dragorossi squash tail

anyone have experience with the squash tail, it looks like a surf boat, but is it?

Folks Who Have One Like ‘Em
I think it’s a “pocket rocket” type boat, meaning you need a clean, steep wave, drop in and get right in the pocket. Otherwise you fall of the wave because it doesnt’ have enough speed. That’s my take on it. But Corran will probably say otherwise. He has the skills obviously to make it work better.


PS. There is a Boogie posted on BT Gearswap. $500 includes skirt and paddle.

don’t post things like that!
“PS. There is a Boogie posted on BT Gearswap. $500 includes skirt and paddle”

I just bought a used Skerray this past weekend and I don’t need more temptation! :slight_smile:

Corran would say otherwise.
Not having paddled it I cannot personnaly give you my impression. What Corran does say is:

“As can be expected, nothing about the way the Squashtail feels and paddles is even remotely similar to any other playboat out there – but that’s the whole point! Whether you’re an intermediate paddler, or an expert, the Squashtail levels the playing field for a few days, requiring everyone regardless of skill who enters the kayak to completely re-asses how they think about paddling. With an open mind, a will to learn new skills, and the desire to completely stand out from the rest of the crowd, the Squashtail allows a level of progression, exploration and self expression unlike any other kayak in the world, period.”

What he is describing is what my experience with the Fish has been like. I have had to revamp my roll and adjust my paddling style is several ways. If I had gone by my first impressions I would have sent it back immediately. People whose comments I have read and have substantial experience with the boat say it is very fast and carves very well. YMMV. I recommend you drop by the DragoRossi forum and pose your question. Believe it or not you will get decent, relatively non-partisan answers (except for Corran, of course).

The Thing Is…

– Last Updated: Jul-07-05 3:36 PM EST –

what Corran says is reflective of what others are saying about their own high performance surf kayak designs, e.g. Vince Shay/Reaction, Malcom/Mega Mustang/Intruder/Maverick, P Holmes/88, David Stroud/Shredder... Any one of them can find folks who will agree almost 100% with them and others who will disagree. No big surprise since paddlers are off different built, skills, preferences, riding styles, etc, etc...

What is common to all these boats is that someone who has never surfed or rolled a more surf specific design will have to have a period of adjustment. Surf designs are THAT much different from white water boats which are already different from sea kayaks. The guy I just bought a Booster 50 from is known somewhat locally as a pretty advanced paddler. We got to talking about surf and he mentioned that he couldn't stay upright in Mega surf kayak without flipping over. I was first surprised by his statement and then wasn't when I thought back on my own transition/progression from a white water boat to a Boogie and then to the Venom. It took several full day sessions in the surf to get "adjusted" to (read - "trashed" by) each of these boats and then to make the fine adjustments to the size and trim of the fins. Now, I got an even more radical/drastic adjustment to make with my waveski... The ski makes the surf kayaks feel like baby strollers.


If I had $950 bucks

– Last Updated: Jul-07-05 4:15 PM EST –

I think I would buy Mega's new plastic surf boat instead of paying $1350 for the squashtail. I've never paddled the Squashtail but it looks like you are going to have to have some special skills to make it work, and unless you have some powerful well shaped waves to get it planing in the pocket it's going to be a pig. It works well for Corran on huge predictable static standing waves. If you are in an area with hit and miss sloppy surf are you going to have the time for the learning curve? It might be great for play boat buttbouncing in surf, but I'm into surfing down the line.

(Speaking of getting trashed, this morning we had some small peaky windswell at a beach where the waves tend to wall up fast and throw. I took off on the biggest wave of the morning, plunged straight down and kept going until my bow hit bottom hard and then got hammered from behind by the throwing lip. I think this move is called a Flying Crucifix. I landed in very shallow water. A bunch of surfers came over to see if I was OK.)

That Was Succinct…
I actually would do the same. :slight_smile: I forgot the price tag on the Drago Rossi… Heck, for $1300, I think Wold’s Epic or Nova would be a durn good buy. :slight_smile: But for the Great Lakes surf, I probably would go with one of this longer boats.


i might be able to get a wholesale
price on the dragorossi.

so the money would be less than a used riot, and a new mega.

