This post is for those who have heard the term before, or seen these boats but isn’t quite sure what they are or who they are appropriate for. Someone just like me about a year ago – I had seen the boats at Deep Cove Kayak and used in races and they looked totally intimidating. How wrong I was.
Surfskiing started way back in the day when Harry and Jack McLaren in Port Macquarie, Australia sat on a board and paddled it in a sitting position with two small hand blades. Since then the boats have evolved considerably (!), and nowadays they are more easily recognized as surfing or racing boats, and the newer designs mean that the intro level boats are really stable.
They are typically between 16 and 22 feet long, and between 17 and 22 inches wide. The design means that they cut through water incredibly efficiently, and make paddling on flat water super simple because you can go so much further, faster, and easier than you can in a heavier and therefore slower sea kayak. Once you learn the correct technique they are also much easier than sea kayaks to remount. They are ideal for people who like getting out on the water for a couple of hours for fitness or for pleasure.
Saying that, once you learn how to surf these boats, taking them out in bigger waves is a whole other level of fun! I went out in the tide rip at Ambleside for the first time a few weeks ago having only started paddling surfskis last year, and had an absolute blast! It’s definitely not an easy thing to master, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone doing so without a lesson, but the feeling that you get when you catch a wave is fantastic. I’m heading back out in those waves as soon as I can.
This great video gives you an idea of what you can do in a surfski once you’ve got some practice under your belt. At Deep Cove Kayak we offer an Intro to Surfski lesson to cover those basics, more info found by clicking here. We also sell surfskis through our retail store, Deep Cove Outdoors. You can call us at 604.987.2202 with any questions or just come and see us! Click here for more details.