I’m a proud owner of Malibu 21 vRide.
For a long time, I’ve used it for casual boating rides and sometimes fishing.
But you can only get excited by fishing so much, so late last year, I decided I wanted to try something new.
Get into a sport that would pump my adrenaline more and get my blood flowing.
And that’s how I decided to get into wakeboarding.
But the problem was my boat wasn’t the most technologically advanced boat in the market.
Yes, it was a great entry-level boat that would create wakes with long ramps and landing zones when weighted correctly, but I was always envious of the boats with a surf system.
I mean, boats with a wake surf system seemed like they did all the work for you.
The surf system evenly distributed your boat, quickly switched surf sides and, more importantly, provided a consistent surf wave.
But the problem with these boats is they were super-expensive and out of my range.
For example, I was eyeing the 2020 Moomba Kaiyen, but it was nearly triple the price of my boat. I couldn’t afford that!
But I wasn’t to give up easily- after all, I had come across numerous “old-school” boats that generated great surf wakes.
So, out of curiosity, I made some inquiries, and that’s how I came to learn about wakesurf shapers.
I’ve now been using them for several seasons, and all I can say is they’re a great game-changer. This is especially true when you talk about updating your old boat versus the thousands you would spend on a newer and expensive boat with virtually the same results.
Of course, there’s a misconception that you don’t need weight and ballast with shapers. I still do put some weight bags, but I now achieve better and longer waves.
For me, the greatest benefit is I no longer have to list my Malibu to one side with the weight or drive the boat in a sharp circle.
With an array of setups, having a cleaner and more defined wakesurf wave means I can go in a straighter line instead of getting my grandkids, and other passengers dizzy by going in circles!
Keep in mind a wakesurf shaper won’t magically create a wave on a boat that can’t produce one. Instead, it allows boats with just an ok wave to create a GREAT wave!
Now, if you’re interested cost-effectively and practically in creating nice, clean, and long waves with more push, here’s our review of our favorite wakesurf shapers.
These shapers will ensure your waves are better than before, and you’ll be saved from having to list your boat now and then.
Table of Contents
The Best Wakesurf Shapers For The Money
#1 SWELL Wakesurf Creator 2.0 Shaper - EDITOR'S CHOICE
I’ve a Malibu 21 vRide that I had spent thousands of dollars on over the years, building a custom ballast system, a new tower, and even a new fiberglass work.
But the Swell wake shaper beats all the upgrades combined by far and probably the best $$ I’ve spent on my boat.
I love the Swell Wakesurf Creator 2.0 because it has made my surf wakes bigger and cleaner, even with no one on the boat but the driver.
One of the greatest suits with the Swell Wakesurf Creator 2.0 is its unique wakesurf wedge design.
It increases the overall turbulence along the boat’s hull, which in turn gives you a bigger, cleaner, and longer wake that makes for a better surfing wave. In other words, your board gets more “push” from the wave, and you can surf more easily for longer.
I now fill both rear bags on both sides, and this thing throws a clean, long wave to whichever side it’s mounted to.
I also don’t have to list the boat anymore, making it easier to drive and faster to switch rides from different sides.
Plus, I’m also happy that I can now drop the drop when wakesurfing.
With both sacks filled, the change in surf wake is dramatic. It’s much better, larger, and has a nicer shape to it. It even has a little curl to it.
Moving past the performance, this wave maker comes with two suction cups for easy attachment.
The good thing with this attachment system is you can switch surf sides in a matter of minutes. There’re no fiddly Velcro straps, and the design is super reliable in that it withstood speeds of up to 14 MPH.
Another plus with the installation is you can complete it from below the water line or while you’re still on the boat.
On top of that, you can use the Swell Wakesurf Shaper 2.0 with any boat.
The Swell WaveMaker is also as durable as it gets, and you won’t be replacing the wake shaper anytime soon.
This highly-rated wake maker utilizes marine-grade polymer and stainless steel to give it the strength to last in any condition.
It’ll take on a beating and won’t break down easily as most of the shapers do.
Finally, I love the Swell because it looks exactly like the picture shown. You get what you see.
It’s white pearl, so it’s easy to spot it in case it falls in the water.
And if it does, it floats, so you don’t have to worry about it sinking to the bottom of the lake.
Even then, I’ve never had it fall, and sometimes, I even forget to remove it, and when I come at speeds of 20 mph, it never comes loose.
Overall, the Swell Wake shaper is a great buy. It’s a practical solution and perfect for creating the ideal wake.
It is not a surprise why it has taken wakeboarding by a storm and nearly become a standard of what other wake shapers try to imitate.
For me, it meets at the perfect crossroads of affordability and performance. It’s sure to impress.
