We recently had the pleasure of sitting down—well, actually emailing; but I digress—with MasterCraft athlete and product advisor Josh Palma, and team athlete/social media star Steel Lafferty. Our goal? To pick their brain about MasterCraft’s latest creation—the X22. Here’s what they had to say.
So fellas, what was each of your roles in the production of the X22?
I was involved quite early with the design/concept of the X22. I primarily assisted the engineering team with the wake/wave validation portion. I actually ordered a 2018 X23 and a 2018 XSTAR to ensure we were blending the best performance characteristic of each of those boats. Lastly, I helped the product development team create the right balance of exceptional wakeboard and wakesurf performance for riders of all skill levels.
With most of the boats in the MC lineup, they make sure to use their athletes in the production. Since we are the ones on the boats daily and maxing them out for their exact purposes they take our considerations pretty seriously! That didn’t change with the X22.
What was the purpose of creating the X22?
The X22 combines premium comfort and convenience with world class X Series performance. It’s the most balanced boat in the line in terms of wake/surf performance, right after the XStar. If a family tells me that they do a little bit of everything and are not willing to sacrifice surf seats, the X22 is most often the right choice. Due to its versatility and the various price-points that it offers with different configurations, I’m certain that this will be one of the highest volume boats that we produce in the coming years!
The X22 is the best crossover boat for wake oriented water sports I’ve ever been behind. It surfs unbelievably, and the wake is easily a close second to our flagship wakeboard boat the XStar. If you’re a family that loves to surf and also wakeboard at any level, the X22 is the perfect boat.
Does the X22 cater to the needs of family boaters?
I briefly touched on this in the first question and it’s honestly one of the things I love the most about the X22. With a few people in the boat, the X22 throws up a clean and rampy wakeboard wake all the way down to 17.7-18mph. It’s perfect for those learning wake jumps and wake crosses. And, as many of you saw in our Texas Road Trip series with the X22, Harley can still crack off double flips behind it! The only other boat in our line that covers that range of wakeboard skill levels is the XStar.
The surf waves also offer something for every rider. Skim or surf style? Do you have a more advanced rider in the boat or are you just teaching a friend how to drop the rope for the first time? The customization of the surf waves allows the X22 to be tuned for any surfer. It’s safe to say that the only other boats with this level of wave customization and versatility would be the X24 and the XStar. Oh yea, and the right wave is insane! That’s one of the most significant improvements we made from the X23; wave symmetry on the X22 is really impressive!
This boat definitely caters to all riders. Whether you’re just learning to ride or trying to go pro, this boat delivers the goods! On the road trip through Texas we did, I was able to put some young groms out behind boat comfortably with hitting the beginner preset profile and then throw Harley out there and watch him throw double flips after hitting the advanced preset profile!
With wakesurfing being the driving force behind the inboard market, was this boat designed around surfing, or were you thinking about other water sports disciplines too?
I feel strongly that all of our X Series boats need to perform well in both the surf and wake categories. Is the balance more of a priority with some X Series models than others? For sure! And as I mentioned previously, that balance was a high priority for us with the X22.
We focused on making this boat surf incredible, but also wanted to make sure the wakeboard wake was good for any rider! I think we did that perfectly. The surf wake is super long with a large pocket that Kelia Moniz was able to put her longboard behind and cruise easily with plenty of space between her and the boat and the wakeboard wake is big enough for Rusty to smash double ups on! Speaks for itself.
If you had to pick, what’s your favorite feature of the X22?
Without a doubt the fact that it combines world class wakeboard and surf performance with the surf seating. My wife will be so stoked! Now the real question, do you think I can convince the factory to let me order one for 2019!?
The wake! That’s always my main focus. Haha!