07 Feb Romany Surf Custom
I have been paddling for a few years but the Romany Surf was not a boat I knew a lot about when I started my search for a new kayak. I wanted something that would be able to handle well in rougher conditions. My previous boat I found a bit hard to manoeuver in higher winds. It is tricky to know how a boat will handle until you have a given it a really good test in a variety of conditions. But after discussing the Surf with a few experienced paddlers and having the offer to paddle one of theirs for a short while, I decided to head on down to Southern Sea Kayaks with a view to looking at a Romany Surf. Explaining to Steve what paddling I wanted to do and discussing possible alternatives it was clear that he also thought that the Surf would be a good boat for me. So in September 2019 I took the plunge and drove away with a shiny new orange and white Surf.
Since buying the boat I have been out in a variety of conditions. In a flat calm the boat tracks well but as expected is perhaps not as fast as longer boats. I have not found that to be a problem in my club paddles as it is not a slow boat. Being based in the Solent I have paddled to the Isle of Wight a good few times, including a very memorable trip from Keyhaven round the Needles to Freshwater for some surfing and a lively return in swell on the ebb tide via the Shingles bank and past Hurst castle. I have also paddled it on the Jurassic coast and up at Anglesey. Because the boat is very manoeuvrable it is great fun to take rock hopping. I don’t feel the need to buy a plastic boat as I try to be careful to avoid the rocks and the Surf helps me to do so. I have taken the boat out to play in five foot surf and it did not let me down. It can pick up waves nicely which of course also helped me in tide races. I have only found the need to use the skeg in a following F7 and even then the Surf was behaving reasonably with the skeg up. It is easy to get onto and hold on an edge.
The Surf has really made it a lot easier for me to enjoy these different conditions. I can’t really think of anything I don’t like about the boat. I am 5’10’’ and would consider myself to be paddle fit.