#2 Mission Delta Wake Surf Shaper - Most Compact Wakesurf Creator
I took the Mission Delta Wake Shaper to Powell last week, and it was amazing.
Sure, we spent quite a bit of time dialing in the surf, but we couldn’t believe how it cleaned up the surf nicely once we got it right.
Performance aside, I’m also pleased with how compact this nifty device is.
It’s one of the smallest designs in the market, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not a performer. Far from that.
In fact, I’ve come to love the Mission Wakesurf Shaper design for several reasons.
One, it doesn’t take much space in the boat, so I always have space left for more gear and goods.
Secondly, a lightweight and compact design makes my boat more fuel-efficient, which in turn contributes to a higher level of performance.
The final benefit is a compact design gives the lake surfer more mounting options, especially for boats with complex hull designs.
Now that the design is out of the way let’s look at the performance.
Here, bigger isn’t always better, and this can’t be further from the truth.
Mission Delta Wake Shaper employs RipFlow Wave Technology, consisting of contoured front panels and precisely engineered side vents.
It’s a unique system that produces longer waves and better lips for wakesurfing.
The waves are also clean, and it made for an epic ride.
And the good thing is I no longer needed to weigh the boat to one side or force everyone to shift their seating. It was a plus in my books because with excessive ballast, listing is dangerous, and surfing is more fun than swamping.
Of course, the wake maker doesn’t impress until you set it right.
We took several trips to the lake to finally get the wave dialed in. You really do need to try different places, depths, speeds, and weight distribution to figure it out for your boat.
From experience, you need to place the wave maker on the opposite side where you intend to surf. Also position it as far as back towards the transom and down low enough to get submerged by the waterline.
And once you set it right, you’ll get a funny-looking plume-like flow of water rolling up and over where it’s attached.
The other benefit of the Mission Delta Wake Shaper is it works well with almost any single-engine watercraft, including the direct drive boats. It’s safe to wakesurf behind most inboard boats, where the engine/prop is under the hull and away from the lake surfer.
What about installation?
It’s a breeze and probably the easiest. You don’t even need an extra tool or experience to install the Delta wake shaper.
While remaining easy to install, it’s super reliable and will hold on to your boat firmly.
The suction created by the two suction cups is strong, and while not like that one of the Swell Wake shapers, I’ve never had any issue with the Mission Delta Wakesurf coming off even when I forget to remove it and going 35 mph. It stays attached at the 8-12 surf speed.
Mission Delta is also visible, so even if it falls, you’ll realize it immediately.
It also floats, but it can be a challenge to find something in the water if you’re unsure where it came off even when floating. And for this reason, we give the manufacturer a thumbs up for the nice hook-up cable with a clasp.
Finally, Mission Delta Wake Shaper is made from the most hardened materials out there, so it can withstand the harshest conditions and will survive for long. No need for a replacement anytime soon.
#3 Liquid Force Mega Wake Shaper - Best Wake Shaper for Big Waves
I purchased the Liquid Force Mega Shaper last summer, and the difference it makes is night and day.
My fiancé was upset when she found out how much I forked on the wake shaper.
So, I made her surf without it at first, then I put on the Liquid Force Mega Shaper.
She couldn’t believe how much smoother and bigger the wave wake was. She actually said, “I can’t believe we surfed without it!”
See, the Liquid Force Wake Shaper is an incredible wake shaper and is well-known for creating really big, clean, and long waves.
It’s huge and delivers big, longer waves and has a greater push,
Its concave channeling arms help push more water, which helps increase the overall length of the wave. So, I can get pretty far back in and still get back in without falling off a single time.
Of course, for such a large wake shaper, it may exert a huge drag on your boat and even fall off if wrongly positioned.
Still, if correctly placed, the wave maker puts extra load on your Mission boat, which is why it’s designed for the larger and heavier boats.
I would recommend it for boats 21 feet or longer and those with a 325 hp engine or greater. It’s the only one in the market that will work. Otherwise, you’ve several options.
Now, for the size, you would think it’s hard to install the Liquid Force.
I also thought so, but I was surprised when I gave it a try.
I love this wake shaper because it doesn’t fall off as easily as my home-built wedge does. While my old device worked well, it would fall off because it had too much float and the Velcro, to be honest, was ugly.
The Liquid wake shaper is different.
Yes, it’s large, but once you do some experiments and dial it in, you’ll realize how easy it sticks on your Mission boat and generates massive wakes.
It doesn’t put a ton of drag either and delivers nice regular and goofy waves. I would recommend it.
My only gripe is that it’s quite huge, and this is a challenge when storing and time to get it on the boat.
It’s also a bit challenging to get it positioned and sucked.
