Surf ski

From Openwaterpedia
Brenton Williams (swimming butterfly), Kendal Wright and Kyle Harris swimming an unprecedented 8 km around the Cape St Francis Lighhouse and Shark Point on the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa with the assistance of a surf ski, escort boat, support crew and kayaker

noun - A surf ski is a long, narrow, lightweight kayak with an open (sit-on-top) cockpit, usually with a foot pedal controlled rudder.

Typically 5-6 meters(16½-21 feet) long and only 40–50 cm (16-20") wide, surf skis are extremely fast when paddled on flat water (only an Olympic K1 or K2 kayak is faster) and the fastest paddled craft available over a long distance on ocean swells. They track well but are less maneuverable and have less transverse primary and secondary stability than shorter, wider craft.

Despite its typical instability, a surf ski (with an experienced paddler) is a very effective craft for paddling in big surf. Its narrowness and length helps it cut or punch through large broken waves. Double bladed paddles are used, often with highly contoured wing blades for extra efficiency.

Surf skis are used worldwide for surf lifesaving, surf kayaking and for training and competition on flat-water or ocean (downwind) racing. They are most popular in warmer coastal regions such as Australia, California, Hawaii, and South Africa, as paddling a surf ski inevitably involves contact with the water.

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