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NSPN Surge owners .....


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Ok, now that I have sold mine, I can give my honest assessment of the boat. ;-)

I don't know you, how long you have been paddling, what kinds of paddling you like to do, etc. but I bought the Surge as my first sea kayak. I had back trouble, and wanted a lightweight boat (big plus for the Surge at 37-38 pounds). The Surge also has high primary stability which made it a comfortable boat for someone not used to "tippy" sea kayaks. It is a very tracky boat, so very easy to paddle in a straight line, even in wind - another plus for beginners. It is a very fast boat, often used as a racer in the touring class, so I could cover lots of miles with even a poor beginner's paddling stroke. All these things made it appealing to me as a beginner. If one is reasonably comfortable with leaned turns, the Surge is also remarkably nimble for a straight-tracking boat. It is not prone to weather-cocking or lee-cocking, and so is not equipped with a skeg or rudder. I also liked this aesthetically. It also surfs very well on anything under four feet and not too steep. Finally, the workmanship is outstanding, as each Surge is hand-built by a master craftsman.

Now that I have paddled the Surge a couple of thousand miles, in a wide variety of conditions, and now that my paddling interests and skills have evolved, there were some things about the Surge that were drawbacks for me. The most important to me at this stage was that the boat is hard to roll. I learned to roll in it and have rolled it in current, waves, wind, etc., but my combat roll was only at about 60-70% in it at best. I have since learned how much easier many other sea kayaks are to roll than this one.

I also tend to like to play in rough water, surf, rock gardens, etc. and the light layup on the Surge and thin gelcoat don't make this the ideal boat for this kind of play. I managed to crack my hull at least twice, and did numerous gelcoat patches in the two years that I paddled it. Stowage was also an issue. With no dayhatch and limited options for in-cockpit storage, I struggled with how to keep all "essential" gear ready at hand without cluttering up the decks. I also found the stowage marginal for a week-long camping trip. I could basically bring everything I needed except food and water, lol!

The boat tends to be built for smaller to medium-sized paddlers. At 6'-1", around 200 pounds and with size 13 feet, I was probably a bit big for this boat.

Those are the basics. I'd be happy to answer any other specific questions.


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