If you’re a watersport enthusiast searching for the best ski boats for lakes, you’ve sailed to the right place. With a myriad of options in the marketplace, choosing the perfect boat for lake skiing can seem like a daunting task. Whether it’s for tearing across infinity-mirrored waters at sunrise or a leisurely day of recreation with family, the right ski boat can amplify your lake adventure. In this article, we’ll navigate these waters together – matching your unique requirements with our curated collection of the best ski boats for lakes. Join us as we dive into the fascinating world of power, agility, and ultimate water fun.
1. Super Air Nautique G23 Paragon
Introducing the Super Air Nautique G23 Paragon, a boat that challenges the boundaries of innovation and design with architectural perfection. The 2024 model brings some exceptional new features, one of which is the Telescoping Flight Control Tower. Adorned with a design refresh, this feature allows users to adjust the tower’s height at a button’s press without compromising on the interior space. This notable characteristic extends beyond eye-catching aesthetics, serving to get under bridges, pulling into docks, or when you want shelter from harsh weather.
As you glimpse at the boat, the captivating hull design of the G23 Paragon stands out. Following a complete refresh, the faceted sides and new bow lines cast a visual masterpiece that stands as a unique signature on the water. Backlit LED lights heighten the grandeur by illuminating the hullside badges at night. The bimini on the G23 Paragon extends an equally impressive practical and aesthetic appeal. Ideal for those sunny days, it offers broad coverage with an integrated storage system that includes room for two surfers stacked on each other, creating abode for four wake surfers.
Under its magnificent exterior, the G23 Paragon houses incredible power – its engine options being the most potent in the market. The boat comes standard with the all-new PCM ZZ8S, delivering a remarkable 630 horsepower and 665 Ft-Lb of torque. This engine displays innovative technology with features like direct injection and supercharging. The Nautique Configurable Running Surface (NCRS), an extension of the hull, allows you to optimize and customize the wake and wave shape, which works flawlessly at any speed. Additionally, the new Garmin watch integration lets you remotely control different specifications while surfing or wakeboarding. Lastly, the boat features the Nautique Surf System (NSS), providing surfers with instant, customizable waves on either side of the boat. With the Super Air Nautique G23 Paragon, perfection is not an overstatement but an experience, a guarantee of exceptional quality and breathtaking performance.
2. MasterCraft ProStar
Presenting the MasterCraft ProStar, a boat that embodies the epitome of expertise, design, and state-of-the-art technology. Its legacy of creating the industry’s flattest wakes continues, thanks to its precision-tuned hull and distinctive hull-rails. Irrespective of speed or line length, the ProStar promises to emit the least amount of spray, crafting immaculate waters for skiers across all levels and disciplines. This remarkable achievement of engineering ensures that when you’re trailing behind the boat, the wake is almost invisible, providing an unrivaled experience for waterskiers.
In terms of handling, the 2024 ProStar leads the industry with its unique inclusion of four fins. This modification further enhances tracking and control, rendering an unmatched driving experience. In collaboration with the novel hull rails, the ProStar exudes elegance and sophistication through its sleek helm, outfitted with a 10″ touchscreen. Undoubtedly, no other waterski boat delivers the agile, precise control offered by the ProStar, making it the go-to choice for serious waterskiers and boating enthusiasts alike.
The MasterCraft ProStar doesn’t just offer superior surface performance but also houses impressive power in its machinery. Engine power contributes significantly to a boat’s overall performance, and with MasterCraft, you are ensured exceptional engine competency. While the exact engine model that will power the 2024 ProStar hasn’t been detailed yet, traditionally, MasterCraft ProStars have been powered by high-performance, reliable engines that manifest tremendous horsepower.
3. Malibu Wakesetter 25 LSV
Malibu Wakesetter 25 LSV is a majestic vessel bred from an optimal blend of performance, comfort, and technology. Reaching 25 feet in length, this boat has ample space to accommodate up to 18 people comfortably. Its design encapsulates a versatile lounge area, easily reconfigurable to suit diverse recreational agendas for you and your crew. Beyond its ample space, the Malibu Wakesetter 25 LSV is renowned for the iconic wake and wave performance seen in the LSV series. Outfitted with the Surf Gate® and Power Wedge® III, it generates meticulously shaped wakesurf waves and scalable wakeboard wakes, establishing the 25 LSV as an ideal accompaniment for any sea adventure.
Spec-wise, this boat makes a serious statement. With a hull length of 25 feet, a beam reaching 102 inches, and a draft of 32 inches, texture, and space are plentiful in this boat. The 25 LSV’s architecture houses a considerable dry weight of 6,175 lbs; it can comfortably bear weight up to 2,538 LBS. The cherry on top? The expansive fuel capacity of 103 gallons ensures prolonged water endeavors without constant refilling. The substantial factory ballast of 5,180 pounds supports superior stability and ride quality.
Bringing performance into the limelight, the Wakesetter 25 LSV showcases impressive power, offering a range of 430 horsepower with 460 ft-lbs of torque and up to 607 horsepower with 606 ft-lbs of torque. This power, combined with a Wake Plus hull type, delivers excellent maneuverability at all speeds, the desired wake shape for watersports, and efficient fuel consumption. If you’re seeking an experience that finely balances watersports performance, cutting-edge technology, and the availability of generous space for your loved ones, the Malibu Wakesetter 25 LSV answers the call and invites you aboard for an unforgettable journey on the water.
4. Tige 20 RZX
Tige 20 RZX is a boat that masterfully combines innovative design, high-performance features, and an unwavering commitment to quality. Measuring 20 feet in length with a 102-inch beam, this boat comfortably accommodates up to 13 people. Weighing in at 4975 pounds, with a notable 3000-pound ballast, the boat remains steady and comfortable during various water activities. A generous storage capacity of 85.75 cubic feet ensures you have enough space for all your watersports gear.
At the heart of every watersport enthusiast’s desires is a boat with superior wake capabilities, and the Tige 20 RZX delivers just that with the patented Convex V Hull and the TAPS 3T system. The Convex V Hull empowers Tige to produce an outstanding wake that surpasses all other inboards. Couple this feature with the TAPS 3T system, which allows you to fine-tune your wake’s characteristics at the push of a button, and you have the perfect setup for a new level of surf and wake performance.
The Tige 20 RZX doesn’t just shine in performance, but also in technology and power. The Raptor Series by Indmar delivers more power, more torque, and better fuel efficiency than any other engine in the market, making your ride smooth, fast, and economical. Adding to the overall experience, Tige Clear, the next generation of onboard technology, guarantees an elevated user experience. The meticulously designed Alpha E3 Tower encompasses engineering precision coupled with formidable strength and an appealing design. Completing the picture is the Audison Pro-Audio System, which sets the mood for your watersports adventures with high-quality sound. With the Tige 20 RZX, you get a fantastic mix of power, technology, and surf capabilities, ensuring every moment on the water is a memorable one.
5. Moomba Makai
Let’s get acquainted with the Moomba Makai, a versatile game-changer in the world of wakeboarding and surfing. The Moomba Makai’s heart lies in its innovative technology, coupling the Moomba SmartPlate™, Flow Surf System, and the unique AutoWake® to curate a steady, epic playground on the water for riders of all skill levels. Equipped with an impressive 4,000 lbs of ballast and the quick-filling G6 system, you’ll be up and riding in no time while the boat crafts perfect, epic wakes that keep your adrenaline pumping.
Adding to this boat’s notable features is the introduction of thrust controls, a valuable addition to the Moomba lineup. These thrusters offer enhanced precision and control, dramatically simplifying maneuverability in tight spaces. The intuitive control system, placed conveniently within the throttle knob, equips you to direct the boat smoothly and confidently. These thrusters signify an end to docking stress, offering a newfound level of convenience and easy maneuvering. With Moomba’s boat thrusters, you command the waters, effortlessly skimming across their surface with unparalleled control.
