comes equipped with a ski rack so you won't detune your fins or displace your passengers.
The Ski Nautique 200 is specially crafted for the performance-obsessed. This AWSA tournament-approved towboat provides the flattest and softest wakes possible for all skill levels and ages.
It comes standard with a beast of an engine, the PCM ZR4. Upgrade to the PCM and GM Marine Engine Technology 5.3L ZZ5 direct-injection engine, or the even more impressive, 6.2L ZZ6 version for even better performance. These engines are reliable, durable, and super powerful.
The boat is also equipped with a tunable rudder that lets you decide how the boat tracks along the course. Speaking of tracking, the 200 incorporates tracking fins for precision course navigation.
Also mounted on the 200 is their patented Automated HydroGate that custom fine-tunes your running surface for the perfect pull.
The boat's helm has a unique dash fitted with a LINC Panoray Touchscreen. The Helm Command rotary dial syncs with the display to easily navigate the controls, settings, and menus.
The Ski Nautique 200 is a one-of-a-kind boat. If you're a competitive freshwater wakeboarder or surfer that needs a high-performance towboat, definitely consider one of these. If you're a saltwater boater, many components are not compatible, and it's not recommended.
The Axis T250 is the longest boat ever made by Axis. It measures 25 ft. and holds up to 18 passengers!
It uses a Wake Plus Hull that creates additional water displacement for even larger waves. Additionally, it's fitted with a Malibu Monsoon M5Di engine. Enjoy all of the features of a Malibu Monsoon engine like low emissions, high fuel economy, and unparalleled torque in your favorite Axis wake boat.
No boat trip would be the same without good tunes. Every Axis T250 is fitted with a Wet Sounds marine sound system.
Wet Sounds designs its speakers to hold up against the highest and wettest octane conditions you could ever experience. These are very durable speakers that are loud enough for riders to hear and jam to.
The speakers aren't just for music! They also use Surf Gate to send transition signals to the rider from the driver for straightforward transfers.
The MasterCraft ProStar is a classic choice for water skiers. This 20 ft. boat has the best handling and driving capabilities in ProStar history.
When it comes to docking tech, MasterCraft does it better than anyone. The ProStar incorporates its Dock Star Handling System that increases the driver's control while driving.
It utilizes a 3-rudder system that lets drivers move the boat in any direction while reversing. This gives the driver more control while docking and backing into tight spaces.
The ProStar uses the iconic SurfStar system found in their other models when it comes to wave and wake making. MasterCraft also offers a ballast upgrade for competitive skiers. The brand's impressive Switchback Ballast Tank automatically directs the water back-and-forth between port and starboard to create the perfect waves for every surfer.
Speaking of surfers, the MasterCraft ProStar offers the best saltwater experience ever. MasterCraft uses unique materials, vendors, and engineers to ensure that your boat is protected from the harmful effects of saltwater.
Sacrificial aluminum anodes protect the boat from underwater corrosion in brackish waters. Additionally, the saltwater package upgrades the engine of that boat to a direct-injection 5.3L GDI V8 fitted with a fully closed-cooling system.
The MasterCraft ProStar is a great all-around option for watersports, whatever your water or location preferences.
This is the best boat for family fun this summer. It has a lot of storage space for safety equipment, towels, and sporting goods. It also comes equipped with a cooler under the back seat, so you don't have to worry about hauling one around.
It comes standard with a swim platform, a high-quality sound system, and SSi gauges. Buyers do have the option to add Chaparral's Velocity Folding Arch Tower to the boat for an extra cost.
While the boat does have a 200 horsepower engine, its top speed is relatively low. So this probably isn't your best option if you're looking for a boat to compete in. But for casual family fun on the lake, especially with younger kids or pets, this is your perfect vessel.
Watersports are a classic pastime for people everywhere. They encourage athleticism, bring families together, and provide some of the best experiences imaginable.
Now you know the ten best watersports boats. Whether you prefer the classics like wakeboarding, water skiing, sailing, or parasailing, there is a boat out there made just for you.
For more information about watersports boats and boat clubs, visit us today.