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Submitted: 04-02-2005 by Mike BuFalry
The 4.4 is a low profile, sit on top, roto molded surf and workout boat. I bought my 4.4 on January 22 and now have been out paddling in it 18 times and have covered just over 130 miles (according to my GPS). I live in San Diego California and paddle in a combination of sheltered bay and open ocean water. I have paddled in some mild weather but for the most part it has been cool, windy, choppy and some times even dark and cold. So far in my experience, the 4.4 seems to do a lot of things well. In the flat water of the bay I can get it up on its bow wave and close to what feels like planing. In cross wind and chop, it tracks straight. Going up wind in big ocean waves it is a wet ride, but I can keep it rolling along at a reasonable pace (about 3.5 mph). Going back down wind in the ocean waves is great fun because this boat is a good surfer. You would think all this performance would come with a price- like a tippy nervous feel, but I have the seat height padded up 2 inches above standard and the boat is still very stable. It is not surf ski fast, or fishing yak dry, but it is much easier to stay on top of then a surf ski and much easier to handle both on and off the water than a typical sit-on-top. My one complaint is that the foot rests are a bit too small. However, every time I get back to the beach with the 4.4 I think to myself: what fun boat.
Another thought about surfing; in the ocean waves (not beach break) and boat wakes I ride, the 4.4 has the uncanny ability to pull its bow out of the water. Every time I have dropped into a step wave, the bow gets buried, and I think I am going to endo (pearl) the bow has just popped itself out and on we go.