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Slalom wake evolution


Arctic Slalom

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Since many of you have had the opportunity to ski behind several Malibu's (over the years) I have a question:

Which has the most significant difference (change) in slalom wake?

Let's assume the boats have maybe 1 or 2 people, and are running from 32-36 mph.

The change from a late 80's sunsetter/skier to a Echelon?

The change from an Echelon to a late 90's Response?

The change from a late 90's response to the current Response?

Obviously, the current response has the best wake (I assume) but I'm wondering if there was a point when the slalom wake became really insignificant and there was a noticable change in slalom characteristics (flatter, softer, faster, easier to transition, etc).

any thoughts would be great! Thumbup.gif

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I have not been behind anything prior to the sv23, so I can't help there, but I have skied behind a many echelons, pre-diamond responses, post-diamond responses, and rlxis (still a diamond, but a different footprint), both diamond and cut-diamond. The pre-diamond sv-23 is definitely a firmer, more well-defined wake. Great for barefooting, and at the time, was also an outstanding slalom boat. The diamond has softened the wakes noticably for slalom. I actually think that the diamond repsonses ski a little better than the rlxi at faster speeds, while the rlxi is better at slower speeds. Frankly, I didn't notice much of a difference in the cut diamond from the regular diamond, but I swear that from the boat it looked "wispier"...a technical term, but I have not spent enough time to really tell.

I have looked at the hulls prior to the sv23, and they share the distinctive "U" shape that the SV23 has, so my vote would be that the diamond has been the biggest revolution. The cut diamond, I'm sure, is an improvement, but don't think it was as revolutionary as the first diamond.

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I ski regularly between my 1998 SV23 Echelon and my friend's 2001 SV23 Diamond Response. When I say ski, I mean slalom, trick, barefoot, and occasional wakeboard with the wedge. You asked about slalom, and I think there is flat out no noticable difference at any speed or line length...and that actually stands true for all diciplines.

I know many say there is a big difference and the diamond is better, but in the real world I just don't see it. I don't think it is a "quantifiable" difference. Again, this is coming from somebody that skis both regularly and it's just my opinion.

I haven't been behind a pre SV23 or cut diamond hull to comment on those.

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I ski regularly between my 1998 SV23 Echelon and my friend's 2001 SV23 Diamond Response. When I say ski, I mean slalom, trick, barefoot, and occasional wakeboard with the wedge. You asked about slalom, and I think there is flat out no noticable difference at any speed or line length...and that actually stands true for all diciplines.

I know many say there is a big difference and the diamond is better, but in the real world I just don't see it. I don't think it is a "quantifiable" difference. Again, this is coming from somebody that skis both regularly and it's just my opinion.

I haven't been behind a pre SV23 or cut diamond hull to comment on those.

I spent a season bouncing back and forth between a '99 Sporty and an '02 Response. The Sporty had a smaller, but harsher wake. The Response wake was slightly larger, but noticably softer. The Sporty had an old, non-CNC prop which might have given the wake a little harsher feel... not sure. I did notice a difference though. I've never been on a slalom ski behind the Echelon and its wider beam. Maybe that's closer to the Response???

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The Echelon and Response share the same SV23 hull. Response became the SV23 Diamond in 98, Echelon was dropped after 98 model year, but used the non-diamond hull for the few that were built.

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I ski regularly between my 1998 SV23 Echelon and my friend's 2001 SV23 Diamond Response. When I say ski, I mean slalom, trick, barefoot, and occasional wakeboard with the wedge. You asked about slalom, and I think there is flat out no noticable difference at any speed or line length...and that actually stands true for all diciplines.

I know many say there is a big difference and the diamond is better, but in the real world I just don't see it. I don't think it is a "quantifiable" difference. Again, this is coming from somebody that skis both regularly and it's just my opinion.

I haven't been behind a pre SV23 or cut diamond hull to comment on those.

To answer you Matt, I ski behind a '97 echelon fairly regularly, in addition to my/our rlxi and diamond response. The echelon skis the same as pre-diamond responses. I definitely notice a difference, as one of every 5 sets behind the echelon I hit the wake on my offside cut and go over the front because it's so much firmer than the diamonds. As for the trick and wakeboard wake, the non-diamond is much better, as it also is for barefooting. JMHO.

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so is safe to say that the change to the diamond was more significant than the change from the old skier/sunsetter to the echelon?

I know in my 89 sunsetter that if you keep the back seat in, ride with about 4 people and drive around 30-34 you will go for a ride across the wake! The 'trough' after you cross will effect you if you hit it wrong. However, if you unload it (driver and mirror only), pull out the seat, shorten to about 20' off and run about 34 mph the wake feels much less significant.

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so is safe to say that the change to the diamond was more significant than the change from the old skier/sunsetter to the echelon?

I know in my 89 sunsetter that if you keep the back seat in, ride with about 4 people and drive around 30-34 you will go for a ride across the wake! The 'trough' after you cross will effect you if you hit it wrong. However, if you unload it (driver and mirror only), pull out the seat, shorten to about 20' off and run about 34 mph the wake feels much less significant.

I would say that the difference from the Skier to the Echelon was much greater than the difference from the non-diamond to the diamond.

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Malibudude

The Echelon put Malibu on the radar. The invent of the diamond hull simply softened the wake and permitted larger boats to keep excellent slalom wakes as well. The Echelon is still one of my favorite boats.

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I have a 96 Echelon LX which is the open bow. I have skied on all malibu ski boats -

Echelon

Echelon LX

Response

Response LX

Response LXI

Malibu Skier 84

Malibu Skier Euro

The Malibu Skier 1984 and Malibu Skier Euro were flat bottom tournament boats. Typical older boat with a huge rooster tail at 22 off. Nice flate wake but sucked to drive in the course.

Echelon and Echelon LX - Nice boats - One thing I noticed was the open bow had a little softer wake than the closed bow due to some weight in the front at all speeds.

Response and Response LX Diamond hull - Nice boats and the invention of the rack and pinion steering made the boat much better to drive as well as hold in the course. The wake was slightly softer at higher 34 and 36. 32 mph was no significant difference. Different line lengths are about the same.

Response LXI - Nice boat great room - Wake is amazing for as wide as this boat is. I think the wake is softer than my Echelon LX with about the same size.

In summary I think the wakes have changed slightly but I agree with some of the statements before me the biggest change was Echelon from the older Malibus. IMO.

Edited by barefooth20skier
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Yes, the SV23 hull was the biggest and most significant change in Malibu's history of slalom wakes. The change from the Malibu Skiers, Sunsetters, Euro F3's to the 1993 Echelon was tremendous. As stated above, it started the ball really rolling for Malibu.

Peter

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Alright! 06 RLXI vs 07 RLXI for slalom wake? drive performance? Monsoon with CATS vs Monsoon minus CATS. wedge on folded up on slalom starts and last but not least a solution to the 07 RLXI big time lean with only a driver and skier on slalom course. Anyone got a reasonable method to measure the volume /weight of a bllast bag for use under the observer seat of an 07 RLXI. My electronic pressure tranducer set up is just too finicky to be of good use in small weight adjustments to balance 07RLXI.

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The Malibu Skier 1984 and Malibu Skier Euro were flat bottom tournament boats. Typical older boat with a huge rooster tail at 22 off. Nice flate wake but sucked to drive in the course.

In summary I think the wakes have changed slightly but I agree with some of the statements before me the biggest change was Echelon from the older Malibus. IMO.

Barefooth20skier,

Thanks for your input, greatly appreciated. Why do the older sunsetters/skiers/Euros drive poorly in the course? I'm not a course skiers, so I was just wondering....do they not track very well, pull to the right. poor visibility, etc.?

Et all,

Is the echelon just as large as my current sunsetter (storage, etc.)? It looks like it has the same motor as my boat (5.7 mercruiser) so does it feel about the same 'out of the hole' and at slalom speeds?

What speed and rope length have other sunsetter/skier owner found to be best?

thanks!

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Malibudude
The Malibu Skier 1984 and Malibu Skier Euro were flat bottom tournament boats. Typical older boat with a huge rooster tail at 22 off. Nice flate wake but sucked to drive in the course.

In summary I think the wakes have changed slightly but I agree with some of the statements before me the biggest change was Echelon from the older Malibus. IMO.

Barefooth20skier,

Thanks for your input, greatly appreciated. Why do the older sunsetters/skiers/Euros drive poorly in the course? I'm not a course skiers, so I was just wondering....do they not track very well, pull to the right. poor visibility, etc.?

Et all,

Is the echelon just as large as my current sunsetter (storage, etc.)? It looks like it has the same motor as my boat (5.7 mercruiser) so does it feel about the same 'out of the hole' and at slalom speeds?

