Surfing the F1
visit F1 design page here
...But how does it surf? Ahhh yes, the perrenial question, and
perhaps the most misguided one becuase sea kayaks, by design, are not
good at surfing. Not real surfing, not the kind that
surfers do. This of course never stopped me from trying to make
one that is! I invited my buddy Dave for the maiden launch.
Dave brought his mega surf kayak. I tried it, I want one.
Heading out from Manzanita beach into a four foot west swell, a
little small but still fun.
Sometimes it's the two foot shorebreak that hits you the hardest.
Why the hell isn't anyone on this wave!
The tragedy of cheap telephoto, does anyone have decent pentax 400mm
prime lens they can sell me?
The next morning I head out alone to chase bigger waves.
Southwest swell six feet, eleven seconds.
Or maybe they are chasing me?
When the set waves hit, they jack up to ten feet and dump suddenly, I'm
really careful on these ones. You don't ever want to take a
direct hit from overhead green water, cold water is viscous and if you
get hit it feels like being hit by a truck.
Sometimes the peak will shift to a new location, I just barely got over
I made it back out to find myself in a field of steep twelve footers.
I'm just not that brave, so I'm heading in.
Inside in the smaller surf I decide to turn around and maybe catch a
But not before the next one catches me! I take a medium sized
wave on the head, and get driven deep. The orange you see is the
kayak floating back to the surface.
Alright, this time I'm really heading back in!
Anyone who has met me or seen my writing knows that I'm really hard on
my own boats. Even the smallest deficiencies become huge problems
in my mind. So I'm proud to say that after only eight distinct
design iterations, and about fifty kayaks, this kayak is finally
exactly what I want it to be. I like the framing, I like the
outfitting, I like the deck line setup, I like the speed, I like the
manuverabilty, I like the performance in wind and mixed rough water,
and most of all, I LOVE how it surfs. Once I set up on a wave I
can literally pull my rudder stroke out and just coast, slicing across
the wave face without stalling, broaching, or sliding out. This
is a perfect crossover kayak for someone who loves rough water but
doesn't want to lose the touring abilities of a sea kayak.
Because it is so stable and easy to manuver, it is also a perfect boat
for beginners and one they won't grow out of. I could write
an essay on how much I love this kayak, it is by far the best kayak I
have ever produced, but in the end it's not what I think that matters,
it's what you think. Come paddle one and decide for yourself!
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