wet and dry ride

I have owned at least the following boats over the last 25 years: Q700X, Seda Ikkuma, Mariner Express, Mariner Coaster, Seda Glider, Necky Tesla, CD Solstice GTS, Eddyline WindDancer, maybe one or two others. I don’t recall thinking any of them was wet riding. Or dry riding, for that matter. A friend claims he hates wet riding boats, especially in colder waters.

Does anyone have a boat he/she considers wet riding? Has this been a problem or issue? What design characteristics do you think account for the wet ride?

I would think it is more the conditions,

– Last Updated: Jul-09-10 8:49 PM EST –

than the boat.

For instance; in calm to choppy water, the boat would be dry.
In rough conditions such as three foot breaking white caps, you are going to be getting spray and wet.

Jack L

Larger volume boats will be drier. (Higher gunnels)

If I come in paddling my low volume rolling boat with 1.5’ breaking waves from the side, some may roll over the boat.

It’s really that simple.

Outer Island
I’ve got an Impex Outer Island that I consider a wet ride. It’s lower volume allows more water over the deck so surf launches are tricky. The bow will pearl just a bit but no bad. I enjoy the wet ride as it get’s me into the elements. When I’m paddling next to my friends in their high volume Brit boats I often ask “how’s it going up there?” Joking aside, it’s all preference and how comfortable you feel in conditions. There’s no perfect kayak so you need more than one :slight_smile:


Wet vs dry
One of my boats is a CD Caribou. It has almost no rocker, and the deck is low both in the bow and in the stern. Not a lot of freeboard. Most any wave washes over the entire length of the boat. The seat is low, almost flush to the hull.

This boat is quite good in any wind. It is fast, due to the long waterline and narrow beam. The low center of gravity from the low seat and low decks helps keep it upright in conditions. It rolls well because of the secure fit from the low decks, the narrow beam, the low seat.

I like the wet ride, which requires a good skirt. The high, wide boats with rocker are no fun in winds. Once you get upside down in one of those, it is harder to get back up.

I find any aft finishing rolls very difficult in the bou. Perhaps it’s the deep cavernous cockpit. The deck is a bit high behind the seat so you really have to arch and lift you’re butt. A fast and fun kayak to paddle though.


cold water
I am surprised that none of JayBabina, sternman nor survivor, who like their wet riding boats make no mention of the effect of cold water. Is this not one of the negatives of a wet riding boat? Do you guys paddle cold water?

Wet vs. cold

– Last Updated: Jul-10-10 7:33 AM EST –

When I paddle my Outer-Island (wood) I am dry even in fairly rough conditions. I really don't want to be wet. But in this discussion, a higher freeboard boat is going to be dryer. 99% of the time nothing is coming on my deck. When I lean the boat, water does sometimes wet the spray skirt where as a higher volume boat maybe not ?? I paddle with a lot of NDK boat owners and I don't get any more wet than they do , especially if they like to lean and angle their boats. But a force 5 or higher volume boat of that type will keep the spray skirt dryer since the coaming is just higher off the water. In certain conditions, a longer and less rockered boat will push it's nose in to wavers whereas a shorter and more rockerd boat will ride up over them. but if you ever saw that Epic video, the Epic was riding over the waves easier than the rockerd Brit boat. who knows?? A Pungo is probably fairly dry.

I don't think kayakers get cold because a kayak gets some water on the spray skirt or on the deck. You are usually dressed for the conditions or you're not.

Paddling my AvocetLV is a “wetter” experience than paddling my RomanyLV, but then the Avocet is, as has been explained, lower in the water with a flatter foredeck.

Kayaking is a “wet” sport – as I was constantly told when I first started paddling and swimming a good bit – so I expect to be damp.

As for the cold, a drysuit, pogies and a wool hat takes care of that, wet or dry.

Cold water too
I paddle all year round and with proper gear there’s never been a time when I was too cold to handle it. For me the lower volume is never a problem.


two kinds of wet
Your comment on the Epic video, which I have studied closely, makes me think that there are two kinds of wet riding boat, especially in head seas. In a low volume boat green water can roll over the whole front portion getting you wet. On the other hand a boat with a high volume bow, or extended bow (as in the video), and the right kind of rocker, the boat can lift high and pound down, getting you wet.

wet ride
Have a CD Suka and North Shore Shoreline Fuego. Both would be considered very low volume “production” boats (vs. handbuilt greenlands or other individual designs).

The CD Suka’s deck is identical to the Caribou’s, with completely flush hatches. I find the bow parts the waters and they slide off the smooth deck.

Actually, I don’t find either a particularly wet ride. Perhaps it’s cuz I’m small and the boats don’t settle low when I’m in them.

Going thru waves any kayak will be a wet ride, or when wind creates spray.

As for me,I like to play around in and out of my boats, so I’m always dressed for immersion :smiley:

I used to have a CD Scirocco that I considered to be a wet ride and attributed it to the pointy bow that had little buoyancy. It never saw a wave it didn’t want to punch straight through rather than riding over.

It didn’t bother me a whole lot though since I don’t do a lot of rough water paddling and wore a skirt when I knew there would be waves. Sometimes though I was surprised how small of waves would wash over the deck though and dump in my lap when I wasn’t prepared.


Water temp
The ocean never warms up here in the NW. Temps in the rivers get up to 70 but in the winter go to low 40s. I wear clothing for immersion, so I roll every so often to keep from overheating.

tell him to lose some weight
Seriously, there are many factors that can affect this. On a long trip my “dry riding” kayak became a “wet riding” kayak once loaded.

Personally I think any sea kayak when used to it’s ability will give you a wet ride. Hutchinson was full of it.

Maybe sticking to calm lakes and ponds.

probably not naked

I enjoy paddling my low volume SOF
most of the time because it is a wet ride. Getting wet and dipping my hands in the water with each paddle stroke makes me feel like I’m part of the water. Cold water isn’t even a thought if you use the right equipment. The only time I use my Pintail is during spring ice paddling or in seas over 3’.

I feel that the characteristics that make a kayak dry are it’s free board above the water and it’s ability to float over waves.

Wet over dry
"I am surprised that none of JayBabina, sternman nor survivor, who like their wet riding boats make no mention of the effect of cold water. Is this not one of the negatives of a wet riding boat? Do you guys paddle cold water?"

You shouldn’t feel the “effect of cold water” if you’re dressed for full immersion. At least I don’t.

  • If the water is warm (above 60), I’m likely in a short sleeve and welcome the wetness

  • But if the water is less than 60 degree, which really isn’t that “cold” to the touch yet, I would already be wearing my dry top. With skirts and PFD over it, I really don’t feel the “coldness” of the water even if some wash over the cockpit!

  • When the water drops to below 50, I would add at least another insulating layer below the dry top/suit. At that temperature, I really wouldn’t want to go in with only a single layer.

    So, I’m suspecting you might be under-dress for immersion if the occasional wetness bothers you.

    I don’t particularly like salt water. So the only time I’m slightly concerned about the wetness is in summer when I do paddle nearly naked. :wink: Fortunately, my boat (Avocet) is relatively dry despite its low’ish volume.