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2018 21 VLX purchase - wake or diamond hull?


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Time for a new boat, replacing my 2004 21 VLX. 2018 Malibu 21VLX is one of my top choices. I'm looking for the best surf wave in a small boat(21' or less) but my lake has a slalom course I may want to try out someday. The dealer says Diamond hull will not make a noticeable difference in surf wave. Actually they say it won't really make a noticeable difference at all which I though was odd. Why would they offer two choices if it didn't make much difference. Does anyone have real world experience comparing the two hulls. Hoping not to get flamed here, I did search a bit but couldn't find what Im looking for. a link to a past thread would be great if it exists.

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I know the hulls have changed over the years, but I tried to slalom behind my wake hull and the wave is very different from my dad's 04 23 XTi Diamond hull. The wake size while slalom skiing behind my wake hull is a little larger but much "harder". I can cut through the wake behind my dad's, but get launched a bit behind mine. I ski courses pretty often and would not want to attempt a course behind my wake hull. Sorry, I can't help on the surf wave part but we surf behind his diamond as easy as we do behind my wake.

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Sounds like the wake hull is good for surfing and wake boarding but bad for skiing.  Sounds like the Diamond is just as good for surfing and wake boarding plus good for skiing.  Where's the benefit in the wake hull? There must be something.

Edited by Wavemaker
removed double negative
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6 minutes ago, Wavemaker said:

Sounds like the wake hull is good for surfing and wake boarding but not bad for skiing.  Sounds like the Diamond is just as good for surfing and wake boarding plus good for skiing.  Where's the benefit in the wake hull? There must be something.

Much more pop from the wake hull when wake boarding from my experience on the older hulls. 

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IMHO i think Malibu marketed the wake hull to a fault. Now that they have both hulls, they don't want to alianate the hard core riders to say that a diamond hull which helps for skiing, is just as good as the wake hull for wake boarding. I won't go as far as saying there is "no" difference but i will say that i highly doubt anyone would be able to tell, night and day, which is which in a blind taste test. When i bought my boat i almost passed on it because it had the diamond hull. In the end, it was a non issue for wake and surf. If you ski, even just recreationally, i say go diamond. Others will disagree with me. I say bring on the blind taste test. 

  • Like 3
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Thanks for all the replies. If the diamond hull doesn't change the surf wave and has a better ski wave I think thats the way to go for me. I will be happy with an reasonable wakeboard wave. 

Edited by tgmind
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I own a 17 21vlx with the wake hull.    I don’t slalom much, but do pull one of my crew. I’ve found that 24-26mph the wake is a firm 12” (depending on crew size) with a strong lip.   She gets a lot of pop from it. 27-28 the wake starts to round off and it gets better from there up, that’s way to fast for my recreational crew.   What helped the most is a light crew and some bow weight.

Edited by Rceider
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23 hours ago, tgmind said:

Time for a new boat, replacing my 2004 21 VLX. 2018 Malibu 21VLX is one of my top choices. I'm looking for the best surf wave in a small boat(21' or less) but my lake has a slalom course I may want to try out someday. The dealer says Diamond hull will not make a noticeable difference in surf wave. Actually they say it won't really make a noticeable difference at all which I though was odd. Why would they offer two choices if it didn't make much difference. Does anyone have real world experience comparing the two hulls. Hoping not to get flamed here, I did search a bit but couldn't find what Im looking for. a link to a past thread would be great if it exists.

Will you have a chance to slalom test the 2018 before purchase?  

Steve B.

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ok let me get this straight, ive never heard of a true VLX with a diamond hull, aren't those called sunscape or sunsetters? if they can be bought with either how does buyer know which one they are getting? i thought the VTX was just short VLX also didn't know there are hull options..

 

please elaborate..how do we know which hull we have if we are purchasing used?

 

BTW just to add some old views on the differences back in 199-2004 etc i could tell the difference with the wakeboard wake, there was noticeable difference in the cleanliness of the wake on the diamond hull, seemed to have some white wash lines, almost a double line at the crest of the wake which made it softer as compared to the wake hull which was clean and firm..maybe things have changed with all the hull upgrades..

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16 hours ago, isellacuras said:

IMHO i think Malibu marketed the wake hull to a fault. Now that they have both hulls, they don't want to alianate the hard core riders to say that a diamond hull which helps for skiing, is just as good as the wake hull for wake boarding. I won't go as far as saying there is "no" difference but i will say that i highly doubt anyone would be able to tell, night and day, which is which in a blind taste test. When i bought my boat i almost passed on it because it had the diamond hull. In the end, it was a non issue for wake and surf. If you ski, even just recreationally, i say go diamond. Others will disagree with me. I say bring on the blind taste test. 

That seems plausible, but I would speculate that the wake hull probably makes a difference at wakeboard speed, but less so at surf speeds.  Lift increases with the square of speed, so if you double speed, you quadruple lift.  Going the other way around, if you reduce your speed from skiing (e.g. 30) to surfing, you are decreasing the lift component from the diamond 9 fold.  So probably not much of a difference from wake to diamond.  However, if you drop from 30 to 20, the 50% change will yield only a 2.25 fold reduction in lft.  Since nowadays, surfing seems to be the most common interest among boaters, the diamond probably isn't as big of a deal.  Whereas when they two hulls were introduced, wakeboarding was the focus, and that probably WAS a big deal.

