Submitted: 07-24-2006 by seadart
The Wavemaster Stabilizer Comp comes in three sizes, I bought the 2.6 m; it's 8'5" long and about 27 inches wide. The factory spec sheet says it will handle surfers up to 260 lbs. I weigh ~ 210 with equipment and there is plenty of capacity to spare. Waveskis are the highest performance paddling craft you can use for surfing maneuvers resembling those you would do on a shortboard. The higher performance skis are set up to have a high center of gravity that allows you to crank powerful turns at high speed. This makes the high performance waveskis very unstable when standing still waiting for a wave or when trying to paddle out through breaking surf, so beginners often find it impossible to even sit on the skis and paddle them out. The wavemaster stabilizer comp is advertised as a beginner to intermediate ski. It is a wide stable ski with a deep seat well and pronounced foot wells for the foot straps. I have found it to be as stable as a battleship and it takes a pretty large wave to knock you over. (Once you learn a few tricks, like leaning way forward as a wave hits you, and lying back and high bracing if you are going over.) I can paddle out through the surf with my feet in the stirrups with confidence that I'm not going to tip over. Because it is wide it's not a fast paddler. The ski is well constructed and the adjustable foot block and belt positions let you adjust the ski to fit your size and how aggressive you may want to surf, I've found the best performance moving the belt and and foot block all the way back and the fins are set quite forward. The adjustable block and belt make the ski adjustable to any surfer so they are much easier to sell used than most waveskis which only fit paddlers of a given leg length. It took three or four outings to get the fins set up for the best performance. I have a fair amount of experience surfing kayaks and own a high performance ski, I wanted something that was easier to paddle out in rough winter surf and to gain confidence in getting my feet in the stirrups, rolling etc, and something that I could let friends and family members try out waveskiing without turning them off to the sport. You can take off surprisingly late on this ski, it is actually hard to pearl at the beginning of a ride, it works well in small to medium surf. The biggest waves I have surfed on the ski are about 6 - 8' . I would not buy this ski if you plan to surf fast, critical waves. I got quite a thrashing trying to beat a critical section on a fast breaking wave. This is a good ski if you are a beginner interested in waveskis or if you are coming to waveskiing from having surfed higher volume sit on tops. I'm fairly heavy for many surf kayaks and this ski would float and perform for a much heavier paddler so this is definitely a big-person board. (The shorter models are for smaller paddlers) New waveskis are expensive so if you can find a stabilizer comp used it would be a good way to get started. The drawbacks are that this is a entry level cruiser, so it is not going to have the down the line speed of a high performance ski. It is quite wide and I have only rolled it about once with the help of a wave so I can't really comment on ease of rolling, most waveskis are hard for me.... Due to the fact the boat is quite stable, I've only had a few serious wipeouts, and one swim. It is very easy to climb back on in deep water, without tipping over... something a beginner will appreciate. I get a lot of people who are interested in this ski because it looks quite unique compared to sit on top kayaks that people are used to seeing.