We’re considering a small sot for beach use and to take camping. We would like something lightweight that my wife could load into the back of our minivan to go to the beach by herself. We have read the reviews and we are leaning toward the WS Ripper (we have a Tarpon 130T), or the OK Yak Board. The main considerations are lenght (under 8’) and weight. Any other suggestions?
I have not paddled the Ripper but at 8’ and 30 inches wide it is going to be a bit of a beach toy/ bath tub. It will be very slow to paddle and not very responsive. At 8’ it’s pretty heavy. Usually kayaks weigh about 5 lbs more than the specs.
The Yak Board will work fine for what you want to do. It too is not very fast but it can catch waves and is fun for starting out in small surf.
If you are serious about riding waves I would get a Wilderness Systems Kaos or a Cobra Strike. A little longer but much more fun for surfing. Check out the reviews here and at Sit-On-topKayaking.com.
Prioritize Your Probable Uses
A couple of comments regarding your inquiry.
First...a light weight SOT kayak is pretty close to an oxymoron. Most of the craft that fit around the 8' range like the Kaos or the Strike are rotomold plastic, and weigh in at around 45 lbs....a bit of an handful out of the water. Getting them into and out of your vehicle and transporting them to and from the water can be a fairly demanding exercise.
Secondly, a surf-specific boat will not necessarily make a particularly good utility / play kayak...and vice versa. It would probably be a good idea to prioritize your probable uses and select a craft that works best for your primary activity.
Just a Suggestion
Might think about an Ocean Kayak Scrambler. Not a high performance surf boat by any means, but pretty versitile.
Beth here. Really appreciate the advice and have learned a lot from your replies. I didn’t realize you could do so much in the waves with a kayak! As a beginner, I will probably start out with the Yak board or Ripper as I don’t plan to do much more than paddling out, riding a few small waves, and enjoying the day. I can unload the yak right on the beach and park about five feet away, so getting it to the water should be no problem. Somewhat limited in length choices as I’ll be carrying it inside the van. But there’s always upgrading to look forward to as I get more daring. (Used to surf a little in my younger days) The hunt (shopping) is half the fun! Thanks again.
With a mini van
You can put surfboard pads on the luggage rack on a minivan and load kayaks like the Yakboard,Ripper, Cobra Strike or Kaos. Believe it or not a longer kayak is easier to load from the back than a shorter kayak. The Strike will probably weigh less than a Ripper. Width inside the van becomes an issue with the wider boats. Have fun. If you have surf experience you may want to go with a waveski. Check out Island Waveskis. My waveski weighs about 20 lbs is 8’2" long and I just stick it inside my vehicle.
We’ve got a rack on the van we use for our tandem Tarpon130T. I’m 5 feet, 3 inches and really struggle getting it on the van. I’ve had several nerve surgeries on my feet so tippy toeing is difficult. I’m excited, as our local beach shop has two Yakboards in stock for $319. Our niece’s friend owns the shop and we try to support local businesses when we can.
The waveski looks very exciting. I’ll have to look for those when I go to the beach tomorrow.
Really appreciate all the advice! Beth
This came up on another thread…
beth,i really whould stay away from the yak board,i think you do much better with a frenzy good surfer with thigh straps,and tracks well for just cruzing and playing with room for a small cooler on the back great all around starter !frenzy9’
(2.7 m) 31"
(78.7 cm) 43 lbs.
(19.5 kg) 275-325 lbs.
(124.7-147.7 kg) 18"
(45.7 cm i have had 2 people i know sell thier yakboards beacuse they were unhappy with the design it just is not a good surf boat and a poor tracker.the cobra play also a good first sot.
Thanks. Read the reviews and we looked at the Frenzy yesterday. Will measure the van and see how it would fit inside with the seats out. You (all) make some excellent points. Would be great to have a surf boat AND be able to carry a cooler and more for other excursions. Need to stay under 45 pounds so it just may fit the bill. Appreciate it all! Beth and David
We started with a Frenzy, we still take it down to Mexico with us to use as a rescue boat and we use it to introduce friends to surf kayaking. Sometimes I just take it down to the coast and go for a 4 or 5 mile paddle for a workout. It’s heavy and it’s slow. Strike and Kaos are much more fun in surf. Kind of a wash compared to the Yak board for surfing fun. Frenzy will survive much rougher conditions though for the paddle out compared to Yakboard. If you only have a few feet to drag the Frenzy you will probably be OK, but I have had to carry it up and down steep trails and cliffs, it’s a big piece of plastic to lug around.