Sing, what kind of boat

is that in the photo of you at Kings Beach?

Thanks, I’m browsing around for a ww/surf kayak.



– Last Updated: Jan-13-06 6:33 AM EST –

strictly wave riding craft. Basically, a surf board with volume distributed for a rider sitting on one set area. Someone is selling a beginner intermediate waveski on boatertalk right now. It's WaveMaster Stablizer Comp and has adjustable foot wells. This adjustability is good for a first waveski (in my opinion) because it minimizes concerns about fit posed by more customized waveskis. The fit is hard to for newbies to figure out. A customized fit also minimizes resale values because greatly limits the range of folks who fit the waveski (unless you're that purported "average" sized paddler).

If you're looking double duty ww and surf, I would strongly recommend looking for a Riot Trickster or Dominatrix series. They have a fin boxes that really help in higher performance surfing. The fins can come off in white water and the boat is a capable river runner/play boat. It almost 8' long. This is long by today's standards for a river play boat but on an ocean wave it gives you more speed than a shorter boat. Also, the length has prevent inadvertent backlooping on the paddle out.

Of course, there ia also the Necky Jive and Rip which, despite not fins, have hulls that work pretty well on surf. On the river, these are more river runner because of their >8' length and relatively higher volumes for small to medium paddlers. A Necky Zip is just under 8', has sharper edges and slight concave sidewall that would help it be a much more aggressive surf boat. Those same edges will, however, make it less forgiving for someone just starting in white water. However, if you have good edge awareness and control, getting used to the Zip should be a fast process.

The nice thing about the Riot and Necky boats I mentioned are that they older models and can be found in the used market for under $400.


Riot Turbo 47 or 52 is good surf/WW …
or so I’ve read and heard. Designed by Corran Addison, who loves to carve on waves. They have double edges on the bottom and rubber fins … It may be what I get since I live on the coast and want a more playful river boat (than my Diesel river runner) and surf boat all in one. They are a bit old and should be findable for $500 and under, or a bit more for the similar but newer and higher volume Riot Nitro if you’re on the bigger side:

If you are looking for a waveski
There is a guy in Virginia beach area selling a Wavemaster Stabilizer Comp on BoaterTalk Surfzone, this is a very good ski for learning how to surf wave skis, supposedly fairly forgiving. Not sure he would want to ship, but the paddle sport community is pretty connected and somebody in your area might be able to pick it up for you. On the west coast several of us have delivered/transferred boats for other people. My personal reccomendation would be to go for a Necky Jive or a Kaos sit on top surf kayak if you think you will be spending a lot of time surfing. My whitewater experience in Jive is minimal but it is very very forgiving of mistakes and its an adequate surfer.

Turbo 52 photos show fin slots …
… and the Necky Mission is another option of you prefer something more forgiving on the river but probably not able to carve/surf as well:

Hey sing, I was wondering if you knew anything about building wave skis, as I cant afford to buy one however I would like one for my familys cottage in the bahamas.

you have the woody ski which seems the easiest and cheapest (Check out the video. Looks able to rip):

Or you can go the foam, epoxy, glass route. More expensive and probably harder to get right.

I am going to try the latter route this summer, but only because I have two waveski that I can draw from as reference points.


Similar But Not The Same

– Last Updated: Jan-13-06 4:25 PM EST –

This has been said before...but probably bares repeating. A cross-over kayak for surf and river is a boat that will not excel in either setting. The existence alone of fin boxes, does not make it a surf boat. There’s a good article on , the Journal page, that discusses the major design elements that differentiate a white water kayak from a high performance surf kayak.

In my opinion, it would be a good idea to understand these basic differences before starting to assess potential boats.

thanks and more
questions. I’m over 50 with very limited surf experience (4 star training x 2) and 1/2 day ww experience…what fun that was, it was a lesson in the middle of downtown Reno… I do have lots of sea kayaking experience and a solid roll on both sides. A friend just gave me a van so both surf and rivers are now within reach.

