Romny Surf

What is the general opinion regarding the Romny Surf for a senior paddler still desiring to play in the rough stuff? No longer have the strength or flexibility to be confident in my current Meridian SK or Force Cat4. Heard that the Surf is a little slow.

If you’re looking for something easier to turn and maneuver, with a touch more reassuring stability, the Surf is worth a try. You might think about a Valley Gemini SP as well.

Both of these will sacrifice some cruising speed, but if straight line endurance and speed isn’t your main concern, then these might be what you’re looking for.

The Gemini is under 50 pounds, which is a big plus. It’s not a big boat though, and if you’re over 190 pounds you might not fit. The Surf is probably closer to 60 in reality.

You might also want to consider
either the P&H Delphin or the composite version the Aries.

Romany Surf

– Last Updated: Dec-09-13 8:37 AM EST –

Hey Paul,

I've paddled mostly the regular Romany as opposed to the Surf, but other than the cockpit fit, they seem (to me) to handle pretty similarly. the Romany is better behaved in really rough stuff than the Meridian, but not by a huge amount. It definitely requires less work to make it do what you want and doesn't bounce around in confused water as much as the Meridian sometimes does. The Romany is also better in following seas. That all said, at least for me, in moderate conditions or less, the Meridian is the more nimble and responsive (and fun) of the two.

In the speed department, the Meridian is probably a little faster, but not by much - they're both kinda slow. If I always paddled in really big stuff of if they made Romanys that weigh in the mid 40 lb. range, I'd seriously consider one, until then, I'll stick with my Meridian.

NDK Vs. Dagger Meridian
Thanks for all the inputs. I know my KV Meridian at 47 lbs. is considerably lighter than any NDK model. That is very important since I often have to paddle alone.

Be Safe!

Here’s another choice.
Take a look at the Eddyline Raven.

Valley Avocet But if surfing is your thing then a Gemini or P&H Delphin 150 or 155.

I got to try out a Delphin 155 BUT just in a pool during roll practice and that kayak can really turn. I still preferred the way the Avocet rolled. Also tried a Romany NOT the surf again just in pool . Felt very similar to Avocet. Delphin had more initial stability than either of the other two.

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Maybe a SOT and a good cart for sand?
Seriously - I don’t know these boats, but I wonder if an appropriate one would make your life easier as long as you had a good cart to haul the thing from car to beach. If you are playing in surf you are already dressed for immersion anyway, so you wouldn’t need to go out and buy new clothing.

Gemini vs. Delphin
The Gemini seems to be both the most maneuverable short sea kayak yet, and also, somehow, tracks better than the Delphin for distance. My impression from spending a day in the plastic Gemini SP (roto) is that it was perhaps a little faster than Delphin, but basically in the same ballpark. Both are reassuringly stable in big conditions, but the large Delphin has a bit more stability for me (and also carries a larger paddler).

Other than some surfing some steep swell in a racey spot, I haven’t really surfed the Gemini, so can’t compare it to the Delphin for that purpose.

(It’s certainly better looking than the Delphin, but part of the Delphin’s charm is it’s awkward-looking form.)

Senior Surf Play
Hi Celia,

Thanks for the advice. After working several years in kayaking retail I have 3 carts, a Thule Boat Loader on my low hgt. vehicle and a Petrel Play. Getting the kayaks on the vehicle alone is the hardest. I treat my boats like precision instruments. They go from the water to the top of the car.

Rommney Surf

or photo op anyway.

Look at a Sterling.
If you’re looking for a top quality light weight boat that will make you confident in rough water and you don’t mind giving up some top speed, you’d be foolish not to look at one of Sterlings. I own a Reflection and it’s so good it’s almost cheating. The other boats mentioned in this post are not in the same league.

All the best, tOM

glad to see they’re back in business
Ever since I watched the video of running a river in the Reflection I’ve wanted one.

I made the mistake of test paddling one and decided I couldn’t live without it. The new boats are superior to the pre-fire boats, so now I have want and envy all over again. Just love that boat.

best mistake I ever made, tOM

have you toured in it?
How is speed? I have to believe it’s a bit slower but that’s probably only when the water’s flat.

I used a plastic Romany Surf Sunday
The coaming came loose on my Capella on Saturday, and I was lucky enough to get a loaner plastic Romany Surf for Sunday. We did a park and play day in some 2 - 3’ surf. It certainly felt sluggish to me, and the waves don’t make any difference as far as that’s concerned. I felt her plowing whether paddling out, trying to catch a wave, or just plodding along in the broken waves.

I can see where it might work well for what the OP describes. It’s forgiving, turns pretty well with minimal edging, the significant rocker and volume in the bow keeps the bow up well in waves.

For me, perhaps a composite version would feel a little better? It felt pretty sluggish on all counts after paddling my composite Capella 169 all day the day before, which isn’t a fast boat. Comparatively sluggish response to edging and maneuvering strokes, as well as very noticeable stronger resistance to the forward stroke. I know a lot of good paddlers like it, and I can see where it might fit the bill for what the OP is describing. The plastic version kind of missed the mark for me personally (doesn’t mean it would for you). Too much compromise towards well-mannered, and it felt kind of bathtub-ish to me. Perhaps there’s too much stiffness compromised in the plastic version, so maybe that was a big part of my experience?

almost bought a plastic romany

– Last Updated: Dec-19-13 3:57 PM EST –

thats is until I contacted the company. the plastic version which was only made I think for 2 years was made for bigger paddlers 5'10" and up.I never actually went and saw it because it was clearly to large for me. Not sure how the fiberglass Romany surf fits in. I know the regular Romany which I paddled briefly wasn't big at all very close to my Valley Avocet in size. Plus there were two versions of the plastic one was a single layer which was very prone to oil canning and not very stiff and the better one was what was called triple dump. Multiple layer much stiffer. So I wouldn't compare the plastic to the fiberglass. Oh NDK's website is wrong about the old plastic one too which made me laugh. It has size specs for the Pilgrim a much smaller volume kayak. I told them that in my response but I don't think they care since its a discontinued kayak.BUT I hear they might make a plastic version again soon. NDK really needs to go over there website. Mistakes all over it. I personally wouldn't trust anything on there website as being correct. You have to email them for correct info.

fiberglass surf
The Fiberglass Romany Surf is geared towards larger paddlers than the Romany.

bathtub-ish was the wrong word
That’s usually used to describe fit. At 6’ 190 lbs, the Romany Surf fit me just fine.

You know how whitewater playboats and inflatable rafts will run the same knarly sections of whitewater. It felt like a small step away from performance-oriented playboat and a small step towards safety-oriented raft, if that makes sense?

With respect to speed: A friend who had owned a Surf RM and tried a Surf composite in a tidal race (acquiring waves against a current) said the glass version was clearly faster and accelerated better than the plastic version.