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Malibu Surf Gate vs. Nautique NSS - Experiences and Opinions

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Malibu Surf Gate vs. Nautique NSS - What are your opinions and/or experiences?

I was at the LA boat show on Thursday looking at every make and model that could possibly compete with my ordering a new 24MXZ. I have only been impressed by one other manufacturer - Nautique - and I finally checked out the NSS. The product itself appears to be engineered well. Whether or not it is better, stronger, or more reliable than surf gate will surely be proven over the years.

Somebody please chime in if I am incorrect, but I believe that surf gate is either on or off, with no variable adjustment. The NSS has variable adjustments, so you can dial in your waves to be taller or longer, or a combination of both. Basically, you can easily find a sweet spot for each rider size/weight and style. The execution and operation of the NSS appear to be much better, in my opinion, than the current surf gate version. However, knowing Malibu, I imagine Surf Gate 2.0 will include such features.

I have already made up my mind on NOT buying a Nautique simply because the Nautique fails in two key areas for my needs:

1- They killed the rear deck area by making it a walk-through; my family loves to relax and lay across the back when we are chilling between runs.

2- Their tower design does not hold enough boards for a family of 5 like mine, which truly has at least 8 boards at all times. They do offer a rack/strap system on top of the tower and bimini, but getting a board on and off the top rack above the bimini was difficult and involved dragging the board across the tower paint; poor design!

I discussed options and price with the sales rep. He stated that he would only receive six G25s this year. With every possible option, the price was still over $150k. The best deal I could negotiate on a G23 was still $30k more than what people are paying for the MXZ 24 with same/similar options.

Time will tell on the design and reliability of Surf Gate vs. NSS, but I truly hope that Malibu will upgrade the Surf Gate to a more user-adjustable control system that can easily find a sweet spot for each rider's size and style!

I look forward to you all sharing your experience and opinions about this issue. Thanks!

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Night Rider

I'm with you regarding the board racks. I can't believe you build a flagship boat with only enough racks to carry for boards? When it comes to the sun pad they make a filler cushion for the walk-through. From my experience this makes the Sun pad larger than the LSV's. I have been Discussing this with my local dealer and in two weeks look to demo both the 24 MXZ and the G 23 with their surf systems. It will be interesting to see the Customization of the NSS. Going into this demo it would seem that NSS allows for greater weighting of the boat Correlating to greater wake size. Only time will tell

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Bradley Thornton

No experience but this is the big thing for me if you ride on the river and you hit a stick with the surfgate it will just bounce off now on the other hand the NSS a dent can really tear things up. Just look at how often a prop hits a stick. One other thing what if you ran up side some one the NSS may leave a mark. But I think the NSS is a great concept.

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daylorb

I briefly looked at the Nautiques knowing full well I wasn't going to pay up for one. Personally I don't like the designs they use - too angular, just a little bizarre looking. I have a friend with an 04 LSV and the thing still looks current. An 04 air nautique looks old to me.


Either way - I looked at them intersted in the NSS. In addition to hitting the stick issue, I just don't like how the fluid dynamics work around a tab like they are using. It seems like a blunt-force way to disturb the water flow where the surftabs seem like they belong there. Think of an airplane wing - the flaps are smooth extensions of the wing, not a jagged piece of metal that shoots perpendicular to the wing. Where the Malibu seems to create a smooth flow of water the Nautique seems to rip through it.

My initial thought was that it was done this way to get around patent issues, who knows, but it just doesn't appear to make as much sense fluid-wise as the Malibu. Add to liking the looks of the Malibu better and way less money, no-brainer for me.

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martinarcher

The variable position NSS thing comes up a lot in comparison threads, but I's imagine most people want the biggest wave they can get regardless of rider. I'm not sure where being able to dial down a surf wave would be a benefit. It would have been easy for Malibu to vary the position the gates since the Lencos are totally variable, but I can see why Malibu did what they did.....crank that baby out and crank up the wave. :)

I've been working on a custom controller for the DIY guys that want to build their own gates or plates for their boats and want a drop in box to use to control the gate based on GPS speed. Right now I'm thinking having an SD card you can use to tune your extended gate positions would be good, but after they are tweaked, I don't see a need to adjust them variably while under way.....is this something you guys are wanting to see on the new boats?

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old skool malibu

Malibu Surf Gate vs. Nautique NSS - What are your opinions and/or experiences?

I was at the LA boat show on Thursday looking at every make and model that could possibly compete with my ordering a new 24MXZ. I have only been impressed by one other manufacturer - Nautique - and I finally checked out the NSS. The product itself appears to be engineered well. Whether or not it is better, stronger, or more reliable than surf gate will surely be proven over the years.

Somebody please chime in if I am incorrect, but I believe that surf gate is either on or off, with no variable adjustment. The NSS has variable adjustments, so you can dial in your waves to be taller or longer, or a combination of both. Basically, you can easily find a sweet spot for each rider size/weight and style. The execution and operation of the NSS appear to be much better, in my opinion, than the current surf gate version. However, knowing Malibu, I imagine Surf Gate 2.0 will include such features.

I have already made up my mind on NOT buying a Nautique simply because the Nautique fails in two key areas for my needs:

1- They killed the rear deck area by making it a walk-through; my family loves to relax and lay across the back when we are chilling between runs.

2- Their tower design does not hold enough boards for a family of 5 like mine, which truly has at least 8 boards at all times. They do offer a rack/strap system on top of the tower and bimini, but getting a board on and off the top rack above the bimini was difficult and involved dragging the board across the tower paint; poor design!

I discussed options and price with the sales rep. He stated that he would only receive six G25s this year. With every possible option, the price was still over $150k. The best deal I could negotiate on a G23 was still $30k more than what people are paying for the MXZ 24 with same/similar options.

Time will tell on the design and reliability of Surf Gate vs. NSS, but I truly hope that Malibu will upgrade the Surf Gate to a more user-adjustable control system that can easily find a sweet spot for each rider's size and style!

I look forward to you all sharing your experience and opinions about this issue. Thanks!

Just a few points on the Natique - the walkthru has pads that will fill it in to make it a full sun deck, so really best of both worlds. You can get the G5 Bimini that will allow you to put bords up there. A fully loaded G25 is not over 150 k. That price is about 15k too high.

I do think the Natique system is better engineered but I have yet to test on the water.

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Night Rider

Like Malibu surf gate, NSS is also speed activated. As for the adjustability there are fixed points to choose from in the system, from short and steep to a long multi person rideable pocket. how NSS is physically mounted to the transom allows for greater weight on the surf side with out hardware dragging and disrupting the pocket.

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bamabonners

To me, the g series looks like a bloated pig and that is a deal breaker for me no matter how good it surfs. Period.

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jrz1

The G23/25 have rear lockers that will easily accommodate boards as well. They're far larger than my 247 and given the stock ballast on the G series, it's not likely you'd need to use those lockers for extra ballast (I don't on my 247 anyway but that's just me). The styling is a personal preference. I think the G looks pretty good though not wild about the nose. Love the lines on my 247 but the extra gunwale/freeboard height of the G series does have its advantages as well.

Hard to imagine a stick riding down the side of the boat close enough to hit the NSS plate since it doesn't stick out far even fully extended but I suppose it's possible. Time will tell on which system is more effective/durable/efficient but the NSS seems a little more nicely integrated on the surface.

Edited by jrz1

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wakeboarder3780

Just a few points on the Natique - the walkthru has pads that will fill it in to make it a full sun deck, so really best of both worlds. You can get the G5 Bimini that will allow you to put bords up there. A fully loaded G25 is not over 150 k. That price is about 15k too high.

I do think the Natique system is better engineered but I have yet to test on the water.

That would be the Z5 bimini which the OP already mentioned he didn't like the design of for other reasons, and I'd have to agree that it is also very low so you will be ducking under it more than the standard g23 bimini.

For me, the stick thing doesn't bother me at all. At 11-ish miles an hour I would feel confident the NSS blade that sticks out wouldn't get bent unless you're running up against something stationary (stump, rock on the ground) and if that's the case you've got bigger issues IMO. The abrupt angle that the NSS sticks out to me seems to be done on purpose because if they had a more easy going angle, they would have to simply make the blade longer to achieve the same goal. You also have to remember at 11-ish mph you will need something more abrupt to make a difference than say cruising in an airplane. Finally, the last thing I'd say about the NSS system is it's a lot less ugly / intrusive in design. I probably shouldn't say ugly because that can be subjective, but what I mean to say is that the entire NSS system is smaller / completely hidden below the swim deck where the surfgate system has big ol paddles that come all the way up to the swim deck.

That being said - I haven't personally tried *either* system. And at the end of the day functionality means a lot for me. However, personally I sure like the design of the NSS system a LOT more. PS i totally agree and that rack thing - if they don't have 4 racks on the 2014 G23 I'm really going to be asking whiskey tango foxtrot

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bamabonners

Just a question here about the G. Can you reach down from the side of that pig and touch the water or grab a board?

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malibudog

Martinarcher: I don't think the gate adjustability feature is a big deal. First, I think a big surf gate wake is easier to ride for beginners than a leaned wake. Second, like you said, most people want the biggest wake they can get out of whatever ballast they have full. Third, on Malibu's with a power wedge, the wake is adjustable. Having two independent adjustments that change the size of the wake probably seemed like overkill to Malibu. Any word from Malibu yet on your proposed controller???

