A little on Waveskis, the advantages of Sit on Top Kayaks
Ventura California Waveski Competition Video
For the uninitiated in paddle surfing here is a video of some waveski surfing. Val posted this. It is not entirely indicative of the waveski performance alas, the paddlers are having difficulty making the power pocket in this wave. Some however do make it.
Waveskis are a different breed of paddle surfing. As a sit on top type of craft it is not entirely a true kayak as it lacks a cockpit, a coaming, and there fore you are exposed to the elements. It does however have significant advantages from a performance standpoint. A waveski is truly a sit on top surfboard you paddle. The waveski has a true surfboard shape, with shaped wells for the paddler to sit, and for the feet. The paddler uses a lap belt and foot straps to maintain contact with the board. As a result more a board like ride is possible. I have only tried one in the pool. They are typically made out of epoxy and foam, again like a surf board. This makes them crazy light and stiff.
Another advantage to the waveski design is that if you have a bad set and end up swimming, you can always climb back on and keep surfing. With a surf kayak, if you swim, that’s it, there is no getting back in you have to swim in and dump out. Friends from the message board have pointed out that the warmth of a surf kayak in winter is nice, but that winter surfing wetsuits also have their advantages. Another advantage is being able to get on in knee deep water so that you don’t chip, crack or ruin your fins. As any surf paddler will tell you can be a bit of a struggle from a rocky launch in a sit in kayak.
I would love to try an Island Waveski HP Longboard on a warm October day on Lake Michigan.