This is the review of my 2022 MB Sports B52 Classic. I purchased this boat this spring and have put over 90 hours on it. I will go over why I bought it, my ownership experience and most importantly the surf wave.
MB Boat Background
MB is a small family owned business located in California founded in 1993. They are a small batch company only producing 250-300 boats annually. MB is focused on quality builds using premium materials at a competitive price. MB stands for Mike Brendel, the founder. The Brendel family has been building boats since the 1970s. You can read more about their history here.
MB B52 Boat Specs
Years Made: 2018- current
Dry Weight: 5,200 lbs
Wet Weight: (Estimated) with trailer: 7,200
Fuel Capacity: 65 Gallons
Seating Capacity: 16
Factory Ballast: 4,725
Engine: Indmar Raptor 400
MB Sports B52 Review Highlights
Amazing wave everytime out
Simple surf and ballast system
Base model trailer
Small touch screen
My Background: I’ve been around boats for my entire life. I’ve been a hardcore watersports enthusiasts for over 35 years. I was a competitive slalom skier in the 90s, I wakeboarded seriously over 20 years, and started wakesurfing recreationally in 2002. We were some of the first guys wakesurfing out here in Utah. About five years ago I hung up the wakeboard permanently and have become obsessed with wakesurfing progression. I’ve owned many boats, ridden more than I can count, spent thousands of hours behind the wheel and behind the boat.
Usage: I use my MB B52 exclusively for wakesurfing with occasional entertaining/chilling. A typical day on the lake is to drop the boat in at 8am, surf, and we’re off the water by 11 or 12. My crew typically is small with 3-5 advanced riders that push each other to get better. My boat to me is a workhorse for wakesurfing rather than a luxury good or status symbol. I’m not a typical recreational rider that spends the day on the lake cruising, tubing, or hanging out in party cove, we just surf. I am a minority in the boating world as most of the people that own MBs/surf boats are recreational boats and use them for the activities mentioned above.
Why did I purchase a MB Sports B52 Classic?
I wanted a reliable and quality boat that produced an awesome wave every single time out. I owned a 2019 Centurion Fi21 and my experience was a complete let down to say the least. The boat before my Centurion was a modified 2004 Tige 22V, that boat was very reliable and put out a wave that would rival many new boats today.
With the MB I get a brand new boat with a touch of old school simplicity, which is exactly what I was looking for. From my personal experience more technology means more things to break, thus losing time on the water.
If you spend any time in any boat group on Facebook, you’ll find daily problems posted about software, surf systems, touch screen problems, ballast systems, etc. It doesn’t matter the brand, as these boats get more complex you’re going to have problems. Simple is better for me.
One cool thing about MB is that you can order them any way you like; from crazy gel coat schemes, wild interiors, mild, or classy. Whatever your flavor, MB can do it up for you..
On my boat, everything metal has been powder coated white and I dig it. I have white surf tabs, surf pipe, center tab, windshield, tower, and many other smaller items. I’ve never seen any other company do the powder coating to this level.
I bought this boat from the floor at the boat show, so I did not custom order it like most MBs. However, it is spec’d out nearly identical to how I would have done it with options along with the colorways. The moment I saw this boat I knew it was the one for me.
Why did I choose the MB Classic vs the Alpha?
The Classic shares the same running surface and ballast as the Alpha so the waves are identical. The boats differ by styling and features. I also prefer the styling of the Classic’s straight lines over the Alpha’s swooping lines. I’m old school and this is a good looking boat with a timeless design to me.
The Alpha is also more expensive as it has a little bit more free board, flip-up rear seats for chilling, and stadium seating along with a few other minor differences. Those all are things I don’t need and won’t add to my experience on the lake, so I couldn’t justify the cost difference.
Interior Review of the MB Sports B5 Classic
Just because this is a “value” boat, it doesn’t mean it’s cheaply made or stripped down. The interior is equipped with premium materials that are durable, classy, and have a quality feel. It’s not as plush as boats costing over $200K like Supra, Nautique, or Mastercraft, it’s still very nice for this price point category.
The fit and finish is excellent as well, you can tell this is a high quality boat assembled with pride. The two color Gatorstep eva flooring adds a touch of class as well.
The storage space is more than adequate to store a few boat boards, life jackets, anchors, bumpers, lines, tools, and other essentials.
One might find the storage short if you’re bringing coolers, toys, bags, food, and a boat full of people for a long day on the lake.
However, for me and what I need to store, it’s perfect. The Alpha model has more storage if that’s what you need. All the seats of hinges as well, which some boats in this price category don’t have. It really blows my mind there are $100K+ boats that don’t have seat hinges!
Technology review of the MB Sports B52 Classic
This boat has no technology per say, the most advanced thing on this boat is the GPS speed control. The LCD screen (new for 2022) is small and basic- You control the ballast and surf side though the touch screen, that’s it. I do wish the screen and touch icons were bigger as my fingers sometimes choose the wrong items, but it works just fine. There are physical buttons for speed, bilge, heater, etc. Essential engine gauges are mechanical dials to display the RPM, Fuel, Temp, etc
One thing to consider, especially if shopping for a used boat out of warranty, is touch screen failure. Screen failure is common these days in all brands and expect to pay $2,500 to $6,000 for replacement, if you can get one. The MB screen is very simple, so if it were to go out I imagine it’d be cheaper to replace than multiple 10” touch screens on a “premium” boat.
I’ve been on many “top tier” boats with the latest and greatest technology. I can appreciate it but I don’t need it. For how I use my boat I can tell you that having all the tech doesn’t increase my enjoyment as a serious wakesurfer. I care much more about what’s going on behind the boat than in it.
Key Options on my MB B52:
A must have item for me is a cold weather package that consists of a heater, wind dam for the walkway, and a heated driver seat. I typically ride deep into November in Southern Utah and start back up in March. Staying warm is something that’s needed to be comfortable out there.
Good Racks are also key for me. Typically we have 4-6 nice boards with us and they need a safe place to be kept. A typical high end board costs around $1,000 and is very fragile. I have Skylon Skylock racks, they are expensive at $3,700 a pair, but essential to me. These racks cradle the boards securely to prevent damage that bungee style and clamp style racks can cause. I also keep the boards covered with board socks for sun protection when in the racks.
My favorite addiction has been the HyperRyd Designs surf racks. These racks attach to the tower and your board hangs from it. When the bimini top is deployed, your fragile boards are protected from the sun which can cause delamination and yellowing. They’re convenient and easy to use. On previous boats I would keep my boards in surf bags in the bow, having premium racks is a game changer for me.
MB B52 Review of riding and driving
This boat rides and drives excellent. visibility is also great when surfing with very little bow rise without the need for an aftermarket seat riser. This boat has a very deep hull, so the rough water ride is one of the best out there for a surf boat. It’s not quite as smooth as Centurions but VERY close. I’m typically not out on rough or windy days but I’ve been in 2’ chop and it rolls right though it with ease. Same with big rollers on the lake, you won’t get slammed when you hit them like many other brands, it’s very smooth.
The steering input and throttle response is awesome with a good feel and response. Low speed docking maneuverability is great too, it’s easy to get on the trailer and maneuver back to the rider. It drives like a much smaller boat.
My MB B52 is equipped with a Ford Indmar Raptor motor that has 350 hp and 404 ft lbs of torque. It’s a very popular motor that’s reliable, they are used in Tige/ATX, Supra/Moomba, Sanger, and more.
The Raptor 400 has been more than adequate for my needs. I boat at 6,500 ft in the mountains of Utah, even with full ballast and six people in the boat this boat gets up to surf speed no problem.
The one downfall of the Raptor motor is that they are loud, this boat is louder than a Centurion but certainly not unbearable. I added sound deadening in the engine compartment which helped bring the noise level down quite a bit, that was really affordable and easy to install.
With full ballast and XXXXX prop, I’m running about 3,200-3,400 rpms going 11.4 mph.
Fuel economy is also decent for pushing over 10,000 lbs of displacement. I’ve been estimating 6-7 GPH in fuel burn. Typically three surfers with two 15-20 minutes sessions each the total burn is about 12 gallons.
MB B52 Technology Review
This is the best part about the boat IMO, it’s simple and gets the job done. The MB also has the second most factory right behind Centurion at over 5,000 lbs. The ballast consists of two large sub floor tanks (1,200 lbs each), two piggy back fat sacs (1,100lbs each) on top of the tanks in the rear lockers, and 500lb bow sack.
The tanks are filled through 4” large outlets in the stern controlled by manual valves. The valves are located next to the driver. In order to fill the tanks, you pull the levers down to open the valves and water floods in. It takes about 45 seconds to fill the tanks. Once the tanks are full as indicated by the dash gauge, you close the levers then start the fat sac pumps.
The two rear fat sacs are turned on through the dash touch screen, and powered by Atwood 1200 gph pumps. These are aerator pumps that are quiet, quick, and cheap to repair if needed. The rear sacs take about 7 min to fill.
The front sac is a standard Jabsco reversible pump, it only takes about 4 minutes to fill and empty.
My favorite part about this boat is the quick draining. Since the rear sacks are connected to the tanks, they drain via gravity, there are no reverse pumps. I pull the levers to open the tank valves which causes sacs to drain. To drain the tanks, I drive at 15 mph or so. When the dash indicates the tanks are empty you manually shut the valves again. The boat is completely drained in less than 5 minutes, which is huge plus when often we are surfing before work and every minute counts on the water. I fully drain the tanks when pulling it up the boat ramp.
Another huge plus in my books are the manual valves which are less prone to failure and easy to use. I had constant problems and had to replace a few of the electronic valves on my Centurion.
MB Sports B52 Surf System Review
The MB B52 surf system is simple, very simple to use and adjust. It is equipped with large Go Surf Assist tabs and an adjustable center plate. To set up you fill all of the ballast to 100%, hit surf left or right, and the wave is nearly perfect out of the box.. You can control the wave’s
character via speed and the center tab. If you want a skim style wave with a smooth transition, slow the speed down to 11 mph and about 35% on the trm tab. For a perfect surf style wave that is long, clean, firm and with a good lip I go 11.4 mph with the tab at 30%.
