Kayak Surfing

-- Last Updated: Feb-13-09 3:10 PM EST --

What white water boats/sea kayaks are good for surfing? ( I am 6'2, 230 Lbs ) Thanks for the help.

Older Necky Boats!

– Last Updated: Dec-08-08 4:57 PM EST –

As you ask peoples opinions about WW boats that can surf, you need to understand that you will get some very different opinions. Everybody has a different concept of what "Surfing" means.

If you just want to huck the boat around and do tricks in the whitewater as you get pushed into shore, then most WW playboats will do just fine.

If you want to actually surf the waveface with down-the-line speed and carve turns, then you need to choose very carefully. Most WW boats are too slow in the surf due to too much rocker. Also, those big rounded rails/sides which make a WW boat forgiving on the river will make it harder to carve on a wave face.

Many of the older Necky boats surf great.
I still have a Zip which is one of the best surfing WW boats ever. I'm not sure that you'd fit in a Zip, but it might be worth a try. Some of the other Necky boats to checkout are the Rip, Bliss and Gliss.

The nice thing about the Rip is that it is big and comfy and at 9'-2", you will be able to cruise around a bit.

wave surfing

– Last Updated: Dec-08-08 5:00 PM EST –

I live near Lake Erie in Canada. Waves average about 2-3 feet on most days, but can get bigger. I like to ride them on my sea kayak but there is obviously WW boats that will work better for turning, tricks and speed. Thank for the Necky advise will look into the boats mentioned.

Look for a Necky Jive 8’10"
Necky made two sizes of this boat … it’s a good surfer too. You might do better in the 8’10" model if you can find one on Ebay or Craigslist . Some people install fins on plastic boats to make them surf better. Riot made some boats with fins (the boogie is a dedicated surf boat, and the still sell it) I tried one of their older whitewater play boats— Techno I believe that actually was pretty fun for a whitewater boat in the surf. DragoRossi makes some boats that surf pretty well, but for waves where you are I would stick with a longer boat like the Bigger Jive or Rip.

Yes! Jive too.
I forgot about the Jive.

By the way, where were you this weekend Seadart?

I’ll post some video tonight or tomorrow. I got some nice clips of Dave Johnston at Tarantulas.

if long boats are
more your speed than consider sea kayaks that don’t have a rudder (it might get broken easily in the surf) and have enough rocker to make them maneuverable (although with good technique even a kayak with limited rocker can be surfed).

Not wanting to state the obvious but I don’t know how much does the original poster understand about “kayak surfing”.

Higher volume in the bow is desirable or you might end up nose diving on short waves (not ocean swell).

Needless to say that you need a tight fitting cockpit to have a responsive craft.

While specific surf kayaks are a ton of fun in the waves they kind of suck if paddled on the flat/distance.

Romany would be a good long boat…

If long boat…
The Romany is an excellent surfer for a sea kayak.

I haven’t, but have had exchange with a number who have used InaZones for surfing. I’m also told that Diesels surf well. I would guess that most planing hull ww boats would surf better than any sea kayak?

Responsibility won over Fun
I’m running my own company now and had to meet with people Friday afternoon. Decided it’s too much driving for just getting to surf Saturday. Sorry I missed the party though. Did the waves get better Sunday? They sucked here all weekend.

Good stuff …
Now I’m feeling like a missed out a bit :frowning: Really Clean and fun looking waves. I maybe could have even made it out on my ski.

…if you’re trying to catch deepwater swells and go screaming downwind, or if you’re trying to maneuver on the face of a breaking wave.

For the latter, your best bet is probably to find a used surf kayak or waveski. If you like to build, there’s this:


Another option might be a surfing SOT like a WS Kaos or Cobra Strike.

I’ll start a seperate thread with a link to some video I shot… but, yeah, the waves were great on Friday, dropped a bit for Saturday and picked up again on Sunday. The beach tended to be ‘wally’, but was good at times… Tarantula’s was perfect with some scary big (atleast for me) set waves.

NDK Explorer
The Explorer is a great surf boat but workmanship can be a dog.

The lay up on mine is increadibly bad.

The design (lines) increadibly good for surfing and all around kayaking.

Mine sports voids in the glass, bubbles that leaked when I got it and a lack of glass behind the skeg that is amazing.

And the crappy thing about it is it is still a lovely boat to paddle…

She surfs very well…


Diesel 75
Anyone acutally surf (ride waves in the ocean or lake) in one of these boats? I want to have a white water boat, but will only really use it a couple times a year. My Valley Aquanaut HV is my sea kayak and I am very happy with that.

Thanks for all those who have previously replied.

+1 on the Zip
When I’m in my Zip I get better rides than anybody but the real glass surf boats. I’m 5’11", 185#, size 12 feet and I wouldn’t consider it roomy for me. I think there might be another inch of foot room and a little hip space left over.


I’ve heard from a number of folk who have found a Diesel a very good boat for surfing. I’ve only used my Diesel 75 on whitewater and found it a forgiving and responsive boat. It surfs a standing wave very nicely :wink: