In June of this year, Wakesurf Orlando switched from Mastercraft to Malibu Boats. The decision was not lighthearted by any stretch of the imagination. It took us nearly six months of boat testing numerous models of Mastercraft, Nautique, Moomba, Heyday, Supreme, and Malibu wakeboats before concluding. We operated the various wakesurfing boat models in weather conditions ranging from the buttery flat, long dreamy days of Florida summers to two foot rollers in heavy storm surge with thirty mile-per-hour wind gusts (yes, this actually happened). We ballasted, drained, and ballasted again in a multitude of configurations with over two thousand pounds of additional Fly High Fat Sacs at our disposal. We pushed and flicked every button, switch, knob, thingamajigger, and whatchamacallit able to be reached from the helm to maximize wave tuning ability. We rode everything in the wakesurf board arsenal from our custom designed Black Wake Division Pandamonium to the well known Phase 5 Matrix. Our initial goal was simple: to find the perfect wave with a stout enough face to make us feel small while standing next to it; to create a crispy clean lip that looks sharp enough to shave with; to fall back in a hollow barrel large enough to tuck our head underneath; but most importantly, to have a wave so good that we would keep riding until our knees buckled, and then beg for more.
But that wasn’t enough for us. For starters, the sound system needed to be epic. We wanted to cleanly hear the music while wakeskating on a seventy-five foot line and we wanted to feel the subwoofer vibration in our teeth. We wanted enough cup holders available so every person on the boat could double-fist bottles of water because hydration is important. We wanted a helm comfortable as a Lazy Boy reclining chair and a plethora of seating options so everyone on the boat could find a relaxing spot no matter what direction they are faced. We wanted lots of storage space for equipment like wakesurf vests, ropes, and Fat Sacs but still wanted the boat to feel open and spacious even with a large group of wakesurfers. And speaking of a large group, we also wanted a lot of board storage space so everyone on the boat could find their perfect wakesurf board to ride. We even took a nap in the bow of several wakeboats to make sure it felt comfortable for anyone who needed a snoozer on a long day (seat angle is a large component of comfort and not all wakeboats are manufactured the same!). And if all this wasn’t enough, we wanted the boat to turn heads on and off the trailer because being shallow isn’t just for water.
We found everything we were searching for with the 2017 Malibu 23 LSV Wakesetter but there was one essential component that guided our final decision - customer service with the local Malibu dealership, Tommy’s Florida. The staff from top down provided the experience boat buying should be. The Tommy's Florida crew are a bunch of boat-crazy, wakeboard and wakesurf loving, suntanned, fun-filled water fanatics. If you find yourself reading this blog entry, the search is over for finding your tribe. Since before purchasing the new company boat and every day after, we have had the most positive experience and support with Tommy’s Florida. They are some of the raddest people you will encounter because they live and love their work. In the end, we left Mastercraft because we found something more than a better boat… we found a boating family to call our own, and that has made all the difference. But for anyone still in doubt about purchasing a Malibu boat, the dash mount phone holder is the best invention since sliced bread.