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Persuade me to buy a surf craft^

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 7:36 pm
by Mark R
I am considering buying a proper surf boat for the first time ever.

At the moment, I especially enjoy big blunts, pan ams and donkey flips in the surf. Awesome feeling.

Please excuse my ignorance. Can surf kayaks do this sort of thing? If they can't...well, what can they do? Why might I want one? Do you have to wear the silly 'visor' helmet?

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 7:50 pm
by Jim
The only convincing you will need is to try one - they just feel completely different on the wave, if you thought your polythene playboat felt good, a proper surf boat will blow your mind.

If I didn't have so many other toys and so little cash I'd get one!


Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:05 pm
by Bertie..
Mark, there's no better feeling than a hard, carving bottom turn, looking up to the lip of a curling wave, then hitting a huge re-entry of it when you hit it at speed...

Grinds, crashes, aerial regains, floaters, off the lip re-entries will soon cure you of that playboat mentality.. ;-)

Feel free to meet up and borrow my maruader sometime and have a quick play, you'll soon understand!


Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:32 pm
by mikeybaby
Mark, you would not enter a WWR in your play boat would you? or take your sea kayak to hurley? So why take a play boat on the surf?

At the very least you need a fin on a flat hull. If you could surf (properly not just rivers moves on salt water) without a fin/skeg, then surf boards would not have one!!!!!

Don't get me wrong, I would probably stand on the beach and clap at your river boat tricks. But surfing can be so much more.

It frustrates me to watch the good paddlers in my club get on a wave and make a straight run to the beach flat spining not realising the potential energy in the power pocket etc.

Its all down to whether you want to SURF or just play on a big salty wave train river

I have only paddled the old fashioned surf shoes in the kayak form, but I have paddled surf skis. Once you master the stability you will feel nothing faster.

Interested to see which way you swing, let us know.

surf boat

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:42 pm
by paddletastic2
I was a real sceptic and then tried this;


Mega Maverick

The photo doesn't do it justice, but it is the best thing I have ever paddled in the surf. I was put off by composite boats and didn't want to spend a fortune. The plastic boat was a compromise but it does mean i can treat it a normal manner.

It is noticable faster than any kayak i have previously paddled in the surf.
I'm a convert and wish I had bought one sooner.

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:02 am
by StoneWeasel
Mark you might want to goet in touch with James Hawker of Future Kayaks. He likes playboating moves and he like surfing moves and he makes really really good boats starting at £499.
James recently piloted his boats into the finals of both international and high perfomance classes at the world surf champoinships in costa rica

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:24 pm
by greensurfer
Mark, look at the North Devon surf this weekend, then go and watch the surf boats and boardies flying on those eight foot faces, better still try and blag a go in a surf boat. Perfect conditions forecast this weekend and looking good today! It's all about SPEED really.

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:40 pm
by greensurfer

This Weekend!

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:55 pm
Hi Mark.
I have demo boats down in Bude if you want to head that way.

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:09 pm
by StoneWeasel
Oh yes and watch out when doing deals with Malcom direct! He makes Del Boy look honest and has tried to rip me off in the past more than once.

If he offers you a cheap boat work out what is wrong with it yourself and don't belive what ever reason he tells you as to why he is selling it cheap.

I would have prefered to have made this post anonomously but as I am not planning on buying a boat from Malcom again I suppose it does not matter that much.

edt: very slightly reworded after recieving PM from mega

That's Slander isn't it?

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:20 pm
by Underwater Squirt Dawg
Surely that's slander Stone Weasle. If I were Malcolm I would be talking to my Lawyer.

Surely Mark should also be worried about hosting comments like that?

By the way how can you look at the finish quality of a Future Kayak and compare it to a Mega boat? Then reccomend it?

Are you mad or employed by Future Kayaks?

Re: That's Slander isn't it?

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:35 pm
by Mark R
Underwater Squirt Dawg wrote:Surely Mark should also be worried about hosting comments like that?
I'm not worried in the slightest...and you should know that nothing is more likely to switch off my sympathetic side than telling me my job.

I'm sure the folk concerned are capable of responding and presenting their own case eloquently and reasonably, or of getting in touch with me if they have a concern.

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:01 pm
by barney
Are you mad or employed by Future Kayaks?
..and what about you? Are you an employee of Malcolm, Mr Keen?!

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:54 pm
by Mark R
So...what is going on here then?

Barney you are a long way out!

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:55 pm
by Underwater Squirt Dawg
Any fool can trace a web site owner but Im nothing to do with him or Sansara Barney. No point in guessing further - but thanks for the earlier apologie.

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:23 pm
by meatballs
I so want to go home for the surf this weekend... <sob> Borrowing a proper surf boat would be nice too :)

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:51 am
by Jim
guidebook wrote:So...what is going on here then?
Looks like the guy has converted his cutback into a kickflip, you'd never build enough speed for that in a poly playboat ;)

Ah yes the internet and free speech, what wonderful concepts. The first track on Garage inc. illustrates my feelings nicely!


Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 9:05 am
by greensurfer
I tried to post this site too but lost it somewhere - look at the photo's for all of November then look at November 19th.
Surf kayaks are all about speed and more recently arial moves and barrel rolls. The surf kayak is the only tool for the job, you won't really be in full control on a wave face in a playboat or gain any extra speed above that of the wave. There seems to have been a few second hand Mavericks about lately (cheap) this is I think because their initial stability is poor so they are unsuitable for inexperianced kayakers. Bargain boat to add to your quiver though!

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 9:54 am
by CaptainSensible

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:02 pm
by Phil...
So...what is going on here then?
I'm a bit new to the surf kayak world but from what I understand there's a clash between the traditional surfers who go to competitions to be judged by boardies on their ability and style to rip up a wave - and whilst they have two classes (International [over 3m, no concaves, no fins] and High Performance (anything)) a huge kickflip doesn't necessarily win you the heat - (first 3 points are for take-off, middle 4 for your ride and then last three for the exit move). But this is from an 'expression session', promoting the sport with what is possible.

Chris, who is temp. residing in the NE, is pretty inspirational to boat with and has trained hard for the late worlds in Costa Rica, with him taking a direction to learn off wave-skiiers - with criticism from some that if that's what they want they should ski - he's getting more air than most and retaining huge moves even on measly surf. From what I can tell it's skill helped by a short, aggressive, fast, v. light Mega Fury - a lapbelt and not sure about the short 0deg. paddles!!

- I'll let you know if this is right someday, maybe ;)

I've got a Mega Marauder
and have been able to adapt to it easily coming from river boats - some surf kayaks I found can have very straight legs, are v. unstable etc. but this lets me get around the wave comfortably - you might need to consider foot room!

If its the long-board style of surf kayaking you like - soul surfing - ripping up the wave till dooms day but not pulling off any particularly large moves - the Double Dutch screamer is recommended but in short supply - v. light, well made, stiff and comfortable. On large lumpy surf this type of boat is in a class of its own.


Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:45 pm
by meagre goat
Hi Mark,

Trust me you need a surf boat in your life and no you dont have to wear a silly visor helmet.

I must admit I do wear one accasionaly and two pairs of trousers and its never done me any harm *hick*

I only don a helmet if its rocky to be honest.

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 7:52 pm
by Fast Pat

What you really need is a ski

Light enough to take on holiday - without coming back deformed, and none of that sitting on the beach with your fins stuck whilst you try to get your spraydeck on.


And it just so happens i've got a secondhand one for sale!

Budgie Smugglers

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:02 am
by Chris-toe
Guys first of all I have to agree with Jim free speech is a luxury we should enjoy and promote without getting too precious.

In coaching or personal development – we see every response as a valid response. So lets keep it healthy and take peoples opinions for what they are and not engage in muck slinging as a means of one-up manship.

Chances are if your reading this forum then you are probably a boater or a surfer – hopefully the type of person who can transcend above the crap.

We all have opinions and a right to express them – like men wearing thongs – some guys do and some don’t ;o) (if you do maybe you shouldn’t – but only my opinion!)

Anyway the point:

I believe most of the responses I’ve read today are barking up the wrong tree so to speak. Although Pat certainly hit the nail on the head.

After my first ten years on a ski I transferred across to the radical new composite boat. Like Stoneweasel I didn’t really enjoy the process of dealing with the Manfacturer or surfing the boat. So fairly quickly gravitated back to an Alan Neighbour – Pro Designs Ski and ten years on I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The combination of speed, manoeuvrability, late take offs and flying off the lip – generate more excitement for me than the Brazillian Ladies Beach Volley Ball Team! OK the last bits not true!

It fascinates me that ten years on, whilst Compoisite Surf Kayak manufacturers are nearing Ski Design they still aren’t there.

A cynic, or business man might suggest that this could be because kayakers are too willing to spend HUGE amounts of cash on microscopic Baby-Steps in design.

Rather than grabbing a wetsuit and paddle and taking a huge Balls-Out Leap onto a ski and the potential it offers!!!

Who can count how many models of surf kayak have been released by any one manufacturer in the last five years.

If staying in a kayak works for you - great. I’m gonna stick to a ski and know that every time I take off it’ll be better than any ride I had in the previous twenty years.

Thanks to Alan Neighbour for the best Skis I’ve ridden.

As a Surf Coach my prefered craft for Students would be a Novice ski – tho I mainly use an Redline as most kayakers are more able to better associate with the medium, my point being that there are a range of craft out there for all levels. A ski isn't necessarily a high performance craft.

