Supra SA550 review from Supra owner and Olympic Speed Skate Coach Ryan Shimabukuro. Ryan is heavily involved in the wake community in the US and Nationally.
I first got to sit in the Supra SA at the Marine Products booth during the Utah Boat Show this past February, and the first thought that came to my mind was “I can’t wait to drive and wakeboard behind this boat”. Today, I was lucky enough to get that opportunity after being invited by Marine Products owner, Randy Alf Casper.
Here’s my review of Supra’s newest flagship wakeboard boat:
My first impression of the SA was its size, because when you’re in it, it feels a lot bigger than 22 feet. The spacious layout of the interior provides a relaxing environment for all its passengers, which is rated for 13 people. The bow area is enormous but it does not obstruct the line of sight for the driver.
I really like that they’ve gone away from using carpet on the floors, especially in the storage compartments. This reduces of the chance of mildew building up in the boat when in storage.
The quality of vinyl throughout the boat feels tremendously durable, but is also very soft and comfortable.
Typically, when there’s significant wind or boat chop, the water pounding on the hull makes it feel like it’s going to break. But the SA cut through the chop so smoothly, even when we were going 45mph into a strong headwind. At this speed, a boat this size would normally have to make a wide turn to change directions but the SA corners like it’s on rails! With strong winds, you normally get a lot of spray in the boat, especially the back seat where passengers get soaked. But the back seat remained completely dry and the bow stayed virtually untouched.
When I’m on my boat, the majority of my time spent is in the driver’s seat. So naturally, that’s usually the first place I sit when I check out a new boat because I want to make sure that I’m absolutely comfortable the entire time I’m driving. I was completely impressed with the Electronic E-Boost Height Adjustable, Racing Style driver’s seat. The range of adjustment allowed the driver to sit low enough to have an unobstructed view but could also raise high enough to look over the windshield, if preferred. If that didn’t allow the driver to sit high enough, it also comes with a Flip-up Bolster. But the best part is that the seat can be HEATED! Obviously, it’s a very nice feature, especially for those cold morning and evening sessions.
The Supra VISION Touch System does everything but drive the boat for you. Just some of the basic functions allows you to preset driver and rider profiles, fill/drain ballast, and operate the Zero Off speed control. Some additional features include GPS mapping and integrated switching. But for those of you who don’t like touch screens, you can also operate controls using the normal style switches along the dash area. Redundancy can be a great thing! The angles of the VISION screen and analog gauges on the dash eliminated any issues of glare from the sun.
The Drive by Wire shifter was very smooth and the elbow/forearm rest pad is positioned for optimal comfort and throttle control.
Engine & Drive System:
This model had the Indmar Assault 550HP LSA 6.2L MPI with a Supercharger. Here in Northern Utah, altitude can severely slow down how fast a fully ballasted wakeboard boat can get on plane, but that was not an issue with this beast. I wakeboard at 26.7mph and we achieved riding speed in about 3-5 seconds. It absolutely blew me away that at an altitude of over 6000ft and 2200lbs of ballast, the SA got on plane like we were at sea-level with no additional ballast added to the boat.
It’s obvious that the designers at Supra strive to build a boat that’s simple, yet functional and effective because the only way to describe the overall driving experience is “relaxing”! Technology is supposed to make things easier on the consumer, but some times the end-product can intimidate the consumer. But I feel Supra hit one out of the park with the SA by combining simplicity and technology.
Liquid Lead Flex Ballast System & Wake:
With 3 hard tanks and an additional 3 add-on bags (1 front & 2 rear) totaling 2200lbs of hidden ballast, this set up produced a very clean wake with a smooth transition. The wake was consistent but not intimidating. When the rear bags were completely filled, there was even space left in the rear compartments to upgrade to larger ballast bags or use for storage. I wish I had more time to play around with the ballast configuration today, just so I could get different points of view on wake setups. And unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to wakesurf behind the SA today so I can’t provide any comments relating to the surf wake.
Tower & Z5 cargo bimini:
The S-bend tower was extremely sturdy and rigid, even in the rough water conditions. This kept the wakeboards and surfboards from bouncing around in the swivel racks, eliminating the chance of damage. The one major improvement I see in the Z5 cargo bimini is that it has a zippered “sun roof” built in. For me, I normally don’t use my bimini except in extremely hot conditions or if there’s people with sensitivity to the sun. But this zippered “sun roof” now gives you the ability to have the best of both worlds at the same time.
Obviously, I wasn’t able to review all the great things that the Supra SA has to offer. However, if you any questions on the Supra SA 350-550, call Marine Products at 801-973-4017 and ask for Randy Casper or Jeremy Thornell. Thanks again for the invite Randy, I really had a great time today on the SA550!