-- Last Updated: Apr-04-13 4:46 PM EST --
Your facts are a little loose. Barton grew up canoeing but made his name in Olympic K1 (flatwater).
A surf ski can punch through waves due to its length and narrow beam, but like other long-boats they are not really at home in the surf zone. They are designed for surfing open ocean swell. Carnage is pretty common at events that require a beach start. Maybe you are confusing surf skis with wave skis (wave skis don't have a plumb bow, BTW). In the pictures you posted the skis are doing a diagonal run like a regular sea kayak. This can be fast and fun, but is very limited and you can't come close to doing what a surf kayak or a waveski can do.
There's much more to boat design than the shape of a kayak's bow.
I have three plumb-bow "go fast" kayaks (Legacy K1, 18x and V12 surf ski) and enjoy them for the conditions and uses they are designed. That said, it would be a mistake to take my 18X or surf ski into a rock garden and expect it to handle like my Anas Acuta. Either hull would probably be a broken mess of glass shards in no time. Likewise, if I entered my Anas Acuta in a race among surf skis, I would be dead-last, unless someone happened to die laughing from witnessing my hull hit the wall at a feeble 5mph, complete with a deep stern squat and a small rooster-tail.
Kayaking has its various camps; the "go fast crowd", "rock-hopping/tide race crowd", "traditional crowd" and more. I think this kind of thread can easily become contentious when one camp, either deliberately or not, imposes its own specific solutions on everyone else, even when they don't apply universally. Since kayaking is so diverse, it's impossible to give absolutes.
Kayak & Canoe Outriggers
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