Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

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DoH!
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Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by DoH! »

I have been thinking about getting a proper surf kayak, but have a couple of questions.
1. How do you launch a surf kayak from a beach with out damaging the fins?
2. How difficult are surf kayaks to roll compared to a general purpose whitewater boat?
3. I weigh about 14stone 5 " which is about 90 kilo and 5ft 11 inches. how are the likes of mavericks and neutrons going to be for some one my size, demoing isn't going to be an option as I live in the NE of scotland and will probably go for 2nd hand any way.
I once bought a dragorossi squashtail without sitting in it (when I was just inside the suggested paddler weight for) and found that I hated the lotus sitting possition.

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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by Daker »

Im no expert as Ive only started to get into surfing in the last few months but here's my take -

1. Just launch from sand + you'll be fine.
2. Maybe slightly harder at 1st but if you have a reasonable roll you'll be fine (so long as you get the right boat for you)
3. Get something bigger to start with unless you want a steep and hard learning curve. Low volume boats excel on a wave but getting out through the white water or even just sitting out back in something too small will really test your abs and could put you off surfing completely.

Other more experienced surfers may disagree but Im only slightly lighter than you and thats what I found and know 2 blokes currently looking for different boats for that exact reason. So, learn the basics in something a bit more stable then downsize if need be once you know what you're doing and have learned how to survive out there !

Where in the NE are you as Id quite like to get up that way the next time theres a good swell forecast without too much wind ?

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StoneWeasel
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by StoneWeasel »

DoH! wrote:I have been thinking about getting a proper surf kayak, but have a couple of questions.
1. How do you launch a surf kayak from a beach with out damaging the fins?
2. How difficult are surf kayaks to roll compared to a general purpose whitewater boat?
3. I weigh about 14stone 5 " which is about 90 kilo and 5ft 11 inches. how are the likes of mavericks and neutrons going to be for some one my size, demoing isn't going to be an option as I live in the NE of scotland and will probably go for 2nd hand any way.
I once bought a dragorossi squashtail without sitting in it (when I was just inside the suggested paddler weight for) and found that I hated the lotus sitting possition.
Hi there, good to hear you are thinking of getting a surf boat, they are a hell of a lot of fun. I'll see if I can't provide a few answers, these are however just my opinions.

1. As Dakar says, just drag them through the sand, it's fine (this is why we generally do not use the flimsy FCS fin system on kayaks).

2. Generally speaking they are a little more difficult until you get used to them, which does not take long but this is very much dependant on the boat. IC boats and IC derived boats (Bullit S for example) are pretty much the easiest things in the world to roll, you can sneeze them up but some of the wider HP boats such as the Proton or Evo however do take a little getting used to and getting your weight forward after your roll becomes rather essential.

3. I would not go with a Maverick at your weight, it would be an fine boat if you were used to surf boats a little but for getting used to surf boats it suits a lighter paddler really. An original style Neutron would be ok but you might find the low back of the cockpit rim a tad on the frustrating as it will be pretty close to the water line when not on a wave but a Neutron RV would be an excellent boat I would have thought, a great all rounder that is relatively forgiving and should float you fine. Another boat well worth considering for getting into surf boating though would be the Bullit S (probably run with two side fins rather than a full thruster set up in the S though), it is just about the only boat that is really forgiving, easy to roll, will float people up to quite a size but is fine with light people and that has the performance to get to the finals of the world championships (with Glyn Brackenbury at the helm).

If you have any questions about surf boating though I will endeavour to do my best to answer them.

Denzil

Keith White
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by Keith White »

DoH! wrote: 1. How do you launch a surf kayak from a beach with out damaging the fins?
Paddle and fist.
2. How difficult are surf kayaks to roll compared to a general purpose whitewater boat?


Not sure (yet) but not all boats are equal and I would assume, the edges involved are going to make the hipsnap harder.
3. I weigh about 14stone 5 " which is about 90 kilo and 5ft 11 inches. how are the likes of mavericks and neutrons going to be for some one my size.
This surf stuff is new to me in real surf boats anyway but...

I have, outside right now, a maverick, a neutron (both plastic), a scarab and a bullit.

