C&K's Ocean Performance Picks
Pick your poison: overhead set waves, a sprint through the breakers, or miles of open-water cruising (from your feet or your seat). C&K has you covered with 10 of the latest rides for the life aquatic. From central Cali surf to the inlets of British Columbia's Sunshine Coast, we had the chance to test out a slew of the latest rides—everything from boards and boats to waveskis and surfskis. We also benefited from testing feedback from a pair of wave-riding world champions (including 2007 Masters World Surf Kayak Champion Sean Morley and 2005 USA West World Surf Kayak Championship team member Vincent Shay). For the full scoop and specs, grab our High Performance-themed August issue, on sale August 4.
C&K's Joe Carberry goes to work, testing the a Valley Storm, a roto-molded version of the Rush, near Lompoc, Calif. Robert Zaleski.
Valley Rush: The shortest boat in the three-boat Valley Rush lineup, this 20-pound, 7-foot-2-inch composite performance package easily makes sections with surprising speed–not to mention its air-time potential. So don't be afraid to bust a floater. Valleyseakayaks.com
Murky Water Aqua Libre: Viva la libre! A V-shape, waveski-like hull carries through the tail of this stiff and well-built surf 'yak from Murky Water's renowned composite crafting lair. It's a loose ride for aggressive paddlers looking to slash big set-waves with ease. Murkywaterkayak.com
Fenn Kayaks Mako Elite: You may not have heard of Fenn Kayaks, but that probably means you haven't spent much time scoping the lead race packs around the globe. This trusted South African manufacturer improves on the popular Mako 6 with a boat that excels in choppy water and wind-driven swells. Oceanpaddlesports.com
Think Kayaks Uno: Glide and glide again, Think's latest model tempts you to sprint all-out to get the bow to rise off the water. Although designed for a more advanced racer, the Uno is a race-savvy package available in carbon or Think's vacuum-bagged Kevlar/honeycomb epoxy. Thinkkayaks.com
Epic Kayaks V12: Many Northern Hemisphere 'ski racers don't mess with wicked surf zones. So Epic responded to flat-water race needs with the speedy new V12, which took the fastest time at the 2009 Molokai World Championships. Epickayaks.com
Infinity Stinger: Kayakers looking to cross over and catch surf without looking like a gomer will be well-served by Infinity's stiff, stable and super-buoyant Stinger. Salty wave riders will delight in a progressive, responsive, yet stable wave ski design that allows you to respond and cut aggressive turns. Infinitysurf.com
Maliko Creations TL Waveski: Ready to step up to a true high-performance platform? Try this new Maui-built board with back-set fins and a super-stiff build begging to go all aerial on ya’. Tlwaveskis.com
Hobie ATR: One of the world's storied board shapers maximizes "paddleability" with an all-terrain offering in three lengths of a capable SUP for everything from the waves to the flats. Hobie.com
C4 Waterman Holoholo: Hawaiian crafters create a true Cadillac cruiser. Use it on an overnight touring mission, haul through open-ocean swell or tuck into the casual barrel. C4waterman.com
12'1" Laird: This stable platform made of Surftech's proven TufLite material enables stroke mechanic mastery and opens the door for tackling those looming, double overhead gems. Pro beach volleyball hubby sporting a six pack not included. Surftech.com
[SUPs – Left to right, Hobie ATR, C4Waterman Holoholo, 12'1" Laird. Robert Zaleski]