They've been around for a long while in Australia and South Africa – and the trend is now slowly beginning to spread all over the rest of the world. We're talking about surf skis. Longer and wider than a racing kayak, they are reminiscent of their ancestors, but they are much more manoeuvrable and easier to paddle thanks to more buoyancy and their unique shape.
SURF SKI vs. KAYAK – The biggest difference to a kayak is probably the fact that one doesn't sit in a surf ski, but on top of it. Surf skis were mainly used to rescue surfers and save people from drowning due to the fact that the flat bottom and low weight (usually a carbon fibre construction) allow you to glide faster and better through the waves than in a normal kayak.
SAFETY - Every paddler is afraid of capsizing. Getting into a surf ski is easy and only takes seconds and not minutes, as in a sea kayak. This reduces the possibility of fatigue and/or dangerous hypothermia. On surf skis, you can also put your legs in the water on the left and right side at any time in order to increase stability.
EFFICIENCY - Surf skis are lighter and faster than kayaks due to their minimalistic design. At the end of the day, this is what makes them safer. In most cases, you can paddle a surf ski faster and with less energy than a sea kayak. This is a major advantage against the current or the wind.
RUDDER - The rudder of a surf ski is located under the hull, approx. 50 to 60 cm from the stern. Two control pedals are used to operate it using one's feet. The surf ski can still be manoeuvred when riding on a wave because the rudder always remains under water.
FUN - Shallow water, large oceans, lakes, rivers, wind, no wind, waves – surf ski paddling is fun in all conditions. On a surf ski, it's fantastic to ride the waves with a tailwind. This means that speeds of up to 30 km/h are possible at sea. For a quick lap at the end of the day or after a hard day’s work, simply paddle along the coastline and enjoy it – the surf ski is simply the ideal water sports equipment for all this and lots more. And because it’s very easy to climb in and out, it's always possible to swim in a lake or the sea!
KEEP IT SIMPLE - A surf ski is very easy to set up and look after. Because it usually has no fans or unnecessary portholes, you automatically take the most important things with you on a tour. For a day trip using a surf ski, all you need is a buoyancy aid (life jacket), a leash, a mobile phone and sun protection. That’s all!