I'm around 15st and a maverick is way too small. I slide into the neutron though and out but, have real good connection when IN the boat. The scarab is great but, I have the boat with rubber thigh braces and, being a cyclist and somewhat overwight from a knee injury, those pads DIG IN to my thighs making a wet exit an almost impossible task. However, when IN the boat, it feels awesome and just right. The bullit is a bit longer and has glass thigh braces that you can glue some padding to the underside. i'm hoping to discover that I can use these thigh braces on the scarab cause, if possible, this is the way I'll go. The neutron isn't as stable as the scarb but, in my opinion, even though it's plastic v's glass, is faster.

Please be aware that I am not that experienced with this boat type but, I have been very lucky to have been given a few boats to play with by a local dealer on a long term loaner. This way, i am able to make a more rational judgement.

I think we are rolling these boats in the pool next week too.

All I do know is, Pyrhanna CK 280 is easy to roll, Dagger Axiom 9.0 is not as easy. I find rolling my Nordkapp was easier than the axiom. I have only just started rolling so these are beginner roller experiences using extended paddle rolls and screw rolls and only on one side so please do not use it as anything other than friendly help. It's certainly not anything I would committ to stone.
--

Keith

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antbjanne
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by antbjanne »

Whereabouts in the NE are you?

In our club(Deveron kayakers,based in Banff) we've a plastic Neutron(which would be fine for you,RV would be better if you wanted a composite version),also a Valley plastic Storm(think it is,cant quite remember) and a Riot plastic surf kayak which is a wee bit tight for me and I'm similar size to yourself.

I paddle a Scarab,good boat,not necessarily harder to roll,you just have to get used to the width/getting it over its edge etc....timing/practice.

Two other members have Cyclones,I cant say whether you could get a shot of 'em but I could ask:)
Tony

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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by Daker »

antbjanne wrote: In our club(Deveron kayakers,based in Banff) we've a plastic Neutron(which would be fine for you,RV would be better if you wanted a composite version),also a Valley plastic Storm(think it is,cant quite remember) and a Riot plastic surf kayak which is a wee bit tight for me and I'm similar size to yourself.
Are these club owned boats that you would be willing to let others try, subject to either joining or coming to some 'arrangement' ?
A couple of friends from Edinburgh area are surf boat shopping and might be interested in a wee trip up there if that was at all possible.

Just found your website so, if this is do-able, will get in touch.

Re the Scarab - I have one and really like it WITHOUT the thigh hooks, I took these out and made my own foam thigh braces which are a LOT more comfortable in exchange for (possibly) a little less leverage.

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hoolabloom
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by hoolabloom »

I d try and get your hands on a proton, Some starting to appear on the second hand market now. Likely a little more expensive but longterm will be a good option.

With regards to the fit and thighbraces its easy to adjust the supplied ones to achieve the optimum fit by either padding with foam or if they re too aggressive trim them down with a jigsaw and sander. i m sure Malcolm would be able to advise/sort if you needed.

I am usually in the range of 14.5 to 15.5st and currently paddle a boost although i m on the ehavy side for it. I ve had a neutron RV in the past and found this was fine. A scarab is probably a bit big but at this stage your probbaly better off having a boat too big than too small. As denzil said the Bullitt s is a great all round boat and if you can get one you ll not be dissapointed.

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SwamP
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by SwamP »

I'll sell you my Neutron RV if you want ;)

Would even take it to Aviemore area for you...

Great boat at 15.5st
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

surfkayaks.com
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by surfkayaks.com »

I wouldn't recommend a Neutron RV as a first boat if you are over 13st ish. You will want more flotation,
Scarab, Proton, Bullitt "S" / "X"s , Megatron.

Malcolm

blades44
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by blades44 »

Hi I have a really nice Protron that has only seen 5 times out.
I'm to light for the boat probably should have bought a boost.
Its for sale and i live on the East coast of Scotland Edinburgh.
Great stable boat i just keep falling out of it when i roll.

Chris

DoH!
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by DoH! »

To be quite honest I havn't got loads of money to throw at this, as I have other hobbies to fund as well. I did have my eye on a couple of plastic mavericks which were inside my budget. I am quite surprised that everyone thinks I would be to heavy for the Maverick as the Mega website reckons its okay up to 100 kilo, I did think I might be pushing it a bit with the neutrons 95 kilo limit.
I might have to have a rethink and go for something more mainstream.
I am based in Fraserburgh.
Thanks to everyone who replyed.

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antbjanne
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by antbjanne »

"Are these club owned boats that you would be willing to let others try, subject to either joining or coming to some 'arrangement' ?"

