Ski boats and wake boats have come along way over the years. Whereas water skiing requires the smallest, flattest wakes possible, wakeboarders are looking to crank those wakes up so they can get big air for the jaw-dropping moves that make the sport so extreme.
For water skiing, the fewer people on board, the better. In wakeboarding, the more, the merrier, but the inboard-powered ski boat was still the right tool for the job.
Within the last few years, the industry has seen even more change with the increase in the popularity of wake surfing. Wakeboarding boats have spawned wake surfing boats, with a proliferation of wake- and wave-enhancing devices to draw in customers. The wake boat industry is more competitive and innovative than ever.
A new technology was even created for the sport, which was similar to a stern drive with the propellers in the front. While that may sound kind of weird, and it is, it also allows for a sterndrive boat to perform well for wakeboarding and wake surfing—which opened the market to more manufacturers, which is better for customers.
In today’s market, there are dedicated models for skiing, for wakeboarding, for wake surfing, and “crossover” models that are geared to be able to do all three.