|Type||Vessels, Vessel Parts and Supplies|
|Industry||Vessels, Vessel Parts and Supplies|
|Headquarters||Loudon, Tennessee, USA|
|Key people||Jack Springer, CEO|
Malibu, which is headquartered in Loudon, Tennessee, is a United States manufacturer of recreational boats, founded in 1982. Malibu is notable as a major manufacturer of water sports boats, used both recreationally and in water skiing and wakeboarding events.
In 1982, a group of six friends who shared a common passion for water skiing decided to start building custom ski boats in a small shop in Merced, California. Robert Alkema founded the organization. During the first year of operation, Malibu built two boats per week using a single-hull design and each boat, with its blended gel coat design had California flare. By 1984, Malibu had repaid its initial loan and was building over 400 boats a year. Financially conservative, Alkema had directed the company to turn a profit in just over two years. By 1988, with a nine percent share of the market, the California plant was at full production. To satisfy increased demand, the company opened a second plant in Tennessee. By the end of the year, Malibu had built almost 1,000 custom ski boats and had been awarded their first Product Excellence Award for Value by Powerboat Magazine. By the end of 1992, Malibu had built a new production facility in Loudon, Tennessee to accommodate the increased demand east of the Mississippi. They removed all wood from the construction, and introduced the new, patented, Fiberglass Engine Chassis System (FibECS) which eliminated vibration and noise associated with the drivetrain.
Fueled by innovation along with growth in the towboat segment, Malibu built more boats every year and assumed the #1 market share position from 2004 through 2008. In 2006, Black Canyon Capital, as the primary investor, acquired Malibu Boats. In June 2009, Jack Springer became CEO of Malibu Boats. He had previous experience in the marine industry, but also a large amount of leadership experience in other industries. Since 2009, Malibu has undergone substantial changes including a new brand launch called Axis Wake Research, and new innovations such as the Malibu Touch Screen, G-3 Tower, keyless ignition and now SURF GATE.
After showing resilience through the US economy recession, Malibu now commands a widening market share of almost one-third of the market, with domestic market share growth of nearly seven percent in the last three years. As of Fall 2012, Statistical Surveys, Inc. places Malibu as the market share leader at 24.1 percent. Combined with Axis Wake Research, the pair is responsible for 30.0 percent of the market. (Source: http://www.statisticalsurveys.com)
In 2012, Malibu sponsored wakeboarding’s biggest event to date, the Red Bull Wake Open, towed by the WAKESETTER 22 MXZ. Tens of thousands of fans flocked to downtown Tampa, Florida for the three categories of competition and the event aired for two hours live on NBC Saturday afternoon as part of the Red Bull Signature Series. Never before had the brand seen such a spike in exposure, awareness and online interaction. Also in 2012, Malibu launched SURF GATE, a new innovation that allows for an evenly weighted boat to produce a wakesurfing wave with the ability to switch sides on the fly or even quickly switch between wakeboarding and wakesurfing and back again.
The Malibu Pro Team consists of several world champions and world record holders in both wakeboarding and water skiing. For 2013, the wakeboarding team consists of: Raph Derome, Phillip Soven, Amber Wing, Brian Grubb, Chad Sharpe, Dallas Friday, Olivier Derome, Cobe Mikacich and Tarah Mikacich. The water ski team includes Thomas Degasperi, Will Asher and current women’s world record holder Regina Jaquess (3 buoys @ 41 feet off).
Malibu’s current lineup includes the popular WAKESETTER series ranging from 20–24 feet. They also produce the RESPONSE series of water ski boats, which have towed many world records.