The Moomba Makai is not only an absolute performance beast, but it boasts some considerable dimensions. With a length of 24’5″ and a width of 102″, this vessel offers generous space for up to 18 occupants. This model possesses a weight of 5200 lbs, ensuring a steady, comfortable ride. Enhanced by a significant fuel capacity of 70 gallons, the Moomba Makai is ready to power through long days of water sports adventures. So, sit back, relax, and let the Moomba Makai deliver a thrilling and remarkably seamless wakeboarding and surfing experience.
6. Supra SR
Introducing the Supra SR, an embodiment of high performance, evident in its expansive dimensions of a 102-inch beam and a substantial weight of nearly 5,000 lbs. A generous fuel capacity of 45 gallons ensures that the boat balances performance and efficiency. The SR line distinguishes itself with a driver-focused design, featuring a helm conceived with precision.
The Supra SR’s helm includes a patented Thruster Knob for effortless throttle control, an intuitive Vision Control Center for easy system navigation, and Integrated Smart Steering for optimal boating control, thereby encapsulating a convenient and smooth driving experience. With in-built System Controls, captains can further fine-tune the attributes of Swell and AutoWake to create the perfect waveshape for any riders.
Prioritizing relaxation and comfort, the Supra SR employs Chill Tech Vinyl, a material that remains remarkably cooler than traditional material under direct sunlight, making for a comfortable lounging experience on board. When it’s time to groove, the boat impresses with a Premium Audio package by JL Audio®, complimenting maritime adventures with immersive, high-quality sound. All these features work together to create the elegant and powerful Supra SR, a boat that promises an unforgettable on-water experience.
7. Centurion Ri257
Introducing the Centurion Ri257 – a magnificent machine exhibiting exceptional performance and unparalleled luxury. Establishing a commanding presence on the water, the Ri257 measures 25’7” in length with an 8’6” beam. Substantial proportions indeed, promising a comfortable layout for both crew and gear. Despite its generous size, it boasts an impressively low draft of 36″. Weighing in at 6,150 lbs, the Ri257 shows significant stability and is beneficial to riders in tow. With a fuel capacity of 92 gallons and seating for 18 people, it encourages extended time on the water with family and friends.
Powering this vessel is the standard GM Marine H6DI by PCM, delivering a notable 450 horsepower and 465 foot-pounds of torque. This engine ensures definitive reliability, is backed by a five-year warranty, and provides more than enough propulsion to create sizeable wakes and waves. If you’re seeking even more muscle, an upgraded GM Marine XR7 by PCM engine is available. Offering a tremendous 550 horsepower and 545 foot-pounds of torque, this upgrade caters to those seeking the ultimate power performance from their boat.
Last but not least, the Centurion Ri257 takes ballast to another level, housing an impressive 5,550 lbs of onboard ballast. This substantial ballast elevates your water sports to new heights by sculpting tremendous, customizable waves for wake surfing and wakeboarding. With the Centurion Ri257, you’re equipping yourself with an awe-inspiring addition to your water sports arsenal, bringing performance, comfort, and power together in an exceptional aquatic experience.
8. MasterCraft XT21
MasterCraft XT21 is a delightful crossover that infuses style, power, and versatility into every on-water outing. With a classic bow design and ample room for up to 13 people, the XT21 ensures your crew experiences a blend of comfort and class. Measuring 21’4” in length with a 98” beam, the boat’s interior spans 81.5″, providing ample lounging space while perfectly balancing the boat’s weight of 4800 lbs.
The XT21 harbors a fuel capacity of 51 gallons, ensuring extended cruising with minimal downtime. Its performance doesn’t falter, even under its 907 kg capacity load, maintaining an impressive sailing experience. The reasonably low draft of 29” makes shallow water passages accessible and hassle-free, adding to the boat’s versatile capabilities.
At the heart of the XT21, the Ilmor 6.0L engine purrs to life, delivering a solid thrust to cut through waters effortlessly. The boat features the powerful and adjustable Gen 2 Surf System, capable of creating a mesmerizing surf trailing behind it. However, the fun doesn’t end behind the boat; the interior boasts a convertible transom seat for those who prefer to enjoy a luxurious experience onboard. The unique layout and incredible crossover performance make the XT21 a memory maker, regardless of how you choose to enjoy the water. Whether you’re wakeboarding, waterskiing, or simply cruising, the MasterCraft XT21 ensures an exceptional, fun-filled day on the water.
9. Axis T250
Say hello to the Axis T250, the epitome of size and performance in the Axis lineup. As the largest model ever built by Axis, the T250 extends an invitation to epic summer memories due to its expansive capacity and excellent functionality. The boat flaunts a hull length of 25 feet, providing ample space for up to 18 people. A generous beam of 102 inches and a stable draft of 32 inches make the T250 a banking stability and interior comfort beast. Despite housing a staggering weight capacity of 5370 lbs, this boat stands steadfast in waters due to its impressive dry weight of approximately 5500 lbs.
Delivering between 400 to 606 foot-pounds of torque, the T250 is endowed with performance capabilities to rip through waters effortlessly. What sets this boat apart is the amalgamation of Surf Gate® and Power Wedge® III technologies, which seamlessly sculpt perfect waves for wakeboarding or surfing. With a spacious interior and ample storage space, the T250 adeptly accommodates crew and gear, making everyone feel first-class.
Not just unyielding power, the T250 prioritizes relaxation and enjoyment with the unique Sliding Skybox Seat™. It gives passengers a front-row seat to the watersports show behind the boat, ensuring a fun-filled outing for everyone onboard. The boat’s aggressive styling, high-grade materials, and user-friendly touchscreen dash underline its contemporary feel and operational simplicity. So, if you’re seeking a boat that promises thrilling watersports, profound comfort, and seamless functionality, the Axis T250 awaits you to hop on and make some unforgettable splash-filled memories.
10. MB Sports B52 Alpha
Introducing the MB Sports B52 Alpha, a vessel born to satiate the appetite of wakeboarding and wakesurfing aficionados. Conceived in the early ’90s, this boat was explicitly crafted for riders intent on making the most out of their time on the water. With its distinctive deep V hull, the B52 Alpha creates phenomenal waves to surf—making every ride an unforgettable one. The MB legacy, allied with its user-friendly surf system, guarantees less time spent in adjustments and more time catching the perfect wave.
With a sizeable length of 25 feet and a broad 102-inch beam, the MB Sports B52 Alpha dominates the waters with its commanding presence. Weighing approximately 6,500 lbs, it holds steadfast even in choppy waters, ensuring a smooth ride every time. This robust boat can host up to 16 people comfortably—perfect for group outings or watersports sessions.
The Alpha doesn’t falter regarding performance—it comes equipped with hard tanks boasting a ballast capacity of 2,335 lbs, contributing to perfect surfing waves. Choose from engine configurations delivering either 398 or 510 horsepower; the B52 Alpha can cater to a wide range of power requirements. From a day of exhilarating watersports to a leisurely cruise, the MB Sports B52 Alpha embodies style, performance, and uncompromised water fun. Step aboard and prepare to conquer #thewave.
11. Yamaha 212X
Meet the jaw-dropping fusion of luxury and performance: the Yamaha 212X. As part of Yamaha’s revitalized 212 Series, this boat consolidates more features characteristic of the larger, show-stopping 24’ (7.32 m) models than its forerunners. The 212 Series trio – the 212 Limited, 212 Limited S, and the 212 X – bring distinct nautical thrills to cater to varied sea adventurer preferences. Peek into our experience with the riveting, tricked-out-for-watersports 212 X.
The 212X color palette is impressive. With hues from sleek Black to magnificent Space Blue, the boat cultivates elegance while retaining a robust aura. Essential design elements like the removable dinette table with a pedestal and the adjustable Captain’s Chair with flip-up bolster unify luxury and efficiency seamlessly. For those spontaneous yacht parties, the marine stereo serves as an impressive ally.
