Breaking into surf paddling

Hey all, Now that I’ve got my rapier and enjoy it quite a bit, it handles wind and big lake chops very well. I find it to be stable and an exhilirating ride. However…a friend sent me a link to the surf kayaks and the 2006 National Surf Kayak Championships and several other vids…I’d really like to try my hand at surf kayaking, to have an alternative for play days, when Im not in the mood to chew up miles. I’ve got access to Valleys surf kayaks, and Im told that I could use a whitewater boat for dedicated surf play. I’ll be heading back to the coast within a year and would like to have a toy to keep my rapier company. Was thinking of a composite surf boat.

The only surfing I do is to get off the ocean or to assist in adding miles to my day. As for really playing in it? Well, in sea kayaks, the P&H Sirius and the Capella, and the Valley Rapier and avocet. But watching these surf vids, I’d very much like to break in there.

If anyone has any links or advice, that’d be great. I’m mainly looking right now to find out who are the surf kayakers on this site.

Thanks for any help.


In myrtle beach,sc- used the glider to bust out thru surf over christmas vacation. It can be tough to get skirt on. Please wear a helmet in case you get rejected. Bad to bleed all over the beach. A $300 whitewater boat would be fine. Make sure it has footroom for comfort. Rugged padle becuase you will dig in to shells,etc

Valley Surf Boats …

– Last Updated: May-26-08 2:33 PM EST –

IF you are not going to be surfing a whole lot I would look into the Plastic Storm ... it surfs very very well. I got to try a very light weight Rush for five minutes and its a fantastic surf boat. Probably not very forgiving to beginner surfers. It's going to be very expensive to get a hold of one unless you have an in with Valley. The Sneaker is an old school surf boat, seems to be pretty friendly for beginners.

Here's a link to pics of Sean Morley surfing the Rush at Torrey Pines State beach during the Kayak Symposium here in San Diego. Inquisitor and Dom surfing Storms....

Don't know your height or weight. Mega makes a large number of really good boats. They are pricey in the US. Murky Waters in Canada makes the Rush and Twist ... both very good boats. They run about $1800 new.

IF you can get a used boat from PS Composites the Mako designs are really good. My Aquarius is my favorite kayak right now. If you are less than 160 lbs you might look for a Riot Boogie they go for about $400 and are a great plastic surf machine.

Here are the two I was surfing mostly up unti this week. I'm moving to surfing the Strata now the water is warmer and I need less gear and weight.

Most the time I surf waveskis... I'm using an Island Waveski and a Wavemaster Strata ... which is very high performance and tippy to paddle out. Both of my waveskis were bought used for less than $400.

Whitewater boats are OK in the surf but not optimal. Look for an older model like a Jive... with some length over 8' and a good planing bottom, little rocker in the tail or a model that you can put fins in.

Not a lot of kayak surfers here. Sing and Wikle are the ones who post the most. Salty knows the sport. " Inquisitor" posts once in while. "Bullseye" is from LA/Orange county area and is really good. He posts once in while too. Here's a link to a video I shot of him and others last December at Jalama...

take a look at Mega Kayaks
they are a great line of surf kayaks. I dabble a bit, but I don’t know how much help I can offer.

Check out

Nigel Law was bitten by the surf bug a few years ago and had been at it ever since. I am sure he would take the time to offer a bit of advice.

Thats about all I do anymore is surf. Try to get a boat with fins. You can take fins off but you cant put them on.

Where are you moving to? I am so sick of not having anyone to play with i have about given up. No one around here wants to do anything fun. Just paddle around on flat water. Boring!!

only makers of composite
surf-specific kayaks are Mega, Murky Water,

PS Composite, Valley, and Wold (did I forget

any?) – in the world! If you don’t have a lot

of experience w/surf-kayaking, then probably

any boat by any of these makers will be challenging,

and exiting. As long as it has a planing hull, low

rails, and a minor stern, you’ll be able to hold a line on a wave face and carve your turns.

The Riot Boogie, Wavesport Flyer, Valley Storm,

and three different models by Mega are all

good plastic surf-specific craft.

As far as whitewater kayaks go, I still have

a lot of fun when I occasionally take out my

Dagger RPM Max. It’s the boat I started learning

in and is very forgiving and comfortable, though

not nearly as fast and wave-capable as a surf-

specific design. As Seadart mentioned, the Necky Jive is another proven boat in this category.

If you get further into it, you’ll have to decide

if you want to go HP or IC. HP, or “high

performance” boats are, by regulation, under 9’

in length, though most are actually about 7 3/4’

long, and are the “short boards” of kayak surfing.

IC, or “international class” boats are over 9’ in

length and represent the “long boards” of kayak


If you like to learn by applied reading, I highly

recommend Simon Hammond’s and Bill Mattos’ books on surf kayaking – many great tips that can

help to shorten the learning curve. Nigel Fosters’ book on the same subject is a good one

as well, though slightly less dense in useful


Good luck, surf-specific boats can be

challenging on one’s roll and one’s posture, but

nothing will develop these attributes to such a degree. If you have a Rapier, it’s obvious you

enjoy high velocity rides, so you’re bound to have a blast!

Ditto Nigel Law recommendation
Do check out Nigel and Kristin at Savannah Canoe and Kayak- They sell Mega, and are just a little primed for surf kayaking these days. Cheers

Thanks for the help
the response was even better than I hoped for.

I have my touring boat and now I want to expand my skills into surf dedicated boats for a nice day at the beach of play :slight_smile:

Thanks again