But aside from that, it’s one of the best wakesurf shapers I’ve come across.
#4 SWELL Wakesurf Shaper Slim – Best Wake Shaper for Boats with Small Mounting Surfaces
Slim is the right wake shaper for narrowboats or those with smaller mounting surfaces.
For a better perspective, the Swell Wakesurf Creator Slim is designed to fit boats that the Swell Wakesurf Creator 2.0 won’t fit.
The Slim is perfect for many of the Mastercraft series boats, especially the X models. It also adapts well to the Sanger series boats such as the V210.
Simply put, it’s an excellent fit for hulls with a lot of steps.
I also find it as a great alternative for boats that Delta wake shapers can’t fit. Delta is a great wake shaper, but I can’t always seem to get it low enough on the hull to get it deep enough in the water to be effective.
The Slim Swell Wakesurf Creator is different.
While it has similar technology to the Creator we’ve reviewed above, the big difference is it only requires 3 ½” of space. It’s a brilliant creation, especially for boats with many steps.
From experience, the Swell Wakesurf Creator Slim has the best results when positioned on both the lowest step and middle step with a slightly bigger wave on the middle step.
You’ll immediately notice a much longer wave, a much higher wave. More importantly, I didn’t need the floor bags or even shift my passengers around in the boat. My wife was much happier!
While at it, installing this bad boy is super easy. You can do it on deck or in the water.
However, I realized installing it in the water is somewhat problematic because of the initial pressure you need to apply to gain suction. You need both arms, and it’s a bit of a struggle. All in all, it’s not such a big issue, and with time you’ll eventually build your technique.
And unlike the fiddly Velcro on my homemade wedge, this one has a firm suction, and it never pops. It works just fine.
Now, for the slim design, we thought it wouldn’t create longer and larger waves. To our surprise, it excelled well in creating bigger waves, giving the Original Swell a run for its money.
It’s also such a practical option because, over the weekend, I used it and managed to drop the rope successfully and stayed up.
The wake shaper also gave us 7 to 8 feet of waves to surf. I’m pretty sure once we gain skill, we can extend that.
Overall, the Swell Wakesurf Creator Slim is a nice design and will work well, especially when you’ve a narrow boat.
It’s the ideal wake surf shaper for the slim boats and a must-buy for those falling into this category.
#5 Nauticurl WakeSurfing Wake Shaper – Most Traditional Wakesurf Shaper
I bought this traditional-style wakesurf shaper for my boat and love everything it offers.
Aside from the performance, I love its appeal and how it complements my boat.
It holds a universal appeal, and both the appearance and shape of the Nauticurl Wakesurfing Wakeshaper wins a point with us as it looks appealing on just any boat.
When not wakesurfing, I proudly display this attractive shaper in my boat.
Aesthetics aside, this wake shaper has also been professionally designed to maximize your wake.
When in use, it increases your surf area considerably, giving riders plenty of room to enjoy the waves while maintaining a safe distance away from the boat.
I really appreciate how it creates longer waves, eliminating the need to surf closer to the boat.
On top of that, the shaper can create waves well, even if you don’t have many passengers on deck.
Another performance benefit with this wake shaper is it’ll keep your boat from listing, all while producing nicely shaped waves that will have you riding high and nice every time.
As with other wakesurf shapers on our list, the Nauticurl is also the best wakesurf shaper for durability.
Like the Nauticurl Flex Wake Shaper, it has a unique combination of materials that helps to promote better performance, ease of use, and durability.
For example, it has a complete water absorbent rigid foam, which, along with the sleek design will prevent the shaper from sinking.
So, you can always be assured that your shaper isn’t going to get lost in the water.
Secondly, with absolutely no plastic, the aluminum alloy used on the Nauticurl wakesurf shaper is as robust as a shaper can get.
It adds to an overall strong look, sturdy design and will ensure that you won’t be replacing your wakesurf shaper any time soon.
And as with all the wakesurf creators on the list, Nauticurl also boasts heavy-duty suction cups. They’ll firmly attach to your boat and will survive even the 20+mph of speed without getting loose.
On top of it all, you can attach and remove them quickly and effortlessly.
Overall, the Nauticurl wake creator is a good wakesurf shaper and offers plenty of awesome design features.
It’s performance-oriented too, and you can expect your wave to curl and lengthen for better surfing sessions.
Best Wakesurf Shapers Buying Guide
To help you choose the best wakesurf shapers, we’ve compiled this handy buying guide.
Here, we’ll show everything you need to look out for when purchasing your next wakesurf shaper.
But first, let’s look at the reasons why you need a wakesurf shaper.
