This winter witnessed two milestones at WaveSport Kayaks. First, the release of a long-awaited new freestyle design—the WaveSport Project X. And second, just days later, the departure of longtime WaveSport lead designer Robert Peerson. The timing may be a coincidence. Or it may be that Peerson wished to see through this one last project before moving on.

WaveSport Project X Specs
(48 / 56 / 64)
Length: 5’9” / 5’11” / 6’1”
Width: 25” / 25.8” / 26.5”
Volume: 48 / 56 / 64 U.S. gal
Weight: 31 / 32 / 34 lbs
Weight Range: 100-170 / 140-210 / 180-250 lbs
MSRP: $1,049

WaveSport’s Project X has come to fruition

The beginnings of the Project X and Peerson intertwine, stretching back to 2004 when the young designer stepped in to fill the shoes of previous WaveSport lead designer Eric Jackson and the wildly popular X and EZ play­boat series. That year, Peerson worked with Team WaveSport to develop the very successful ZG (Zero Gravity). Two years later, he reworked that platform and helped usher in a new era of big-air freestyle with the WaveSport Project. In 2008, seeking to evolve the Project design and demonstrate the potential of an emerging material in freestyle construction, Peerson and WaveSport produced the limited edition, carbon composite Project 54 Cx.

The WaveSport Project X draws on this wealth of design research, along with a half-decade of paddling the much-loved Project in every kind of play feature imaginable.

Project X has tricks up its sleeve

The new boat shares the original Project’s trademark WaveSport drop chines, smooth deck lines and propensity for flight, with major changes focused on the rocker profile, ergonomics and volume distribution.

The result is a hull that planes up to speed faster, pearls less when surf­ing and suits a wider range of paddlers across three size options than its predecessor. Bryan Kirk, WaveSport team manager and top freestyle competitor, says that centering volume around the cockpit addresses the demand for quick and easy directional transitions integral to new school combo moves.

Man does a freestyle trick in a WaveSport Project X kayak
Feature Photo: Shane Grooves

The volume distribution also makes the WaveSport Project X a monster in holes. Throwing it around our local, spring-melt play spot, we found it explodes out of the water for loop tricks and the slicey ends feel well-balanced for cartwheels, stern squirts and bow pivots—an exceptional combination for moves like McNastys and phonics monkeys.

Peerson and the design team also looked beyond the river for inspira­tion—to the wave-loving, hard-carving surf-shoe kayaks used for ocean play. We’re glad they did—the Project X is fast, loose and carves in re­sponse to the subtlest edging. This boat rips on fast waves, where light­ning quick edge-to-edge transitions enable huge bounces.

A drier, lighter playboat

The new WhiteOut outfitting combines classic WaveSport comfort and func­tionality with dazzling white vinyl that looks sexy and repels water for a drier, lighter boat throughout the day.

From the outset, Peerson’s design team sought to balance no-holds-barred performance with user-friendly, first-kayak appeal for budding playboaters. “We paddled five separate prototypes on waves and holes of all shapes and sizes until we had a design that no one could find fault with,” says Kirk. From Skookumchuck to the New River Dries to the small­est competition-style holes, WaveSport took the Project X everywhere its future paddlers—from beginners to top athletes—might.

Go for a rip in the WaveSport Project X

The WaveSport Project X is comfortable, forgiving and stable for a freestyle spud­ster, but if these are your top criteria, look to WaveSport’s river play Fuse instead. For those who enjoyed the original Proj­ect, or who simply love to rip, Peerson’s final WaveSport project is worth the wait.

This article was first published in the Early Summer 2011 issue of Rapid Magazine. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.


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