Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

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stuartpitches
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Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by stuartpitches » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:20 pm

Looking for some advice on which boats might suit my needs.

I want a plastic boat for surfing and day trips around the local coast. I have a glass boat for longer or faster journeys. MY general understanding is that I want a boat with plenty of rocker so it's quick turning and better handling in the surf. I am 176cm and 73kg so a pretty average medium. I am not a beginner and experienced in the surf on other craft.

So want models do you think I should be on the look out for?

Thanks.

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by dhkayaking » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:31 pm

Dagger Stratos is the way to go.

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by sunstreaker » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:11 pm

What about P&H Hammer?
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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by RickC » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:54 am

NDK Romany Surf RM - it's a single-layer plastic hull with GRP cockpit rim and seat, eliminates flexing in the areas where you brace. Lots of volume and plenty of rocker, fab in the surf and easy to turn in tight spots, designed for just the sort of activity you've described. Not to be confused with the boat they made at the end of the last decade which was triple layer and not anything like as good!

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Irish Sea » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:19 am

I much liked the Valley Gemini SP I recently testpaddled for exactly that purpose. P&H Delphin or TR Vortex are other likely candidates.Nick Schade's Petrel Play in stitch and glue Plywood would be an interesting home built alternative. With a bit of extra weight you could make it pretty much bombproof and still be lighter than the RM boats. Alternatively the F1 Skin on Frame. I don't know though how well the skin stands up to rockhopping if that's your thing. Surf surely isn't an issue.

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Alliecat » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:11 pm

P&H Delphin is designed for exactly this type of paddling. I'm pretty much the same size as you and the Delphin 150 fits me beautifully. There's a "normal" version and a "surf" version that is heavier, tougher and has a foot plate instead of pedals. I have the normal version and it is plenty tough enough for me.

It's very maneuverable and surfs really really well. Definitely worth looking at - search youtube for a few impressive videos of the Delphin in the surf. (E.g. or

Good luck with your search.

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Simongelder » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:40 pm

Here are some Delphin's surfing in an estuary in Finisterre, France during a storm.


Neptune's Rangers are also worth looking up on both you-tube and the internet. They paddle a range of mid length plastic boats on ocean white water. These include Hammers, Delphins and cross-over boats

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Rogga » Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:40 pm

The Tiderace Vortex would fit the bill perfectly. A great fun boat to paddle - you should take one for a test drive!

https://kayakbute.wordpress.com/2013/04 ... -reviewed/

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by cj » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:35 am

The Delphin is good, you will enjoy it. That's what I use. But if you can get a Romany surf, composite or otherwise. It is probably the best surf / alrounder. Acknowledged by many.

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by sunstreaker » Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:59 pm

Looks like P&H have discontinued the Delphin 150 & 155, anyone know why and what they are replacing it with?
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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by kayak1 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:56 pm

I use the Stratos for the very same reason, Did my homework before I bought one and the Stratos has very sharp carving rails. Light to carry, and a decent price..but all that have been mentioned are really good for what you want also...as the Delphin was my next bet!

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Alliecat » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:31 am

sunstreaker wrote:Looks like P&H have discontinued the Delphin 150 & 155, anyone know why and what they are replacing it with?
Where did you get that idea from? The P&H website still shows the Delphin 150/155. In fact they've just added the "CLX" Corelite-X versions of both. Looks like a similar construction to the Corelite, but they claim even lighter, stiffer, and more durable!

I'm pretty sure the Delphin is a good seller for P&H so I'd be amazed if they discontinued it.

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by sunstreaker » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:39 am

I was looking on Brighton Canoe shop website which is part of the national canoe shops chain. Must admit I was surprised knowing the Delphin popularity and following
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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by sunstreaker » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:34 am

I had a relook at the website. I believe the Canoe shops are selling new discontinued versions at a discounted price, as they are making reference on other pages to new delpnis which I am guessing may be the corelite version ?, so maybe a slight further reduction for anyone considering a purchase
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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:52 pm

With regard to the Delphin, it certainly has not been discontinued but it has been redecked to include a flat for a sail mast foot and repositioned RDFs for side stays. The rear deck will now have a smaller round hatch and a day hatch and I understand it will have an extra bulkhead. It will also be available in the lighter stiffer Corelite X.