Aye,those three are all club plastic boats,we're about to get a plastic Maverick too to add to the collection. If you're keen to have a shot of them I'll ask one of the chiefs as we've a sea paddle tomorrow,Sunday,dont think there would be any problem.If there was would only be a nominal sum to actually join the club.

You're probably aware there's a beginners surf event local next weekend(as per SCA surf calendar),worth contacting the organiser,would be an ideal chance to maybe try boats....if the event runs,always dependant on conditions.
Tony

kayakingcallum
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by kayakingcallum »

just a thought from a non surf paddler

my 'old man' tried the bigger mega impulse at aberavon club last weekend ,also the tron and scarab ..he said that coming from a whitewater background the impulse was by far his favourite.-he hasnt stopped raving about it all week ! and were off down there so he can take it out again tommorrow. however im sure malcolm would have suggested this being as he makes them ;-) but incase he forgot theres another option

by the way hes 6ft and arount 15-16st

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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by Daker »

DoH! wrote:I did have my eye on a couple of plastic mavericks which were inside my budget. I am quite surprised that everyone thinks I would be to heavy for the Maverick as the Mega website reckons its okay up to 100 kilo.
Totally understand where your coming from re the cost but if you buy a Maverick, unless you are an incredibly fast learner, I think youll be selling it again a few weeks later !

From my understanding (interpretation) of Malcom's recommended weight ranges, these are for experienced surfers. If you are effectively a complete beginner in surf, make life easy for yourself and get something a bit floatier.

I dont know what other sports you so but you wouldnt but a teeny wee surf board to start with, or a 'sinker' windsurf board etc.
Good luck in finding something suitable.

DoH!
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by DoH! »

Thanks Daker, I see what you mean. Good way of explaining it, compairing it with surfing and windsurfing. (2 past hobbies by the way)
I honestly hadn't realized that stepping up to surf boat was going to be such a big step from surfing in a general whitewater boat.
I am really glad I asked for advice on here first, or I would have ended up in something unsuitable.
If see anything else that comes up that I think is worth a punt, I'll ask on here.
Thanks to all who posted.

blades44
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by blades44 »

Yip I second that,
If you have come from river boating the surf boat is a totally different machine.
I though being a grade 5 boater that it would be a bit tricky but i under estimated how tricky.
I bought a maverick and hated it with a passion sold after two times out, super tippy. Not that its a bad boat but more for the experienced.
A great place to start is a fluid element quite short surfs well with its quad fine set up feels like a play boat but holds its edge well, the bigger the wave the better as its a touch slow to get started. Check youtube fluid element.
I bought one and have learnt a lot on how edges work and what you can get away with. Plus it rolls super easy.
The plastic version can be picked up for about £320 ish depends on condition but they are rare to get second hand, people just love them and dont part with them too often. Its just your luck if one comes up.
Cheers Chris.....

DoH!
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by DoH! »

I think the Fluid Element would be a bit like going back to the Draggorssi Squashtail that I didn't get on with in my original post.
I would like any opinions please on Mega Trident and Valley Rush, for 14 and a half stone (91kg) 5ft 11" paddler. Ive done a fair a bit of surfing in whitewater boats, but never in a proper surf kayak.

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mickeyb
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Re: Surf Kayak, Some Advice please

Post by mickeyb »

Hey D'oh,
I have a Trident and was once that weight, and am same height as you.
Goes fine if you can fit at that, and you'll find it easy to do everything in. Cockpit is a bit tight in it but its a goer. Its a long style IC boat and if thats what you were going for, i think you'd fit and be fine in most of these ( Mega Trident, Bullit, Watertech 666 )

For the Valley Boats i'd go for the Rush+ at your weight. Never surfed one tho so won't comment.
When i was same weight as you i had a watertech speedy and its a nice boat for people coming from whitewater as its stable, feels like a whitewater boat due to cockpit. Two of my mates who are heavier than me still use it. Watertech Bandit would be good too.

For boats mentioned above. If you could get a Proton you'll be very happy. My mate has a Boost, the pre-runner to the Proton and its a most fine boat.

Other option would be to give James Hawker a call, www.futurekayaks.com and get a custom boat made for ya.
If i was buying tomorrow i'd call him. I use a boat from James at the mo, construction is awesome and it goes like stink.

Otherwise i'd look for a Proton.

Hope this helps :)

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