Having read the archives discussions on planing vs displacement hulls it seems like the weight of evidence comes down on the side of planing. I have an irrational aversion to the duck-billed ww kayaks. Is there a kayak that combines a planing hull with a more traditional shaped kayak.

Thanks for everyone’s advice and suggestions, especially Sing.


An Option
I don’t profess to know about all the surf kayaks available, so I will share my personal experience as a starting point. I recently took delivery of a Mega Maverick. This is a new surf-specific design out of the Mega shop in the U.K. I have the plastic version and at 7’10" X 25", it delivers tons of fun and great performance at a reasonable price.

The Maverick comes with an adjustable tri-fin configuration with a fairly traditional small boat shape. While maybe a little on the heavy side for a surf boat, the plastic construction makes for a very durable craft that holds up well when dealing with rocky launches and landings. Early reports from the contest circuit are very favorable, with the Maverick already capturing some first place finishes.

For more details on the Mega Maverick, check

Form And Function

– Last Updated: Jan-14-06 6:07 AM EST –

When I first got into white water, I thought the boats were funny looking and ridiculously short. My first ww boat, a Perception Shock, was almost 8' which is considered long by today's standard for a "playboat." That boat proved too low volume (42 gallons) for anything but a class II river for me. I was constantly ending and squirting it, although I did learned to handroll with that boat. So I ended up with a Trickster which was approximately the same length but more volume. I thought the Trickster was an even funnier looking boat because of all the sharp edges and really a weird stern with two huge bumps behind the seat (giving volume near the cockpit) that radically tapered to a very slicey end. Well that boat proved a decent river running playboat for my size and, even better, a fun boat to learn to surf with. I used to be all smiles riding that boat. If your look at these pics, you can see me smiling ear to ear riding the Trickster.

The trickster is now doing double duty ww/surf for a long boat paddler. I loaned to her for the NHAMC white water school. She bought it when I decided to sell it to make room for other boats.

The point is that the form should follow function. Once you get used to the function, you develop a different aesthetic that appreciates the form that may have looked ridiculous previously.

I think you may want to examine what you are more likely to do, surfing vs white water. If you are closer to the ocean and more likely to do surfing, I think getting a dedicated surf boat will give you far better performance on a waveface. Some of the newer white water boats that can better carve on waves tend to be shorter and have sharper edges. Their shorter lengths require them to be closer to the wave pocket to get good speed. Hard for a newbie who still need to learn wave reading and where the critical section is to catch a wave. On white water, the newbie will find a boat that may not be the most foregiving because of it's sharper chines to learn edge control crossing current and eddy lines.

One way around this is to hook up with people or clubs that can let try different boats on white water and surf so you can have some experience and then figure which direction you want to go. NHAMC WW School is coming up in April. It's great way to get intro in white water with a supportive bunch of folks. Or, you can take some lessons at Zoar Outdoors up in western MA and they will put you in some of the more recent river running boats.

Trying a surf boat is the hardest since there aren't that many around in the northeast. If want to try a surf boat, you can always come up for a day and I'll be glad to lend you a surfboat and head out with you (since I will likely be out there anyway). By next month, I should have an extra surf boat in addition to my Mega Venom. Of course, I also have a Booster 50 which you can try in the surf. The Booster is a river running playboat.


you’re one generous guy, Sing
thanks so much for the information and your offer of letting me try your kayak. I’ve looked at both websites, and also know of some (relatively) local ww classes that are offered. I’m also going down to GA for some surf practice and training in April.

My actual goal is to be a better sea kayaker more than to become a ww kayaker or surf, and I think I’ll likely use the boat more for surfing as that’s more fun and closer by. I may take you up on your offer of a visit some weekend, that sounds like fun! Again, thanks so much.



– Last Updated: Jan-14-06 9:42 AM EST –

I started playing in the surf zone and river paddling to become a better seakayaker. It's just that my "true self" took over... I am an adrenaline addict, always have been as reflected in the sports that I have gravitated towards even as a young teen.

We have several BCU 4 star folks who surf with us. I think they have a similar intent of honing more rough water/beach break skills. However, some of them have become semi-serious, if not more, as they now have surf specific crafts that they come to the break with. One reason is that once the breaking waves become much more than 3-4', a long boat is more likely to broach and sidesurf. Certainly a valuable skill for a seakayaker to have but not much fun once you have it down. I think they find being able to control a surf boat, up and down a waveface, as well as back and forth, much more fun and challenging skill to develop in their own right. Plus, a surf specific boat allows riding bigger waves (not open water swells) that long boats simply cannot at a certain point.

In terms of borrowing a surf boat, I am serious and you can take me up on it when you're inclined.


Surfing is very addicting. Everybody starts out just going to try it out or thinking it might be a good skill to pick up. Very likely that if you live very close to surf, you will start wanting to go very often. Nice thing in a kayak you don’t have to have perfect waves to get started in fact in a whitewater boat, messy broken up shore break is fun to learn the basics of edge control, paddling over the foam, bottom turns, braces, side surfing etc. So you can start out in a very inexpensive used boat and move up as you get more skill and awareness of what makes good waves and how to catch them. I certainly wish I had known about surf kayaking when I lived on the East Coast.

Ya I do have a lot of experince with core cell foam (bit different stuff) and composites and such, but since ive never even used a wave ski I think i may go for the woody, also seems like a faster build since ive already made 2 stich and glue boats. Thanks for the links sing

Of course :slight_smile:
This is why it’s good to have one of each kind of boat, or actually sometimes two so a friend or partner can join me – that’s my goal.

Right now it’s an all-purpose, river-running whitewater boat (Wave Sport Diesel 65 – I use it for short Tomales Bay crossings, surf to 8’ high, but mainly rivers to Class IV) and then a stable but fast and fun Sevylor RIver X whitewater inflatable (versatile and sturdy, ain’t no Tahiti), but I have to replace my Looksha Sport with something this summer. I also have a rescued Frenzy to repair for casual/ newbie use.

Gotta start somehwere, though, and a playful modern river runner is a good entry point for some serious fun.

surfing helped me!
i started surfing down here in RI about 3 years back…then got heavily into long boats…i will admit that my history of surfing small boats in 6-7’ surf has me MUCH more comfortable and confident in big seas and bigger boats…during my aca open water idw and ice, off of sakonnet point in tiverton ri, i had no worries at all …


Dom 47

– Last Updated: Jan-17-06 4:07 PM EST –

posted in the classifieds:

(ME) Riot Domanatrix 47 gallons. Ultra light weight, only 19 lbs! $300 + shipping and handling. -- Submitted by: sarahp228

Basically, almost the same as the Trickster but one gallon smaller and couple of inches shorter. The ultalight I think is really 25 lbs vs the normal 35 lbs.

Trickster worked for my 5'3", 140 lbs, in surf and white water.


thanks, I saw that
and was trying to figure out how to get to ME (or MA) to try out that kayak. The price seems great but I can’t figure out if my feet would fit. I’m 5’4 and have a few pounds on you. One model I tried that was similar in shape left me cramped (my feet only, but there were no foot rests so that’s probably why) and sore (my thighs, one of those perfect bruises, no chance to adjust the thigh brace) at the end of a 2 hr pool session.

I just booked for surf training at the end of April. The perfect time to start trying out boats will the weekend after that…around the first weekend in May. At that time I’ll have the surf practice and hopefully the AMC weekend ww practice under my belt. Lyn

Feet Should Fit
bigger folks than you and me use the Trickster/Dom 47. Of course, once you get much over 160 lbs, the boat becomes more a boat for play rather than river running/play. In the surf, such a boat needs to be surfed much closer to the power pocket of the wave. In a larger boat, with more planing surface, a boat begins to surf/plane quicker and doesn’t have to be right near steeper critical part of the wave.

Are to attending NHAMC WW School? If so, I can lend you my Booster 50. If you rely on the school to provide the boat when you get there, you have a 50/50 chance of ending up with an old river runner.