This year’s polar bear recap has taken me much longer to get done. Not because there is anything difficult to say, almost the opposite. These boats were all amazing and it truly blows me away to see the level of engineering these boat manufacturers are putting in to provided the best wakesurfing machines on the planet. This event is no longer about figuring out which boats surf well, its about which boat makes your family the happiest while doing it. That means something different to everyone. For some its about gadgets and tech or refined luxury or maybe just having coin left over to put gas in it. Well, you can take your pick because these boats all surf great.
This year we have 2 boats each from 3 manufacturers. One of the boats would be considered a more “high end” model, while the other would be a bit more affordable, or a lot more affordable.
Centurion Fi 23
Cost: ~ $125k
Ballast: Full stock plus all factory plug and play.
First we have Centurion FI 23 from Centurion Boats. Centurion has a winner here. While the RI is known to put out a world class wave this is the first year for the FI and I can tell you that it definitely in the same class. Some will tell you its better than the RI, and others might say its close behind, but no one I know will tell you its not a great wave. The wave has a great shape, is firm, long, and if you are a centurion fan you will love this boat. This is by no means a “budget” boat from Centurion, that is found in there Supreme line of boats, but the FI can be ordered easier with only the options you want and you get that great Centurion wave with some coin left over. The FI has options from the factory for extra ballast that should allow just about any family to not need to worry about packing extra lead or sacks.
Centurion Ri 237
Ballast: Full stock + all factory plug and play + 200 lbs of lead.
This is the Centurion RI 237. The RI is the top of the line model from the Centurion and the riders praised the fit and finish and roominess of the interior. Centurion has done a lot of work to make these waves as adjustable as possible and riders noted how much they liked the adjustability. The RI 237 is one example of year over year improvements and engineering designed to refine shape of the wave along with the technology to adjust it to your liking. There was a time when you picked a boat that matched your riding style and preference, but every year these boats give you more tech that allows you a much wider range of adjustment to meet just about most preferences.
Nautique SAN 230
Ballast: Full Stock + 800 lbs of sacs in rear + 200 lbs of lead
I was excited to see the Nautique SAN 230 on the list because while this boat is by no means as old as I am, it is one of those few models that surfed well “back in the day” before manufacturers paid much attention to surfing. The wave was not quite as big or as long as the other boats but several riders felt it could be with some extra weight. Don’t get me wrong though, it was still a great wave and if you love the refinement and engineering that Nautique is known for and want to keep the cost down, this boat works. It may require a bit more time to dial in than some of the other boats, but it throws a mean wave when setup properly and has been doing so for many years.
Ballast: Full stock + 500 lbs of lead ?
What can you say about the Nautique G23 that hasn’t already been said? The G has set the bar in so many categories and no matter which boat is your favorite, you have to respect the G. The refinement and quality of engineering is always a favorite of the riders. Nautique has done an amazing job of engineering their surf system to work directly from the factory and to surf as level as possible with easy side to side transfers. There is no extra plug and play or any need for extra sacs, it just works. Of course, everyone I know puts a bit of lead here and there to get it “just right” for them. The wave shape is of the G23 is unique and a bit steeper with a defined lip, but the lip may be different than what you are used to so try before you buy. My experience is that if you like the G wave, you may soon come up with names for the baby you want to have with it. There is no middle ground with the G wave. The driver of the G has stated that only 500 lbs of lead over the stock system was added, however several riders commented the wake seemed overweighted and maybe the driver was using the NEW math. 😉
Supra SE 550
Ballast: Full stock + Wakemakers Rear PNP + 600 lbs of lead
I probably have to be careful with the Supra SE 550 since this was our family boat for a season and I am not one to hide my thoughts for feelings. This is the largest boat of the group and riders definitely noticed how roomy and spacious the boat was. The Supra waves are becoming know for being super smooth with lots of power and this boat definitely falls in that category. Riders also noted fairly low bow rise while surfing along with the power seat that makes it nice to comfortably see over the bow while towing. The wave was big and long and the auto wake system helps keep the wave consistent all day. You will need extra ballast in your boat to get this wave and will sacrifice storage, but for our family, it was worth it.
Ballast: Full Stock + 800 lbs of lead
I always do these videos with the boats in alphabetical order but technically this boat should have been 5th. I saved it for last because the Moomba Max is the most unique entry in this list of 6 awesome surf boats. Here is my favorite way to describe the Moomba Max:
You go to that high school dance alone and there is this girl standing alone and lets just say she may not have the prettiest dress but she looks spunky so you ask her to dance. Well, lets just say that you have a GREAT time, I mean a REALLY great time so you ask her out again and she says her favorite place is IN-N-OUT burger likes to bring her own candy and popcorn to the movies. YES! That is the moomba max. This boat has a more boxy shape and a spartan interior but it delivers and is half the price of some of these boats. While this boat may lack some of the finer touches, it handles great and the wave delivers. This sport we all love so much comes at a very high cost and I love that there is a boat like this for those that want to enjoy wakesurfing and yet not break the bank.
So which boat is for you? I can tell you honestly that all of them surf great, its just a matter of what makes you the happiest and what you can afford. Click the link below to see a google document of the RAW riders comments!
— ragboy, and the rest of the wake9 crew.