I’ve been talking for over 15 plus years about my interest finding a good “intro” waveski that can accommodate some range of newbie surf paddlers and allow them to experience a surf specific designed craft.
Well, I just picked up a used Perception Five O SOT - basically a plastic waveski with footrest adjustment to accommodate different size paddlers. Interestingly, the seller is moving on to his first custom waveski, an Infinity Stinger. The Infinity is my current surf ride. So, the Five O was his “gateway drug” to custom vaveskis. LOL!
Unfortunately, the Perception Five O is no longer in production. However, a NJ company has picked up the design and added on future fin boxes that will allow a variety of fin combinations (just like some of the high performance surf boards)
Will have to get some thighstraps on the Five O and get out for a test ride hopefully this weekend. I am excited to add this to my waveski collection. I expect it will be a good guest waveski for surfing friends.
Yes. The seller asked if I were willing to meet up with him and give some pointers when he gets his Infiniti Waveski. Of course! He is excited to get his first custom waveski. I shared his excitement, remembering my first custom (as opposed to a “used”) waveski that was custom shaped to my height, weight and experience level. I think he is going to love it once he gets some time in the seat and some basic remounting skills in the break zone.
Coincidentally, we are both “seniors” and have our lifetime parking pass for Department of Conservation and Recreation beach breaks! How good is that!?
Wow. Crazy that you scored one of those just like that!!! It looks almost exactly like the Five 0. But yours look aesthetically more pleasing than mine. I really appreciate the sharp rails (chines) that should carve nicely into the wave face.
Regarding fins, I started off and still ride a couple of short high performance skis with the thruster (3 fin) set-up. I use fins anywhere from 2.5", 3", 3.5" to 4". The bigger the fins, the more drag, so you match up with the quality and size of the waves you going after. But, on a waveface, the side bite fins of thruster set combine with the rails to really lock you into the waveface. When you do cutbacks, the side fins will also contribue to locking you into a very defined carving turn.
With my Infinity Stinger longboard waveski, it comes with only the center fin set up. I use either 5" or 6" center fin with this. I’ve come to like this set up alot. Enough so, that I only use a 5" center fin with my Island Waveski longboard which has 3 fin boxes for the thruster set-up. I notice that I can get up to speed faster when catching a wave because there is less drag. But, the big center fin, combined with aggressive leaning into the wave face will also allow me to carve pretty well. But, if I ease off on the lean, there is a “looseness” to the turns where I feel a bit of slide as much as carve. I feel there is a bit of “forgiveness” in edge (rail) control mistakes. As I get older and less physically aggressive with technique, I am just enjoying the center fin set up more.
Since you ask, I would suggest you start off with center fin set up, probably with a 5" fin. Save the 6" fin when you feel you got more of a handle on the waveski and ready to go after bigger/cleaner waves in the head high range.
For thruster set, I would start with either 3" or 3.5" set. But don’t go to this set up until you feel more dialed in with the center fin set up. (Or vice versa if start off with the thruster set up instead).
For more explanation of fin set ups and why, here is a good overview explanation:
Look forward to hearing about your waveski riding adventures!
BTW, here is a video of the Ackless waveski in action. Pretty amazing performance for a heavier, plastic waveski. (Just ignore the silly ww runs. The rails are not forgiving nor appropriate for running rapids.)
Looks good, there was an older 5-0 model wasn’t there? My son’s friend owned one and it was much less waveski like. Are those screw holes for a belt? I have thigh straps on my cobra strike and after introducing lots of folks to waveskiing, I think the thigh straps make it a lot more difficult to keep upright when paddling in rougher water. Just dropping a foot or a leg sometimes makes life so much easier. Thigh straps are less intimidating though for first-timers.
I don’t know if there was earlier model of the Five O. I don’t think Perception made that model for too long because there just aren’t that many takers for a surf specific design. Even as I talked with the seller of my Five O, he mentioned that he knew/seen only one waveskier in NH and now, with me, he knows two waveskiers in MA and northern New England. Soon, he’ll make three. Not a big market.
Honestly, I have been on the look out for the Cobra Revision (Cobra Strike XL) for more than several years when I came across the Five O posting. I wanted to get the Revision for that fact that it accommodate small to large paddler because of its extra length/volume. We’ll see how the Five O does with that, given its 9’9" x 28" dimensions.
So, now you know, I have guest surf craft for you should you visit. Chuck has been the only out-of-stater who’s taken me up on my guest boat usage.
Got in my maiden voyage with the FIve O today, with disorganized 2.5’ plus windswells and sloppy choppy wind waves on top of these. The FiveO felt really stable, probably because I am relatively small @150 lbs for its 9’9" x 28" volume. At the same time, it felt slower to get up to speed when sprinting for waves.
It was not a great wave test day, given the sloppiness of the waves which would peak, break and then flatten out. Resulted in short, frustrating rides. As the tide came in, the waves got a bit bigger and were breaking over a different bottom contour. All to say, it resulted in several decent rides. Took so GroPro video from the back of the FiveO. Will post video later after editing.
All in all, I say the FiveO is a decent performer for a plastic waveski. I got a couple of good diagonals right across the waveface. The rails really can cut into the wave and hold. That’s essential for good wave riding. Waves weren’t good enough to try any cutbacks. Next time hopefully.
PS. The FiveO’s 44 lbs was a doable carry for the 75 yards from car to the water’s edge today. The onshore wind was light. I imagine a stronger side or diagonal wind would make the carry much more challenging.
Hey, sing…after you retire if you drive out west, you can have my custom wave ski. You and I might have similar leg length, in which case it would actually fit you.
I am told this style of wave ski is not beginner-friendly but for you it’d be fine. Fairly wide at the widest point (26”), tapering dramatically toward the front. 7’4” long. No fins installed but it came with the hardware. Nice lapbelt and calf leash are on it.
I really would love a marine museum or science center to have the ski, but if someone would actually paddle it, that’s good, too.
Hey, very generous of you. You are, of course, welcome to use my SOTs (two Scupper Pros and RTM Disco) or my waveski(s) when you are back in the hometown!
Truthfully, your waveski is too high performance for me these days. I still have two high performance skis with similar dimensions that I don’t ride anymore. These were customed for me when I was 10-15 lbs lighter and with greater endurance. These days, the HP waveskis just takes more effort than I am able to give/sustain for a long session. I pretty much stick to my two longboard and one min-log waveskis. Of course, now I have the FiveO as well.
I am hanging onto the HP waveskis because, in the back of my mind, I am thinking I going to run into another Alexander Stubbs. I don’t how but Alex was a 15 year kid who found our old (defunct) surf group, New England Surf Kayakers . He sent an email asking whether he can join in with us. Of course! He showed with an entry level Island waveski and his mom and began surfing with us for several years. Alex later competed and placed in the waveski division in Santa Cruz and Ventura surf comps. I keep thinking that I need to keep my skis around in case I run into another Alex… Or, at least someone with interest and the smaller stature to fit my HP waveskis.