Too Heavy?

How much more would you use your kayak if it weighted in at 25-30 lbs…instead of 55+ lbs?

I am seriously thinking of developing a 12’ +/- composite SOT kayak that weighs within these parameters.

I know Hunt Johnson started the ball rolling with the wave witch series at these weights, but they leave plenty of room for improvement.

I for one, am sick and tired of lugging around heavy, inefficient (28"-30" wide)plastic boats for our paddling guests.

Sure they would have to be more expensive…but what is a back operation going for these days? Or how about the many people who have left the sport because they couldn’t lift the boat onto their roof racks anymore? Cost is relative…

I paddle everything from an 8’X 25" Wave ski to a 19’X 19" Surf ski …and the best balance of ease of use/performance seems to be +/- 12’X 25" something that can actually “ride” waves (planning bottom) and still paddles well (for it’s size) on flat water.

My wife didn’t want me to start another “project” until we carried a Ocean Kayak Scupper pro and Aquatera Kayak 150 yards across hot soft beach sand this past weekend for our house guests. She is an incredibly smart woman… and it only took the first 25 feet on that one outing to get her on board…

What say you?



Build it
and they will come.

Yeah, I’ll Buy One…
I value light weight. I have a couple of the old Hertiage/HopOnTop boats in kevlar and fiberglass, but I think you could make one even lighter.

But it would need to be longer than 12’

As part of your R&D
See if you can find out how well the 30 lb. kayaks from Lincoln Canoe and Kayak (or other mfrs. of lightweight boats) sell. They make a bunch of light ones; unfortunately they are not in the Midwest so I cannot assess their success. They are also not SOTs but the lightweight concept is inherent in both their and your proposed construction. You may be able to find out from a few of their dealers just by asking if the lightweights are the top sellers.

You also need to develop a marketing plan to determine who your customers will be. A beginner may be willing to add an extra 10 lbs. for stability or tracking for example.

EPIC already makes it…

– Last Updated: Jul-25-05 7:34 PM EST –

except it's 8" too long if you're serious about that length limit. The SOT version of their Rec GP. Not on their website - but I saw one last Feb in Key Largo. Seemed to be sub-30#. Fast for a stubby fat boat.

Interesting but

– Last Updated: Jul-26-05 11:15 AM EST –

Hi Grayak...interesting boat but missing one primary design objective of has to surf...not tear um up wave ski style...but far better than a conventional shaped hull like the Epic...think planning hull...not displacement hull.

Not thinking global domination here...just as versatile as possible while keeping weight down and performance up. Not for frigid waters or long trips. Something you could paddle in flat water with efficiency, but would come into it's own in small to moderate waves.

I think Hunt Johnson is closer to anyone to what I am talking about. There are hull changes that I would make to a boat of this size to allow it to go rail to rail easier... and I would address the pearling issue differently.

My vision of this is... It would be a great boat for someone who lived on the coast and liked to paddle in the ocean. Something capable of paddling a few miles in, but also allows you to stop on a choice sandbar or reef with mellow waves and have the time of your life. That is what I need and want in a kayak...and what's out there "ain't getten it"


Check out the
Hurricane Aquasports Phoniex. It is a 34# SOT made from a Trylone (thermaform plastic).

Have a link?
Couldn’t find a site with that boat…you have a link?



Unless you are just really interested in light weight kayaks…

Invest in kayak carts like the paddle boy. Work SMARTER, not HARDER.

Thule Hullavator
Finding them can be tough but once you use one of these lifters you’ll wonder what took them so long to put a gadget like this on the market. At $400 it isn’t a cheap alternative but as you said the back operation costs what $ these days? Really worth it when you have a taller vehicle.

See you on the water (not lugging boats in the parking lot),


Planning Hull
My 13’4" Mars has a planning hull and handles surf well, but any boat over 10’ is going to pearl on big steep waves. A little lighter at 49#

Cobra supposedly has a new boat called the Revision at 13’ based on the Strike hull. It is probably a litle lighter yet, but no info available on the website.

link for Hurricane Aquasport

Hard chines

– Last Updated: Jul-26-05 7:10 PM EST –

You want to really play on a wave you have to have order to get speed you need hard chines. Soft rails, round bottoms while making the boat excellent for flat water is not going to get it up on top and really plane out like one with crisp hard edge. Look at any high performance surfboard, sailboard, Wave-ski, or power boat they all have sharp chimes least in the aft quarter.


Close but no cigar…
At thirty four pounds the weight is getting closer to the ball park, but the cockpit would hold too much water and again…its a conventional displacment hull…


Still have to deal with it on the water
You still have to deal with the weight when you are on the water. It won’t paddle as easy, won’t accelerate as well…it is more mass to be hit by in surf…the only things that heavy plastic boats have going for them is durability and low cost. In all other areas they come up short.

Cobra Revision

– Last Updated: Jul-26-05 5:55 PM EST –

The Mars has a flat bottom, but it doesn't have hard rails. It does not surf, it just goes thru surf...

The Cobra Revision is supposedly based on the Strike, which has hard rails, but I haven't seen one yet. Not even up on the website.

It Has Been So Long I Didn’t Recognize…

– Last Updated: Jul-26-05 6:25 PM EST –

It's been so long I didn't recognize the handle, Waterrat!

How are Island Girl and Zoe?

I know you have built your own waves skis, so you would probably come up with something good!

Hunt Johnsen's designs, especially the classic, are a good start, but no rudders, please!

I surfed Izzy Godoy's Hunt Johnsen Shorty Wave Witch a couple years ago, and the rudder didn't work for me.

Hey Barracuda
Some things you can count on…the Sun rising in the east, and you here at P-net…LOL Glad to see you are still here holding down fort.

Island Girl…my wife of 8 months and her sister Zoe are all doing fine.

You ever moving back to Fl? Seems like the time should be getting closer.

I haven’t been paddling anywhere near as much as I use to and it all seems to boil down to it’s just too much hassle to move the big boats around. I am not into paddling twenty miles at a time anymore, and the Wave ski is still a blast but with all the shark activity, I don’t feel real comfortable in going 1/4 mile off shore to ride the reef breaks with a 8’ wave-ski that probably looks an awful lot like a Sea turtle in silo wit (tiger sharks favorite meal).

I built a kayak as close as possible to a Hunt Johnson Wave Witch and it is a fun little boat…actually the one I prefer to all my other boats in the ocean…but I over did it on the lay-up schedule and it heavier than it should be (although bomb proof).

I know I can make something that goes rail to rail better for quicker turns and doesn’t pearl quite as easy. I already modified the cockpit to make it hold less water…very similar layout of my surf ski in that regard.


That is great news! Say hello to Zoe for me!

One thing and another I haven’t been doing that much paddling this year, either, but starting to get back into the grove.

I haven’t been surfing for a long time now, but bought a van for trips to the coast this fall. Maybe buy a wave ski and get back into it.

I still need to go back to Florida to collect on state retirement, and I am fully vested here, so I am free to leave, but they keep making it worth my while to stay.

I did find a couple of fairly light touring SOTs. I have a 44# Hertiage Shearwater that is 18’ long, and just scored a 48# fiberglass Hertiage Nomad at 16" long.

Just need to get out and use them more.

Somebody’s gonna do it
why not you?