Offering a tranquil voyage when required, the 212X features a 3-position No Wake Mode control. The integrated removable cooler keeps your beverages chilled during sunny days. Adding to its luxury is the Bimini top, providing the desired respite from the sun. The aluminum folding wakeboard tower and painted trailer with a swing-away tongue are testaments to Yamaha’s commitment to convenience and top-tier design.
12. Sea Ray SLX-W 230
Prepare to grab attention with the SLX 230. This stunning Sea Ray vessel elegantly combines power, sleek aesthetics, and comfort. Transition smoothly from relaxation to thrill-seeking with the convertible seating, spacious loungers, and the MerCruiser power unit coupled with an optional watersports tower. This well-engineered masterpiece proves it can cater to both the laid-back sea lover and the adrenaline junkie within you.
In the age of technology, the SLX 230 stands tall with its dual 12″ Simrad SelectResponse Glass Dash touchscreens. These offer a modern twist, taking the boating experience up a notch. The transition from leisurely lounging to thrill-packed cruising has never been smoother, courtesy of the powerful MerCruiser® engine just waiting to incite wakeboarding excitement.
The SLX 230 beams with impeccable core specs. The standard propulsion MerCruiser® 4.5L MPI ECT Bravo® III engine packing 250 hp ensures no day on the water is a dull one. Offering room for 13 passengers, a fuel capacity of 50 gallons, and a beam of 8’6″, it’s a vessel designed for the perfect day at sea. Sophisticated engineering with comforting relaxation – the SLX 230 vows nothing less.
13. Scarab Jet 255 ID
Across the high seas, where waves beckon adventure and freedom redefines thrill, the Scarab Jet 255 ID effortlessly steals the limelight. And it does this with good reason. This dynamic marvel boasts an innate versatility that perfectly suits the ever-changing whims and fancies of seafarers. The promise of the Scarab Jet 255 ID? An infinite stream of the purest adrenaline rushes that boating can offer. Perfect for those unforgettable weekends where excitement meets the ocean.
Exhibiting an exterior styled with an Impulse Black and Phantom Grey Impact graphic, the Scarab Jet 255 ID is nothing short of a head-turner. Complemented by an Eclipse black interior, this boat stands out not just at the sand bar, but wherever it might find itself. The aesthetic artistry combined with technical prowess makes an irresistible package, appealing to both eyes and hearts alike.
But the Scarab Jet 255 ID isn’t just about style and aesthetics. It comes with a powerful punch under the hood – a whopping horsepower of up to 600. Coupled with its ability to comfortably accommodate up to 13 people, the boat solidifies its spot as one hands-down choice for thrilling sea adventures. With a considerable length of 25 feet, the Scarab Jet 255 ID truly encapsulates the quintessence of power, style, and unforgettable marine experiences.
Things to Consider When Buying a Ski Boat
1. Speed and Maneuverability
Speed and maneuverability are essential factors to consider when buying a ski boat, as they will significantly affect your overall on-water experience. A boat that can track straight without veering off course during a set makes the skier and driver’s experience more enjoyable. It is also essential to test the boat’s handling while towing a skier and pay special attention to how it handles the skier’s weight.
When selecting an engine for a ski boat, there are a few key considerations to take into account. The most important consideration is the engine type, as an inboard motor will produce flatter wakes that are best for waterskiing. Outboard motors, on the other hand, are situated outside the boat and offer more power and versatility but can create more turbulent wakes that are less ideal for waterskiing. Another consideration is the power and torque of the engine, as this will determine the speed of the boat and the size of the wakes it can generate. Finally, the engine’s fuel efficiency should be considered, as this will help ensure that your boat can travel long distances without refueling.
3. Boat Size
When buying a ski boat, you should consider the size of the boat. Larger ski boat models can easily fit up to 10-12 people, almost matching the ~15 people that most pontoon boats can fit. If you plan to host family and friends on the boat, you may want to consider the larger models. Additionally, larger boats offer more stability, which can be helpful when skiing or wakeboarding.