Douglas

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by sunstreaker » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:53 am

I think the reference (Discontinued) on the websites is probably referring to the introduction if this new model and the fact they are selling the old model off with a couple of hundred pounds reduction. Although it will be interesting to see how people respond to the new changes in a kayak that has such a committed following
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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Tommy 2 thumbs » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:27 pm

Another vote for the stratos - it's light, cheap and has a great rocker profile. At 14 and a half feet it's a really good rock hopper and the skeg helps a lot with tracking. Try the delphin and the stratos and see what you reckon.
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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by active4seasons » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:10 pm

No connections with Valley and I have the following rm's in my fleet:
Valley Gemini SP
Jackson Karma RG
Tiderace Vortex
I have used both the Delphin 150 and 155

Gemini is the best day, rockhopping, surf kayak by far IMHO (-ve's weak seat and poor hatches)
Jackson Karma is the best pure rock hopping kayak on the market (-ve's heavy to transport to/from the water)
Vortex is a great surf kayak (-ve's heavy to transport and hull oil cans after some use)
Delphin 155 is too stable - great for inexperienced one time user i.e hire fleet
Delphin 150 is a better boat but not very fast

Hammer is too heavy and directionally unstable so not great amongst the rocks

All my boats are available to use if you book a session with me, best advice for any purchaser try before you buy!!!!

Thanks,

Ollie Jay
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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Mark R » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:01 am

Don't usually get too much into comparisons as they are all rather subjective, but...
active4seasons wrote:Vortex is a great surf kayak (-ve's heavy to transport and hull oil cans after some use)
Agree-ish - overall impression is that it is predictable/ stable and a little bit unexciting in handling, as playboats go. The rails (i.e. edges) are the key to the nice surf performance when carving and moving around, but the fairly flat hull makes for stable/ slightly dull front surfs. Fine boat, but at the 'safe and predictable' end of the playboat spectrum.
active4seasons wrote:Delphin 155 is too stable - great for inexperienced one time user i.e hire fleet
Really don't see this at all. So much so, in fact, I think you might have the wrong boat. The V-ed hull sections and high seat position make for a rather dynamic - even slightly wobbly, if you're having an off day - experience in surf and tide races. The hull is still flattish in the middle but somehow (I don't totally get hull dynamics) still wobbly/ loose enough to shift/ switch edges (i.e. move around on the wave) just through dynamic edging.

Whatever you think of it, it is in no sense a 'too stable' boat.
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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Mark R » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:18 am

active4seasons wrote:Jackson Karma is the best pure rock hopping kayak on the market (-ve's heavy to transport to/from the water)
That is very interesting. When they were developing the Karma, I was contacted by Jackson for my thoughts on what would make my ideal sea playboat. Typing that, it sounds a bit self-important - but it's just that I have an American friend who works there and presumably I'm the only sea paddler he knows. Here's a pic I took of Damon somewhere in the Quebec wilderness, just because I like the pic...

Image

...anyway, I basically said that one thing over-ruled everything else - weight. You will never be properly able to 'play' a sea kayak on the same terms that you play WW, until you remove the hernia element. Ditch chunky full plate footrests, deck hatchs, all the hatches in fact, ditch the decklines, anything to get the weight down...only then will things like cartwheels, loops, spins, blunts etc become viable. Until then, a 'playboat sea kayak' is something which surfs reasonably dynamically, and does static pop-outs when you feel like showing off - which is where WW playboating was in the 1970s.

Guess my advice was ignored...

