What is surfskiing? A surfski is a sit-on-top kayak, designed to drain itself in case it becomes flooded with water. Additionally, the boat is easy to remount in case the paddler falls out. They are usually made from lightweight materials like fibreglass or carbon unlike traditional kayaks. This results in boats that are easier to handle and move effortlessly through water. Surfskis are ideal for all abilities of paddlers from novice to competitive, without the need for much variation in design, other than width. Perfect for all conditions, surfskis slice through mirror-like conditions in the morning and handle the the surfing waves that can take place in B.C. on a windy day.
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 fitness kayaks, surfing or racing kayaks, and the newer designs mean that the intro level boats are 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.
These two great videos give you an idea of what you can do in a surfski once you’ve got some practice under your belt. Skookumchuck video here and Deep Cove Surfski video here both these videos feature Bob Putnam (co-owner of Coast Outdoors and Deep Cove Kayak Centre) and his boyz, Lucas Putnam and Seth Putnam.
At Deep Cove Kayak Centre 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, Coast Outdoors. You can call us at 604.987.2202 ext #2 with any questions or just come and see us! Click here for more details.