Weird Valley kayak. Anyone recognize this?

If I keep it, I’ll bring it along with the SOF to DelMarVa qajaq camp in the Fall. Might get a chance to challenge Dubside to roll it.

That’s quite a “V” shaped hull for surfing. Armchair inspection : A pretty abrupt transition from deep V to shallow V probably causes turbulence that slows the boat. I think it would be hard to round house cut-backs and I expect it stalls out at high speed, but that’s all just a guess.

It definitely comes from an era when eveyone making surf boats were experimenting with "surf shoe"designs that were kind of an evolution from white water slalom kayaks and wave skis. There were a lot of folks building one offs in California that look like this, but they didn’t catch on, since much better high performance designs were available. I think Mega in UK made some similar, but I’ve never seen this Valley, When I got into surf kayaking around 1999 or so you could buy some of the one-offs made by the California surf kayak designers very cheaply, and discover their limitations. I owned a boat once that the model was nicknamed a “screaming taco” because it had a very tight cockpit opening and no internal bracing except float bags and foam for the seat and foot pegs.

This Valley is an interesting design but probably best for mushy waves and long diagonal rides. Post up some pics when you try it out.

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Yes. I had similar thoughts that I shared with OP:

That’s an interesting looking boat – like a seakayak morphing into a international class surf boat but stopping 2/3 of the way there. The stern end is definitely a planing hull with significant volume (squared end rather than flattened. The front still has the V hull shape but with an extended flat (duck) bill like shape at the front. The “duck bill” will help that boat from pearling (diving) into a wave trough but the V shape hull with work to cut/part the water like a seakayak. If the bow hull was flattened and tapered, the boat would be looser to turn and more likely to do cutbacks. With V, I think you would have to lean significantly on one side or the other (like a seakayak) to effect a turn. I think this boat would likely surf better than a seakayak but will not surf like a true surf boat that can be cut back more easily on a planing hull, going from rail to rail (edge to edge).


Haven’t seen your comments yet in my DM box. Still seems to be some glitching in the site, which may be the reason. has frozen on me a couple of times this week and failed to recognize my login PW after it booted me off for unknown reasons.

UPDATE: found it. Thanks for the feedback!

I grew up in Boston but we spent summers on Lake Michigan where the grandparents and most of the cousins lived (from Holland up to Pentwater). There are beaches where the shallows extend quite far out so there can be impressive sets when the west winds are steady.

Video of South Haven (one of the beaches we used to frequent) by a surfer dude ('scuse the profanity):

Just north of South Haven is my favorite Michigan beach, Saugatuck Dunes. You have to hike for a mile on a steep up and down deep sand trail through the dune’s pine forest to get from the parking lot to the beach which means it is never crowded. During the 8 years I lived nearby as an adult I went often and sometimes would have it to myself if I had a weekday off and headed out there. It would feel like being on a desert island. No screaming kids and their hectoring parents, teens with boomboxes, trash and gulls, just sky, water, clean white sand and dunegrass with a wall of pines behind. Ahhh…

It would be a chore to get a kayak there, though. I could hump one of my lighter folders up the trail if I ate my Wheaties. Would not be pleasant and I’d have to set it up and break it down. But I could paddle there from the Saugatuck town site south of it or Laketown beach to the north towards Holland. Maybe I’ll try that when I am out there in August and get a calm day .

I actually bought my first touring kayak (a Feathercraft Kahuna folder) at an indie sporting goods shop in Holland, Michigan, The Outpost.


Adding to the more general discussion regarding a boat that has some volume to support exploration plus a hull that has a surfing capability – a similar attempt was made by the Techsport Rockhopper that also similarly incorporated a ‘V’ bow that also would cause the difficulties that sing alludes to.

As a point of humour, I suggested a skin version of the Rockhopper.

But I do confess to having some sympathy for the crossover idea of a surf-able boat that could carry a few days of gear - where the idea would be to find a distal location, setup and offload the ‘load’, and get out and play, and maybe repeat the next day.


i put the Cliffhanger in the water today (a 3 acre pond with nothing more than breezy riffles.) Quite stable to climb in and out of and for a low profile 23" beam boat but then I am used to kayaks narrower than that. Thing is a beast, got to weigh close to 60 pounds so I used a cart to schlep it from the camper to the muddy bank. Does NOT want to track with the skeg up but was reasonable once I managed to release it. I am used to much lighter and longer boats and GPs so propelling this with a standard Werner blade felt like an effort. But the cockpit was super comfortable even with the hard molded shell seat (I guess I have a British bum since I seem to fit tidily in UK built boats). And it really feels like something that would be solid in surf as well as easier to launch from a beach into waves than any other boat I have at the moment.

I was going to try it in bigger water Sunday but the weather forecast has shifted to thunderstorms in the morning starting at 9 so after sleeping in the camper I’ll join the remaining rendezvousers for the early catered breakfast, load the boats before the rain hits and head home.

The Rockhopper got some good reviews when they came out. I remember someone in SOCAL had one, but I do not remember who. It was designed for coastal paddles and not as a surf boat exclusively.

There is a Rockhopper in New England owned by Rob/Corgimas (PNet handle). I think it was a pretty cool concept when it first came out.

Since then, I think the P&H Hammer came out (about same length and volume) with a flatter planing Hull for better surfing. It also has a retractable skeg that can be used to help with the point A-B paddling duty. I think the Hammer is a more preferable “compromise” boat from my perspective.

BTW, my Cobra ReVision (Strike +) SOT is a pretty good compromise of a surf and daytripping “coastal exploration” craft as well.



Restoration update: Just got the Daffy Duck stickers and gussied up the Cliffhanger (AKA “Daffy, the duckbilled kayak”). Still working on buffing out the light scratches and scuffs with headlight polishing compound but it’s looking pretty good with the nice new Valley hatch lids. And, of course, Daffy…