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Submitted: 05-17-1999 by JLK

Intitially purchased the boat as a wave rider. I have board surfed since the mid-50's and recently took up kayak touring in a 16 1/2 foot Sealution by Wilderness Systems.

It seemed natural to try to blend the two. What I discovered in the Riot was a fairly fun boat that is probably better suited to calm water paddles in bays, lakes and quiet rivers. In the surf of southern California, it handled like a general utility boat...a little too high in the water and chubby around the mid-section for quick, clean turns when the surf got up over three feet. It tended to skip down the face of a wave rather than carve. This shouldn't be interpreted as a big rap because Wilderness Systems does not promote this craft as a pure surf rider. Honestly, had I not surfed for so many years, my expectations would have been met.

I have demo'd the new Kaos by W.S. and can see that it has been designed for surfing.... and thus might not be as versatile as the Riot. I no doubt will acquire a Kaos but leave the Riot in the fleet as the boat it was designed to be...a hybrid.

A mixed review...but keep in mind my needs were for a somewhat specialized application. If you would like to converse, please feel to drop me an e-mail with any questions.

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