One other thing to keep in mind about the NSS, at least with respect to the G23, is that in my experience the G23 without NSS started with a very tall but very steep, short length surf wake which was hard (but not impossible) to dial in. If the NSS has an effect on the SHAPE of the wake similar to the surf gate, it should greatly improve the transition, length and push of the wake. Because of the G's weight, they may not have to divert as much water as the Malibu does to make the wake tall, but instead may have been more focused on changing the shape of the wake produced, and making that adjustable. Also, because the NSS bolts onto different boats (the G23, G25 and 230) each with different hulls, if it wasn't adjustable, chances are it would not work as well on different models.

Malibu came up with really cool delayed convergence technology in the surf gate that lets you load the boat level, easily switch from goofy to regular, easily switch from boarding to surfing, and switch surf sides on the fly (which looks cool and was a major point of the marketing hype, but is miniscule in importance to me as compared to the first three). I really hope the NSS works as well, because I have a friend who is having it installed on his G. It is a little funny though, to hear Nautique talk about how they have changed the sport of wake surfing, when their system merely catches them up to the biggest performance advantages of the Malibu system, with Nautiques' only claimed performance advantage being that you can adjust it to make smaller wakes.

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85 Barefoot

I've been running the gate on a VTX for a few months. I don't find SG "ugly" at all, it just looks different for a little while then you're used to it. You don't see them when the boat is in the water so the only gripe is what it looks like on the trailer. so long as you order the right color to match the boat's lines, you really dno't even notice it. I haven't seen or run NSS but if their system is just a few inches of travel of that extendable plate, I don't see how it can have the effect that SG does. Not that it's a lot of force, but SG redirects a lot of water. The NSS can't possibly displace the same amount. IF the postitive attributes of this delayed wake convergence is related to volume of water delayed, SG will blow NSS out of the water performance-wise.

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wakebrdr94

Anyone in the SoCal area interested, Tillys will be doing demos this coming Saturday. They will have a VLX for sure and possibly another boat. It will take place at Castaic. You can contact the Tillys Ventura Location and speak with Tony. I'll probably be going out with them as well. If you have any other questions, you can PM myself and I can get you info if needed. This is mainly to see surfgate in action as that obviously was the big question at the boat show.

Edited by wakebrdr94

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FastFreddy

The variable position NSS thing comes up a lot in comparison threads, but I's imagine most people want the biggest wave they can get regardless of rider. I'm not sure where being able to dial down a surf wave would be a benefit. It would have been easy for Malibu to vary the position the gates since the Lencos are totally variable, but I can see why Malibu did what they did.....crank that baby out and crank up the wave. :)

I've been working on a custom controller for the DIY guys that want to build their own gates or plates for their boats and want a drop in box to use to control the gate based on GPS speed. Right now I'm thinking having an SD card you can use to tune your extended gate positions would be good, but after they are tweaked, I don't see a need to adjust them variably while under way.....is this something you guys are wanting to see on the new boats?

If you look at some of the videos from NSS it seems that the adjustability would be a very nice feature. Setting 5 (Max) makes a high short wave, perfect for tricks and spins with a smaller pocket, setting 2-3 make a longer wave perfect for just surfing. Seems like a nice touch to me.

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bamabonners

If you look at some of the videos from NSS it seems that the adjustability would be a very nice feature. Setting 5 (Max) makes a high short wave, perfect for tricks and spins with a smaller pocket, setting 2-3 make a longer wave perfect for just surfing. Seems like a nice touch to me.

Until I see it, I will say that is pure marketing hype. They only extend just a few inches out. How much of a difference can there be between setting 3 and 5, an inch...maybe an inch and a half? then, there is only like an inch and a half sticking out. Is that enough surface area to really affect anything? So many questions.... I just think the NSS seems like a "we have that too" type of product. Just seems to me that if this type of plate were so awesome, then the volvo trim tabs would be all over the place. Instead, you can barely find any evidence of them and they have been out for several years.

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Brett B

If you look at some of the videos from NSS it seems that the adjustability would be a very nice feature. Setting 5 (Max) makes a high short wave, perfect for tricks and spins with a smaller pocket, setting 2-3 make a longer wave perfect for just surfing. Seems like a nice touch to me.

Isn't that what the wedge already does when surfing on a Malibu? It sure does with mine at least, and I don't even have surf gate. Wedge all the way down=longer wave but not as tall. Wedge at max=taller wave but with a shorter pocket.

