I own a 2009 Malibu 247. To surf, we usually run factory plus 1800-2600lbs on the surf side (1100 in the back locker, plus one to two 750s on the seat depending on passengers). Without intending to start a flame war, the 247 weighted that way produces what most people would consider to be a great surf wake.
Several months ago, I got to surf behind a Surfgate boat (23lsv with two 750’s in the back)(thanks Singleton Marine!). It’s hard to tell from one short riding session, but I felt like when we got it dialed a little more at the end of the day, the regular wake was great, and the goofy wake was really good. I loved the ability to weight the boat evenly, and the ability to switch from side to side quickly.
But what I really wanted to know was whether I was fooling myself in thinking that the Surfgate could produce an elite level wake. How would my traditionally weighted slammed and leaned 247 wake (which I loved) change if we added a fin, and weighted it evenly?
When I couldn’t ride for several months due to eye problems, I decided to make a homemade surf fin for my boat and try to empirically test the issue. We tested height by having the rider try to hold a rod level with the top of the wake, at the same rope length. We tested length by having the rider go back as far on an extended rope as he could without losing the wake. We tested push and how much fun the wake was to ride, subjectively.
Here are the video results:
To our surprise, the fin setup on the same boat produced a taller (maybe 4-6 inches) and longer (approximately 2-3 feet) wake by objective measurements. Subjectively, everyone who has ridden behind it over the last month has made comments reflecting that the fin wake had “more push”, a “smoother transition”, a “bigger area to ride in”, made “tricks/spins easier” and was overall “way more fun to ride”.
I have read numerous reviews of the Surfgate system. I offer this up because I hadn't seen too much testing on bigger boats, with lots of weight. For me, it answered the question of whether it is possible to use a fin to create an elite quality wake.