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PondScum

Which boat?  Malibu VTX (2013-2015) vs 2017 Response TXi OB.

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PondScum

Coming from a 20’ outboard and looking to get my first “real” inboard boat for water sports so I’ve got some questions as this is all new to me!  I open water slalom recreationally – no course so I’m guessing that I’d be plenty happy with the VTX ski wake out of the diamond hull (13-15’ years before they changed in ‘16) and blown away with the new Response wake (or lack there-of).    With the family and friends we would envision using the boat for the following in order of priority to open water slalom, tube, beginner wake board, and try surfing.  Plus – just cruise around and chill on our small lake.

Really like the V-drive arrangement for seating and storage.  Biggest concern of going V-drive would be the wake being too big for kids that are learning to ski and or some women who may not slalom at 32mph might find the wake intimidating.  Most wives ski in the mid to upper 20’s and the kiddo will be in the teens mph wise learning skiing and boarding. 

Biggest concerns of the DD are the lack of storage / seating arrangements layout and the possibility the boat being a lot noisier with the engine right in the middle.  However the new ’17 Response with the larger bow might have solved the seating…. 

Everyone always talks about the “wake”, but they all reference the sweet wakes of these boats at competitive levels like 32+ mph and big line off’s.  How are these wakes different at the novice & intermediate level for skiing from 'real life' average Joe users?  Is the DD wake still big in the upper teens to upper 20’s for skiing or noticeable smaller than a v-drive VTX?   Is the DD really much louder or are today’s engines and box sound dampening much better?  Any insight you folks would have would be much appreciated and helpful in making this call.

Thanks!

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minnmarker

Welcome Scum!

1. Get you and your crew on (or better yet behind) both boats and see for yourself.

2. Buy for the future as much as for today.  The kids will want to board and surf - so will you.  Slalom is a sport.  Surfing is a sport/activity.  Boarding is in between.

3. Then go get the VLX. (not a typo)

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Joeprunc

From what you described, sadly I'd say VTX.

Agreed with Mark, if you are asking this question I promise you your family will evolve into wake surfing and wakeboarding.

open water slalom (TXI or VTX with less weight), tube (VTX), beginner wake board (VTX), and try surfing (VTX), just cruise around and chill on our small lake (VTX)

I've never skied behind a VTX, but I weight in the boat will make a huge difference in slower slalom speeds...people, ballast, gas, and beer all contribute.  If you don't have a dock/house to load unload easily it makes it more difficult to ski in the AM when the water is usually the best, and the body is the freshest.  

If you have a feeling you might chase buoys then I'd switch my recommendation and say TXI.

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ahopkinsVTX

I agree with the VTX suggestions above. The 2017 TXi is awesome and the wakes are absolutely fantastic. However, storage and seating is less than the previous generation. So if you really wanted a direct drive, I'd suggest the 2012-2016 TXi. 

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minnmarker

Definitely get your crew to sit in whatever boat you're considering.  Sit there for a while and have a water or a beer - even if its on a trailer or in a showroom.

You cannot comfortably fit 2 families in a VTX - or a TXI.  You just can't.

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River Monsters

Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on the highs and lows of each style boat.  The slalom wake on the VTX flat sucks at slower speeds, that's a fact.  DD boats will struggle to surf at all, they will never have a nice surf wake.  I'd go with the VLX suggestion from minnmarker.   I don't really agree that 2 families won't work in a VTX, but it depends on the families.  

Welcome to TMC

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Sixer

I may be a little biased, but I'd go VTX all day.  I like that you are already looking 2013-2015.  Still has a great ski wake, and surfs/wakeboards well too.  I have been a skier since I was little, and my first boat was a 2012 VTX.  Once I tried surfing I was hooked, and I had to upgrade to a VTX with Surfgate.  IMO we have the best of both worlds for surf and ski, and to be honest I now surf about 90% of the time.  I do ski a little faster than you were looking for, but if they are skiing in the 20's, will they really be cutting that hard where a little bigger wake will matter?  Good luck in the search, there are a lot of great boats out there right now.

Edited by Sixer

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jjackkrash

I'd also say drive them both.  My butt is in the seat a lot and one of the most important features to me is how they drive and handle.  I personally hate having all the weight in the stern with the V-drive; pretty much all V-drives feel like pigs to me compared to a direct drive with the weight balanced in the middle.  I know people on here love their V-drives, so take my views with a grain of salt, just one more perspective to consider.  

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SkiPablo

i would say VTX in your case.  I looked at those too but were way out of my price range so I picked up a Sunsetter LXI.   I'm also coming from the outboard world.

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PondScum

Thanks everyone for the comments & advice so far.  After browsing the forum, you folks are a very knowledgeable bunch!

I'll definitely take a second look at the VLX, but think that'll be too big for town regs - they have a 21' max....

On the TXi DD how's the engine noise compare to a V drive.  How much louder is it.  Agree that young ones won't be cutting hard at the wake skiing in the teens & 20's but just didn't want it to be too scary!  Is the DD wake that much smaller at the novice speeds.  Thx!

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Koeh0083

I'm a skier and barefooter for many years. Though I just picked up my new Vlx 21 with diamond hull and speed prop. I had no problem hitting 40mph and still did not have throttle pegged. The wake at 36 was very clean, not like our nautique 206,but close. When the weather warms up here I will post some video of wakes at those speeds. Also FYI the vlx 21 is 21' exact.

Edited by Koeh0083

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braindamage

I love my DD but only myself and my one son use it cuz you can't surf. id definitely go VTX

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jjackkrash
1 hour ago, PondScum said:

Is the DD wake that much smaller at the novice speeds.  Thx!

The slower you go the more the engine weight in the aft impacts the wake.  

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asnowman

You definitely need to check with the town about the VLX if there is a size limit.

If choices really are limited to vtx or txi, it would be vtx all day for family use. We have both a 2011 vtx and a 2005 response lxi. The response is used purely for slalom, but we chase buoys. The vtx skis very well, and we started skiing the course behind it (then got the lxi as a result). Depending what kind of outboard you are coming from you may find the wake at slower slalom speeds similar in size, but softer. Also, do shorten the line to 15 Off, it's just a better area of the wake for modest to moderate crossing. 

As for storage and family friendly, you would be surprised how much stuff you can store in the vtx, the new txi has very little as already mentioned.

Where are you in MA? There are a few of us around that can definitely get you out, soon as it stops snowing.

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Sixball

I have had V drive and have a DD now. If you are a hard core skier the only way to go is a DD. But from what you are saying I think I would be leaning V drive. If the kids get into wake boarding at all the V drive has benefits. As far as surfing DD are very week. For just boating the V drive is a much more family friendly boat. $hit even tubing the V drive is better if the kids like air and being spilled. The only things the DD can't be beaten at are driveability and hard core skiing.  Driveability is like a A Mustang or Camaro  -V- say a Ferrari.

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95echelon
2 hours ago, PondScum said:

Thanks everyone for the comments & advice so far.  After browsing the forum, you folks are a very knowledgeable bunch!

I'll definitely take a second look at the VLX, but think that'll be too big for town regs - they have a 21' max....

On the TXi DD how's the engine noise compare to a V drive.  How much louder is it.  Agree that young ones won't be cutting hard at the wake skiing in the teens & 20's but just didn't want it to be too scary!  Is the DD wake that much smaller at the novice speeds.  Thx!

New VLX is 21 feet. Not the old 21.5 or 22. New one is smaller than my 05.

everyone you know and love will be immediately addicted to surfing. You didn't mention your situation but if you live on the lake just buy the VLX and a used response or echelon. 

Anything less than a DD is a compromise on slalom. A VTX is too small for two families. Especially surfing where you might sack out the front. 

Get the largest boat you can get. 

Also even for me coming from a DD to a V-drive I would rather have the v drive and just take the beating when I slalom or get a pull from a lake buddy. So many nice people out a 6am would take you for a pull in exchange for trying out a surf!

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asnowman
1 hour ago, 95echelon said:

Get the largest boat you can get. 

Also even for me coming from a DD to a V-drive I would rather have the v drive and just take the beating when I slalom or get a pull from a lake buddy. So many nice people out a 6am would take you for a pull in exchange for trying out a surf!

If slalom is to be sacrificed, totally agree. I am trying to convince the boss we should swap the vtx for a lsv, since we have the response too.