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1 hour ago, thebill said:

ok let me get this straight, ive never heard of a true VLX with a diamond hull, aren't those called sunscape or sunsetters? if they can be bought with either how does buyer know which one they are getting? i thought the VTX was just short VLX also didn't know there are hull options..

 

please elaborate..how do we know which hull we have if we are purchasing used?

 

BTW just to add some old views on the differences back in 199-2004 etc i could tell the difference with the wakeboard wake, there was noticeable difference in the cleanliness of the wake on the diamond hull, seemed to have some white wash lines, almost a double line at the crest of the wake which made it softer as compared to the wake hull which was clean and firm..maybe things have changed with all the hull upgrades..

They haven't sold Sunsetters and Sunscapes for a number of years.

As for the older hulls, perhaps you can tell a difference on a lightly weighted wake vs diamond hull.  Sacked out, I highly doubt a difference could be seen, simply because of how deep the hull is in the water and the inability of the chines to create any kind of lift on the diamond hull.  

  • Like 1
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1 minute ago, Nitrousbird said:

They haven't sold Sunsetters and Sunscapes for a number of years.

As for the older hulls, perhaps you can tell a difference on a lightly weighted wake vs diamond hull.  Sacked out, I highly doubt a difference could be seen, simply because of how deep the hull is in the water and the inability of the chines to create any kind of lift on the diamond hull.  

us hard core wake snobs could tell the differences in exact size boats sunsetter vs wakesetter, it was noticeable..:))

 

However my big question was

please elaborate..how do we know which hull we have if we are purchasing used? is there a letter or number in the Hull ID that designates this?

 

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3 hours ago, Steve B. said:

Will you have a chance to slalom test the 2018 before purchase?  

Steve B.

I won't have a chance and honestly I have never tried slalom but my lake has a course and I see myself giving it a go in the future. I just want to have the option. If I got hard core about it, there are people with true ski boats on the lake I could ride behind I'm sure. 

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16 hours ago, Rceider said:

I own a 17 21vlx with the wake hull.    I don’t slalom much, but do pull one of my crew. I’ve found that 24-26mph the wake is a firm 12” (depending on crew size) with a strong lip.   She gets a lot of pop from it. 27-28 the wake starts to round off and it gets better from there up, that’s way to fast for my recreational crew.   What helped the most is a light crew and some bow weight.

Thats for that real life info. How do you like the surf wave on your boat?

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36 minutes ago, thebill said:

us hard core wake snobs could tell the differences in exact size boats sunsetter vs wakesetter, it was noticeable..:))

 

However my big question was

please elaborate..how do we know which hull we have if we are purchasing used? is there a letter or number in the Hull ID that designates this?

 

 

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48 minutes ago, ahopkinsTXi said:

 

Going off memory, my boat has less turn down than that but ICBW.  I will double check on Friday when I am out.  again IMHO YMMV blah blah blah an extra 50# lead bag or two would make up the difference of any lift crated by the diamond hull.  I have ridden plenty of both and although I am no pro, I did not notice any kind of significant difference between the two.  Hardcore wakeboarders will want the wake hull for its namesake, heritage and principal.  Heck, I was SURE I wanted a wake hull prior to my purchase since I had no intention of skiing and I was, after all, buying a WAKE boat.  I lost sleep for a week before my purchase wondering If I should pull the plug on the deal.  Again, Non issue for me.  in fact, I'm glad I have it since IMO I loose nothing to very very very very very very very little in wake size and shape at wake speed and possibly gain a flatter wake and ride at ski and cruising speed.

  • Like 2
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My 2013 21 VLX was diamond. I couldn’t tell the difference at any speed.

Im tempted to say that boat cruised better (ie sat higher in the water), but I think I’m imagining that cuz people told me to expect it. 

  • Like 2
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4 hours ago, thebill said:

us hard core wake snobs could tell the differences in exact size boats sunsetter vs wakesetter, it was noticeable..:))

 

What year Sunsetter?  That makes a difference in your argument.

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3 hours ago, tgmind said:

Thats for that real life info. How do you like the surf wave on your boat?

I think it’s great for a 21’.      I can’t help you on the difference with the diamond hull , never been on one. 

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2 hours ago, IXFE said:

My 2013 21 VLX was diamond. I couldn’t tell the difference at any speed.

Im tempted to say that boat cruised better (ie sat higher in the water), but I think I’m imagining that cuz people told me to expect it. 

This ^^^^ 100%.  Its a placebo effect.  On both fronts.

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16 hours ago, Nitrousbird said:

What year Sunsetter?  That makes a difference in your argument.

cant remember but it was on older models around 2000-2001 where we rode both sunsetter and wakesetters with different hulls on daily basis and could tell the slight difference..maybe that has changed a lot since they upgrade hulls every 4-6 years.. ;) 

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22 hours ago, thebill said:

us hard core wake snobs could tell the differences in exact size boats sunsetter vs wakesetter, it was noticeable..:))

 

However my big question was

please elaborate..how do we know which hull we have if we are purchasing used? is there a letter or number in the Hull ID that designates this?

Just look at the back of the hull. You will see the turned down chine at each corner.

 

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