4. Hull Design
When buying a ski boat, it is essential to consider the hull design and its performance capabilities. Depending on where you plan to use your boat (calm lake or choppy ocean), you should look for one optimized for the conditions. If you are looking for a boat that can do a bit of everything, look for a crossover boat that comes with an optional wake tower and sterndrive. It should have a flat wake, good tracking ability, and a comfortable helm. For those who are unsure of what to look for, it is recommended to ask for a lake demonstration so you can make an informed decision.
5. Ballast system
When buying a ski boat, it is important to consider the ballast system. This system helps the boat to create a flatter wake, provide more lift, and reduce spray. It ensures the boat is stable in choppy waters while providing a smoother ride and better turn control. The ballast system also helps to create a more even weight distribution throughout the boat, resulting in better performance and handling. By improving the boat’s overall stability, skiers and wakeboarders can enjoy a more comfortable ride and be able to push their limits further.
6. Tower and racks
Towers and racks are necessary when buying a ski boat as they are essential for different activities such as wakeboarding or waterskiing. Towers are structures that attach to the boat and provide a higher hitch point for wakeboarding, allowing the rider to make jumps. They also provide a stable tower on the boat for those doing tricks. Racks are usually found on the side of the boat and are used to store the skis, wakeboards, and other equipment needed for water activities. Investing in a boat with a tower and racks ensures that your boat can be used for all sorts of activities, making it an excellent investment for those who love to ski.
7. Storage Capacity
When buying a ski boat, it is crucial to consider the storage capacity of the vessel. Ski boats typically have more features and amenities than other boats, such as leather/plush seats, carpeted floors, and a tower with a speaker and light attached. Therefore, these boats need more room to store their extra items. Additionally, ski boats are designed for families and friends, so they should have enough room to fit many people. Therefore, ensuring the ski boat has enough storage capacity to accommodate all the necessary items and people is important. Furthermore, the maintenance and storage costs should be factored into the overall cost of ski boat ownership.
The price range for a ski boat can range from $35 to $200k. It is essential to keep in mind that the price tag is not an indicator of whether a boat will be best for waterskiing, as each model may have different features. Feature-rich ski boats will cost more, but additional costs such as maintenance and storage should also be factored into the overall cost of ownership.
What features should I look for in a ski boat?
When looking for a ski boat, there are several features you should consider. Firstly, looking for a boat that can generate a flat wake for waterskiing and a larger, more aggressive wake for wakeboarding is essential. Secondly, the boat should have great tracking ability and a comfortable helm. Thirdly, you should always check the manufacturer’s reputation and request a demo to get a feel for the boat. Lastly, consult with water skiing experts for their top recommendations.
What are the pros and cons of different ski boats?
The pros and cons of different ski boats vary depending on the type of activities that you plan to do. For those looking to cruise, ski boats offer a great V-shaped body that keeps you dry in waves, while their plush amenities create a comfortable environment. On the other hand, these amenities make them a less-than-ideal choice for fishing, as they are challenging to clean, and their hanging speakers and lights can get in the way of fishing rods and lines. However, ski boats are the best waterport choice due to their Onboard engine, ballast, and direct connection to the propeller. Ultimately, the best ski boat for you depends on what activities you plan to do, so it is essential to consider the pros and cons of different ski boats before deciding.
How much do ski boats typically cost?
The cost of ski boats can vary greatly and typically range from $35 to $200k. However, the price tag does not indicate whether a boat is best suited for water skiing. Finding a boat that fits your budget and meets your needs is important. Additionally, the costs associated with maintenance and storage should also factor in when calculating the overall cost of ownership.
What type of engine is best for a ski boat?
The Malibu Monsoon Engines are recommended for the best performance as they have lower emissions, improved reliability, and better fuel economy than comparable models. The type of engine that is best for a ski boat is an inboard motor since it produces flatter wakes that are ideal for waterskiing. Inboard motors are permanently situated inside the boat, resulting in the powering of the propulsion shaft through the hull.