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early 2000's malibu response

WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 477 Baller
I have a 98 Malibu Echelon and I am considering upgrading my boat by five or so years. I'm thinking about an early 2000 response (maybe '03 to '05). I've skied behind an LXI of that era and I don't remember being very impressed by the wakes. Can anyone comment on the wakes, driveability, etc. of say an '03 response (not LXI) vs. the 98 Echelon (or 98 Response)? I assume the LXI has a different hull than the closed bow standard response. Does anyone know when the hulls changed? Does anyone know what the first year response is that could have zero off added to it? Thanks in advance.


  • DWDW Posts: 2,312 Mega Baller
    The various LX's I have skied are all very close, my least favorite are actually the newer ones. The ergonomics of the newer Responses for me are a clear step in the wrong direction, the seat is way too low and the throttle position is just not as comfortable (all that can be changed to suit with some effort if desired). One difference in the hull you will find is '99 is the first year for a trunk if that is something you desire. The diamond hull came out in '98 according to the specs sheet. The DBW for Malibu started around '06 IIRC. You also might want to try another LXI, my experience with the wake at short lengths is very good.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,241 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    That Echlon is a good hull and driving boat if it's in good shape. I drive and ski behind a well maintained one for a week every yr. enjoy both aspects of the boat. Not sure what you will gain other then a much thinner wallet, to upgrade 4-5 yrs.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • bishop8950bishop8950 Posts: 1,219 Open or Level 9 Skier
    I am with @wish, not sure something a bit newer will ski much different. I have a 2000 Response LX and love the way it skis and drives. If it were reasonable to put ZO in it I would keep it forever. I am probably going to sell it and get a Carbon Pro
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 477 Baller
    but do you guys think they would ski as well as what I have? Just don't want it to be worse. Thanks for the input.
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,715
    04 R LXi - Awesome boat to drive, great to ski behind. Can't fault it except that yes maybe just maybe a ZO conversion.
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' 2021 MC As soon as it lands Ski - KD Platinum

  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,345 Crazy Baller
    What DW said. Can't say I've ever heard anyone complain that the wake on an '03 - 06 LXI wasn't top notch. Same for the LX and closed bow Response as well.
    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
  • raynrayn Posts: 410 Solid Baller
    Totally agree with @bishop8950‌. I am lucky my tornament rounds and practice rounds are very close so an upgrade to ZO is not that important to me right now.
    Ray Newmark -
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,163 Mega Baller
    I have a 2009 Response LX (same hull and basic interior since 1999). Skis and drives great. I have ZO, as I think that was the first year for it in the Malibu.

    I also skied and drove a 1999 Response LX on a regular basis. I liked it basically just as much as mine, except no ZO.

    The only LXI I skied behind had a tower. I think the wakes were a little different and maybe the tower contributed to that. Can't comment on the Echelon. Really like the TXi.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 477 Baller
    Come to think of it I think it was an RLX that I didn't love (walk through) but only skied it once so I probably just sucked that day (like most days).
  • WishWish Posts: 8,241 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    What's is your motivation to unload current boat?

    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 477 Baller
    Love my current boat. Wife wants a sun platform and I like to upgrade every few years rather than fix things like upholstery (have a couple skins that could use replacing) and dont have perfect pass. Current boat has been completely bullet proof though and is in awesome shape so hesitant to change again.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,241 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Lots of used PP systems. Back seat in both that I end up skiing and driving have back bench seats that convert to sun decks. And skins are cheap. Food for thought.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,715
    nzwaterski - Thumbs down - seriously?
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' 2021 MC As soon as it lands Ski - KD Platinum

  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 592 Crazy Baller
    @wish those used pp systems are harder to find then you think. I watched ebay and ski it again since spring. Never found near to a complete system for my 96 supra ts6m by the time you piece one together with used and new parts it's not much cheaper then buying a new stargazer
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2019 65 HO Syndicate Omni Vapor Bindings
  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 418 Solid Baller
    I own an 04 rlxi and one of my ski partners has a 99 rlx, I don't think I could choose one over the other for skiing, they both drive pretty well too. I do like the interior space in mine a little better, seems to be a little less wind in the cockpit on the driver on cooler days and the extra space is nice to have. The rear locker in mine can be used from either the platform or inside the boat also.
  • kstateskierkstateskier Posts: 524 Solid Baller
    Can't say I've ever heard someone have issues with the wakes of any of the LXI/TXI boats. Every one of them I've ever driven from 04 - 14 drives great, tracks great and skis great!

    I've got a couple buddies with LX boats, and have taken sets behind a few Echelon's. The echelons definitely have a harder edge to the wake and are tight on space.

    If you're wanting to go up 5/6 years there are several 04, 05, 06 RLXI's out there. I recently bought my 04 last summer. It needed a bit of work but after I got my hands on it, put a new steering cable, new tilt column and greased the rudder assembly it drives and tracks like a new one. The open bow in the RLXI provides plenty of space for a few people to lounge around and catch sun! And the rear trunk pads also are a great place to lounge. Plenty of storage too.

    I think you'd have to go to an 06 RLXI in order to do any ZO conversions.
    Bradley Beach - Lone Rock Ski Club, Missouri
    2004 Malibu Response LXI, 2014 D3 Helix 66"
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,633 Mega Baller
    I would go early Lxi...not that the lx is bad...both ski great.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,590 Mega Baller
    I ski some behind a 08 lxi and have a 99.Rlx. Above about 32 mph the wakes are excellent on both. At slower speed the 99 is smaller. I skied and drove a lxi last year that was a 05. It was not easy to drive, not sure if this is typical of those years or if something was wrong.
  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,345 Crazy Baller
    Obviously something wrong there. My '05 (bought used) was properly set up by the previous owner and tracks as well as/better than anything else I've driven, never had to touch it. Not brand loyalty, just provable fact. @kstateskier can attest to that and I'd say the same for his '04.
    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 1,099 Mega Baller
    edited December 2014
    @WBLskier‌ if the question is "Will a early 2000's Response/RLX ski as well or better than my Echelon" the answer is YES. The diamond hull which was a mid-98 change is a big improvement in wake softness and IMO Malibu really started upping their game in interior comforts and quality in the 2001 model year. That's when they redid the dash with the nice dip switches rather than the somewhat oddball turn-style switches as well as a bunch of other refinements like drip-mold side decals and whatnot. They really started hitting their stride then, and I feel like you'll find it a very worthy upgrade to step up to that era (2001+) vs. your 90's era boat in all areas including wake, fit and finish, and features.
  • DWDW Posts: 2,312 Mega Baller
    @wblskier: if you also barefoot, stick to pre '07 LXI. Just as a reference, all the schools stuck with the pre '07 hulls. LXI is a 3.5" wider SV23 Diamond hull compared to LX.
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