• The 2019 Tige ZX1 measures 21 feet, 6 inches in length and provides an option of adding the Surf + Wake XL Ballast system, which includes 2,000 pounds of ballast capacity below the cockpit sole and 1,100 pounds of plug-and-play ballast bags on either side of the engine.

  • Other innovative features on the new wakesurfing model include the TAPS 3 Surf System, the touch-screen display CLEAR User Experience, and the Alpha E2 power tower that comes fitted with swivel board racks.

  • See Tige ZX1 listings, or check out our review on the larger Tige ZX5 model.

The top of the tow boat market gets all the glory and the lion’s share of media coverage, and for good reason. The larger boats make the biggest wakes and come fitted with the shiniest bells and loudest whistles you can get on a boat. Tige has given its new ZX1 the same treatment as its larger sibling, the ZX5, and has done it in a midsize package that appeals to a broader section of the market—be it related to price or size.



Measuring 21 feet, 6 inches long, the ZX1 is, in all candor, a scaled down version of the ZX5, and it lacks for nothing in terms of bells and whistles. For example, the Surf + Wake XL Ballast system includes not only 2,000 pounds of ballast capacity below the cockpit sole, but it also comes with 1,100 pounds of plug-and-play ballast bags on either side of the engine.

In standard trim, the ZX1 comes with everything you need for wakeboarding and wakesurfing on every level. For example, the TAPS 3 Surf System is included, and that helps you tailor the waves to a rider’s preference, and switch the wave from side to side. The Alpha E2 power tower comes fitted with swivel board racks and the ZeroOff cruise control makes finding the optimal wakesurfing speed a snap.

All of the boat’s functions are displayed and adjustable via the touch-screen display, what Tige calls the CLEAR User Experience. Using it and seeing how it displays all the boat’s information and controls all its systems gives you an idea how comprehensive the system is. We know that much of the cost of a boat is wrapped up in the labor it takes to build one. Boats are hand built, so that makes sense, but we can see how a lot of that labor is now in coding and programming all the major and minor functions into the touch screen—it literally does everything.

There are redundant controls on the steering wheel, which the driver can use to make minor adjustments here and there, including speed and the surf systems and stereo functions, too.

The Alpha E2 Powered Tower electronically lowers to windshield height, making it optimal for stowing, towing or going—not to mention, at its lowest position, it can easily fit under a boat cover.

Inside, the ZX1 is not only well appointed, but also well thought out. For example, because so much happens behind the boat, the seating can be configured to let passengers watch the rider in action. The port and starboard lounges are fitted with cushions that lift up to create a rear-facing backrest. What’s more, the aft bench features a backrest and seat cushion that lift up and slide forward to create a rear facing bench that aligns with the aft-facing backrests on the lounges. It’s really clever, and it operates with one hand and is roomy enough to fit five across.

Up front, the bow is deeper than a lot of 21-footers on the market and is also designed to be used while watching the action behind the boat. It’s not a pickle-fork design like Tige’s RZX line, but it does carry a lot of beam forward add width to the bow seating area.

While the ZX1 provides a smooth ride for those onboard, the best ride comes for those behind the boat surfing the wake.

At the transom, where function is paramount, the ZX1 takes care of its riders by giving them a walk-through to the swim platform. GatorStep Non Skid foam provides sure footing. What’s more, there’s a pop-up ski pylon and Tige’s proprietary trunk, which has dimensions substantial enough told hold a bevy of boards and skis.

As much fun as it is to talk about the top of the market, it’s nice to know Tige also is focusing on the middle of the market. The ZX1 packs the same punch as its larger stablemate, throwing plumb waves for riders of all stripes, yet does so on a middleweight package.

See Tige ZX1 listings.
Draft 2'5"
Displacement5,500 lbs
Fuel capacity46 gal.

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 Boats.com, he regularly writes and shoots for BoatTrader.com. 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.