Submitted: 07-29-2009 by JimInAugusta
I built this kayak from plans using BS 1088 ply and 3.25 oz RAKA glass in five intense days this spring. It's a fun build until you get to the nose. A handful of clamps and a good eye for detail are necessary at this point. The extreme upsweep of the kayak demands careful attention to the nose or it will twist as it is brought together under tension. Otherwise its a reasonably typical stitch and glue build.
A unique aspect of the design is the gentle hollow that is created halfway down the hull from the nose when the hull and deck are stitched together. Kayak surfers in the know tell me that this hollow helps keep the boat stuck to the wave as you surf. I would agree.
This boat feels like it is glued to the wave face as you surf if the hull is kept reasonably flat to the water. Flick your hips a little to unglue the hull and you can carve around and have a blast. With enough speed you can rocket back over the wave face and get a little air. WILD!
This boat is quite similar in appearance to the Valley Sneaker. I might venture to say its better because its cheaper to build, lighter and has that way cool hollow in the hull. Like a mini-mal surfboard this boat is very forgiving and easy to use well. You won't be winning many comps with it but that isn't its intended purpose. Fun and forgiving the Matunuck will allow you to get into the world of surf kayaking without having to drop $2000 plus on a high performance surf kayak. For the occasional surf kayaker, as most of us are, its what you need.
This weekend the learning curve flattened out and I really gelled well with my turquoise painted Matunuck. I surfed long and hard Sat & Sun in the small but intense lineup off Tybee Island, GA. I could easily thread my way out through the friendly board surfers and swimmers, grab a wave and paddle back out through the breakers and go again. At times it seemed too easy. I like the easy button.
This kayak is just long enough with adequate volume to allow getting back out through moderate surf to be a pleasure. Pick your wave, stay relaxed and you will find it hard to put down the reigns and take a break. I never thought I could be this relaxed on a wave in a kayak. The designer should have called it the Valium. The only thing it leaves wanting is your desire to get back out there and do it again. It's tempting to call it the LazyBoy of surf kayaks.