Let me start by saying I am not an expert surf/ocean guy in any way. I paddled the Zephyr 155 and Alchemy S back to back and this is my take on them. The Z is straight line faster, better in rough or active water than the Alchemy. The Alchemy seems more forgiving when edged over and you catch a boil or wave when on edge, and turns a little faster in moving water. The Z wants to go over steep water, the Alchemy will plow in a little.
I think the Alchemy is a better boat for a newer paddler as it seems to have a little better primary stability, but secondary stability is not as defined as the Z has.
Having said that I have ordered a Z now and am going to order an Alchemy S once the tax situation gets squared away and winter pricing is still in effect. Both good boats for different uses. Try to paddle them back to back.
Heel and Pegpads™
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