With very little fanfare or hype the WaveSport Diesel 65 and 75 river runners have been launched. Even on WaveSport’s own website, all you get is a couple of profiles, specs and your choice of two new colours: ice and citrus. Having paddled the Diesel, we realize this may be some sly strategy to only let a select few know about it. Well WaveSport, your little charade is a bust—the Diesel rips!
WaveSport Diesel 65 / 75 Specs
Length: 7’6” / 8’0”
Width: 25” / 25.5”
Depth: 12.5” / 12.75”
Volume: 65 / 75 U.S. gal
Weight: 36 / 37 lbs
Paddler Weight: 100-200 / 140‑240 lbs
MSRP: $999 USD / $1,399 CAD
Debuting the Diesel 65
The WaveSport Diesel comes in two sizes, 65 and 75, telling you the volume in U.S. gallons. Have a look at the specs and you’ll see for the two models the weight ranges are huge, 100-200 and 140-240 pounds. Almost anyone will fit in the smaller 65, but if you’re 165 pounds and up, go for a light, nimble, bouncy and stable ride in the cushy 75. Sizing is key, especially when you add the weight of your gear.
The Diesel is up to the occasion
After a couple of days on the Kipawa River, a mid-sized but pushy river, we deemed the Diesels to be a perfect match of boat to conditions. In aerated wash and boils below the dam, the Diesel is super stable. The multi chine hull offers wicked secondary stability, it can be laid on edge with no fear; it feels like you can paddle it there all day. Initial stability is comfortable, but not like current freestyle boats—the planing surface is not nearly as wide. Want to teach people to roll? Put them in Diesels.
On the Kipawa, and less technical runs, the Diesels are great. You have lots of time for a few strokes to get the boat to an impressive cruising speed. You also have room to carve into an eddy. For technical creeking, some folks are going to find the Diesels’ waterline too long for quick pivots and they don’t snap to top speed like a CFS or Micro. Life is a compromise; and these boat do a great job of sitting on the fence waiting to fall into whatever headwaters you choose.
Not only can the Diesel run rivers and creeks, it’s a blast to surf. Tumbling Dice on the Kipawa is once again worth stopping for. The combination of hull speed, rockered bow and crazy stability had us ripping long waves like the good old days. And, you can even bounce and blunt the Diesel; try that in an RPM!
We normally write about outfitting first, but we forgot about it—a true compliment to good outfitting is not having to think about it. The F.A.T. system including seat, thigh braces and hip pads, and new back band (with ratchets, finally) are superb. With plenty of foot room WaveSport went back to a bulkhead rail system. The Diesels ship with two different sized bulkheads; ensure (we didn’t) you fit it properly so your feet can’t slide overtop (ours did). The boat feels tough with no flex in the cockpit rim. It’s the best outfitted-to-task boat going. Now, if only they could make a large volume, solid boat without the portage weight.
The Diesel 65 is your sport utility boat
Why WaveSport hasn’t pumped the Diesel is beyond us. Perhaps the models are in short supply, or maybe their marketing department is just too busy “field testing” them on the river. Come to think of it, I have seen one advertisement for the Diesel, the tag line read, “the SUV of kayaks.” Nuff said.
Follow us on Instagram @paddlingmagazine and get hyped on our posts.