2020 Axis A20

The A20 is easy to tow and store, and it throws a solid wake.

December 17, 2019
Axis A20 running shot
For a 20-foot boat, the A20 ­produces a surprisingly solid wake. Tom King

Axis Wake Research boats, built by premier towboat builder Malibu, aims to deliver similar quality and technology to the parent line of boats at a more affordable price. In addition to being the lowest-priced boat in the Axis lineup, the all-new A20 proves small enough to -easily tow and store on its trailer in many residential garages. During our test, we -noted that, for a 20-foot boat, it also -produces a surprisingly solid wake. Add more crew for more ballast—and more fun—and the wakes and waves will -continue to grow in size and excitement.

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Axis A20 helm
Ballast, Surf Gate and the Power Wedge are controlled via convenient buttons on the dash. Tom King

A collection of standard and optional equipment produced that wake on our test boat. Settling the boat deeper still is accomplished via water ballast, up to 2,310 pounds spread between three standard hard tanks and flexible -plug-and-play ballast bags housed within storage compartments in the bow and stern. Axis Performance Surf Package then amplifies them further, shaping them to perfection. The Surf Gate’s vertical tabs pivot outward to build and shape the wake on a particular side. Their fast response enables surf riders to switch sides without pausing to reconfigure. The optional Power Wedge III hydrofoil simulated another 1,500 pounds of ballast; its angle could be fine-tuned to change wake shape and push, as well as helping the boat plane off more quickly with it’s lift mode. Ballast, Surf Gate and the Power Wedge are controlled via convenient buttons on the dash.

Axis A20 bow seating
The bow cockpit is one big playpen. Tom King

Like most passengers, our attention was frequently on the action happening in the wake, so we judged the rear-facing skybox seat a winner. It’s actually the -center bench, slid into the cockpit on a track to create legroom. Suggestion? Add the optional backrests for greater comfort. Elsewhere, seating rings the main -cockpit perimeter, and the bow cockpit is one big playpen. Thanks to the relocation of the batteries from the observer seat to the bow, underseat storage extends all the way through the port console.

Axis A20 transom
Plush seating is found fore and aft. Tom King

Malibu’s Monsoon M5Di generated plenty of torque to pop riders atop the water. Top speed? It’s an afterthought on a tow-sports boat, but we hit 39.2 mph.


That’s all you really need.

High Points

⋅Garage-friendly size without sacrificing wake or wave.

⋅Wet Sounds stereo with six speakers.


⋅AW20 watersports tower elevates tow point; optional shock package eases raising and lowering.

Axis A20 Certified Test Results
Axis A20 Certified Test Results Boating Magazine


LOA: 20’0”

Beam: 8’2”


Draft (max): 2’3”

Dry Weight: 3,500 lb.

Ballast: 3,810 lb.

Seat/Weight Capacity: 11/1,551 lb.

Fuel Capacity: 42 gal.

Price: $71,995 (with test power)

How We Tested

Engine: Malibu Monsoon M5Di

Drive/Props: V-Drive/OJ 950 15” x 13” 4-blade nibral

Gear Ratio: 1.5:1

Fuel Load: 42 gal.

Crew Weight: 360 lb.

More Information

Axis Wake Research – Loudon, Tennessee; 865-458-5478;

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