I'm thinking about buying a used ZG 54. I've demoed it once and loved it but was wondering if there were any other recommendations or cautions about this boat. I'm open to other playboats, but I really liked this one.
I paddled the ZG54 all last season and will paddle it again this year, and love it! It is a great boat for everything- plays like any other playboat on the market, though is faster than the others. It's exceptionally fun on waves (fast and loose hull) and on longer play runs (ie westwater) because of its speed and comfort. Clearly, I would recommend jumping in the ZG.
Crazy 88 doesn't look bad, though it'll be hard to find one used until late summer or fall.
I just got one and tried it out for 6 days in CA on large volume play runs. I'm 6'1'',170 and it fits me really well- very comfortable boat. It feels alot smaller than I would expect for 54 gallons. I used to paddle a Necky Cronic which I really liked. The ZG is almost as fast but a bit harder to paddle. It has less rocker than most other short boats which takes a little getting used to. Also, the edges are definitely low, sharp, and pretty unforgiving- you just have to be on top of it in pushy water.
In flat water, it is the easiest boat to bow stall that I have ever paddled and easily has the pop to get the loop done if my form was better.
I love it on a wave. Super flat hull and sharp edges. very loose but it really wants to blunt. probably the most fun boat to surf I have ever paddled.
In a hole, its harder to front surf than other short boats because its faster and has less rocker, but the potential is there to do anything. The even volume distribution makes cartwheels easy to control and it seems to stay in the hole well. Overall, I highly recommend it. Hope this helps.
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