Sifting through hundreds of different brands can be time-consuming and overwhelming when trying to purchase a wake boat. While various boat brands may seem relatively similar, each brand is unique and offers different performance benefits depending on your needs. Nautique and Malibu are two of the most popular, award-winning speed boat brands on the market, but who has the edge in performance?


Founded in 1925, Nautique boats have been a reliable option for world-class wake boats for nearly a century. With 11 currently available models, Nautique boats are ideal for wakeboarding, waterskiing, and other water sports. The innovative and advanced features below give this brand a leg up on the competition.

PCM Marine Engines

For nearly half a century, PCM Marine Engines have provided the highest quality, longest-lasting, and top-performing watersports engines on the market and has become a leader in inboard water sports engines. PCM’s unique utilization of Direct Injection Technology offers industry-leading torque, horsepower, and fuel-efficiency.

Nautique Surf System

The Nautique Surf System (NSS) has revolutionized wake boats. This technology turns any lake, river, or body of water into a surfing paradise. The NSS uses Waveplate technology that extends outward and down from the transom to redirect the flow of water to create a clean wave with plenty of push. All NSS technology can be controlled from the boat’s touchscreen giving you the power to control the waves.

Nautique Coastal Edition

Available on any Super Air Nautique, the Nautique Coastal Edition offers corrosion-resistant features that protect the longevity of their boats from the rigors of saltwater use. Through the use of zinc sacrificial anodes, stainless steel gas shocks, anodized aluminum structural components and a sealed steering cable inside a stainless-steel steering tube, this specialty package protects all vital components of the boat from corrosion to limit boat servicing needs.

Integrated Stringer System

Each Nautique boat integrates the internal ballast system into the stringer grid to preserve the integrity of the boat’s structure. This process keeps the internal ballast underneath the floors and out of the storage areas and uses the structure of the ballast tanks to increase the overall strength of the hull.


An innovative giant in the boating industry since 1982, Malibu offers a wide range of wake boats that are perfect for water activities.

Surf Gate

Surf Gate is a state of the art system that uses tabs on both sides of the transom to disperse water and create waves in any body of water. Surf gate helps to evenly distribute weight so that boaters don’t have to switch their ballast bags or rely on passengers to distribute the weight. Surf Gate is controlled through the Malibu Command Center so that you can have the power to control the waves at the tip of your fingers.

Power Wedge III

The Power Wedge III hydrofoil gives surfers the ability to create bigger wakes and waves by weighing down the back of the boat. This technology also saves gas by automatically getting you on plane faster. As of 2019, the Power Wedge III has five more degrees of lift for more versatile positions and an improved exhaust pipe to increase efficiency.

Hard Tank Ballast

The Hard Tank Ballast offers boaters the ability to set the size and shape of their ideal wake with incredible ease. Each Malibu boat is equipped with four ballasts in the bow, middle, and on either side of the back of the boat. Located below the floor, the quad hard tank ballast can be monitored on the Command Center so that you’re in complete control of the wake.


Each Malibu boat comes equipped with V-Drive. State of the art inboard V-Drive boats differ from traditional inboard/outboard boats in terms of functionality. Unlike traditional IO boats, the propeller of a V-Drive is located directly under the boat making it safer for swimmers and surfers. V-Drives also offer faster speeds, no bow rise and increased agility that allow boaters to make tighter turns on the water.

And the Winner Is….

Both of these boats are fantastic options for those looking for wake boats for watersports. They both have very similar qualities in terms of performance, engine, wake, and systems. The Nautique Surf System is very comparable to Malibu’s Surf Gate technology and each of these boats offers customized user control of wave and wake size and direction. We recommend visiting your local speedboat dealership to test drive both of these models to get a feel for which brand is right for you. Whichever brand you choose, know that you’ll be getting a high-quality wake boat that will provide you with endless fun the water.

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