What really amazes me is that some of the composite playboats (e.g. Aries) aren't any lighter!
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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by RichJ » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:09 pm

Well, goodness me! I never thought that an 'Old Git' like me would be replying to any thread that involved the term 'playboat'....So maybe take my thoughts with some reserve.
There are some sea features where a WW playboat maybe suitable. Others may benefit from a WW playboat with a little more speed, low mass as you say. However, as an 'Old Git' 'playing at sea' in tide races, I benefit from the odd deckline for an occasional rescue, hatches for lunch and a firework or two and we even carry splits! All needed AND used! (By the Young Guns as well as Old Gits) But then, maybe I'm only looking to surf 'reasonably dynamically'....
With regard to weight, I bow to your experience in such matters. However, during a recent play at South Stack, myself and a friend were pitch poled as another friend was literally sucked out of his boat. Would weight have made a lot of difference?

Richard

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Mark R » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:27 pm

RichJ wrote:However, during a recent play at South Stack, myself and a friend were pitch poled as another friend was literally sucked out of his boat. Would weight have made a lot of difference?
Of course not...but if you are trying to initiate moves and control the boat yourself (especially vertically), you will have a much better chance with a lighter boat.
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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by active4seasons » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:39 am

To just clarify Mark,

The Delphin 155 is too stable if you want to progress your skills to surfing and handling a real sea kayak. By that I mean being able to steer your kayak on a green wave using edge control, the Delphin's bow has the effect of turning back into a surf away from a bongo. This is very unusual for a kayak and possibly the reason proficient kayakrs get bored in one very quickly, they want to be able to carve to some extent but I can feel this discussion is going away from the initial post - play boat was never mentioned!

By the way I don't dislike the Delphin 155 I. Just don't see it as a sea kayak - great for bashing off rocks though!

Thanks,

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Mark Gawler » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:01 am

I've been paddling a composite Valley Gemini SP for a few years and it is my first choice day boat. It is more playful then a "real sea kayak", and faster than the Delphin. One of the reason I prefer it to my "real sea kayak" is it is light, approximately the same weight as my wife's Avocet LV. I think the Gemini is an excellent day boat. It may not surf as well as the Delphin, but it dose surf well.
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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by active4seasons » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:11 am

It just goes to show, certain boats suit certain people. I agree about the SP Mark, great day boat but I would have to say it is a more dynamic surf kayak than the Delphin. A beginner would disagree as the Delphin is more reassuring but less dynamic IMHO.
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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Mat @ Pyranha » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:41 am

Hi All,

Great to see the discussions regarding the Delphin here, just thought I'd clarify the 'Discontinued' notices some of you are seeing on the Canoe Shops Group websites - we no longer supply CSG, so they are referring to the fact that the boats are discontinued in their stores (albeit in a slightly confusing fashion, for whatever reason that may be).

We still make both the Delphin 150 and 155 in Surf Spec and CoreLite, and as several people have mentioned, they're now also available in CoreLite X, which is stiffer, lighter and stronger than standard CoreLite (you really do have to feel it to believe it, but obviously you won't be able to do this at any CSG store - find your local stockist on our website, here: http://www.phseakayaks.com/dealers.php)

A re-decked, 4 hatch version of the Delphin 155 is also in the works (as is the Scorpio MKII HV!), and you'll find more information about this on our Facebook Page as soon as it is available: https://www.facebook.com/PHSeaKayaks/. Very exciting and busy times over here!

Hope that clarifies things, drop me a message or leave a comment if you have any questions!

Happy paddling!
Current Boats: Machno L, Delphin 155 MKII CLX

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by active4seasons » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:59 pm

Hi Mat,
We met at the recent Storm Gathering - thanks for the hat by the way. Will drop you an email. Might neet to try the new Corelite X?
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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:49 pm

I know several coaches who do not consider kayaks like the Delphin to be "proper sea kayaks" (eg Ollie and Gordon Brown, both of whom I have enormous respect for). I was very privileged to be invited on the trip to St Kilda when much of the Sea Kayaking with Gordon Brown Vol 2 instructional DVD was filmed. However, I was asked to bring my Nordkapp LV (a traditional sea kayak) rather than my Delphin!

