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Centurion vs Mastercraft Wake Boats | The Wake Boat Podcast Ep. 4 - BoardCo Boats

Centurion vs Mastercraft Wake Boats The Wake Boat Podcast Ep. 4

Centurion vs Mastercraft Wake Boats | The Wake Boat Podcast Ep. 4

In this episode we will be diving into a topic that is one of the most asked questions we receive. We'll be comparing two  wake boat brands, exploring their differences, design philosophies, and why you might prefer one over the other. The brands we'll be discussing are Centurion and Mastercraft, both renowned for building excellent surf boats. So, let's delve into the details, dissecting each aspect of the boats and discovering how they stack up against each other.

Firstly, let's talk about the brands in general and their design philosophies. Both Centurion and Mastercraft have been prominent players in the industry for quite some time. Mastercraft boasts over 50 years of experience, while Centurion is not far behind, having been around for several years, initially focusing on building water ski and tournament boats before venturing into surf boats. Mastercraft still produces a phenomenal tournament direct-drive ski boat called the ProStar, tailored for hardcore water skiing enthusiasts. However, for this discussion, we'll be specifically focusing on their surf boats.

Mastercraft offers three series in their surf boat lineup: NXT, XT, and X Series. As you progress from NXT to X Series, the boats become more advanced and luxurious. The X Series represents their top-of-the-line models, available in 22, 24, and 26-foot variants. They also have the Star Series, with the X-Star being a 23-foot model. In the 2023 model year, Mastercraft introduced the XR and XRS variants of the X-Star, featuring slight differences in transom design and seat configuration.

On the other hand, Centurion has two series of boats: FI and RI. While both series share the same design philosophy of creating exceptional surf waves, the FI series leans towards a sportier application, while the RI series exudes a larger and more luxurious feel. The FI series offers a more customizable experience, with optional features like sliding bench seats and flip-up transom seats, distinguishing it from the RI series. If you seek a sporty design, the FI series would be an excellent choice, while the RI series shines with its luxurious feel and comprehensive set of features.

It's worth noting that Centurion made a significant shift in design philosophy back in 2002 with the introduction of the Avalanche, which had an actual V-hull at the bottom. This marked the start of their unique approach, bridging the gap between stern-drive runabouts and wakeboard boats, ultimately leading to their current surf boat lineup. Mastercraft, on the other hand, remains more focused on wakeboarding and water skiing, although they do have a growing presence in the surf game.

Regarding brand-specific features, Mastercraft takes pride in offering their own versions of various components. For instance, they utilize ill more engines exclusively designed for Mastercraft, while their audio systems come from Klipsch. Additionally, they incorporate unique design elements like spline shafts. While this approach allows for specific designs and advantages, it can also make finding parts more challenging and expensive compared to other brands. On the contrary, Centurion shares certain components with other manufacturers, making them more readily available and cost-effective.

Now that we've covered the general design philosophies, let's shift our focus to the boats themselves. One of the most crucial aspects to consider is performance – how the boats drive, surf, wakeboard, and fulfill various recreational needs.  


When it comes to wakeboarding, both Mastercraft and Centurion offer exceptional experiences, but they excel in different aspects. Mastercraft's X-Star, known for its flatter hull shape, provides a well-balanced wake that remains clean even with additional weight in the bow. On the other hand, Centurion boats, designed with a better ski wake in mind, may not offer the same level of wakeboarding performance. However, Centurion's fi series is perfect for recreational wakeboarding. If you're looking for a boat with a superior wakeboard wake, the Mastercraft X-Series, particularly the x-star, is an excellent choice.

When it comes to surfing, Centurion boats take the lead. With their unique hull design and extensive ballast, Centurion boats are specifically crafted to throw superior surf waves. The V-shaped hull displaces water more efficiently, resulting in longer surfable areas and a more linear wave. Mastercraft boats, although still capable of creating a great surf wave, may not match Centurion's performance in this regard. However, both brands allow for additional weight to be added without compromising the wave quality.

Interior Features

Mastercraft and Centurion boats offer distinct interior features, catering to different preferences. Mastercraft excels in seat ergonomics, providing comfortable and well-contoured seats that make long hours on the water enjoyable. Their foam may feel softer initially but may wear out faster over time. Additionally, Mastercraft offers unique features like the Decadence flooring material and the nostalgic teak platform, which adds a touch of elegance.

Centurion, on the other hand, stands out in certain areas, such as driver's seat comfort and functionality. Their foam construction and seat design provide exceptional comfort, especially for larger individuals. Centurion also utilizes GatorStep flooring, a high-grade and customizable alternative to traditional carpeting. Their dash systems are well-placed, allowing for easy access and control. Moreover, Centurion offers innovative solutions like the integrated gelcoat panels in their tower, superior Bimini coverage, and advanced board rack designs.

Price and Conclusion

When it comes to pricing, Centurion boats generally offer a more competitive range compared to Mastercraft. While the entry-level models from both brands may have similar price points, as you move up to the higher-end models, Mastercraft tends to be more expensive. However, it's essential to consider the specific features, performance, and customization options that are important to you when making a final decision.

Ultimately, choosing between Mastercraft and Centurion boats depends on your preferences, intended use, and budget. Mastercraft boats are known for their luxurious features, superb wakeboarding performance, and brand reputation. Centurion boats, on the other hand, offer exceptional value, superior surfing capabilities, and innovative interior designs.

Remember, it's crucial to test drive and experience both brands before making a final decision. By understanding the strengths and differences of Mastercraft and Centurion boats, you'll be better equipped to select the perfect boat for your needs.