Axis Wake’s new A24 is bigger and better and has a game-changing new option.
Having Surf Gate makes a world of difference when driving your boat. An inexperienced driver handling a heavily laden boat that’s listing due to overweighting on one side can easily swamp it if he turns the wheel hard over. The A24’s no-list posture gives the driver easy directional control and eliminates the blind spot on the high side of the bow. At speed, the A24 corners well thanks to the standard Shark Fin, which has a reverse dorsal design than protrudes far down into the water with 60 inches of surface. The fin also creates a pivot point, so when you whip it in a hard turn it really cranks. You could option a second fin, but our test boat didn’t seem to need it.
The A24 is designed pretty much exclusively for wakesports. When loaded with ballast and equipped with the optional Surf Gate and Auto-Set Wedge (for augmenting and shaping your launch pad), it’s the ultimate machine. Standard ballast is 1,000 pounds divvied among three hard tanks. You can amp up the action with an additional 1,250 pounds of Plug n’ Play ballast, and the Auto-Set Wedge gives you 1,000 pounds of simulated ballast, for a total of 3,250 pounds. You can slalom at speeds more than 30 mph, but it’s still pretty lumpy back there, and you’ll catch some air while carving.
The A24 is a social beast with a 17-passenger capacity and seating in every space in the cockpit. A clever, low-tech solution to maximizing observer seating is Skybox seating, which is a section of the stern bench you can manually slide forward to create rearward legroom. This, in addition to the ChillAX flip-up section at the end of the starboard-side bench and port-side chaise lounge, gives you five rearward-facing seats — not counting the possibility of two more backward gazers in the pickle-fork bow section. The Skybox allows you to fine-tune your wake by shifting the weight of your human ballast bags. The bow section is really roomy thanks to a pickle-fork configuration that carries the beam forward. The forward-facing chaise loungers have just enough recline with enough legroom for tall folks. The upholstery is plainer than you’ll find on Malibu boats, and the seatbacks in the cockpit are nearly vertical. But lack of interior accoutrements is a decent trade-off that allows you to put your money where it really counts: into the wake and performance.
While the 450 hp MPC beast makes a nice show-and-tell piece, it will also take you pretty far away from the Axis Wake A24’s starting MSRP, which is somewhere north of $60k. The standard 330 hp engine will work fine for you unless you usually pack maximum passenger and ballast loads, but there are intermediate choices such as the 350 hp version of the 5.7L and also a 409 hp 6.0L model that might be the right power formula for this boat.
The A24 comes standard with a twin-axle Boatmate trailer and a FatAX Tower. The FatAX V2 option is a tower that hinges at the bottom for easy storage. Racks are optional. Stereo options start with two Alpine systems, but for the ultimate package there’s a thunderous Wet Sounds option that we had on our boat. Axis cruise control comes standard, and it’s a simple system that you set using rocker switches on the dash.
To set the A24 properly, the Surf Gate option is a no-brainer, along with items such as a three-outlet heater, a flip-up bolster seat and ChillAX seating. I really like the DeckADance flooring option, which allows water to pass through it and keep your feet from slogging around on wet carpeting.
To fast forward your A24’s attitude, Axis offers two packages. The Vandall Edition (named for rider Randall “The Vandall” Harris) gives you a custom graphics package including special carpeting along with the Sound Pack 2 Sony system, a custom trailer, under-seat lighting, ChillAX seating, a high-altitude prop and Deck Trac non-skid. Another package option is the Liquid Force bundle, which gives you an eye-grabbing green metal-flake hull and a white tower along with a custom swim pad.