©2019 by Hobson Kayaks Ltd

Aug 19

Enigma - initial impressions


I surfed the Enigma for about 90 minutes in fairly small, 3 to 4 ft, bumpy surf at Ocean Beach, SF.

Carrying the boat down to the water I immediately noticed how light it was, yet the hull and deck showed no sign of flex. The fit was surprising. I could only just get my butt into the cockpit opening, but once in the boat there was plenty of room for my hips, legs (31" inseam) and feet (US size 9). At 5'8 and 190lbs I know I am at the top end weight wise for this design, but it feels much more comfortable than the Ride Zenith and once on the water, floated me fine, if a little stern down!

Paddling out was easy enough, but I did notice it was quite a bit tippier than the Mega Halo I have been using recently. I got back looped a couple of times, but I was able to bunny hop over some decent sized walls of soup.

The surf was not great, with few fast sections, so i can't really comment on the boat's speed yet, but it was extremely maneuverable on the wave and not surprisingly for a Jem Howe design, felt very waveski-like. It was easy to slash the tail and carve a tight bottom turn. It may have felt tippy to paddle (in comparison to the Halo), but it felt very forgiving when surfing and I didn't catch a rail once.

It felt like I got a little bit of air on a couple of re-entries, and that was surprising because I'm definitely a bit rusty and it was my first time in the boat.

So in summary, I was really impressed with the Enigma, sufficiently so that I bought the boat and look forward to trying it in bigger and cleaner surf real soon!