Update on my search for a playboat...

-- Last Updated: Dec-14-04 11:37 AM EST --

Apparently responding to an archived thread does't bump it to the top. I ended up purchasing a Riot Dominatrix 44 Ultralight thanks to Dr. D's recommendation. I got a great deal on it and it's in good shape and insanely light (25 lbs.) It is one of the most comfortable playboats that I have ever been in and I can sit in it for hours without my feet going numb. I've had it in the pool a couple times and it's a lot of fun! It rolls pretty easily (although I can't hand roll it yet) and it seems to be a great boat for me to learn stalls and cartwheels this winter. Thanks to the great advice on this forum I now have my 3rd boat in a years time. At this pace, I'll have my own fleet in no time!

Any advice that could help me learn playmoves would be appreciated. I already have Ken Whiting and EJ's videos, am working on my double pump, and am working on things such as bow stalling from the pool edge to learn balance.

On the new boat. That’s always exciting. Learning a new boat is almost like dating, except without the kissing.

  • Big D

i don’t know…
When I do the backdeck roll I practically kiss the stern of the boat. :slight_smile:

LOL! That’s as much detail as I need about your similarities between dating and paddling.

  • Big D

Just Curious…
How heavy are you to fit the Dom 44.

I just got rid of my Perception Shock back in the fall. I’m about 140 and can throw the Shock’s 42 gallons around. But outside of a easy class II, I didn’t want to use it. It’s lower volume made it a great boat to learn handrolling in. Of course, moving up to a bigger boat makes that harder.


congratulations on your playboat
I’m really toying with the idea of finally “buying” a playboat, but my unlimited free access to the full pyranha lineup is somewhat a show stopper in that I don’t feel justified in buying a playboat if I can borrow one anytime I want for free. But I would like to learn cartwheels, stern squirts, and stalls, and a flatwater loop. To do this it might be easier if I just bought one. But yet again, which one? Because mainly I will be using it to surf lake michigan, so that means I will probably need a longer boat than would be desirable for some of what I listed above. I am thinking, S:8 or I:3.

Playboat Not For Good Surfing…
I took my Shock out to surf a Nor’easter. All I did was a bunch of endo’s. I finally figured out the only way to surf it was to lay on it’s backdeck. Felt like I was on luge.


surf boat-playboat
for me it may have to be both, unless my dealer starts getting the wavesport surf boat?

I dunno, you may just have much better surf than what we get on lake michigan, but I have gotten some pretty good rides in an I:3 in spilling shore break here. Granted my skills aren’t to the point that I can do much besides, spin, carve back a bit and then ride in. But It didn’t seem as bad as what you are making out.

I’ve heard it mentioned that there is a big difference in the planing hull vs the rails on surf boats, but I don’t have a visual on whether or not this would help stay on the wave, to me it seems hull speed is a big factor more than anything, having enough hull speed to catch any wave under 6’ feet out here is the trick, and having enough hull speed to break out past the dumpers.

Does this make sense?

my stats
I’m 5’ 8" and 150 lbs. I should be around 140 lbs. by next summer as I have some extra weight on me that I probably could lose.

Boat Characteristics…

– Last Updated: Dec-14-04 1:45 PM EST –

white water boats tend to be ridden more in the middle for the balance point. With playboats, the volume come into play as well. Lower volume makes it easier to throw it around, especially when one is learning, and usually in flatter water. When one gets more skilled and are in higher class water the pushier current and the ability of the playboater to torgue and throw the boat around will allow the play to happen in higher volume boats.

Beside the rails and fins that allow a surf boat to carve sideways on a wave face, the rider tends to sit further back on a surf boat because much of the turning is down from the back. The higher volume and rocker upfront help prevent pearling. In a lower volume playboat, unless you are able to edge right up front into a diagonal run, the tendency is for the bow to pearl on a steep face, leading to a spectacular endo.

Here are some waves we surfed this weekend. Everyone was in a dedicated surf boat.




– Last Updated: Dec-14-04 1:55 PM EST –

the seating position makes alot of sense for me, as does the shape of the bow.

But with a longer kayak in length, say an S:8, or a an I:3 as opposed to say an S:6 that you would be able to get anywhere close to the performance? These are all boats I've paddled mind you, as my white water, surf experience in this type of kayak is limited to the pyranha's. I like the looks of the Nigel Dennis verso though?

I understand why the true playboats are built much smaller than a standard white water boat, it's easier to do just about everything when they are shorter and more manageable.