Advantages of a Wakesurf Shaper
A common misnomer in the surfing community is the waves made by wake shapers are nothing like the sea waves.
But that’s further from the truth, and with so many benefits that shapers bring, you’ll see why they’re a wise purchase.
1) Even weight
Wake Shapers create balance in your boat since it can now level with the water.
This means there’s less turbulence and that the boat is more natural to drive.
2) Easy to switch sides
Wake shapers are compact and easy to remove, so switching sides should be a breeze.
Plus, you don’t need to bring a weighted bag or ballasts to balance the boat.
3) More consistent surf waves
Sure, sea waves are incomparable to waves made by a wake.
But the benefit of a wakesurf shaper is you get the consistency of every tidal wake.
Factors to Consider when Selecting your Next Wakesurf Creator
Now that we already know the benefits of wakesurf shapers, let’s look at exactly what features to consider when purchasing one.
Mode of Installation
The ideal wakesurf gate should be easy to install.
You should do it even without requiring a helping hand.
It should also allow you to attach it in the boat or out in the water.
A wakesurf shaper’s design is important for several reasons.
A few things determine how a wakesurf shaper creates waves and the type of waves they create. All these are assessed through the design of the shaper.
For example, you’ll want to research how different designs create different waves.
Some wake gates focus on creating larger waves, while others focus on long waves. Other shapers create white water, while others purposefully eliminate the white water.
Change in Direction
When choosing a wakesurf shaper, look for those with flexibility in terms of changing direction.
Some of the shapers will only allow you to switch from left to right and vice versa.
If your surf shaper is secured to your boat using suction cups, get suction cups that can withstand rough waters.
High-quality suction cups should firmly attach to the boat.
Also, consider the shape of the boat.
If the hull is too curved, then it may prove challenging to attach to the suction cups. You might want to look for the special shapers for the curved surfaces.
However, all shapers with suction cups work well on flat surfaces.
You don’t want to buy another wake shaper after every few months. It’s great if your shaper can last for a long time.
Therefore, consider the durability of the shaper.
Generally, the material of the shaper determines how long it’s going to last.
For example, shapers made out of steel last longer and don’t rust.
Another thing related to durability is weight.
Wakesurf shapers are expected to be durable yet light.
A material that is best suited for this type of production is polyethylene.
It can withstand pressure, and it’s not heavy.
Generally, the size of your wave maker should correspond with the size of the boat.
It shouldn’t be too big that it can’t fit in your boat or take too much space.
Again, it shouldn’t be burdensome to carry.
Water Channeling Technology
The best wakesurf shapers allow better water flow, thus creating a better wave.
Water channeling technology quickens the flow of water.
A wakesurf shaper with concave blades or angled blades will let water through.
Also, shapers with vents will allow water through and create turbulence for easy and fun wake surfing.
It’s essential to have a wakesurf shaper that floats.
A floating shaper is easy to retrieve if it falls.
When the suction isn’t enough to hold it on the hull, it’ll at least float on the water.
Colors are more than aesthetics.
Don’t choose a wakesurf shaper because it complements the color of your boat or you think it looks good on your boat.
There’s a reason the shapers are bright in color, and this is to promote visibility.
The colorful shapers are easy to spot even from a distance.
If you’re like me, who goes on spontaneous trips, you should consider the usability of a wakesurf.
Get an option that will work well in all waters.
Also, consider an option that can stick to most boat types.
Best Wake Shapers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What boats do wakesurf shapers work on?
A: A wakesurf shaper will work on any boat.
Of course, some will work on some boats than others, but you can always find a shaper for any boat.
When searching for the best wakesurf shaper for your boat, consider the attaching mechanism.
Shapers that come with suction cups attach to almost any boat with a finish that can be suctioned to.
Even if your boat lacks a protective powder coat finish for suction cups, there’re plenty of alternatives.
Q: Why should I buy a wakesurf shaper?
A: A wakesurfing shaper is a better and cost-effective investment than investing in a new boat.
It offers an easy way to catch waves and saves you from heavy bags every time you create bigger waves.
Q: What boats can wakesurf shapers mount on?
A: Some wake shapers can mount on any boat surface, while others only mount on flat surfaces.
To be sure, you can attach Velcro or a lanyard to the shaper for better mounting.
Q: Is it hard to install a wakesurf creator?
A: No, installing a wakesurf shaper is effortless.
For example, wake shapers with suction cups only need to be placed against the boat’s hull to create suction.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best wakesurf shaper reviews is the Swell Wakesurf Creator 2.0.
I recommend this product because it scores fairly well in all departments, including performance, ease of use, and cost.
It’s also highly rated among the wakesurfing community and one of the reasons why it’s such a popular option.