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PondScum

Thanks - I'm down on Cape Cod in MA.  Tough to demo as the closest Malibu dealer is the other side of Boston - usually just over a 2hr ride away with traffic.  Most folks around here just have salt water boats.  I'm not on-the-water, but close - 3/4 a mile from the launch ramp at the biggest fresh water pond.  Hence - I'd like to find one boat to do it all.  Everyone seems to lean towards the v-drive and some suggesting to consider the VLX in addition to the VTX.  I'll have to double check regs to make sure I can get away with that, but was leaning away at first due to uncertainty it would ski as well as the VTX.  Sounds like it would if I got the diamond cut on that boat as well based on a bunch of other forum comments in other chains.  Good point that although I've always slalomed it would be nice to be able to get into the other sports as well a little - don't think I'll ever be trying to do flips on a wake board - just the basics!  I do have a friend with an older DD ski boat, so maybe V-drive is the way to go.  Get good runs in behind his boat when he's out and ski lightly behind my v-drive and have the ability to w-board and get into surfing.  

With that in mind then and leaning now towards the v-drive anyone have any pro's / con's of the VTX vs VLX?

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95echelon
4 minutes ago, PondScum said:

Thanks - I'm down on Cape Cod in MA.  Tough to demo as the closest Malibu dealer is the other side of Boston - usually just over a 2hr ride away with traffic.  Most folks around here just have salt water boats.  I'm not on-the-water, but close - 3/4 a mile from the launch ramp at the biggest fresh water pond.  Hence - I'd like to find one boat to do it all.  Everyone seems to lean towards the v-drive and some suggesting to consider the VLX in addition to the VTX.  I'll have to double check regs to make sure I can get away with that, but was leaning away at first due to uncertainty it would ski as well as the VTX.  Sounds like it would if I got the diamond cut on that boat as well based on a bunch of other forum comments in other chains.  Good point that although I've always slalomed it would be nice to be able to get into the other sports as well a little - don't think I'll ever be trying to do flips on a wake board - just the basics!  I do have a friend with an older DD ski boat, so maybe V-drive is the way to go.  Get good runs in behind his boat when he's out and ski lightly behind my v-drive and have the ability to w-board and get into surfing.  

With that in mind then and leaning now towards the v-drive anyone have any pro's / con's of the VTX vs VLX?

A 1993 echelon will out slalom a VTX and you can get them for 6-9k cash, if you have a buddy that has an old DD that's one more mark for v-drive. All v-drives are compromises, however the VTX is a pretty nice crossover and will be very noticeably better than a VLX if you really love to slalom and need that in your life. 

Personally I love me a nice slalom pull, but I sit in the hot tub and by the campfire til 2am every night at my place, so I just don't slalom anymore. By 8-9am when I roll out of bed people are already wakeboarding and surfing.

If you LOVE to slalom and you get glass in the daytime then definitely the VTX. I think most folks (myself included) are saying the bigger v-drives because you said two key words: Kids, and Two Families.

Especially since you don't live on the lake I would want the biggest boat the lake would allow. I lived with an echelon for a few years but we couldn't ever get the whole crew floating. Lots would stay on shore or putz about in the pontoon.

Edited by 95echelon

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Jason63
On ‎3‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 1:13 PM, PondScum said:

Thanks - I'm down on Cape Cod in MA.  Tough to demo as the closest Malibu dealer is the other side of Boston - usually just over a 2hr ride away with traffic.  Most folks around here just have salt water boats.  I'm not on-the-water, but close - 3/4 a mile from the launch ramp at the biggest fresh water pond.  Hence - I'd like to find one boat to do it all.  Everyone seems to lean towards the v-drive and some suggesting to consider the VLX in addition to the VTX.  I'll have to double check regs to make sure I can get away with that, but was leaning away at first due to uncertainty it would ski as well as the VTX.  Sounds like it would if I got the diamond cut on that boat as well based on a bunch of other forum comments in other chains.  Good point that although I've always slalomed it would be nice to be able to get into the other sports as well a little - don't think I'll ever be trying to do flips on a wake board - just the basics!  I do have a friend with an older DD ski boat, so maybe V-drive is the way to go.  Get good runs in behind his boat when he's out and ski lightly behind my v-drive and have the ability to w-board and get into surfing.  

With that in mind then and leaning now towards the v-drive anyone have any pro's / con's of the VTX vs VLX?

