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Wave Witch

by Cobra Kayaks

Reviews

Cobra Wave Witch. Light, fast, easy control with rudder. I modified it:…

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Cobra Wave Witch. Light, fast, easy control with rudder. I modified it: add 2 stabilizers at the nose, add system for mast base ( I can put the sail, lateen or Leg-O-Mutton ), add more front and back hatch. Enjoy. Thanks.

I upgraded to the Cobra Wave Witch after surfing a Wilderness "Kaos"…

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I upgraded to the Cobra Wave Witch after surfing a Wilderness "Kaos" for many years. They are basically too different animals. I found the Witch to paddle faster and catch waves easier, unfortunately it also pearl dives when it gets too hollow. The Kaos surfs much better on larger wave faces and steers by leaning into the turn, similar to surfing.

My wife rides a Cobra Strike which is slower than the Kaos but also more manageable. The Witch would begin to plane aft but the bow would always dig in with it's ship-type vee shape. I found it to be ok on 1-2 foot waves but in anything bigger, steering with the rudder down the line proved ineffective, the bow would eventually carve into the wave with loss of rudder control.

If this boat had more of a surfboard shaped bow, it would easily hold a line as the Kaos does, but then it would also lose it's flat water tracking ability. For Waikiki type rolling waves that break straight to shore more gently, the Witch is fine. For beach break or long peeling type waves, the Kaos or Strike ride better & safer!

I purchased a plastic Wave Witch 3 years ago and love it…

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I purchased a plastic Wave Witch 3 years ago and love it. I have to qualify that I instantly went out and added a set of wings used for OC-1's to the nose to correct its love of Pearl Jam (that's where the boat pearls and jams you into the bottom). I regularly surf the La Jolla shores and it is a great fast boat that lets me run the caves, or carve the waves. On a big day that is just right it is fast enough to catch the break on the reef that deposits you at scripts pier! I also use it on the bay in Newport and can keep up with sis who has one of Hobie’s pedal yaks. The only thing I have ever broken on the water was my leash. Oh yeah, they can do a great eskimo roll out the back side of a wave if you are getting closed out.

The only warning I would give anyone is that they are so fast that you can catch more than one wave in a set. And that tends to make the board surfers think there is one more reason to hate kayakers who are fast enough to get into any thing, take 1/10th the time to fight their way back on line in big surf and can reposition for the one that came out of no where. The bottom line is that you are so fast you are always in the wave before them. Just use good manners and wait your turn or surf the edges on crowded days. When that is not good enough for them just remind that angry 18 year old that swinging at a man holding a 6' staff is a life altering experience in humility. :)

After months of deliberation and test rides, I purchased a new Cobra…

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After months of deliberation and test rides, I purchased a new Cobra Wave Witch. I thought it would be the perfect boat for both flat water and surf. Well, it is a fairly fast and well tracking boat for flat water, but pearl dives big time in even the smallest of surf. Even leaning way back, like Cobra recommends on their webpage, did not prevent the pearl dives. I was also very disappointed with the quality of the boat. During the few times I had it on the water, I broke two rudders (yes, I broke one trying to get through some fairly small surf, replaced it under warranty, then found that it too was broken), and broke an adjustment strap related to the rudder. Fortunately the shop where I bought the Wave Witch let me trade it in for a Cobra Strike. I am very pleased with the Strike and highly recommend it. If you are dead set on buying a Wave Witch, be prepared to make lots of trips to your local shop to have repairs made or parts exchanged.

Bought the plastic Wave Witch 2 mos. ago. I love it…

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Bought the plastic Wave Witch 2 mos. ago. I love it. I have surfed all over Oahu's South Shore, from Kewalo to Diamond Head. It holds the wave's face nicely and is very responsive. It paddles quickly and I have no problem leaving one surf break to try another. Shortcomings: it leaks a bit, and it tends to pearl dive. Also rolls in the flats. (i.e. after the wave closes-out) I have found that I can get the nose up out of the water and prevent a pearl dive, and also regain steering control by fully laying my body onto the rear deck and steering with my toes. Overall, I love this boat!

I have 2 fiberglass Wave Witch "classics" from Hunt Johnsen (reviewed elsewhere)…

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I have 2 fiberglass Wave Witch "classics" from Hunt Johnsen (reviewed elsewhere) and a plastic Cobra Wave Witch. The plastic boat is a little slower and a little smaller, but for a plastic surf boat it rip's. When using thigh straps the boat eskimo rolls well and wave aquisition is so much better that the other plastic sit-on-top boats that I've tried (and I've tried most of them). I've surfed this boat in shoulder to head high clean Santa cruz point break, to big ugly overhead Pillar Point thrashers. For the price, it's a great value in a plastic boat, and it also tracks well with it's stearable rudder for those long paddles out to your favorite hidden breaks. If your into surfkayaking I'd highly recommend adding one to your quiver, it's amazing what a stearable rudder can do for you.

Purpose made surfing kayak with fins and rudder. This thing is…

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Purpose made surfing kayak with fins and rudder. This thing is an absolute riot! It's wonderful as a surf kayak and still manages to track well and paddle easily. I only wish it was bit bigger. At 6'2" and 235lbs I'm right at the max payload. The only remedy for this situation is to buy a Hunt Johnsen Designs fiberglass Wave Witch Classic(See next review).