The problem is…
it’s hard to judge what “very fast and carves very well” means. It’s all relative to personal experience. I read reviews of Necky Jives that say the same thing, and my Jive is a wallowing pig compared to my 9’6" Mako, which feels like a hypersonic rocket to me, but is pathetically antiquated as a surf boat.

I do think Corran looks pretty amazing surfing his boats though.

Oh well now that’s a different story

– Last Updated: Jul-07-05 5:07 PM EST –

If she's a cheap date maybe you should try her.

Of course if it was a really good boat it would go for a higher price.

It Is A “Rocket!”

– Last Updated: Jul-07-05 5:33 PM EST –

I don't care how "fast" everyone is claiming for their HP boats, an IC boat will just blow them out of the water for high speed, "classical" surfing. We have two Cyclones in our group and I can see the speed difference when they get on a good diagonal run.

If fast diagonals and graceful cutbacks are your cup of tea, I don't think you are going to find really that much improvement in any of the new crop of IC boats. All the hype is really in the HP category where folks are trying to match waveski (and short board) performance.


get it!
For that price, you could turn it around and sell it for a profit if you wanted to. Of course if you end up in Madison, I don’t know where you would go to use the kayak in surf. Lake Michigan in October is an option although that would be a rather far drive to make regularly.

yeah, I understand all that
But the question is:

If a new boat feels like and paddles like your old boat, why would you buy the new one? Obviously you wouldn’t unless you are only interested in appearance. If the new boat feels different and paddles differently from your old one, what does that tell you? Maybe it is not an improvement, but just a variation that requires adjustment in order to do what you always did at the same level. Or maybe it is a challenge and will lead to being able to do more and different things. I am not surprised that boat makers claim the latter (challenge leading to improvement) when the former is true (no difference or just a variation). After all it is a competitive business. But then that is why we have a community like paddling.net. We can share information and help each other make good decisions despite the hype. I am not yet a surf paddler. But I can testify that my DragoRossi Fish zips across the face of a river wave faster than anything I have paddled or seen. And when I edge away from the movement of my boat and do a stern pry it carves around better than anything I have tried. That is what I mean by my previous statement about being fast and carving well. Does the squashtail have those characteristics? Is it better than other boats? I am not sure. But my personal experience is that Corran was right on for my boat and I would take that seriously for his other boats.

I Am A "Corran Fan…"
for sure. One is that I do like the boats that he’s been involved with. Second, how can I not be with someone who has the gonzo zest for the sport as he does. I like someone who pushes at the edges and he does that. :slight_smile:

In terms of the marketing/hype, it goes with the territory. I think what drives some folks nuts is that he has been successful both in terms of his boats getting on the market and that he personally has the skills to push to the edge. Some folks just don’t like it when others are successful.


How can you resist this color?

– Last Updated: Jul-08-05 11:30 AM EST –


"Hot news from DragoRossi

While at the UK Outdoor Show Corran received so many requests for PINK boats that he has managed to convince the guys at the factory to offer any kayak or surfboard in PINK as a special order item. Please note that this is not a colour that will be a standard stock item. It will be specially moulded for customers that request it."

A Tease!
That is tempting! LOL!!!


Here You Go, Keith: SHOWDOWN!
between the DragoRossi Squashtail and the Riot Boogie:



PS. I just think Corran’s a better surfer. :smiley:

You’re probably right…
But the Squash is a better boat too!

Since I paddle one (and have paddled many Riot designs including the Boogie) I feel I can offer a biased (because I’m the UK importer) but valued comparison.

I would never consider paddling the Boogie on shallow and rocky UK rivers but the Squash is a great compromise between a surf boat and a more traditional whitewater boat.

The Squash doesn’t have much tail rocker (well it doesn’t have much of a tail) but then again neither do several of the other new playboats on the market. The Squash is very well balance for cartweels (unlike more surf specific designs). The Squash is fast, stable and pretty forgiving for a boat of it’s pedigree. I can’t hand roll it yet but it roll very easily.

If you check out the NEW movie page @ www.highnmighty.co.uk you will see some footage of average joe paddlers like me putting the Squashatil through its pages.