The VTX 13-15 has the center removable pylon which is great if you are going to ski the course or even open water. I sold my DD which I loved but it was only a slalom boat. If I could have kept it I would have just not pratical having two boats to trailer and store. The best of both worlds is the VTX. We take to the course where I ski at 34 mph, it has a noticable "bump" at 15 off but is better at 22 and 28. I go no shorter any longer anyhow but if I did the tower would interfere with the rope. We have a small group of surfers 4 or 5 so its great for that. We have the rear pnp plus an additional plumbed in bow bag if only 2 -3 are out.  Surf wave is great--better in my opinion than a friends G23 Nautique. Also, the VTX fits in my garage, I do have to remove the tow swivel on the tower in order to clear the 7 ft garage opening and swing in the tongue on the trailer--but it's sure nice NOT paying for storage or a slip and keeping it nice out of the weather.

Hope this helps!! Happy looking

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AJwakedevil

VTX vs VLX

VTX full stock ballast and an exposed sac plus 8 college doods and wedge was just not cutting it wakeboarding. Good for beginners, thats all. Shor boats do not surf nearly as well as longer boats. 

VLX Full stock ballast (900) is enough to keep people happy boarding and is enough for small surfers. Will need to add a little more weight or friends to get everyone surfing w/o rope. 

If you are going to do any of these activities and can fit 21' boats... VLX. Dont grow out of your first vdrive just as fast as you grow into it. You will love it. The vlx at speed is pretty small for ski, and comparable to vtx when slowed down. They are similar enough to not make the choise based off of skiability. 

VLX has more storage and room for people to sit. When you do want to surf and get a big surf wave, you will enjoy having more room for hidden ballast, leaving the interior cabin dry and available to sit on.
Welcome and enjoy

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Woodski

Just to add to the discussion, I will toss in the other side of the argument as you mention slalom as priority #1 and you note living on a small lake.  If, and it is an if, you end up with a slalom ride that does not continue to entice the gang to do priority #1, will they switch to the other disciplines, hopefully yes.  The new (circa 2012) hulls from all the top DD boat builders concentrated a lot on improving the slower speed and longer line wakes, with that in mind, there will be a significant difference in slalom wake quality between the DD and V drive options.  Has the 20' OB boat been a limiting issue as to size to date, if yes, then there is an important data point, if not, well a TXI will offer as much seating.  The small lake scenario, will it be acceptable to the residents to have a ballasted boat running slow?  Is that an issue or are there others out there already and how small is small?  Lastly, if you do veer towards a DD, you can take up barefooting, which is an awesome way to spend time on the water:)  Good luck with your decision, lots of things to consider.  Have fun deciding and mostly, have a great time on the water with family and friends.

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Chrisjjbrown
5 hours ago, Jason63 said:

The VTX 13-15 has the center removable pylon which is great if you are going to ski the course or even open water. I sold my DD which I loved but it was only a slalom boat. If I could have kept it I would have just not pratical having two boats to trailer and store. The best of both worlds is the VTX. We take to the course where I ski at 34 mph, it has a noticable "bump" at 15 off but is better at 22 and 28. I go no shorter any longer anyhow but if I did the tower would interfere with the rope. We have a small group of surfers 4 or 5 so its great for that. We have the rear pnp plus an additional plumbed in bow bag if only 2 -3 are out.  Surf wave is great--better in my opinion than a friends G23 Nautique. Also, the VTX fits in my garage, I do have to remove the tow swivel on the tower in order to clear the 7 ft garage opening and swing in the tongue on the trailer--but it's sure nice NOT paying for storage or a slip and keeping it nice out of the weather.

Hope this helps!! Happy looking

It has been written ......how you like them apples @bamaboy

To the OP get a VTX over a DD, sounds best for your situation, plus..... I heard DD owners have unpleasant visits from uncle rick that can leave their backside sore for weeks. 

That generation VTX also skis very well I feel for a v drive and is perfectly acceptable for everyone except the hardcore skiers.....which it doesn't sound like you are.

I think these comments about the VTX not being able to handle 2 families is funny.  I have 2 families on my boat frequently and I have 3 small kids.   Would more space be nice at times sure, but I don't feel cramped.  If they were all teenagers it would be a different story.     But the new 21 vlx is not going to be that much "roomier".  I was not impressed with the new 21 VLX and found it felt no bigger than a vtx.  Now if we are talking the 22 VLX that is a different story. 

