Romany Surf Kayak

Can anyone tell me how the Romany Surf handles? I’m looking for a second boat to play in the waves with. Something very responsive. Something that’s just fun to nutts around in. I have a Current Designs Titan LV, which is great for camping the Apostle Islands. It’s quite the frieght hauler, and for that it’s good, but I want something else for playing in the waves when they kick up on Lake Superior.

something else

An IC and HP surf craft all in one for those days on Lake Superior when you want to tear it up!!!

It’s got a lot of hull speed and fins so you can shred.

If you already have a sea kayak, why not really learn to surf?

What kind of waves do you plan on?
The “Surf” certainly looks like a playful seakayak, but name seems a bit of an exaggeration.

What are the wave conditions you expect to surf?

Well developed swells like in the ocean.

Fast breaking long period waves.

Short period breaking windwaves?

Messy chop with inconsistent bigger waves?

What is the typical wave period? 5 to 10 to 12 seconds at most? How steep are the faces of the breaking wave?

Point break, reef break or beach break?

If you really want to surf I would look at a longer surf kayak like an old Mako or jester they can be had fairly cheaply. Newer international class boats are a good bet too, unless you have a very fast breaking steep wave, then you would want to look into shorter HP boats.

I paddled the Romany surf last summer

– Last Updated: Apr-05-10 1:52 PM EST –

but did not get a chance to test it in surf as the conditions never came up when I had the boat for demo. At my size 6'3" 240lbs, the boat is a near perfect fit with plenty of volume. I compared the boat heads up with an Eddyline Fathom and thought the Fathom compared favorably. The Romany S is VERY slow accelerating in comparison to the Fathom. It made decent speed and handled very well. My sense is that it would outperform the Fathom in the surf. It carries a ton of volume fore and aft. It is a good rolling boat as well. I am currently deciding whether I will purchase the Romany S or the Fathom next. As my local kayak shop sells the Romany, I suspect it will be the NDK. My only real bitch was acceleration, which in surf could be an issue. The boat has only four liters less volume than the Explorer,but is a far more playful hull. If you are a smaller person I would rethink this and consider a Pintail, Fathom LV, or the surf specific boats you have seen mentioned above. The Romany S is still a large sea kayak that is capable of longer distance and reasonable packing room. At my size it is at the smaller end of the spectrum of boats I can fit into that I would consider more playful. Bill

Perfect Boat

– Last Updated: Apr-05-10 9:31 PM EST –

I own and surf the Romany Surf on wind waves on Lake Erie. The boat has tremendous secondary stability. The boat accelarates efficiently and stays on top of the wave with little effort. I use the boat to surf and on day paddles. I am 6'2 and 235 Lbs. I give the boat 10\10. I will post a review shortly.

Romany surf
My surf buddy has one, and I have tried his. We are both medium-sized men, experienced in the surf.

For the surf or similar, this boat is fantastic, no drawbacks. If you are expeditioning or long day-tripping, the Romany Surf is slow and not good in big beam winds.

For a general-purpose boat including surf, the Explorer is more versatile. It is better for non-surf uses, and is good but not quite as good in the surf.

Slow… Really???

– Last Updated: Apr-07-10 10:00 AM EST –

My average speed is 4.5 km over 10 km. The top speed which I can maintain for 300-400 metres is 9 km. The bigger the waves the better the boat responds.
This is obviously not a "general use" boat. It is like comparing apples and oranges.

Glad you like your Romany Surf
I would be happy to own this boat, I’m glad you like yours. It picks up and surfs very well. I would use it for play only, since for distances like 10k my other boats can get me there in under 1.5 hr.

Sounds slow to me
I’m by no means a racer, but I like to average 7-8 kmh over distances longer than 10 km. If I’m going 1000 m or less, I’ll keep the average closer to 10 kmh. And for short sprints, I can peak out at 13 kmh.

So yes, I’d call 4.5 kmh a slow speed.

is that a skeg control I see
right where my knee would like to be?

some of us think of boat speed in knots

– Last Updated: Apr-08-10 3:43 PM EST –

I'm afraid that I have trouble converting kilometers per hour into experienced boat speed. In case anyone else is similarly challenged: 4.5kmh = 2.4 knots, 7-8 kmh = 3.8-4.3 knots, 10kmh = 5.4 knots.

I've most often encountered 3 knots stated as a average/standard cruising speed in a sea kayak and found 4 knots a good brisk pace.

I agree.

I actually prefer mph
But since the OP used km, I figured I’d keep the units consistent.

