User Tools

Site Tools


plastic_surfskis

Plastic Surfskis

While plastic (typically polyethylene) surfskis are considerably heavier than their fiber based (fiberglass, carbon, Kevlar) siblings, they do have a very significant advantage over their lighter counterparts in terms of durability and capacity to absorb collisions and abrasions. If you are anticipating rough care and/or negligent storage habits for a surfski OR you want to use a surfski for rivers or shore breaks where bumps and scrapes are likely, then a plastic surfski might very well be a worthwhile investment. They are also less expensive than their fiber construction equivalents.

Discussion/Construction

  • Some, like the Finn and Spirit plastic surfskis, are reportedly relatively fast but not necessarily quite as robust as plastic alternatives from other major manufacturers.
  • Zack Handler: “Keep in mind too that the plastic skis use a different construction (Ed. - all plastic skis?) than most plastic sea kayaks and recreational kayaks. Rather than solid plastic they are a sort of sandwich construction with aerated plastic “foam” in the middle between solid plastic walls. They are stiffer than solid plastic (Ed. - which should make for better speed), but the trade off is they are a bit more brittle and prone to damage from sharp impacts.”
  • Various construction methods: rotomolded PE vs. rotomolded skin/foam PE vs. thermoformed ABS

Options

Many of these models are no longer being manufactured, but due to their durability they can still come up for sale (used) from time to time. Or if you advertise that you are looking for one, you may spark some owner's recollection of the one sitting in their back yard that they no longer ever paddle. But pay attention to UV damage/sag if the boat has been basking in the sun for a long time. Sag can sometimes be corrected by flipping the boat for a period in the sun. Ultimately these boats should probably be stored sideways?

  • Cobra Kayaks
  • Epic
  • Finn (Australian maker of plastic boats - not to be confused with South Africa's Fenn surfskis)
  • Liker (China)
  • Nelo
    • 510 50% recycled material
  • Nordic Kayak
  • Ocean Kayak
    • Sprinter - no longer manufactured - reportedly can be a bit of a wet ride for heavier paddlers. Also not for the tallest or longest legged folks.
  • Spirit in Australia used to make several different plastic surfskis but we cannot find a working website for them which may mean they went out of business. Some of their models were reputedly quite fast for plastic surfskis.
  • Think
    • Briefly offered the “Nitro” as a plastic option. The same surfski was also sold as the “Pyranha Octane”. Neither seems to be currently manufactured. Chris Hipgrave Review 9/9/2016
  • Vajda
plastic_surfskis.txt · Last modified: 2021/07/19 02:51 by preavley