Thinking about a Cobra Strike

Hi All,

Am looking at getting a kayak and want the option to surf…have the chance to get a Cobra Strike for a decent price but want to know if I wil be miserable paddling the Strike for general use in the ocean or on lakes. I assume the Strike is very specialized and if that is the case I am thinking the Venus 10 or 11 might be better but I can’t find much at all about how they surf?

Anyone have any thoughts…my weight is 140lbs height is 5’6" if that matters and I am in San Diego.




– Last Updated: Jan-02-07 4:55 PM EST –

Most people here will tell you to think about what type of paddling you will primarily be doing. There is no boat that surfs like a surf kayak and still covers ground like a touring or sea kayak.

If mainly sea kayaking you might think about a pintail, avocet, or another sea kayak with lots of rocker. There are some shorter poly touring boats that surf pretty decently.

If mainly surfing I'd have to defer to the surfers here but suffice to say you won't want to paddle miles in it.

Something small

Lol…I have a Mini Cooper so I won’t be getting a touring kayak. I am still going to get a boat in the 9-11 foot range…one that I can handle on my own and that my car can safely transport…so that is where my dilema comes in. I would bet I won’t do alot of surfing unless I love it and would I love it if I was using a bathtub to learn on?? :slight_smile: Hence if general paddling in a Strike is not sheer torture then I would sacrifice some speed (no need to go fast looking at critters in La Jolla area) to have a better time trying to surf. I already tried out the Venus and liked it for general paddling. Don’t know how to surf so not sure it would make sense to paddle the Strike or not but I guess I could see how it compares to the Venus for general paddling.


see the pamlico 140 thread
I’d look for a used cobra strike. That way you’re not out as much money and you can decide once you get some exposure what kind of paddling you’ll do more of.

I found one that was what got me asking the question…used Strike in really nice shape comes with seat and thigh straps with a Carbon Fiber paddle for $600…good deal? More than I want to pay really but if someone could comment on general use for the boat I could go that direction. I just talked to the guy with the boat and he said it does ok for general use but he does want to sell it so…


some reviews
Here’s a review on another forum:

And here’s one here on

You may be able to email these reviewers for more details.

A friend had one and it wasn’t the best for distance travel but you could do a mile or two. But it was a blast in surf, even in small waves.

Direct Boats has them for $559 new. So you may want to shop around (of course you’re getting the paddle in the deal as well).

Good luck!

Strike User
I use a Strike quite a bit for short coastal paddles 5 -6 miles stopping to surf where it looks good. I’m in encinitas and paddle in the my Strike in Lajolla cove area a lot. Nice size for the sea caves. I mostly use the strike for surfing, if you live in Ca, why not surf. Strike will seem tippier than wider sit on tops, it’s a bit slower than an 11 ft boat but not much. $600 seems a bit high for a used boat even with the Carbon fiber paddle. I’d offer $350 without the paddle or $450 with.

Know What You’re Getting Into!

– Last Updated: Jan-03-07 3:18 PM EST –

As has already been said, the Strike is primarily a surf boat...but can double up as a fun day-paddler... if you don’t plan on doing big miles. What you might want to do is call around to see if you can rent one before making a final decision. Some kayak outfitters have Strikes in their rental fleet and also use them to teach surfing.

It’s a well designed sit-on-top with maybe a couple of small production issues...but these do not really detract from performance. Something you need to consider is the weight...which becomes an issue in handling the boat when its out of the water. If I remember correctly, it weights around 40 lbs and can be a challenge to get on and off your car. Just something to consider.

The Strike was my first surf boat and I think it was a good introduction to surfing. But be forewarned, once you try paddle surfing, it will be hard to stop. There are several who visit this board who will attest to the addictive nature of the sport. One sure sign of addiction is that the boat you own is only a short term affair before you’re looking for your next “fix”.

There’s a great crew of avid paddle surfers who gather regularly at San Onofre State Park just up the road from you.. You might want to plan a visit to pick up a few pointers that will help your introduction to paddle surfing. Check this website for more information about SanO

Thanks for the replies…it sounds like the Strike might work for me but I am going to try to get out this weekend and try it for general paddling and compare it to the Venus. That is a worry of mine and part of why I don’t want to get just a regular SOT…I fear I might really like surfing :slight_smile: and I don’t want to have to upgrade right away. I don’t have alot of time anyway so 2-5 times a month is all I will be able to get out to learn how but a Strike should last me awhile should I find I really like surfing…so if it would work as a general paddle boat poking around La Jolla that would be great.


Hunt Johnsen
moved to San Diego and is building his Wave Witches there. Pricey but gorgeous boats that will do both.

Too high $
Yeah, I have seen those and they are awesome but way out of my price range…

Strikes seem to hold their value
… but 600 is way too high, even with the paddle. Which probably is not the right size for you anyway.

At ( only) 140 the Strike will still sit ‘high’ and be a fun cruiser … you can mess around with fin size for tracking to.

Isn’t the listed weight for a Strike only 34 pounds ? Even @ 40 still WAY lighter than other tubs you might see.

La Jolla ? You cannot help but play in the surf.

If launching from L.J. shores I cannot see anyway you would not want to " go back out there"

I agree
I was not willing to pay $600 anyway. But I agree, I think once I get the hang of surfing I will want to do it more which is why I want a kayak capable of doing it well.

When I had a Cobra play a few years ago I had a carbon ONNO paddle that I loved…wish I had not let it go with the boat when I sold it…practically gave it away…sigh. Anyone know where to get ONNO paddles now?

Thanks for the chuckle
Try e-mailing the guy you were responding to–he makes them.

Have you considered

– Last Updated: Jan-03-07 11:56 PM EST –

A Pamlico 140? Sorry, could not help myself. and to add, I have seen Ocean Kayak Yakboards for $200 new.

I have a Toyota Echo and transport an 18 foot Outer Island, a 19 foot skin on Frame and either a 16.6 foot tempest or a Scupper pro at 15.9 inches ALL at the same time. I have seen 20 foot skis on mini coopers and as long as you tie down correctly, there is no reason to hold back on length because of your car size.


Also look @ Cobra Re-vision on
S.D. Craigs list … nice longer / faster, still not too heavy boat that works in the surf.

Ok, that is funny…I had no idea about the ONNO maker being on here…he emailed me so that’s cool…