For anyone else that uses mph: 4.5 kmh = 2.8 mph, 7-8 kmh = 4.3-5.0 mph, 10 kmh = 6.2 mph, 13 kmh = 8.1 mph.

I’ve also heard 3-4 mph is a common cruising speed.

original question
Funny things don’t change on this site. The guy wanted to know about surf. I advised that I use it for surfing and it is very good. Advise was given about day touring and say it works adequatley. Then some hater says it is slow. The math geeks come out and do conversions of speed and distance. Obviously I am being critical, but just because you like to go fast does not mean that a boat is slow. The same could be said about how little storage there is for multi day trips. Wait that is why NDK make the Explorer !

Would the speed freak actually buy this boat or is he just giving his opinion about how slow it is because he has a “touring boat” that goes real fast ???

Yes, this seems slow…
… unless you are paddling against 15-20 mph winds and 2-3 fett chop all the time…

Here is the math 4.5km/h (approx. 2.8 mile per hour) for 10 km (approx. 6.3 miles).

It just so happenned that yesterday I did a very similar paddle: 6.7 mile distance. There were 15-17 mph winds with slightly higher higher gusts, mostly 2 foot wind waves with some 3 footers and frequent white caps. My average turned-out exactly 4mph on the round-trip. Of course, this was at a brisk pace rather than just leisurely. And since it was a round-trip, half of it was surfing the same waves I was going against for the first half where the max speeds were up to 10 mph for short stretches but that’s trying to milk the waves. If just floating down with the following seas it would be mostly around the 5 mph mark downwind with not much effort. On the up-wind leg the speed was hovering about 3.8-4 mph average.

You do the conversion math -:wink:

Oh, and the boat was 13.5 feet long Perception Sonoma, not a speed daemon by any stretch of the imagination but it has a more streamlined shape than the bulky Romany. Still, at at about 2 feet longer, the Romany should be in the same ballpark for speed, I hope.

“My average speed is 4.5 km over 10 km. The top speed which I can maintain for 300-400 metres is 9 km. The bigger the waves the better the boat responds.

This is obviously not a “general use” boat. It is like comparing apples and oranges.”

Getting a little testy are we not?
I gave some good feedback on this boat, so put your paintbrush down and listen. The Romany S is a bit of a pig. Why? Because it is shaped like a pig. That which enables the boat to surf so well also makes it slow to accelerate. It is NOT a slow boat as its overall cruising speed seemed perfectly fine to me. It is not as fast as the Fathom. For the record, I do not consider the Explorer to be fast either, and maybe marginally faster than the surf. The Romany S and the Fathom were compared side by side by three experienced paddlers. We DID NOT surf the boat as conditions did not permit, but we could tell from the off wind performance in the two footers we were in that the boat would be fun in the surf. It handles very well and rolls nicely too. If the OP wants a boat for surf purposes and some touring, it is a good choice. If he wants surf only, he may want to consider Keith’s advice on a surf specific hull. Finally, if he wants a good touring sea kayak that is competant in the surf, the suggestion of the Explorer is a good one. All good advice for the OP to digest. Bill

Next song

– Last Updated: Apr-09-10 12:07 PM EST –

I am going paddling in my "pig" of a boat.

Those that can … do …
Those that can’t - post esoterica on Pnet.


whoa up there
Seadart, I have no opinion on the Romany Surf. But I read in hopes of learning a few things -which I have.

But I do know my friend Bill (moparharn) who is an avid experienced and very skilled paddler. He is out every month of the year here in MI.

He is definitely a person who ‘can do’ and ‘does’ while not in the least boastful. He is a person I would paddle with and gratefully so - in any conditions I could manage.

He happens to be resting a degenerative back injury right now, so he has more time to post. During this time he built his first SOF, a beauty I saw the first week of March.

Last year he also tested the prototype Eddyline Fathom w. the lower aft deck - at the company’s request.

Seadart, I hope your parting shot wasn’t meant to include him.

If you knew Bill IRL he’d be the first to say “Let’s paddle” and say it often. Likely you guys would have a helluva good time on the water.

Yet here you are posting, so we should
assume you fall in the can’t column? It seems that posting an opinion to share experiences, even at an OP’s request, will bring out the internet tough guys. Without experiencing it first, I would have thought the kayaking crowd would be a more friendly bunch. There is too little point-counter point, just an insult with the stroke of a key and off you go. Thanks for the kind words D, right back at ya. Bill :slight_smile: