The Surf Gate system and the Tabs (Trim Tabs) system are both technologies used on watercrafts. Particularly surf boats, to enhance and control the boat's wake and overall riding experience. They serve similar purposes but have differences in terms of functionality and implementation.
Surf Gate System:
The Surf Gate system, shown below, is a patented technology developed by Malibu Boats. It's primarily used in wakeboarding and wakesurfing boats to create customizable surf waves on either side of the boat. The system consists of two plates mounted on the rear corners of the boat, which can be individually deployed into the water to shape the wake. These plates are controlled electronically, and they can be adjusted in real-time while the boat is moving to create a surfable wave on the side of the boat that's desired.
Tabs (Trim Tabs) System:
Trim tabs, shown below, often referred to simply as tabs, are adjustable surfaces attached to the stern (rear) of a boat hull. These tabs can be adjusted up or down using hydraulic or electric actuators to control the boat's pitch and roll. By adjusting the tabs, the operator can optimize the boat's trim angle in various water conditions, enhancing stability, fuel efficiency, surf wake, and overall performance. While trim tabs were not originally designed for creating surf wakes, they still have a very impactful effect on the boat's wake characteristics. The tabs are controlled electronically and adjustable in real time to make a customized wave on either side of the boat.
In summary, the main differences between the Surf Gate system and the Tabs system are:
Surf Gate: Designed specifically for creating customizable surf waves for activities like wakesurfing and wakeboarding.
Tabs: Designed for optimizing boat trim, stability, and performance of wakesurfing and wakeboarding.
Surf Gate: Primarily used in wakeboarding and wakesurfing boats to enhance the wake for riders.
Tabs: Used across a broader range of boats to improve stability, fuel efficiency, handling, and wake shape.
Surf Gate: Controlled electronically to adjust the size and shape of the surf wave in real-time.
Tabs: Adjusted electronically to adjust the boat's trim angle and performance to create different size and shape of the surf wave in real-time.
Both systems contribute to the overall experience of boating and water sports, but the technology behind them works differently. The tabs system is extremely customizable and does not favor one side of the boat over the other.