Boathouse: 80 Feet Back | Malibu 22 VLX | Words: Brandon Judd
Malibu 22 VLX
I honestly don’t know how Malibu does it. I don’t think there has been a Malibu boat put into production with a wake that didn’t have an arguably perfect transition. The wakes are never washed out, never too round, too steep, too wide, too narrow or problematic in any way. The Malibu VLX has epitomized this legacy ever since I can remember. And for 2015, the now 22-foot VLX has the potential to keep up with today’s ever-increasing wake trend.
Since you might already be familiar with the 21 VLX from years past, let’s talk about how this extra foot of hull affects the wake. Generally, bigger boats have to be near capacity to get a crisp peaky wake, otherwise they can be too round and lack that extra kick at the top of the wake that riders love. Smaller boats can produce a peakier wake with less ballast but with less volume. If you load up a smaller boat with extra ballast to beef up the wake, the result is usually a washed-out wake and a hard time getting on plane.
The 22 VLX, however, is somewhere in between a small boat and a big boat. This should give it a nice advantage if you merely play the odds, but Malibu took it a step further and perfected the hull shape to the point where it’s now almost impossible to mess up the transition — regardless of how you weight it. Adjust the wedge with the piano-key dash settings, select your preferred ballast, and the wake holds a perfect shape at your preferred size, big or small.
After enjoying my initial set behind this boat, I have since seen the full spectrum of riders that this wake can satisfy. For everyone from first-timers to highly advanced riders, this wake will stay consistent, clean and crisp — making it ideal for fast, uninhibited progression. If you get a chance to take a set behind the all-new 2015 22 VLX, don’t pass it up!
Length: 21 ft. 10 in.
Dry Weight: 4,300 lb.
Factory Ballast: 1,250 lb. plus Plug ‘N’ Play
Maximum Capacity: 14 people/1,830 lb.
Speed: 22.6 mph
Rope Length: 75 feet
Ballast: Stock ballast and Plug ‘n’ Play full
The Wedge: Two-thirds deployed
Crew: Driver and two observers
Volume: Moderate to high
Rideability: Beginner to advanced