As a keen amateur I have a different view to the coaches. Ollie mentions the Delphin does not turn as expected on a wave. I drew attention to this when I tested the Delphin just after it came out. At lower speeds the Delphin turns like any kayak on edge. You sink the edge to the outside of the turn. However, once the Delphin starts to plane it responds differently, you sink the inside edge to turn. In this respect it behaves very similarly to planing boards such as windsurfers, surfboards and SUPs. On boards at low speeds you sink the outside edge to turn (flare turn) but when planing you sink the inside edge (carve turn). I like this turning behaviour when the Delphin is planing. A traditional full size sea kayak that has a reputation for surfing well, such as the Valley Aquanaut, does not do this.

There is another analogy with windsurfing. A couple of decades ago beginners learned on long, narrow, unstable and difficult to turn boards and required considerable coaching to get them going and turning. The sport nearly died as people got fed up and others laughed every time a Holiday TV programme presenter fell off a windsurfer. Fortunately the board designers started producing short wide stable easy to turn boards and beginners made rapid progress and the sport recovered.

Anyway despite having a collection of traditional and modern sea kayaks and access to lots more in testing sessions, I have not got bored with my Delphin, which I have had since they came out. In our little group there are currently five Aries and two Delphins. Tony who is a 5* paddler has both an Aries and a Hammer! None of us are bored.

Another reason coaches do not like boats like the Delphin is that they are skeg dependent. I very much understand this concern but again this does not bother me in the slightest, I wouldn't dream of going on a surfboard or windsurfer without a skeg (come to think about it my Aries has two skegs!!!)

Douglas :o)

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Irish Sea » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:13 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:
As a keen amateur I have a different view to the coaches. Ollie mentions the Delphin does not turn as expected on a wave. I drew attention to this when I tested the Delphin just after it came out. At lower speeds the Delphin turns like any kayak on edge. You sink the edge to the outside of the turn. However, once the Delphin starts to plane it responds differently, you sink the inside edge to turn. In this respect it behaves very similarly to planing boards such as windsurfers, surfboards and SUPs. On boards at low speeds you sink the outside edge to turn (flare turn) but when planing you sink the inside edge (carve turn). I like this turning behaviour when the Delphin is planing. A traditional full size sea kayak that has a reputation for surfing well, such as the Valley Aquanaut, does not do this.
I don't think that's something that's specific to the Delphin or Aries. Imho most boats with sharpish edges will carve turns on the inside edge while planing. At least the Anas Acuta I'm currently paddling does that nicely and I'm pretty sure I've seen other hard chined boats do the same.

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Re: Good boat for surfing and short coastal days?

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:38 pm

Irish Sea>
I don't think that's something that's specific to the Delphin or Aries. Imho most boats with sharpish edges will carve turns on the inside edge while planing. At least the Anas Acuta I'm currently paddling does that nicely and I'm pretty sure I've seen other hard chined boats do the same.
I very much agree, indeed in the test review of the Delphin which I did for OP I tested it back to back with an Anas Acuta (as it is a traditional design (with chines) of roughly similar size and volume and has a considerable reputation as a performer in surf). Unfortunately much of that comparison was edited out of the magazine but it is in my blog. A feature of the Delphin is that the forward chines are not only very sharp but have double concaves (like a sea plane float or a windsurf board) to encourage early planing. In back to back testing a Delphin will start planing on a wave (with or without a sail) far earlier than an Anas Acuta (with or without a sail). Despite being of RM construction the Delphin planes earlier than the composite version the Aries as that boat lacks the razor sharp chines and concaves.

After the test the owner of the Anas Acuta bought a Delphin, though he also kept the Anas Acuta!

I really think all keen sea kayakers should try paddling an Anas Acuta. It is such an important bench mark in the development of recreational sea kayaking.

Douglas :o)

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