What speed and rope length have other sunsetter/skier owner found to be best?

thanks!

Depending upon which year of Echelon they went to Indmar Marine engines circa 1996 w/ the EFI Monsoon. This engine will have more power than the older Mercs ~285hp or so, while yours is something like 265 hp.

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I slalom behind my '01 sporty and my friend's '94 Echelon. The sporty wake is way smaller than the Echelon. I can't really compare the sporty to the diamond hull response since I have so little experience with that boat, but I think the differences are negligable. The response is probably softer, but the sporty wake is so small that you're through it faster.

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My friend just Skied my 94 Echelon Closed Bow today. He has never skied a Malibu before and is now trading in both his older supra wakeboard boat and his pontoon to get a Malibu.... Said it was the best Slalom run hes ever been on.... i gotta get him out on a Response now to see what he thinks of the post 90's Bu's

Really trying to talk him into something like a VTX on the diamond hull because his boys wakeboard and are REALLY good but he slaloms...... hes gonna lose that rampy wakeboard wake if he gets rid of the supra in favor of a Response....

Just a Plus1.gif on the Echelons.... I have skied it....and LOVE how effortless it is....its like skiing on a cloud.... Skied a VTX too.... that was REALLY not bad.

-Mark

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I have a 07 Rlxi if you want a ride come on up I am two hours 20 min north. To get a good ride you would best be on a week day befor 2:00. Some time you can get a good run late week days. If it's a weekend you need to be ought early. Thumbup.gif

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There is a bigger difference between the SV23 hull's and the older Sunsetter, I've skiied the Euro F3 Sunsetter and the SV23 hull in a 93/94 Echelon LX, 96/97/07 Response and an 06 LXi. Note, pretty much ski at 34/36 mph and tend to shorter line length's. The biggest jump is up to the SV23 Hull. There is some difference in wake between the SV23 / diamond and diamond cut but not as significant as the jump to the SV23. The Echelon wake is it's best when you take out as much weight at the back as possible (low fuel, remove seat, etc.)

Per your questions, the sweet spot for skiing the Euro F3 is around 28-32' off. At 22' off there is a significant rooster tail, which changes location some with boat speed. The Echelon has a tracking rail down the center that makes this boat track through the course extremely well. Rudder torque will also influence tracking stability and handling through the course. Both the Euro F3 Sunsetter and the Echelons are great barefoot boats.

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its sounds like a mid-90's echelon would be a perfect upgrade from my current sunsetter....the echelon w/ SV23 seems like it would be at a great pricepoint with nice wake and I would still have the room of an open bow....

so all things considered, if I were to mainly ski, which would be a better boat, a mid 90's echelon, a mid 90's prostar 205 or a mid 90's sport nautique (open bow)? don't get me wrong, I luv my bu' but i'm just curious about impressions on these boats slalom wakes? same old situation with 1 or 2 in the boat going 32-36 mph in 6 a.m. water....

Edited by Arctic Slalom
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I think a mid 90s ecehlon would be great. But since you asked, I would stay away from the sport nautique if you're a skier, but I must be honest, a mid-90's MC 205 has one of the swetest wakes ever. I mean, really unbelievable. Spray more of an issue, will beat you to death, and it says mastercraft, but a gret wake.

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I prefer the wake of the Malibu over the MC 190 and MC 205, mainly due to the spray from the MC, which at short line lengths or wind, is like BB's in the eyes. The wake itself is quite good, just a bit different than the Malibu. You also have to be careful as to which year MC you get, they lost their way in the mid 90's and had some trouble's with the wake. The same applies with the Nautiques, but a '92 has a great wake, and the new ones are quite good. Both brands changed hulls a few times throughout the '90's. Malibu's have been pretty consistent.

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bb's in the eyes...that doesn't sound like fun! how short are you talking with the line length? i don't usually ski in very much wind. is is true that MC lost some (or most) of their leadership and design staff in the mid-90's? I read or heard one time that several of their staff took off to different ventures (moomba, etc.)? I'm not sure if this is just propaganda or what?

i guess i just like the idea that Malibu has had the same leadership and design staff for several years (more institutional memory and accountability)!

Still sounds like the echelon is the way to go....

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Just so you know what you are searching for, sounds like you want an Echelon LX (open bow) vs Echelon (Closed Bow)...please accept my apologies if you were aware of that, but I thought I would point it out in case you weren't aware.

Seth

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