Wavesport Fuse: Which Size???????

I am looking to get a Wavesport Fuse, but am inbetween sizes.

I am about 195 with no gear. Gear would put me up around 200 or 205, and am only 5’8 inches tall. WW skills are intermediate and am moving from a Wavesport Diesel.

The 56 gallon version is good for up to 210 pounds. The 64 gallon version is for a paddler that is 190 to 270.

So for me I will either be at the very top of the weight range, or the very bottom of the weight range.

I sat in the 64 yesterday and it also felt really big. The store is getting in a 56 next week for me to compare it to.

My concern with being at the top of the weight range is that the boat may be too catchey and slicey and the bow may pearl too much for me.

On the other hand bigger boat is just that: a big boat, or at least it felt that way sitting in it in the store. would be interesting to see what it feels like on the water.

What do you recommend?



generic response
not a kayaker, but…

What are you looking to get out of this? If you want easier squirts and playability, go with the smaller boat. Bigger water, drops, ledges etc. and more emphasis on river running, I’d go larger…if I was a buttboater.

one take
I’m new at whitewater. I like Liquid Logic as much as Wavesport. Looking at the LL Freerides, I would have been in your situation – bottom of the Freeride 57 weight range. The Wavesport ranges are split differently enough, that I selected a Fuse 48. You, on the other hand, could benefit from the Freeride 57 range of 140-220lb. Freeride 67 range is 180-260. It looks like they’ve got more overlap, on paper, at any rate.

I did think of including what I want to do…

I am more looking to use it for river running and for surfing, but not so much play moves.

I mostly want to surf and not have my bow pearl a lot and throw me off waves, hence my reason for looking at the bigger boat in the first place.

Optimal would be for a smaller boat that fits well but not be over the weight limit, but that does not seem to be the case here, unless those weight limits are not so accurate. Not sure.

I am within the weight limit for the smaller boat but just not sure if it would float so low in the water that I would have issues with pearling the bow and the stern catching too much.

seems like you answered your
own question, as well as understand why we all have multiple boats. As a non-yakker, but a general hunch, how about a used river runner, something that needn’t be latest design, and something new in a smaller size? My main paddle partner, around 220, has a Project 54(?) that he uses for play (tight squeeze), and an old LL Gus for his river running/surfing, as well as a Castine for mellower runs…and a sea kayak for the saltwater.

AS you don’t want to do play moves I think the larger boat will be better for surfing.

Which diesel do you have? is it the new or old version? and what do you want the playboat to do that the diesel won’t?

To avoid pearling try working from edge to edge so the deck sheds water.

I am about your weight

– Last Updated: Oct-21-12 11:50 PM EST –

At about 185-190 "dry" weight before gear, I find the Fuse 64 does not have much reserve buoyancy for river running. It is great for surfing. With some rescue gear, spare paddle extra water, I'm probably reaching 210lb at least, and I felt I wanted more buoyancy out of it for river running...

I'm 6'4" with long legs and large feet and I can't even sit in the 56 so no idea how it compares. But for surfing I think the more volume is better and is actually more retentive (would remain in waves holes better) than a smaller volume that would sit even lower in the water.

I'm not much of a playboater but I'm learning. That thing has way too much volume for flat water tricks, but on a wave it is nice and it is fine as a river runner too, as long as you don't want too much speed - compared to something like the Dagger Axiom that I recently got as a second boat along with the Fuse, the Fuse is slow. Compared to shorter playboats, the 64 is fast -;)

The 64 might feel a bit more stable and harder to edge though than ideal, and of course, it is longer and needs a bit bigger waves than the shortest playboats to enjoy best...

Edit: I'm voting for the 64 in terms of volume for your needs at your weight. But fit is important. There are a bunch of other similar designs, Jackson Super Fun or 4Fun are options as is the SuperStar (for even more play). If I could fit in the Project 64, I'd swap my Fuse for one of those for sure - my thinking is that if you got one boat, something like the Fuse or Fun series is great for both river running and some decent play capability, mainly surfing and flat spins. But if you already have a Diesel, that can front-surf pretty good already on longer waves, so why not consider one of the more "forgiving" true playboats, like the Star or Project X series? These can do all the Fuse can do (might need steeper waves) but they also are more playful and can do a few more tricks that you might find desirable down the road. They can still run rivers just fine, as long as you are not looking to go fast or attain upriver much...

For Me

– Last Updated: Oct-22-12 6:08 PM EST –

I am 5'10" and about 185. I own the Diesel 80 and have used it on the Ocoee, Nantahala and the Hiwassee. The Diesel is great for the Ocoee but I got bored with it on the other two rivers. So I did a demo with the Fuse and loved it. The 56 felt right for me and it did bring some fun back into the lesser rivers. The 64 felt way too big so it was never an option. I questioned whether I should have made the jump to the Project but my hope is to eventually get on the Ocoee in the Fuse so I went that route. If I was buying it for the lesser rivers only or was a park and play guy I would have likely bought the Project.

So, demo if you can and think a lot about what type water you want to use it on. For me the 64 was not an option.

