Malibu’s best wakeboard boat and top seller, the virtually all-new Malibu Wakesetter VLX further cemented its flagship status in ’09, thanks to a hull and interior redesign as well as a boatload of tech-forward upgrades. Both eye-catching and functional, the Malibu VLX’s new automotive-style cove hull is optimized for bigger and better-defined wakes. The newly roomier interior – Malibu Boats designers carved out an extra 3 inches in length and another inch in width – is equally refined, thanks to the new frameless MH2 windshield, oversized driver’s seat and hand-wrapped dash. Even without Malibu’s slate of next-generation innovations like MaliView and Auto Wedge, the Malibu VLX is one of the most sophisticated wake rides on the water.
Our first reaction: wow. The brand-new MaliView dash system features a sprawling, 6.5-inch color LCD screen and intuitive 10-button navigation that lets you monitor and manage everything from ballast and cruise control to your stereo. RCA inputs let you watch video from a range of sources and even play video games.
Dry weight: 3,500 lb.
Fuel capacity: 46 gal.
Tower: Illusion X*, Illusion XS*, Titan III
Racks: Titan (fixed and swivel)*
Wake shaper: Manual Malibu Wedge*, Malibu Power Wedge*
Length: 21 ft. 6 in.
Width: 8 ft. 4 in.
Bow length: 54 in.
Bow width: 64 in.
Floor to tower: 66 in.
Gunwale: 30 in.
Main lounge: 59 sq. ft.
Sun pad: 24 sq. ft.
Platform: 12 sq. ft.
Ballast: 1,250 lb. (one 350-lb. bow tank*; one 500-lb. center tank; two 200-lb. rear tanks)
Standard: Malibu 320 LCR 5.7L 320 hp (Monsoon 350 hp in California)
Cruise: Precision Pro Speed Control
* = Optional
The Malibu VLX’s new hull kicks out the cleanest wakes of any Malibu Wakesetter. The ramps are long, the landing zones offer plenty of cushion and the peaks are nice and rounded. With the Malibu Power Wedge deployed to about three-quarters, we got a little more lip to play with, letting us boot tricks nice and high with straight-up pop.