My first ocean paddle on the Stellar SR.

It looked like a great day at the North Wall beach, and I was itching to try out my shiny new Stellar SR surf ski.  The wind was ESE at 15 knots.  A stand-up paddle boarder was catching and carving up some nice small to medium waves. I was keen to see how the Stellar SR surf ski would handle in the conditions.

Getting off a surf beach is so easy with a ski. You simply take it into the water, jump on and paddle away.  I was surprised how well this ski goes over the waves. Even on quite steep breaking waves the action is fairly smooth. The front can get somewhat airborne but you can prevent this by slightly angling the ski to the wave.

I’m a fairly experienced ocean kayaker, and the ski is somewhat narrower and less stable, but of course more nimble and faster than a sea kayak.  Once over the break zone, I spent time doing some easy paddling and edging to learn the limits of this new craft. I was really surprised just how quickly I became completely comfortable on the stellar.

I then decided it was time to run some waves. At first just small ones to get the feel. But as my confidence grew I chose bigger and bigger swells and ran them into the surf zone. And what a hoot it was!  This ski runs waves like a demon.  It just loves running down into the gullies.  For a long boat it was just so manoeuvrable, easy and enjoyable in this small surf. I could turn the stellar, run across and cut out of waves at will.

Being used to sit in craft where you wear the kayak, I was somewhat concerned about the looseness of a “sit on” craft. However, I found I could brace the craft very effectively. Even when bongo sliding down a breaking wave I could easily hold the boat up with my knees, bracing with the paddle on the wave.

I arrived back home very late and with a huge grin on my face. This nicely made ski is working very well for me.

These photos were taken the next surfing day by Rod Swan

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