 

5 hours ago, AJwakedevil said:

VTX vs VLX

VTX full stock ballast and an exposed sac plus 8 college doods and wedge was just not cutting it wakeboarding. Good for beginners, thats all. Shor boats do not surf nearly as well as longer boats. 

VLX Full stock ballast (900) is enough to keep people happy boarding and is enough for small surfers. Will need to add a little more weight or friends to get everyone surfing w/o rope. 

If you are going to do any of these activities and can fit 21' boats... VLX. Dont grow out of your first vdrive just as fast as you grow into it. You will love it. The vlx at speed is pretty small for ski, and comparable to vtx when slowed down. They are similar enough to not make the choise based off of skiability. 

VLX has more storage and room for people to sit. When you do want to surf and get a big surf wave, you will enjoy having more room for hidden ballast, leaving the interior cabin dry and available to sit on.
Welcome and enjoy

 This is laughable.......The VTX is more than capable of throwing a wake and wave for more than a beginner. 

 

92679BE0-A876-4A40-9CC7-D6A6F4B6D425_zps

04BFFE0B-3359-4C27-8B40-EDA026C07400_zps

 

The surf wave is pretty good as well.... I guess some are now stating the wave is better than a g23 .... haha

I wouldn't go that far but it is respectable  

EC297934-E199-4186-AA19-6B295B2B867F_zps

 

Edited by Chrisjjbrown

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Jason63
16 hours ago, Chrisjjbrown said:

It has been written ......how you like them apples @bamaboy

To the OP get a VTX over a DD, sounds best for your situation, plus..... I heard DD owners have unpleasant visits from uncle rick that can leave their backside sore for weeks. 

That generation VTX also skis very well I feel for a v drive and is perfectly acceptable for everyone except the hardcore skiers.....which it doesn't sound like you are.

I think these comments about the VTX not being able to handle 2 families is funny.  I have 2 families on my boat frequently and I have 3 small kids.   Would more space be nice at times sure, but I don't feel cramped.  If they were all teenagers it would be a different story.     But the new 21 vlx is not going to be that much "roomier".  I was not impressed with the new 21 VLX and found it felt no bigger than a vtx.  Now if we are talking the 22 VLX that is a different story. 

 

 This is laughable.......The VTX is more than capable of throwing a wake and wave for more than a beginner. 

 

92679BE0-A876-4A40-9CC7-D6A6F4B6D425_zps

04BFFE0B-3359-4C27-8B40-EDA026C07400_zps

 

The surf wave is pretty good as well.... I guess some are now stating the wave is better than a g23 .... haha

I wouldn't go that far but it is respectable  

EC297934-E199-4186-AA19-6B295B2B867F_zps

 

Sorry I meant G21 NOT G23!!!

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AJwakedevil
16 hours ago, Chrisjjbrown said:

It has been written ......how you like them apples @bamaboy

To the OP get a VTX over a DD, sounds best for your situation, plus..... I heard DD owners have unpleasant visits from uncle rick that can leave their backside sore for weeks. 

That generation VTX also skis very well I feel for a v drive and is perfectly acceptable for everyone except the hardcore skiers.....which it doesn't sound like you are.

I think these comments about the VTX not being able to handle 2 families is funny.  I have 2 families on my boat frequently and I have 3 small kids.   Would more space be nice at times sure, but I don't feel cramped.  If they were all teenagers it would be a different story.     But the new 21 vlx is not going to be that much "roomier".  I was not impressed with the new 21 VLX and found it felt no bigger than a vtx.  Now if we are talking the 22 VLX that is a different story. 

 

 This is laughable.......The VTX is more than capable of throwing a wake and wave for more than a beginner. 

 

92679BE0-A876-4A40-9CC7-D6A6F4B6D425_zps

04BFFE0B-3359-4C27-8B40-EDA026C07400_zps

 

The surf wave is pretty good as well.... I guess some are now stating the wave is better than a g23 .... haha

I wouldn't go that far but it is respectable  

EC297934-E199-4186-AA19-6B295B2B867F_zps

 

What is laughable is using an iPad to film.
I kid.

 I am just going with my experience tho. It was probably a 2010-2013 VTX if that has anything to do with it. 

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