Waveski or SOT surf kayak for Boston and 5'9" paddler

The forecast is holding:

Saturday looks to be a soaker. But, we need the storm to get the waves. I’ll be at Nantasket between 9-9:30 AM, Sunday. Hopefully, the sun will break at some point during the session. :sunglasses:


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What a fun surf! I have been dreaming of doing this for 13 years and finally got to do it, with Sing’s help. Thank you for your mentorship, Sing!! Let us do it again next time!

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For this “test” session for zzz’s Kaos, we had clean 3’ waves at 10-11 second intervals. However, we had a hellacious, sustained offshore wind of 25 MPH plus. So, strong that my waveski that I had set alongside the seawall while I got ready, actually was picked up by the wind and blown over the wall. It landed on rocks 8’ below. Ah crap… :scream: Waveski sustained a cracked fin box and a punctured bottom. :tired_face:

Well, without a ride, I was able to spent a little time watching and giving pointers to zzz. He got in a couple of straight rides (:+1:) and was able to make some adjustments and learn the feel of the Kaos, as well as what to watch for holding onto to the SOT in the break and soup zones.

He also offered to let me try the Kaos. While I surfed with some who ride a Kaos, I had never personally tried surfing it. It’s 10’ length gave a fast paddle out through the break zone. On the first wave I caught, I promptly buried the bow into the trough and flipped. Oh well… The plus side was that the Kaos was easy to roll back up with the thigh straps, Actually easier than my waveskis. zzz took some pics and caught this sequence:

Ah… pearl and crash again?!?

Stroked through and got the bow out of the trough to begin a diagonal run.

The finish of a short diagonal.

I found the Kaos fin placement farther back than I like (or am used to), making the Kaos a bit more tracky than my waveskis. After a couple more waves, I got the hang of it, using more active stroking and more extended paddle rudders to effect the desired directional changes. Was able to do some rollercoastering and diagonals in front of the wave pockets for some quality rides.

I think the Kaos is definitely a good boat for a beginner/novice to learn with. It’s only downside is that it’s heavy. One has got to be careful to not get caught between the boat and the shoreline with an oncoming wave. :eyes:



Great report but so sorry about your flying Waveski damage. Bummer.

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Looking like an opportunity for good, mellow surf this Sunday. Around 3’ plus @ 11 seconds with offshore (clean up breezes). Even better, sunshine and mid 50’s air temp (water temp is still a chilly 42 degree). :sunny:

Astronomical hightide (around 11") at around 11 AM. Will be a the usual place around 1 PM, to give time for the tide to recede from the sea wall.

Infinity waveski is repaired and ready to go. :smile:


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Actual data on wave and wind conditions for Boston area breaks can be found here:


So, yes, it was a bit bigger than the initial magicseaweed forecast of 3’ for Nantasket.


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I had lots of fun today, thank you very much for your teaching and generous gift, Sing! Even straight rides felt so amazing.

I don’t think I would ever forget the first wave I rode in last December.

Please kindly remind me the brand and model of your PFD again? I should buy one of those.

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The model that you had on is no longer made. Here is something similar – low profile – but with addition of a zipper pocket and handwarmer area.


The mitts are also available here:



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The “11 seconds” number you mentioned to me is DPD dominant wave period (duration), not APD (average period), correct?

Also, when waves are pounding and you get flipped in the deep, do you wait for the wave to pass over your head, then roll? Or roll right away? The depth of water column would be very different, when you are inside vs after the wave.

Thank you very much!

Dominant wave period tells how much “storm” (groundswell) energy is in the water.

When to roll depends. Sometimes, when you get flipped on or in front of a wave, you can get pushed by the foam pile for a long, long way. If one didn’t a good breath in before flipping, it can be challenging to stay under while getting along and waiting for the energy to dissipate. The good thing, if one has a roll and is calm/aware, it is very easy to roll up from the waveside because the wave energy will help roll you up (hopefully into a brace position into the wave/foam pile). If one rolls on the shoreside, the roll will almost always result in a “maytag”, meaning one’ll come up and cycle right back over.

If I were cognizant of surfers behind me (towards the shore) and I get flipped, then I will try to hang tight to my paddle but not tuck forward. I try to use my body as a sea anchor for the waveski to help slow it down and to eventually have the wave release and pass on without me. The reason to not roll up is that I were to do that, I would come up and get pushed along, bracing into the wave, with the bottom waveski and the fins facing towards the shore and the other surfers that are between. Fast moving surf board fins can cut someone open like a kitchen knife (google for horrendous looking pictures). The challenge of staying under and playing sea anchor is the amount of energy it takes, especially on bigger wave days. If I am flipping, I always try to get one big breath before going over. Not always possible.


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