As you noted, for river running the smaller is going to be more sensitive to current, holes, etc. That said, you’re talking about a class of boat where try-before-you-buy (especially at a new price) is absolutely critical. I would definitely do comparison paddling (recommend the Jackson 4Fun - switched to that from the Fuse).

you might also want to post
your question on boatertalk. Lots of river runners/play boaters there. My gut feeling is that if you want to run the river the 64. It’s extra volume will give you some increased confidence in the knarly water. If you want to do a lot of play boating the smaller boat. I sole my 80 gallon diesel and went with the 70 gallon Jackson Fun Runner. I have other boats as well.

To respond to a previous question, I have a Diesel 75 (older model that is no longer offered now that they have gone to teh 80 for their bigger boat).

The Diesel 75 fits me nicely.

I think that with the Fuse I will have to make a choice to trade off fit vs. volume. The 56 will fit me well, but I think the volume will be too low. That leaves the 64 which is big, but I think the volume will suite me better, albeit not an ideal volume either.

Although I have not been able to paddle either, I think that the 56 may just be too slicey for me for river running and surfing. A more experienced play boater would probably be fine with it, but I am used to paddling and surfing a sea kayak where volume is not an issue. I think that I may have to make due with a roomy fit in order to get the volume I may need.

My thinking is this…and feel free to disagree with me…but at about 193 out of the shower, if you add paddling gear I will be close to 200 with all my gear. If I need to wear a dry suit it will be about 205 I would guess. Add some water on your gear and in your boat and I will be at 210. I think that may just be pushing the limit for this boat.

I wish the sizes overlapped a little so that a person like me would not end up with a lousy solution either way you go. Someone right at my weight is either going to end up in a boat that is too low volume or too high volume.

I invite disagreement with my thoughts, but I think that is probably what I will need to do. I just feel that the lower volume boat will be slicey and squirrelly and that the bow may really pearl when surfing.

But on the other hand…two of the guys I have recently paddle with weigh the same as I do and paddle jackson 4Funs and don’t have problems with it (and I think it has the same weight limit)


Like I said
Much of it is preference and I would suggest a demo. I weigh 185 dry without gear and the 56 felt right from the start. I did not try to roll the big one but I suspect that it may have given me a problem in my set-up because of the width and depth of the boat.

I was very suprised at how easy the transition from the Diesel 80 to the Fuse 56 was. The Fuse was wetter of course but it was stable and predictable. I was also suprised at how the 56 volume carried through holes. It seemed to punch through well though wetter than the Diesel.

As far as being slicey, I can’t speak to that but I do know that water line is important to take advantage of the features of the hull design. A high water line (boat lower in the water) “may” lose some secondary stability but a low water line “may” lose some edge. Again, it may be personal preference.

One more thing about volume, a high volume boat “may” be more catchy in holes. The higher volume can cause them to recirculate more where a lower volume boat may get pushed through by the current. This isn’t always the case but it can be.

Lastly, if you go with the bigger boat you may want to make sure you get the 2013 outfitting. The seat adjusts in a way that may help you fit the boat better.

When I was buying all I cared about was volume. I wanted to get on the Ocoee so bad and felt like a higher volume boat would be the secret. In fact, I initially shopped to find the highest volume boat I could find. One demo in the Villian showed me that volume wasn’t everything. I lowered my volume demands and got the Diesel 80 which is still a high volume boat. After paddling it on the Ocoee for a while I found that I could have easily paddled the Diesel 70.

Remember a boat displaces the amount of water equal to the weight of the boat, gear and person. A gallon of water weighs 8.33 pounds. So, a 56 gallon boat will float 466.5 pounds. A 64 gallon boat will float 533 pounds. At 250 pounds you have over 200 pounds of extra float in the 56 and 280 in the 64. So both offer plenty of float. Contrary to some’s beliefs, airbags do not make a difference. :slight_smile:

Demo if you can.

Volume vs. payload
The volume has little to do with the design displacement/payload.

Many play boats have plenty of volume above water near the paddler, but very little at the ends. Compared to something with the same volume but with a more even volume distribution, the two designs will paddle very differently…

Also, true that boats with higher design displacement and overall volume will tend to want to stay in the hole more for the same paddler compared to a “smaller” boat. But that is good for surfing and flat spinning (not so good if you are stuck in a hole against your wishes -;))

I paddle the Axiom 8.5 and am at the top weight range for it. I can feel that a bit more volume will make it surf and spin better. However, being so deep in the water makes it very slicey and I can just carve out of waves and holes where with the Fuse 64 I would be more inclined to stay in… Also, the added width of the Fuse makes it very stable sideways, requiring added effort to edge on green water (but works great with foamy water where you lose buoyancy)… So no clear cut… What’s good for one use is not so good for other uses…

Well said
So, demo if you can and my prediction is which ever one you buy you will like and you will forever wonder if the other one would have been better. It’s the nature of boat buying and why we seem to need 10 or 15 of them. lol

Different Boat
I love Wavesport boats and outfitting, but if I were in-between sizes, I’d probably just go with another brand right now. For your needs, you want to barely be on the high side of the weight range they list. Look at the LL, Jackson, Pyranna, and others to find the same basic design that works for you.

You will hate the lower volume boat and you will probably dislike the larger one. You might also look at older models like the EZ series or the older Fun – cheaper and easier to recoup the money if it doesn’t feel good.

Jim $0.02

Does it matter, at the end -:slight_smile:

Looks like fun can be had in anything -:wink: