Help me find a surfing kayak

Tongo-Rad

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I'm aiming to get a RM kayak primarily for starting to get into surfing and rock hopping around the Vancouver Island area, and would like to know if anyone has tried both the SKUK Romany Sportive RM, and the Valley Gemini SP RM. I'm about 5' 8", 160 lbs, and with my other touring kayaks, a 21 inch beam feels ideal. I'd love to know anyone's feedback on the performance and durability of the Sportive and Gemini, and any other key aspects you look for in a surfing kayak.

Any other info I can provide, please let me know. Thanks.
 

Peter-CKM

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My partner has a Gemini RM. For smaller paddlers (like 5'2" and under), it is one of the few plastic kayaks out there. It is a low rocker boat, so not actually all that maneuverable, so not optimal for rock gardening. But not many other options. She doesn't surf. That low rocker makes it much more efficient through the water (e.g. faster) than the Dagger Alchemy and Necky Chatham 16 she had before.

Haven't seen a Romany Sportive RM myself, but the Romany line has a great reputation for rough water.

For your size, you may want to consider the P&H Delphin 150 or Dagger Stratos 14.5S. Both of them do well for surf and rocks. Both are wider than what you said you want, but I think you may find a wider kayak better for the choppy water that often comes with rock gardening. A boat that feels like a bobber that always floats on the water and has high primary stability is generally considered good. And a wider hull can have a flatter bottom, which many find better for surfing.

I've heard good things about the P&H Virgo line, but haven't used yet myself.
 

Tongo-Rad

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My partner has a Gemini RM.
Thanks Peter. That info about the hull in particular is really valuable to know. Is your partner paddling a Gemini SP or ST? I believe the former has a higher rocker designed for more play than the ST.
 

Peter-CKM

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Thanks Peter. That info about the hull in particular is really valuable to know. Is your partner paddling a Gemini SP or ST? I believe the former has a higher rocker designed for more play than the ST.
The RM (rotomolded plastic version - what we have) is a bit separate from the composite SP and ST versions. This is pretty common - if a manufacturer has both plastic and composite versions of the same boat, because they use different manufacturing processes, they often are very different boats.

The SP does have more rocker than the ST. I haven't done a side to side comparison of SP, ST, and RM, but based on how it performs. it feels like the RM is more like the ST.
 

mick_allen

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[Lila did say “. . . plastic layup, second hand . . . only for surfing not . . . day trips / touring.” So to my mind that single requirement leans more toward a surf play type kayak.]

However your added rock hopping and narrow beam requirements will lean more towards a traditional sea kayak like the two you mention. Altho’ if the Sterling Progression was in the running, that in a robust layup might be an addition as well.

However not knowing them - but of the two [Sportive and Gemini SP] as they are fairly similar - I’d lean toward the Gemini as
  • it’s a little little wider so might get up quicker and give an easier ride
  • seems to me a much more balanced design for play both fore and back vs the more unidirectional P&H “the cockpit is moved further back than other kayaks”.
  • and the Dagger Stratos just seems to have minimal rocker compared to what you'd probably want
  • Plus there’s just something about the uncoordinated Sportive renditions [out of whack cg and weird small hatch sizes] that just makes me a little [or more than that] leery of what’s going on there plus the more pinched bow/sterns.
[edited to add: inaccurate image shown - see update below]
 
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Jurfie

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The Delphin 155 intrigues me; I’m going to try one on tomorrow (dry land only, sadly) to see how I fit. Thinking it might be a good second boat for my wife and visiting friends to use (at least that will be my excuse for getting a second boat!). It seems a popular choice for bashing around the rocks and surf.

Though looking at Mick’s handy side by side comparison, the Stratos looks more promising.

EDIT: I sat in the Delphin yesterday at Coast Outdoors (they currently have two in stock). At 6’-6”, I surprisingly fit quite comfortably, including the ability to get in butt-first-then-legs, which is a rare thing for me. Hmm. Now I have to convince the wife that she needs one. :laugh:
 
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Tongo-Rad

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According to the Valley website, the Gemini SP RM version is shorter than what’s spec’d above, coming in at 14’10”

E1CC6E73-723D-4388-8397-5B459D20B2AF.jpeg
BCA29002-CCAA-46F1-A6BC-14C825D6590E.jpeg


Update:
My recently acquired red one I picked up recently (literally) weighs in at 54 lbs, hatches and all. I'm loving its agility!
 
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mick_allen

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Sorry Tongo-Rad, I don't know where I saw the incorrect length . . . here's an adjusted image, but using composite:
Dggr,P&H,SKUK,VCP.jpg
 

AM

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EDIT: I sat in the Delphin yesterday at Coast Outdoors (they currently have two in stock). At 6’-6”, I surprisingly fit quite comfortably, including the ability to get in butt-first-then-legs, which is a rare thing for me. Hmm. Now I have to convince the wife that she needs one. :laugh:
The Delphin 155 is indeed a comfortable boat for the long-legged types. It also has the advantage of excellent P&H outfitting, including Kajak Sport hatch lids. No leaks!

Cheers,
Andrew
 
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