30 March 2011

VIDEO: Surfing with a Zegul 520

After a couple of weeks of getting accustomed to a new style of kayak I finally had the opportunity to take the Zegul 520 HV into some breaking surf.
This kayak performs a bit differently than a fish-form British style one and I find it harder to surf than my other kayaks.

After a few minor modifications (replaced the seat and moved it forward) I have finally the kayak to suit my needs and skills.
The first outing in the surf was a bit sketchy and I was surprised to get spun around so easily and surfed backwards (at: 2:47).
The low rear deck allows me to perform easy layback rolls without having to lift myself from the seat and bend my back too much.
Otherwise I found the Zegul not as maneuverable as some other high volume kayaks of mine.
The Zegul seems to track well for me (heavy person) but the extended keel line doesn't release for easy turning unless edged very aggressively.
The combination of low rear deck, narrow beam and rather high front deck makes this kayak very easy to roll.
The Zegul 520 is a combination of slightly Swede form hull, with decent rocker, partial hard chines (rounded off at bow and stern) rather full bow and somehow close in form to a Greenland style kayak.

For readers seeking a comparison, my personal dimensions: 184cm (6'1") 110Kg (240Lbs), size 38 butt, 35" inseam (88cm), size 12 (US) 46 (EU) shoes.


  1. Thank you so much for putting your sizes in the post. It offers a lot of insight for other heavy paddlers like myself when considering boats.

    Zebulon, NC

  2. Nice one mate, I think you're discovering the different techniques required to control a hard chined boat. You're getting pretty versatile.
    Not so sure about the 'Joe Simson Cam' though, it's very weird to see your head still like a Thunderbird while everything else moves….

  3. Hi Damiano - great movie. The different perspectives from the helmet and from the boat shows how the boat moves. Nice cut and your big smile reminds me to go paddling asap.
    Best Regards form Switzerland,

  4. More great stuff from the G-Dog, I find myself eagerly awaiting each new video as it comes out! If anything, Im just glad to see kayak action movies without acoustic folk music overlaid on it - always some kicking beats with your stuff! Rock on Big Man! Cheers - FP

  5. I love the helmet cam! It's almost like you've been turned into a kayaking bobblehead. Sweet video.

  6. FP, I know what you mean with the tunes of some sea kayak vids :-)
    I try to enhance my footage with some upbeat NON mainstream contemporary music. It might not appeal to the old geezers but then again those ain't interested in surfing sea kayaks.
    BTW the tracks are legally licensed. Youtube won't disable the audio on my vids...

  7. Great movie!! I have so much to learn:) love your blogg:))

  8. Don't know which I enjoyed more: watching the boat go like hell or the looks on your face.

  9. Great video - loved the helmet cam, looks totally mad. And good to see the Zegul in action...wish I'd had more time when passing through Bateman's Bay over the 'rock n roll' weekend but time-limited....otherwise would've loved to try one out.

    OK, here's the question - what's the setup of camera for the shots from the bow? Care to share?

    Tim Leeuwenburg
    Kangaroo Island

  10. Tim, I sent you a private email.

  11. gnarly - I would also like to learn about your camera setup. The video is terrific!

    Alan M.
    Albany, NY, USA

  12. Alan, my camera mounts are all custom jobs specific to each kayak.
    It has taken me a few years to develop a few mounts that will take the surf and even then there is often the risk of breaking mounts, cameras or kayaks.
    Fibreglassing skills are essential to create my mounts and modify the kayaks to suit.
    While there are some commercially available mounts they don't offer what I am looking for.
    Sorry I can't help you more with your query.

  13. Love that video G-Dog! The helmet close-up shots are really great. Special camera rig: $$$. Camera: $$$. Look on your face: Priceless.

    And the tunes you chose are waaaay better than those vids that just play "Michael Rowed The Boat Ashore".

    Would have posted as meself, but as a Luddite, that list of choices (LiveJournal, TypePad etc etc) stopped me in my tracks. Drop me a line and give me the grade school version of how to post in my own name. Moulton (moultonavery@hotmail.com

  14. Moulton, thanx for your comments.
    About the tunes: it's not everybody's flavor and I had some comments of people hating techno.
    I believe it suits the style my footage: dynamic.
    I also noticed a shift in bloggers starting to use Vimeo where copyright is not enforced as strongly as Youtube. Legally licensing music is often hard and most movie makers don't bother getting legal copies for their video. Vimeo will not block or delete videos that don't have legal licenses on their vids. Not yet...

  15. Hey Damiano, great flick !! I see you put the stick flat on the water, rather than on edge...?
    What kayaks from your fleet you use the most?

  16. I don't understand your first question; can you please define at what moment in the video you are referring to?
    Of the kayaks currently in my fleet I use mostly the Zegul520 for rolling and when I want a challenging session in the surf, the SeaBird NorthSea when I want to catch small waves with ease and work less on larger waves (it is an amazingly good kayak for surfing being such a pronounced fish-form) and I am currently testing an Aquanaut where my first impression are of a very mildly mannered boat that is very stable but not that exciting for flat water paddling. There will be a video soon of the Aquanaut in the surf. The Impex Assateague is purely used for my expeditions or when I take a newbie out. I have two other kayaks on order (hard chine, Greenland style) but they will be here in late summer.


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