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Fman

When I demo'd surfgate I was surprised how far the gate extends outward. Its pushing a significant amount of water. The NSS to me looks like a gimmik. I have never used NSS but I would love too see surf wake before deployed and after deployed. Its evident with SG how drastic it changes the wake. Between the two I think hands down SG is a much more effective system. Imo, Aestically the NSS looks better, but once SG is in the water you can't even see it.

Malibu did a nice job of integrating into mtc. Gates retract automatically when below 7mph or over 15mph. This makes it nice when picking up a surfer your not contending with gates until they are back up on the surf board.

To switch wakes its a simple touch of button and bam your riding on different side. The arrow on mtc also turns green to indicate which side is activated. I think Malubu did there homework. Or at least convinced me its worth the $ to upgrade to SG.

I posted a video of a VLX with SG in a diff thread, there is no way my 11 could even come close to generating that quality of a surf wake. Im definitely a SG believer.

Edited by Fman

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High Altitude

Either way - I looked at them intersted in the NSS. In addition to hitting the stick issue, I just don't like how the fluid dynamics work around a tab like they are using. It seems like a blunt-force way to disturb the water flow where the surftabs seem like they belong there. Think of an airplane wing - the flaps are smooth extensions of the wing, not a jagged piece of metal that shoots perpendicular to the wing. Where the Malibu seems to create a smooth flow of water the Nautique seems to rip through it.

I'm not sure if you are a pilot or not, but I think you are forgetting something. Flaps are designed to increase lift, thus they change the camber (curvature) of the wing. With more camber you get more lift. The surfgate while "smooth" in comparision to the NSS, is configured the opposite of a wing flap. It's actually configured like a spoiler which is made to decrease lift. When it comes to spoilers there are all types. I have flown aircraft with spoilers that are like the surfgate (project up at an angle to the wing) and the NSS (90 degree deployment straight up from the wing). Both are effective.

It's been a long time since I took studied fluid dynamics and aeronautical engineering. All I remember from those days is it's not intuitive. You just can't look at something and think... "it's jagged", so it won't work well. Sometimes even the smallest addition to a wing can make great improvements in performance.

As for which one is better, NSS or Surfgate, I don't think there is a clear winner. I think there will be a tendancy by both boat companies to try and use the same system on multiple hulls. Some will react very nicely and others will react less so. It appears Nautique is not deploying this on all it's boats... at least for right now. (I think it's only offered on their 230, G23 and G25). That tells me that they are engineering the system to work with specific hull designs, and that is a very good thing indeed. -Marc

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bamabonners

I'm not sure if you are a pilot or not, but I think you are forgetting something. Flaps are designed to increase lift, thus they change the camber (curvature) of the wing. With more camber you get more lift. The surfgate while "smooth" in comparision to the NSS, is configured the opposite of a wing flap. It's actually configured like a spoiler which is made to decrease lift. When it comes to spoilers there are all types. I have flown aircraft with spoilers that are like the surfgate (project up at an angle to the wing) and the NSS (90 degree deployment straight up from the wing). Both are effective.

It's been a long time since I took studied fluid dynamics and aeronautical engineering. All I remember from those days is it's not intuitive. You just can't look at something and think... "it's jagged", so it won't work well. Sometimes even the smallest addition to a wing can make great improvements in performance.

As for which one is better, NSS or Surfgate, I don't think there is a clear winner. I think there will be a tendancy by both boat companies to try and use the same system on multiple hulls. Some will react very nicely and others will react less so. It appears Nautique is not deploying this on all it's boats... at least for right now. (I think it's only offered on their 230, G23 and G25). That tells me that they are engineering the system to work with specific hull designs, and that is a very good thing indeed. -Marc

But, we are not talking high speed here. We are talking very low speed. I would think that at low surfing speed you need as much surface area as possible to get an affect. I am not an engineer so I don't know, just guessing here.

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shawndoggy

In sum to the OP, it appears nobody has tried both systems. Looking forward to a real review.

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Huelsmma

Amazing how people wear the owners goggles and get so butt hurt when comparing the two companies. Quit getting so defensive and go out and try/demo them both. The first sets of NSS have started to hit dealers and boats should be rolling out with them now. I thought the MC idiots on their forum did this but ive noticed it getting worse here after a hiatus from this site.

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Michigan boarder

My biggest concern is someone pulling on the SG panel to get up onto the platform, or bumping it into something when docking, etc. The NSS seems really well hidden, and the SG seems like it is a lot more vulnerable.

At some point I'll be retro fitting my boat too, so I'm also wondering which one will be better. Only a few months 'till summer!

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wakebrdr94

Or we do our part to stimulate the economy and buy new sg boats :)

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Fman

In sum to the OP, it appears nobody has tried both systems. Looking forward to a real review.

Or how about a decent video from Nautique that actually shows how NSS changes the wake. Malibu pretty much shows what SG does plain and simple in this video.

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