Cobalt R5 WSS Wakesurf Review

Cobalt’s R5 WSS Surf is a breed of all-new sterndrive surf boats hitting the market as fast as tooling can accommodate. You might be wondering how a sterndrive can surf, but the R5 WSS Surf is powered by the innovative new Volvo Forward Drive system.

The Volvo Forward Drive system sports two counter-rotating propellers that funnel water through a hole in the lower unit that’s tucked well beneath the hull. Instead of a standard propeller and rudder to steer the boat, the entire lower unit rotates to steer.

The R5 is a tried-and-true model for Cobalt that was adapted quite well to the specific demands and rigors of surfing, creating the new R5 WSS Surf. One of the biggest boats in this roundup, the R5 WSS Surf sports relatively low maximum ballast numbers for the inboard V-drive world, but higher numbers than its forward-drive counterparts. It has a bigger wave than most of the forward drives, but it doesn’t have as much drive or push as some of the smaller waves within the Forward Drive category.


The R5 utilizes proprietary surf tabs that are bigger than the Forward Drive competition, with an extremely easy deployment through the integrated touch screen at the dash. Presets make your surf setup as easy as selecting which side you want to surf, then adjusting the Forward Drive’s trim to get as much push as possible out of this aesthetically perfect wave. The system switches from side to side too.

Top-Notch Trait: Cobalt is a luxury brand through and through, with a comprehensive amenity package that includes one of the most comfortable interiors available. A particular standout is the rear seat, which has a hinged seat back that allows for forward- or rear-facing seating while still leaving plenty of room for lounging. The extra-wide interior beam has enough space left over to accommodate a walk-through transom that provides easy access to the water.

Stat: Volvo is an absolute juggernaut of a company with its hand in everything from heavy equipment to cars to marine engines, which means their vast service network is at your disposal with the Forward Drive system. Volvo Penta currently has over 2,000 servicing outlets, a number that should comfort you when your propulsion inevitably needs some dealer attention.

Length 25’8”
Beam 102”
Dry Weight 4,880 lb.
Fuel Capacity 50 gal.
Seating Capacity 14
Standard Ballast 2,100 lb.
Max Factory Ballast 2,100 lb.
Standard Power 300 hp
Maximum Power 430 hp