Looking for a new hobby this summer? Why not try surfski; a fast and fun way to get out on the water and hit the waves. In a world where paddleboards and kayaks are commonplace, you can set yourself apart and have a blast while doing it.
A surfski is, simply put, a long and narrow sit-on-top kayak. It also has a rudder that is controlled by foot pedals to help steer and stabilize the ski. The “surf” part comes from the fact that these amazing vessels allow the user to ride on, over, and through ocean waves; making them very versatile. Competitive ski races are held around the world, such as this one from September of last year:
While surfskis are capable of ocean use and professionally raced, they can also be used as recreational devices on lakes and rivers. There is a large variety of makes and models to choose from. Materials, lengths, and hull design varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and between models/intended uses. Similar to kayaking, one has many options when choosing a surfski. For example, Epic Kayaks manufactures low end, 14 foot long, rotomolded polyethylene skis that weigh 50 pounds, as well as full carbon fiber units that are 21 feet long and weigh just under 20 pounds. Paddles also come in different sizes and shapes, with full carbon fiber, ultra-lightweight options available for the more aggressive user.
Because surfskis are often quite narrow, they can be difficult to balance at first. Once one acquires a feel for it, however, they are great fun, as well as a great way to get in some physical fitness. Not only do they get you out and on the water, they also teach the user a great sense of balance and control. The other great thing is, if you like speed, a surfski will get moving quickly compared to most kayaks – even the lower end models.
There are many communities of surfski users around that can be found with a quick search on the web. The members are often friendly and more than willing to let you try their skis out. If you are interested in learning more about or experiencing surf ski first hand, find a local event and watch people using them. You can meet new friends and potentially find a new hobby that could last a lifetime. Another great option is www.surfski.info. It has a plethora of information as well as a large user base full of knowledge and experience.