Wakeboarding and wake-surfing boats are marvels of hydrodynamic engineering, and one of the well-recognized brands among aqua sports enthusiasts is Axis. But have you ever wondered who owns Axis Boats? It would blow most people’s minds away to learn Malibu owns Axis Boats.
Axis Boats owned by Malibu is not a far-fetched notion, especially if you look at the similarities in their design philosophies. They only differ in a few bells and whistles, highlighted by Axis’ friendlier price tag.
So, please continue reading to deepen your knowledge about one of the wakeboarding world’s most respected Malibu Boats brands.
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Axis Boats Ownership
It is unsurprising to hear about Axis Boats owned by the world’s leading towboat manufacturer, Malibu Boats. After all, these two boat brands have the same DNA, sharing many tested and proven components to appeal to their respective markets.
A case in point is the Axis A22’s running surface design, which borrows Malibu’s performance-driven hull characteristics. It was an instant hit in 2009 and continues to draw accolades and fans from wakeboarders and surfers in the 2020s.
Malibu Boats’ team of more than 700 designers, craftspeople, innovators, and boaters put their resources together to design and build a Malibu and Axis boat a few units at a time and by hand.
A Closer Look at Axis Boats’ Owners
We already know who makes Axis boats. The next logical question is who owns Malibu Boats, and are there brands other than Axis towboat enthusiasts should know?
Malibu Boats’ story started in 1982 when Steve Marshall and Bob Alkemia founded the brand in Merced, California. The small Malibu team churned out two boats a week, gradually increasing production to meet growing demand.
By 1989, Malibu was already producing 1200 boats annually. To meet the ever-increasing demand, Malibu opened another manufacturing facility in Loudon, Tennessee, in 1992. Two years later, the company opened its first overseas production facility in Albury, New South Wales, Australia.
So, if you are wondering where are Malibu Boats made, the answer would be California, Tennessee, and NSW, Australia.
It is worth noting that Malibu moved its headquarters from California to Loudon, Tennessee, in 2009. Some folks might question the decision, but it made perfect sense. The area is home to many of the country’s freshwater marine manufacturers.
We can safely assume that Malibu’s Loudon boat factory and corporate headquarters is the birthplace of Axis Boats. Two thousand nine was the same year Malibu established Axis Wake as its “entry-level wake boat brand.”
Malibu Boats bought a 1968-founded, high-end speed boat manufacturer based in Neodesha, Kansas, in 2017 for $130 million. The terms of the acquisition allowed Malibu to continue and maintain its local presence.
In 2018, Malibu acquired Pursuit Boats from Tiara Yachts, increasing the number of boat brands under the Malibu umbrella to four.
Axis Boats Under the Lens
Malibu established Axis Wake to cater to aspiring middle-of-the-pack towboat owners. A review of Malibu boat models by year reveals that the wake boat industry leader focused on mid-priced to high-end watercraft until it suddenly focused on big-ticket vessels.
Appreciating Axis Wake’s history reveals much about the brand’s differentiation from its parent company. Axis Boats remain loyal to Malibu’s elite performance, edgy looks, and core functionality without the latter’s prohibitive price tag.
For example, the 25-foot, 18-passenger 2022 Malibu Wakesetter 25 LSV has a hefty price tag of $163,000. Its closest Axis boat version is the 25-foot, 18-passenger, Malibu Monsoon-powered Axis T250, which only costs about $133,540. Pre-owned or used Axis boats should be more affordable.
2. Malibu technology DNA
The cost of Axis boats might be lower than that of Malibu Boat, but the brand still shares many features with its parent company.
However, lower Axis boat prices relative to Malibu Boats indicate cost-saving measures. For example, Malibu boats have full touchscreen controls, luxurious interior components, more stunning color options, and a better bimini.
The excellent news is Malibu’s wakeboard boating technology DNA is robust in Axis boats. Wakeboarders and surfers cannot tell the difference between being towed by a Malibu and an Axis.
3. Axis boats
A review of the Axis boat timeline reveals the brand has seven boat models across two series.
- 2009 – Axis A22
- 2011 – Axis A20
- 2013 – Axis A24
- 2021 – Axis T220
- 2022 – Axis T250
- 2023 – Axis A225 and T235
4. Pros & cons
- Exceptional value (function and performance) for the money
- Proven Malibu hull characteristics and wake boat DNA
- Offers pleasing wake/surf experience
- Effortless to operate
- Affordable Axis Wake boat accessories
- Cheaper interior
- Higher maintenance costs and monthly payments
Frequently Asked Questions
Malibu vs Axis boats: what’s the difference?
Although Malibu and Axis belong to the same umbrella organization, they vary in price (Axis is more affordable), technology (Axis is simpler), and styling (Malibu is more luxurious).
Should I consider purchasing a used Axis boat?
You can buy a pre-owned Axis Wake boat, especially if you love its simple operation, no-frills styling, and all-out wake performance. However, you might want to check the old boat’s functions and features for potential problems.
For example, some A-series models might be gas guzzlers, while old-generation Axis boats might have problematic oxygen sensors. Some A24s and A22s also have electrical issues.
We recommend hiring a boat mechanic or marine surveyor to check individual boat components before buying.
What companies does Malibu Boats own?
Besides Axis, Malibu Boats also owns Kansas-based Cobalt, which the company bought in 2017, and Michigan-based Pursuit (acquired in 2018). The former focuses on luxury and performance boats, while the latter specializes in offshore powerboats, cruisers, and luxury sport yachts.
Only one definitive answer to the question, “who owns Axis Boats?” exists. Malibu Boats. Although these two brands have an identical wake performance DNA, they cater to different clientele.
Axis is perfect for the wakeboarder or surfer who appreciates the experience on the water more than the luxurious feel and advanced digital controls onboard the boat. Its friendlier price tag makes Axis boats more appealing to aspiring owners of high-performance Malibu boats.
Read more: Owners of ranger boats.
Ten years of enjoying countless trips on boats never made me love them any less! So I am here to put all those experiences into good use for other boaters who want to have a safe and fun trip with their friends and families.