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Old 03-18-2004   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 855
Wavesport ZG54...the answer is here

I wanted to post some more reviews about the new Wavesport playboat. I got my bigger size ZG, its 54 gallons. I was lucky enough to go down to the factory and pick up my boat. Since it is only a 3 hour drive from WV I figured a day in the car to finally get to paddle my own boat was worth it. I am on the Wavesport regional team and did Joel McBride (Western rep) a favor in picking up a couple of boats for him and in return I got mine sooner. While at the factory I got to take a cool tour. It was awesome to see how these kayaks are made. They are pumping out new boats 24/7. I felt like a kid in Willy Wonkas chocolate factory, seeing endless kayaks lined up being ready to be shipped. Unfortunately I couldn't just grab whatever I wanted.

But today I got to paddle the ZG54 on the New River in WV at 14,000CFS. I still can't believe how much water they have out here. It was definitely very hard to motivate today considering it was 33 degrees with light snow flurries. But once on the river I stayed really warm thanks to my IR one piece fleece union suit (a must have for any cold water paddling) We decided to park n play at Upper and Lower Railroad rapid. The upper had a 15 foot wide 5 foot high wave that was the shizzel for sure, and the lower had a smaller wave hole.

But lets get to the boat...Before getting this boat I was very concerned with the possibilty of yet another playboat being to big for me. (I'm 6 feet 180 pounds) The problem I always run into is that I am always to heavy for the smaller boats and to light for the bigger boats. I know that there are a lot of people out there that have this same problem. Statistically, 6 feet 180 pounds is actually the average build for the American male ( I read this in a nutritional book believe it or not) Anyway...I FINALLY have a boat that fits me like a glove. I finally don't have to cram into a small playboat or pad out of bigger playboat that still feels like I am kayaking in a bathtub.

Here's the best part about both sizes of the ZG. I fit into the smaller ZG without moving the seat back. I am definitely on the higher weight range for this still surfs waves like I weigh 140 pounds. I never once got the feeling like I was doing a wheelie on my stern while flushing off of the wave. It plains out and flies down the wave with no problems and it is still looser than any boat that I have paddled...not bad considering I am a little heavy for the boat. Cartwheels are effortless but loops don't go as big. So I finally decided I needed to go with the bigger version. Today I was rewarded for my decision. From my first flatwater cartwheel to my first surf I knew right away that this boat was the perfect fit. Flatwater cartwheels are easy and very balanced in this boat. With some of the other bigger boats I always felt like my lower back was about to break but this boat smoothly cartwheels from end to end. At first it felt a little edgy but that went away once I took a couple of rides. Loops...oh GOES BIG!!! I have never experienced a boat with such a loose hull and so much hull speed. It makes front surfing fun again. I was catching waves on the fly that I would never have caught in the shorter playboats. I truly believe that this boat side surfs faster than most playboats. Finally a boat that fits a wide variety of paddlers from different heights to different weights. My answer has arrived!!! Don't worry all you smaller women paddlers the Mini EZ is on the way. I saw a plug(temporary mold) at the factory yesterday. It has a hull similar to the ZG. They are going for a higher performance playboat but will still have the forgiveness of the EZ. It will be for the 80-120 pound people. There is also a prototype here in WV and there might be one coming to CO.

One more thing about the new outfitting. Its actually the same except for 2 new things. I have always thought that Wavesport has had the best outfitting, its super easy to outfit and is very comfy. But the backband has always been lacking. Well they finally added the rachet back band and the new contour of the back band is so comfortable. They also got rid of the foot system and went back to foot foam. This makes the boat about 5 pounds lighter.

Well thats it for me...I really am going to try and post some video or pics ASAP. Its been really cold out here and its hard to get out of the boat. But better weather is in the forecast.

Oh and Big Pimp Daddy look out cuz I'm about to drop a blunt on your big azz yellow hurricane(special rodeo edition)

Mark Olson
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