Rough conditions

What yaks are good at handling rough conditions?

Assuming the paddler is experienced in these types of situations. FishHawk

Greenland bow is better than British bow

You can expect to hear
each persons kayak is better than the others, so I will help get your string started.

My 9’-6" Keowee handles all kinds of conditions.

When the seas are over four feet with a twenty knot wind I naturally have to wear my skirt, but normally I get tossed from the top of one breaking white cap to the top of the next.



Dime A Dozen…

– Last Updated: Nov-23-05 6:05 AM EST –

assuming the paddler has the skills. Then the consideration is the perference of the paddler towards "playful" vs "trackier" type of boat, day tripping vs expedition, and the paddler's size and anticipated load.

Unless you give more specifics related to the above, you'll get a laundry list that may or may not include your underwear. :)

Oh, I forgot, the first post reminds me of the factor of "looks". (Performance wise, I leave the respective camps to rehash the endless battle of which is "better.")


(who owns Greenland style, Brit Style and, yes, American Northwest style long boats)

I have tons of respect for you as a frequent p-net poster. You are well versed, and articulate. But–a Keowee?!

sing, what the heck time is it in Cali. Man, get some sleep.

Hang Around…

– Last Updated: Nov-23-05 7:03 AM EST –

you'll begin to notice that I am an early morning poster, starting around 4-5 AM. You'll rarely see me post after 6 PM, unless I am working late.

Generally, I am asleep by 10 PM. If I don't post a particular morning, it's likely because I am doing a surf dawn patrol.

Oh, I am east coast boy, though I consider the Bay Area my "home away from home" since I have lots of friends and some relatives there.

would be a good place for you to check out. For my money (and weight) the NDK explorer rules when it gets nasty. Yet to paddle a WS tempest or anything fron ONNO or Mirage of AU.

“tongue in cheek” doc
The question is so broad that I fully expect to see answers like that.

Please accept my apology FishHawk for my unwarranted sarcasim.

There are dozens of yaks that will handle rough conditions.



Oh,. My brain issoft at this hour. I now
…get the tongue in cheek.

Serious question?
Though this could easily be a troll, what the heck…

Among many of the most experienced paddlers the NDK Explorer is the most preferred boat in conditions.

A number of the Brit boats are specifically design for coastal conditions and expeditions.

Personally, I prefer the way my Valley Aquanaut handles challanging seas.

Of course there is a contingent (QCC cult) that believes that QCC boats are the best boats for all skilled paddlers in all conditions.

A SOT built for the Surf…

A bunch of them
But the specifics matter - surf, open ocean or ocean bay, paddler size and skill?

Very Good!
we assumed long boats. Maybe it’s a creek boat for those nasty boofs on Class VI waterfalls. Them boats are tough. :slight_smile:


Rough Water Boats

– Last Updated: Nov-23-05 9:44 AM EST –

There are many great rough water boats. Here are some kayaks that I consider to be well-mannered in rough water (better Sing?)

Valley: Aquanaut, Avocet, Pintail, Anas Acuta
Nigel Dennis: Explorer and Romany
P&H: Bahiya, Sirius, Quest, Vela and Capella
Current Designs: Gulfstream and Caribou
Necky: Chatham 17 and 18
Wilderness Systems: Tempest 165, 170 and 180

You Have Got To Be The Amazing
shrinking man. How can you fit from Vela to Bahiya or a Gulfstream to determine these are your personal “favorites?” :slight_smile:


I like light grey
it’s not easy for others to see but I don’t think it offends the water.

Nothing beats a Pintail in rough water
It’s my “go to” boat when I know I’m going to be playing in rough stuff. It just seems to be complete at home in “lumpy” conditions and I feel that I can just trust to boat to “do what it does”. It just slides around on waves and almost never lets me down.

Rough conditions
Almost all boats handle rough conditions similarly as in, Come out of your boat in the surf or strong wind and most boats will fill with water, tumble drift etc… However, in the hands of a skilled paddler and most boats behave significantly better. My point is “it’s not about the boat”. I recommend to all those interested in “open water paddling” to get good training, practice incrementally and then use your own experience to select a boat. Nowdays I evaluate boats from two perspectives, comfort ( fit) and performance (how does it perform in the conditions I like to spend my time in). I spend a great deal of time on the Pacific Ocean as well as in the wind of the Columbia Gorge and I enjoy my Tempest in that environment.



– Last Updated: Nov-23-05 10:13 AM EST –

If you are experienced in the rough then it comes down to personal preference.

From a hydrodynamic standpoint I can't stand the skinny tipped, fat waisted, boats. They might have 16' of waterline but with skinny ends and fat middle only 14' of that is effective in wavemaking and drag is obsene at any decent speed. In heavily rockered boats those ends are just up there catching wind. In waves they still knife into the wave and then the fat midsection slaps. In low rockered boats those skinny ends just act like big skegs adding useless extra wetted surface area "deadwood". I don't mind upswept ends but the designers could get the same volume with less beam and a better ride in chop if they carry some of the volume into the ends.

Consequently I don't like the stable pig boats that a lot of folks consider the standard for rough water. They just wallow around in rough seas. I like skinny beams, high prismatic coefficients, and long waterlines for surfing downwind. If I was going to be sitting in rough seas or paddling with a slow group where I wasn't going to be surfing downwind quickly I'd consider a stable pig boat.

My personal preference for a play boat in open water rough stuff is a Mako Millineum surfski. For carrying gear in rough stuff my QCC Q600 does well. I also like my brother's Nigel Foster Legend quite a bit. It has upswept ends but a pretty symetrical waterline profile and a good overall volume distribution. The Legend is almost as fast as the Q600 and it handles a bit more crisply when surfing so it might actually be a bit better. The Legend feels a bit too big for me though and I want to try a Silhouette.

For rock gardens or other areas where manueverability was critical then a Pintail might be a great option.

hmm… class VI waterfall…
Good luck boofing Niagara falls! :slight_smile: