There comes a time when you don’t want to hold back—you want the best wake for everything from your wakeboarding boat, and you don’t care what it costs. Virtually every tow boat manufacturer has a product in that upper echelon, but Malibu’s Wakesetter 24 MXZ makes a pretty convincing case that it’s at the top of this class.

malibu wakesetter 24 mxz

The Malibu Wakesetter 24 MXZ makes the wake you want, when you want it.

To begin with, the 24 MXZ is brimming with innovative features that weren’t even invented as little as five years ago. For example, Malibu’s Surf Gate system debuted in 2012 and has undergone subtle evolution ever since. The system still consists of hydraulic tabs that extend outward of the hull sides to create surfing wakes to port or starboard. The driver controls all the settings from the Malibu “command center,” which features a 12-inch touch screen that has been tested to be waterproof, salt proof, and shock proof. It’s bright, high-resolution, and is visible in daylight from a radius of 170 degrees. The control system can switch the wave from left to right in seconds, thanks to fast actuators. The system even has an indicator horn — with optional lights — so the rider knows the best time to switch sides. All told, Malibu sells 3,000 Surf Gate-equipped boats per year.

The driver controls the Surf Gate itself not with the touch screens atop the dash, but with an analog control knob to the left of the steering wheel. The control rotary knob and buttons also control the Power Wedge II, speed control, and the stereo. There’s also a handy place to store your smart phone at the helm.

One particularly cool thing about the command center is that it has a “go home” button, which releases all ballast, lifts the Wedge, disengages Surf Gate, and sets cruise to 20 mph. I’d opt for opt for a speed around 35 mph, but to each his own.

malibu wakesetter

Looking underneath the Malibu Wakesetter it's pretty clear that this boat is tweaked-out to the max, to make your perfect wake.

There are lots of other nifty standard features on the 24 MXZ that set it apart from other top-end tow boats. For instance, its size: at 24 feet, five inches long, the 24 MXZ is one the biggest wakeboard boats on the market, with advertised room for up to 18 people. I’m always a bit suspicious of such figures, and frankly 18 people on a 24-foot boat doesn’t sound like much fun. But where there’s ample seating, there’s also ample stowage and that’s certainly true for the 24 MXZ. There’s stowage everywhere and most of the cushions are self-supporting and lift with one hand. It even has an anchor locker beneath the forward-most cushion in the bow area, which is spacious due to the “pickle fork” design. The bow also conceals a telescoping swim ladder, which is somewhat rare on a tow boat.

The Wakesetter 24 MXZ comes standard with the G3.2 tower, which includes board racks, but Malibu also offers the optional G4 tower. That may seem superfluous given that the boat already comes standard with a tow-tower. But if you’re pulling out all the stops, why not opt for the G4?
Draft (hull)2'3"
Transom deadriseNA
Displacement4,800 lbs
Fuel capacity 70 gal.

More goodies include 1,450 pounds of in-hull ballast, Zero Off cruise control, striking new hull graphics packages, bow lounge armrests, and a choice of three metallic gelcoat colors. Of course, a top-shelf boat jam-packed with top-shelf features isn’t inexpensive; you can expect a turnkey model to go for just over $130,000.

Other Choices: The Mastercraft X46 is another top-end very large and very expensive tow boat. Also near the top of the heap for tow boats is the slightly smaller (and less expensive) Tige Z3.

See Malibu Wakesetter 24 MXZ listings.

For more information, visit Malibu.


Written by: Brett Becker
Brett Becker is a freelance writer and photographer who has covered the marine industry for 15 years. In addition to covering the ski boat and runabout markets for, he regularly writes and shoots for Based in Ventura, Calif., Becker holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in mass communication from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.