There was a time not so long ago when every new boat design created a buzz: “It looks so radical! What’s it going to do?” After a dozen or so radical designs, new boats stopped generating the same buzz when they appeared in eddy lines. The WaveSport Project freestyle kayak, with its penchant for getting huge air, harkens back to the old days in this respect.

WaveSport Project Specs
(45 / 52 / 62)
Length: 5’11” / 6’1” / 6’4”
Width: 24.5” / 25” / 25.75”
Volume: 45 / 52 / 62 U.S. gal
Weight Range: 90-140 / 130-190 / 180-240 lbs

The WaveSport Project makes big-time moves

WaveSport’s new Project prototypes started showing up on the Ottawa River late last summer. When we got our hands on one of the first product ion models of the Project 52 last fall, the locals at the Garburator were clambering over each other to give it a try.

At 6’1”, 25” wide and 52 gallons, the Project 52 is a true spud boat designed to replace the Transformer line. It’s small, fast, hops aggressively on big features, and can be absolutely pitched around. It jumps off the water thanks to an extremely sharp rocker break that marks a new step forward in bounce hulls. Combine this with a razor-like bow edge under your heels, and the WaveSport Project drives across a wave with authority to set you up to explode into the air. Test paddlers blasted their biggest moves ever on a first ride. It was clear after only a few rides that a new rung has been added to the top of the aerial ladder.

A hard driving freestyle machine

The Project is not for the meek, and performs for those who know what they are doing. It needs to be driven from the heel edge and the rocker break continuously sends it airborne, with each hop move creating more momentum for the next one.

On smaller features the WaveSport Project is less remarkable. Its small size makes shredding smaller waves fun, but the boat moves so fast traditional moves like cartwheels become speed wheels and flat spins are now bounce spins. Its smooth lines mean it has a less decisive pop in a hole.

Man paddling a WaveSport Project freestyle kayak in whitewater
Feature Photo: Ben Marr

No compromise on quality

One design quirk is a difference in the rocker breaks of the bow and stern. The stern line is gentler, so while the boat launches rambunctiously while frontward, back surfing is tamer. WaveSport designer Robert Peerson says the lower rocker in the stern makes the Project faster by maximizing the total surface area of the hull when planning. It’s probably a reasonable concession, since the Project is surprisingly fast for its size and, as Peerson says, “Boat design is a play on compromises.”

Frills include the much-heralded WaveSport F.A.T. outfitting, but the defining performance characteristic of the Project is its big-wave air ability.

Catch some air with the WaveSport Project

Speaking of definitions, Oxford lists two for “project”: 1. noun, an undertaking, a carefully planned activity. 2. verb: to throw, cast, impel. Whatever definition was intended, it’s a well-chosen handle for the WaveSport project freestyle kayak—a carefully designed launching pad for your aerial exploits.

This article was first published in the Spring 2006 issue of Rapid Magazine. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.


0/5 (0 Reviews)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here