I guess I need to try a true surf boat though to see for myself the difference. Let's hope wavesport and pyranha have a demo this spring?


– Last Updated: Dec-14-04 2:00 PM EST –

"But with a longer kayak in length, say an S:8, or a an I:3 as opposed to say an S:6 that you would be able to get anywhere close to the performance? "

I think if you're talking just purely hull speed (not the carving ability of the rails vs chines), it's still a "No" because there is barely any rocker on the stern of a surf boat, compared to a white water boat. Even if the OAL is the same, the surf boat has a longer water line.

The rails and fins begin to affect the speed once the boat starts to plane and surf. These help because directional momentum is not lost in a slide out. On steep faces, the chines of a white water boat just can't hold the line. WW boats tend to slip on a steep face. The foward speed is mitigated by this slippage.


but this means I’m stuck buying two kayaks, as I would really like to do white water this spring too?



if you really want optimal performance in each venue.

The pics were from saturday. Sunday, I met up with someone on another break. Chest to shoulder and occaisonal head height waves. I lend him my Boogie to try but tough day to try a boat. He went to use his S6. He couldn’t even get out beyond the break zone. When he surfed the foam, he was slipping all over the place.

I caught one good wave about head height. I dropped down the face, cranked a turn and ran right across the wave face. As I saw the sectons in front began to curl and collapse, I hit a couple of fast strokes and zoomed further down the section, just missing the curl and collapse. Cranked a another turn and ran diagonal to the front of the wave before the whole wave closed out. When the foam wall hit, I leaned into for… I don’t know how long. But when I felt the wave began to reform, I did a quick sweep on the wave side, cranked a rudder and turn to the other side and began another diagonal run down the reformed wave face in the opposite direction. My partner in the white water boat was blown away. He said he couldn’t believe I beat the collapsing wave, shot down along the wave face about hundred yards, cranked the turn on the reformed wave and came back at least another hundred yard. Can’t do that with a white water boat. But, then again, I can’t play my surf boat in white water either. :wink:


I would really like to have the money to do both, but I think the surf boat may be more practical as it would get used a lot more than a white water boat around here in michigan.


– Last Updated: Dec-14-04 2:35 PM EST –

Do what Seadart did. Post on SZ to see if anyone is selling a boat. He scored a mini mako that way. Pretty cool. :)

I lucked out with with both my Boogie and my Venom for less than 50% of retail on Boatertalk gearswap. Both times, the seller was moving away from the coast and wanted to get rid of the surf boat.

BTW, this site has two surf kayaks listed. I emailed and they didn't respond. But I noticed that the page was updated and the boats are still listed. The Mega "G" force would fit you. Trident for small guys like me. This place is actually close to TsunamiChuck. He must drive by it from Tahoe to his hospital gig in San Fran.



have you seen or paddled the
wavesport surf specific kayak?

Or the nigel dennis one?

sing, another question about the surf
I love reading your kayak surfing evangelization posts! Although I’m not ready to pick up that aspect of the sport yet (stress yet), when I go out in the surf, what would be the best boat? I have taken my Perception Sonoma 13.5 out on Lake Michigan and had some fun side surfing but if I were take a whitewater boat out, what would be better? I have a Dagger GT 7.8 and the Dom 44 (which has fins).

I’ve Seen The Flyer…
small boat. Fit me better than you. You can squeeze in but I think it be slow for you to paddle out and to catch waves. If you catch a steep wave, it’ll take off though.

The necky Spyder is bigger/longer and would fit you better.

Generally with smaller and or sloppier waves, it’s easier to catch with a longer boat than a shorter one.

Of the NNE Surf Kayakers, Larry has the easiest time catching waves with his Mega Cyclone, at over 9’ long (international class). His boat is faster. The rest of us in the shorter, high performance boats, have to catch the wave right when it steepens sharply so we can take off down the steep face.


similar comments to what I posted for keith. In smaller and/or sloppier waves, you’ll catch more waves with the longer GT. If you have some steep face waves, lets’ 3’ feet and up, (and can get out beyond the break zone), the Dom 44 with fins on can take off and carve. I used to surf a Trickster (similar to Dom series) with fins and thought it was the best white boat I’ve surfed. However, the trickster (48 gallons) gave me more volume than than your 44 gives you. To avoid pearling, you need to begin to cut diagonal (away from the break/pocket) as soon as you feel the boat pick up speed and begin to surf. IF you take it straight down the wave face, into the trough, you may end up pearling/endo-ing.