Jackson Side Kick for ocean surf?

I’m heading south for a couple months later this year, bringing the sea kayak to focus on surfing. If I bring my “kid’s river runner” also, would that be of any use on the ocean on some days? It’s fairly high volume but only 6’7" long.

Get a used surf boat.

If heading to the East Coast, look up http://www.savannahcanoeandkayak.com/

For one trip, yes, it will be useful. It didn’t sound like you were asking whether or not to buy a kayak, just to bring this one along for the trip. I would.

Not looking to buy
If I get down there and rent something that I really like, that’s another story. But I’m assuming that most rentals will have been sold. Just want to know if the Side Kick will even be of use there; slushpaddler has the right idea.

never seen this boat
but from the specs it does have highish volume which of course is all relevant to paddler weight etc. By its length i am going to say your going to find it slow getting out on any surf, but as others say, bring it along and give it a try - nothing really to loose. I see recommended paddler range is up to 120lbs.

You can poke around, catch some rides. Try a real surf boat if you get a chance.

from what little I know
Last year when I was in Rhode Island, there were a couple of paddlers in playboats catching surf rides. As someone else here mentioned, speed of the boat was a factor, as was looseness - they looked and apparently were really squirrelly. I had a chance to talk with them and they basically said the same, they were telling me how they had to favor one ‘chine’ or another to avoid the squirrelly tendency. But they were on legitimate 4 footers and the wave faces were steep enough as they broke to let gravity help them stay on the face.

Bring it
The Sidekick is a small Hero, which has a Fun hull with a voluminous deck making it a good river runner with some play characteristics. It’s not a surf boat, per se, but it will give you some great rides and be alot of fun. Learn to flat spin it in the pile, then take that skill back to the river. You will have fun with it.


Go for it …
If you are headed to the Atlantic or Gulf Coast you are only going to get small crappy short period surf 95% of the time. A short whitewater boat is just fine for playing in the muck. As salty says you can develop the basic skills and throw the boat around, you will be glad you brought it.

You will want a surf boat:)

I know you will want a surf boat based on where you will be. Bring the boat only if you will have room to bring a surf boat back along with the other 2. If you can’t carry three boats, leave the river runner at home.

Take a lesson or 2 with either Nige at Savannah Canoe/Kayak or Ben Lawry and then go from there.


Bring the Jackson
It will be enough to give you a taste of what the surf can be like and that may be all you may need.

If you fall in love with surfing, then consider a lesson or two with Nigel Law at Savannah Canoe and Kayak (he’s great, will provide you with the right boat, and may have some demos or others for sale in your possible price range…)or Ben if he’s available; he and Nigel work together sometimes.

I learned my dubious surfing talents in a Pyranha Inazone220, which is not the best but worked and got me started. While I still have the Pyranha220 (it’s primarily a guest “surfer” boat and for the day that I may actually be able to “play” in WW; right now I use a Pyranha BurnS for WW), I also have a Mega BullettS for surf. You might want to demo this particular boat as, given that you and I seem to have a similar build (and similar choices in boats…), it may work well for you. Nigel Law is a Mega dealer.

No matter what you bring, have fun.

More boats! You guys are a bad influence.

I can take 3 boats back, if necessary. The Side Kick fits inside the truck bed!

Yeah, that’s the idea

– Last Updated: Aug-27-10 3:45 PM EST –

I'll have the opportunity to paddle a LOT, without even having to drive to the launch. And in what would be a very long non-paddling time of year here! The more I can learn and practice while there, the greater the chances that some of it can be transferred to playing here.

It'll be a good area to practice navigation skills, too.

'Course, eventually we're gonna move to the coast, but that's another story. ;-)

The Inazones

– Last Updated: Aug-27-10 4:43 PM EST –

We went out in short boats one day in Maine. I borrowed an older Inazone, either the 222 or the 230 (whichever is bigger). Unfortunately, the guy who owned it had removed the footrests and hip pads. The thigh braces were set too far forward for me, and we didn't have a screwdriver to change those. So when I capsized, I got sucked out to where my knees were lodged against the coaming edge (difficult to get out). Scared the crap out of me because I thought the next wave to come along would break my legs. Didn't even try to roll it. This happened twice.

Later, I paddled it into a tiny pond-like area where sand had cut it off from the waves. Found I could roll it even with the very loose fit, as long as I could stay more or less in the seat. But it felt huge and I didn't "trust" the fit in the waves.

That would scare the poo out of me, too. The 230 is the bigger of the two – the husband paddles one – and would be fairly useless, I think, if it was sans foot pegs and padding. The 220 Inazone is the smaller; mine was bought used but was padded in such a way that it worked for me from the get go.

I may have not been clear on what boats to demo should you go for a surf boat – and the Inazone IS NOT a surf boat although it “works” (somewhat) in surf – but the Mega BullittS (FG or Carbon only, I think) would be my recommendation.

What you really want is a waveski
I have a ski that would fit you but probably not worth shipping it; check out the USwaveski.com forums, there are some folks down that way who surf and sell too.

She’ll probably figure out the
surf kayak-ski thing while down there messing around with her WW boat. From reading her posts, whether commenting or asking, she seems very intelligent, so it won’t be long before she figures out that the sea kayak in surf becomes more duty, as in I;ll practice for when I’m on a trip and have to land in surf, and the WW boat is the tool of choice because it actually surfs and not “gets surfed.” From there it is a tiny leap to a surf boat or ski, which is night and day from a WW boat. The WW boat will be good, teach lots, especially transferable skills for the river, but the surf kayak or ski in the surf is King…or in Pika’s case, Queen. Let’s just make sure our Pika is wearing a helmet! Lots of Nigel Law video out there in the area not wearing a helmet. Bad, bad, bad, bad form. I hope that knucklehead is reading this. I do. Good surfer. Good advocate for the sport. Bad, bad, bad, bad form in going on youtube repetitively not wearing a helmet in surf.


I wear a helmet

– Last Updated: Aug-27-10 11:34 PM EST –

It even has a few scratches on it despite being only a couple months old.

No ifs, ands, or buts--well, one IF--if it's moving water, I wear the helmet and the PFD. I went back and forth on the bike helmet over many years. Then I had a bad crash that destroyed a helmet and saved me. After that, I wore a helmet consistently.

Well, with all these exhortations to try a real surf kayak, I'll try to rent one while I'm down there. Lesson(s), too.

I'll always love the long boats, though--good for getting away from crowds.

230 way too big
for you. As with dcm, that is the size my husband had. He’s since traded around to another boat, but I did have a shot at rolling it in the pool. Quite stick, took much oomph because the volume is was so high. But a poor choice of boat for someone your size, let alone it being set up unsafely.

As seems to keep happening with dcm and I, the used river runner under the porch for me is (also) an Inazone 220 and it is much the better size for you, or a 222 but those are rarer than hen’s teeth to find in decent shape.