2022 Regal LS6 Surf 2.0 boat review, price, specs

Overview

Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive opened up the sterndrive market to compete with v-drive tugs in the popular wakesurf market. However, more than one manufacturer has found that shaping a stellar surf wake isn’t as easy as adding ballast, tossing a set of generic surf tabs and switching to Forward Drive to keep the prop out of danger. Regal is one maker that seems to have found the secret sauce. The LS6 Surf 2.0 is one of the best Forward Drive boats we’ve tested to date, producing big wakes with plenty of thrust and a deep pocket for riders to strut around in. The fact that the LS6 is also an impressive bowrider when it’s not making waves is just icing on the cake.

Ballast pumps can significantly increase the size of the wake.
Regal courtesy boats

Regal’s surf recipe starts with the basics. Forward Drive positions props forward of the drive rather than aft, which places sharp and thorny items well under the hull and creates a safer area behind the boat for the rider. Ballast, in this case 2,000 pounds of water pumped into bags positioned at the bottom of the two aft storage compartments and forward of two sole compartments, sets the hull deeper in the water to significantly increase the size of the wake. This 2.0 upgrade includes new pumps to fill bags faster and quieter than previous models. Forward Drive can then exploit electric trim, an advantage not found on V-drive boats, to alter the boat’s angle of travel and further influence the size, shape and length of the wake.

The LS6 Surf clearly benefits from all of these features, but it’s those surf tabs – oversized transom-mounted trim plates that move up or down to influence the flow of water exiting the hull – which have arguably the most profound influence on wave surfing. And there, Regal has clearly done its homework. The specs are proprietary, but Regal started with tabs from Wake Worx, modified them to their individual specs, and adapted them to work with the LS hull design. The result is a wake that features an exceptionally deep pocket, and our test riders found it taller and sturdier. Riders also enjoyed plenty of thrust at almost every point on the course and a clean, firm wave face.

Another approach that manufacturers have had strong results with surf waves is to license the Malibu Surf Gate. Using technology proven on the builder’s popular V-drive models, Surf Gate consists of vertical tabs that swing outward from the corners of the transom to create an awesome surf wave. Chaparral and Cobalt are currently using the technology with good results. Of equal horsepower, the 26 Surf from Chaparral starts at $169,672 and the R6 Surf from Cobalt at $189,624.

LS6 surf helmet
Two 9-inch Volvo Penta touchscreens sit at the helm.
Regal courtesy boats

Speed, ballast, trim and tab deployment are all easy to control at the LS6’s helm via Volvo Penta’s watersports control built into a pair of touchscreens that incorporate controls for the audio system as well as all VP’s glass cockpit functions, including engine and navigation data. For 2022, the screens have been upgraded to 9 inches. Enter and save preferred settings for up to three riders, then instantly recall them without having to re-enter individual settings.

Interior and Accessories

Turn your attention from wake potential inboard and the LS6 continues to impress. A cockpit redesign added 6 inches to the interior beam, allowing seating to extend from entry to entry. It also flows seamlessly back and forth from the consoles to the swim platform. Twin port and starboard benches convert to double-width helm and passenger seats, both featuring swiveling backrests to allow occupants to face forward while underway, or rearward when socializing or action in the back. Regal’s Comfort Curve creates what would otherwise be a comfort-stealing right angle between these seats as they flow out to the UltraLounge, a pair of sunpad-like benches that extend from the edge of the cockpit to the swim platform and flank a central walk-through. Both feature swivel backs that can face forwards or backwards. Tilt the backrest to form a chaise longue. Deploy a hinged section tucked into the bottom cushion and create a rumble seat that’s ideal when using the swim platform to get ready or relax at the sandbar.

LS6 Surf front seats
Plush seats are found up front.
Regal courtesy boats

Oversized, sturdy stainless steel grab handles on the seatbacks make it easy to pivot both backrests into position and provide handholds while moving between the cockpit and deck. The multi-density foam in the seat cushions does not bottom out, providing exceptional comfort. Storage extends 6 feet below port and starboard benches. Forward, the forward cockpit is spacious and deep. As in the main cockpit, storage is available under the seats and grab handles. LED accent lighting and charging ports await you in the interior cutouts.

LS6 Surf Cockpit
Regal’s Ultra Lounges span both port and starboard sides.
Regal courtesy boats

Motor

Along the way, the LS6 performs like the sporty runabout, it’s below all the surf and wake extras. Regal’s patented FasTrac hull combines a deep V front with a mid-beam pitch to introduce air under the hull, which historically results in better top speed potential, superior fuel economy and the ability to achieve the same performance targets with smaller, more efficient engines. . Our test boat’s Volvo Penta V-8 350 EVC powered the LS6 hard out of the hole and topped out at over 47 mph. Turn the wheel into a corner and the hull responds quickly, with Forward Drive moving the pivot point of the boat forward and creating a more responsive feel than the average sterndrive.

Now who wants to go surfing?

How we tested

  • Motor: Volvo Penta 350 hp 5.3L 350 EVC V-8
  • Drive/Propeller: Volvo Penta Forward Drive/Volvo Penta K4 Propeller Set
  • Gear ratio: 2.14:1 Fuel load: 63 gal. Crew weight: 485 pounds

Strong points

  • The Power Tower S2 climbs and descends faster than average and does not interfere with the bar when lowered mid-ride.
  • The standard Bimini top includes surfboard sleeves, pockets that store surfboards above and outside the cockpit.
  • The main port console compartment is rare in the water sports segment. A chemical toilet is standard; upgrade to a pump or electric flush model with a sink and vent.

Weak points

  • The hull is nimble and responsive, but can feel a little jittery as the driver enters a turn when combined with Forward Drive.
  • Given an otherwise exceptional attention to detail, storage revealed exposed wiring that could be damaged when loading equipment, and exposed screw threads partially covered in putty waiting to snag a bare hand.

Prices and specifications

Price: $148,390 (with test power)
LOA: 26’3.5″
Beam: 8’6″
Draft (max): 3’6″
Shift: 5,380 pounds
Deck Clearance: 5’7″
Maximum cabin height: 4’0″
Fuel capacity: 74 gal.
Maximum power : 380
Power available: 380 hp Volvo Penta Forward Drive engine package

Speed, Operation, Efficiency

Regal LS6 Surf performance data
Regal LS6 Surf Certified Test Results
Nautical Magazine

royal boats – Orlando Florida; 800-US-REGAL; regalboats.com

About Patricia Kilgore

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