The Bold and the Blue-tiful
This year’s special PWT edition of the Supra SA 550 is very different—and very awesome.
Since Supra began pulling the Pro Wakeboard Tour and Pro Wakesurf Tour in 2015, each season has been highlighted by the special-edition PWT boats. Featuring fully customized graphics packages, interior color combinations and PWT badging, the boats have been fan favorites. Each year, though, the boats have been some variation of red, white and gray—the colors of the PWT. This year, Supra has taken that combo and flipped it on its head. Working in lockstep with partners such as PTM Edge, JL Audio, GatorStep, ZDecals and Boatmate Trailers, the 2020 PWT edition SA 550 is a work of customized beauty. The result is this electric blue-and-black stunner that we can say looks even better in person than it does here in these pages.
Throughout the SA, you’ll find design cues and features aimed at providing as much comfort and convenience as possible. The upholstery is plush, but more than that, it stays cool, thanks to Supra’s Chill Tech Vinyl. Even on the hottest days—and even in black—the seats stay cool to the touch. Wherever you, or any passenger needs to step, you’ll find GatorStep flooring. Another touch that not only adds a level of customization and comfort, but protection to your SA’s interior, as well.
Seating is also customizable, with a flip-up bolster on the port side and a convertible rear bench that can transition into a table, as well as a rear-facing seat for watching all the on-water action. Other creature comforts passengers will appreciate are two areas for trash-can access: one in the bow walk-through and another in the floor of the main cabin. With the included heater setup, the whole crew can the crew stay warm with retractable vent hoses. For when you need shade from the sun, the oversize Bimini has you covered–literally. There’s plenty of headroom for your teallest friends, but it’s also easy to fold up should you want to let some of that vitamin D warm everybody up.
At the transom, the extra level of comfort continues with the pop-up backrests in the sun deck. It turns the whole transom into a lounge area, complete with cup holders, stereo controls and more. And about that stereo: It’s next level. The folks at JL Audio pulled out all the stops to set up an unbelievable audio experience in the SA—and every Supra, for that matter. Audio engineers used high-end equipment to measure the space of each Supra and designed audio-performance packages catered to each. In the cabin of the SA, you’ll notice speakers don’t just point straight into the middle but rather are at a specific angle. That’s for a reason, and when you crank the volume, you’ll appreciate it that much more.
The most important seat in the house is the captain’s, and on the SA 550, it’s a treat. Not only is it both comfortable and customizable with power adjustments, but it's also heated. Plus, every control over all the boat’s array of technologies is at the tip of your fingers.
The Vision Control System consists of three screens: two at the dash and one next to the passenger glove box. The main screen above the steering wheel shows the boat’s vitals, while being able to toggle between rearview-camera displays, navigation, media and AutoWake. The second screen, to the right of the helm, can display a variety of information and allow the captain to control ballast, rider presets, media and a GoPro camera. This feature is particularly slick. Pair your GoPro camera to your Vision Control System, mount it to the transom (Supra has built-in mounting points on both sides), and the driver can control everything from the dash, so you never miss getting your best action clips.
Redundant controls are housed on the steering wheel, allowing for changes to boat speed, wake-plate settings, surfing port or starboard, audio, AutoWake, and much more without having to touch a screen. For an added bonus, the helm is also equipped with a wireless phone charger. Drop yours in and you don’t have to worry about draining your battery while playing your favorite Spotify jams.
All-New for 2020
While the Supra SA has helped set records and launch the PWT into the stratosphere the past five years, Supra saw room for improvement. Sounds crazy, right? But for 2020, one of the best boats on the market has gotten even better. In fact, from the full test we put the 2020 SA through back in the fall, we’re confident in saying that it is the best all-around 22-foot wakeboat on the market.
For starters, the running surface has been updated to produce even cleaner wakes and waves, while still retaining their world-class shape and power. Above the water, you’ll notice new running lines, which give the SA a sleeker, longer look, while keeping the aggressive stance it’s become famous for.
Room for Everybody
In a 22-foot boat with room for 16, you’re going to need room for a lot of gear. Thanks to its subfloor ballast and creative designs, the SA has plenty. From the deep storage areas beneath each seat, to the giant rear compartments and versatile surf locker, the SA can carry plenty. Of course, you also have the convenience (and killer looks) of the FxONE power folding tower. Equipped with PTM Edge clamping board racks and surf storage on top of the bimini, you’ve got the ability to hold six boards.
The star of the SA—and every Supra, for that matter—is undoubtedly AutoWake, Supra’s patented wake-optimization technology. Think of AutoWake as autopilot for your wakes and waves. Here’s how it works:
AutoWake consists of four patented onboard systems that measure the pitch, roll, yaw and displacement of the boat. It takes control of the boat’s onboard ballast system to automatically optimize the boat’s riding attitude and works alongside wake-shaping technologies—SmartPlate and Swell Surf 3.0—to create the desired wakes and waves. This means that even as passengers move about the boat, AutoWake’s sensors will allow it to compensate to keep the wake or wave at the ideal setting.
Let’s say you’ve got a beginner rider that wants to learn to surf on the port side of the boat. Select the preset in the AutoWake page of the dash, and the boat does the rest. It will adjust ballast as needed to optimize what you want. The same goes for an advanced wakeboarder who wants the biggest wakes possible. Anytime a rider finds a wake or wave setting they really like, it can be saved as a customized preset, so you don’t have to worry about figuring out which parts of the ballast system to fill and how much the next time you hit the water.
On top of that, AutoWake features predictive-state capabilities. Select the wake or wave settings you want while still at the dock, and AutoWake will prep the boat, so it’s ready to go when you are. Much of this happens quicker than you’d think, thanks in large part to the Mega Velocity Ballast System. By using six high-output pumps (two per ballast zone), the SA’s ballast fills up fast. Of course, if the wake or wave are not dialed in as the rider gets up, AutoWake will continue making adjustments until it’s just right.
New for 2020 is an automatic leveling feature. Designed for cruising speeds, AutoWake will utilize the Swell surf plate as needed to keep the boat level. Now when you’re done for the day and ready to head back to the dock, you don’t have to worry about moving people around to level the boat, AutoWake will do it for you.
Words: Garrett Cortese
Wakeboarding Magazine PWT SIP Edition