Getting a great wave every time is idiot proof, which is what I love about this boat. There are no pitch and roll settings, the need to remember ideal combination of ballast percentages, center and surf plate settings. The surf system is either on or off with no surf tab adjustments, but don’t let that deter you. With the MB the wave is on point, EVERY SINGLE TIME!
On my old Centurion the wave was rarely consistent, and the settings were different every single time because of wind, crew size and position. It was a great wave when dialed but it wasn’t always like that.
My wife is my driver most of the time and having so many settings to change caused her a lot of stress trying to dial my wave in. With the MB I rarely have her make any adjustments, if anything it’s center plate with minor adjustments.
MB Sports B52 Surf Wave Review
My MB B52 produces one of the best waves I’ve ever been behind in the 20 years I’ve been doing this. Is it the largest or longest out there? Nope, but it’s an awesome pro level wave, this wave will satisfy any surfer. Everybody that surfs this wave loves it and I have some wave snob friends. If you’re 300lbs and on the right sized board, I can guarantee this boat has the “push” you need.
I see on a daily basis people chasing the biggest and baddest wave that only a handful will benefit from. The hard truth is 90% of recreational surfers fall into the novice to intermediate category. I will never outgrow this wave, in just the short time I’ve had this boat my riding has progressed significantly.
I don’t waste any time dialing in the MB wave, did I mention it was consistent? I know people who have been screwing around with their waves trying to get them right for years.
I do run an additional 200 lbs of lead in the bow and 150 lbs of moveable weight in the rear since I run with a small crew. If you have a large crew, no weight is needed and the wave is massive. This boat does not need 1,000 lbs of lead like a lot of other boats do.
Both the regular and goofy sides of the wave are equally great. If the wave does need some cleaning up, we simply slide some weight to that side.
The wave is very firm, fast, and long enough to set up for any pro level trick. Surf Style riders will love the firm lip that provides massive pop for airs for even the heaviest of riders. The end of the wave has a very distinct curl, this is a good indicator to let you know you’re at the limit. There is also great push at the end of the wave, perfect for recovery. This wave makes it easy to stick tricks that weren’t executed perfectly, think of it as a safety net.
Stereo review on the MB Sports B52
The boat is equipped with a clarion head unit, two 10” JL tower speakers, a 10” subwoofer and six speakers inside the boat. The stereo is basic and fine for me, I can easily hear the music clearly while I ride, that’s all I ask for. I’m not into blasting tunes that you can hear across the lake or deafening my passengers. If you’re an audiophile,you probably will want to upgrade the system.
MB B52 Bimini Review
The MB Bimini looks good, provides ample coverage and has two pockets to store surfboards. Putting it takes a little practice but after a few times you can set up and put it down in a minute or two. Stowing the bimini away is easier as a two person job but doable by yourself. The bimini isn’t as convenient as a SewLong but it’s not terrible.. Even though the bimini has pockets I wouldn’t put any of my good boards in them as the top gets hot and is in direct sunlight.
Metalcraft Trailer Review
This has a Metalcraft trailer that is made in SLC, Utah. One of my disappointments is the trailer. This is a lower end one, it has drum brakes instead of better stopping disc brakes, a low end coupler that can be difficult to set/remove, and leaf spring suspension instead of better riding/quieter torsion bars. The trailer does the job fine and tows excellent but I wish it were better equipped.
I bought this boat from The Boat Shack in Utah. The whole experience dealing with them from purchase to servicing has been awesome. The sales process went smoothly with zero pressure and fair negotiations. They didn’t try to upsell me nor tack on a bunch of bs fees. These guys even drove four hours from Northern Utah to Southern Utah to pick up my old boat and deliver the new one!
I had an issue with the surf system when I first got the boat, they got me into the shop immediately and repaired it in a few days. Some dealers have long waitlists and long turn around times, these guys are fast!
The Boat Shack vibe is just my style. They are not stuck up and treat you like family when you roll in. I’ve experienced much snobbery while visiting other dealers in the past if you don’t seem to fit their ideal demographic.
Who is the MB Sports B52 for?
The water sports enthusiast who values a quality made, reliable boat with no gimmicks at a solid price. With the MB you know you’re going to get a great surf out everytime.
If you’re seeking boat ramp clout, ultra luxury, and cutting edge technology, this isn’t the boat for you. But if you’re looking for a surf machine that will put a big smile on your face every time you see that huge barreling wave, this is it.
Final thoughts on my MB B52 Review
I love this boat! As stated before this isn’t the fanciest boat on the water that draws attention and wows your guests with technology. This is a serious surf machine, you’ll be hard pressed to find a boat that puts out a wave this clean and consistent at this price point or anywhere really..
The value proposition of this boat is unreal as you’re getting a 200K+ wave for a fraction of the price as “top tier” boats. I plan on keeping this boat for at least another season. Will I buy another MB? I would in a second unless something else catches my eye.
Go out and demo one if you can! If you’re in UT and want to surf or have me review your boat hit me up!