I'm not amazed at how many new ski paddlers are turning up on NE beaches - it was only a matter of time before word got out and people began to realise.

Finally to Underwater Squirt Dawg don’t get your Thong in a twist ;o)


Surf kayak versus wave ski

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 10:33 am
by Sean Morley
I am a recent convert to a surf kayak having surfed wave skis for over twenty years beginning with the Raider Wedge through to an Alan Neighbour pro Design custom - still without doubt the best wave skis on the market. He will shape you whatever you want and the finish is awesome.

For years I have wanted to design and build a surf kayak that would perform like a waveski but never had the time or resources. Finally this year I got talking to Pete Orton at Valley Sea Kayaks and he expressed an interest in building just such a craft. The result is the RUSH and whilst I am bound to be biased, I am stoked with the way it performs. I am not sure how to place a photo on this message board but you can see some photos of me surfing the Rush at Gwenver near Sennen Cove on the AS Watersports website.

The Rush absolutely rips. It is much faster than my ski and whilst we need to do a bit of adjustment to get the fin placement just right, it gets so much drive off the bottom turn that aerials are easy in the right conditions. It is a boat for advanced paddlers who want to surf - do not expect to do flat spins and cartwheels, but then why would you want to do that when you could be getting air?

You know you are doing something right when you are getting compliments from boardies. Is it better than my ski? That's a tough one but I have to say yes. The big difference now that I have hit 40 is that if and when I wipe out on my ski it hurts. When I wipe out in the Rush I come to the surface giggling.

Come and join me at Red River sometime and have a play....

Sean Morley

Setting the record strait

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:55 pm
by StoneWeasel
Since I made an eirlier post advising you too be carful when dealing with Malcolm direct I have been in discussions with him as to why I was so upset.

The result of these discussions to date is this post.

Firstly the problems with my Jester Cyclone are the only ones I can really blame Malcolm and Mega for.

I felt that I had been mis sold this boat as was told the only problem with it was it's colour and it very quickly developed air bubbles in the gel coat (so quicly that they could have been there from the start and just missed by me somehow) to which Malcolm seemed very uninterested.

Malcolm assures me now that it was just a communication confusion and he was never fully aware of the problem which I am willing to belive as I accept my memmory could be tainted by the fact I was sure he had swindled me.

He has now offered to have the Cyclone picked up and take a look at it even though I baught it probably over five years ago!

He also assures me that he got his nick name of Del boy due to deal making rather than dodgy dealing and considering the number of people that have magaged to get a good deal on there Mega boat I am also willing to belive this.

All in all I apologise for slating Malcolm, mabie he did not mean to rip me off after all.


P.S. However I do still belive that James Hawker of Future Kayaks are currently making the best surf boats out there (and no I don't work for them or have any link with the company) but perhaps you don't need to execise as much caution as I may have suggested if you do decide to do a deal with Malcolm for a boat (and he does make some nice boats).

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:57 pm
by Douglas Wilcox
I am considering buying a proper surf boat for the first time ever.
Mark why don't you also consider taking up kitesurfing or windsurfing to which Jim and I are addicted?

Although I spend a fair amount of time in the surf in a Redline and an Alaw Bach(!) I have never felt the urge to try a surf kayak or ski because I get such a buzz out of windsurfing. You don't just get wave riding on the way in you also get jumping on the way out.

Windsurfers are fast enough to catch any wave. At my favourite location (where I have been windsurfing since 79) I regularly get 50 top and bottom turns on the one wave. This wave is very difficult to catch on kayaks or boards. Fortunately none of the local boardies have resorted to jetski tow ins.

I see you were getting some gentle flak on the Rivers side for considering taking up mountain biking but I think it is good to have a number of different activities!

Douglas :o)

Chris toe

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:47 pm
by Underwater Squirt Dawg
I have an Alan Neighbour ski - which is the best thing since... You are right.
I had an agenda - which is why I chipped in my tuppense. (My free speech)
I have no thong - (my wife has plenty that I can borrow) but I'm not allowed to twist them!!

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 5:36 pm
by Hamish
I have dabbled but am not very good at waveskis. My last one was fantastic but I sold it to buy my Quest as I spend more time in a sea boat.

It was a Jemski made by Jem Howe of Rhossili, Gower. Try


Is the Ski's time up?

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:17 pm
by Underwater Squirt Dawg
Have a look at the shots of Darren Basson here.

At last!!!

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 11:36 pm
by Chris-toe
Hey Sean Checked out your link from the AS Watersports site - Boat looks awesome - doing what needs to be done in big waves!!!

Am stoked that it has finally happened!!!

Bets of luck with it!