When you look at the broad spectrum of paddlers two user groups typically get overlooked by the Average Joe world of whitewater kayaking: little people and big people. Big paddlers typically just suck it up, paddling boats too big for any fun or cramming themselves into plastic torture devices for ten-minute sessions. Enter the WaveSport Super EZ, a jumbo playboat specially designed to round out the top end of WaveSport’s river play line.
WaveSport Super EZ Specs
Volume: 60 U.S. gal
Weight: 40 lbs
F.A.T. 2.0 Outfitting
MSRP: $1,575 CAD
The WaveSport Super EZ has room to breathe
The Super EZ incorporates the new WaveSport F.A.T. 2.0 outfitting system (hey, who you callin’ F.A.T.?). With its carpeted seat, hip pads and thigh braces this system is easily adjustable by adding foam shims or with the turn of the supplied screwdriver. Tip: snap the screwdriver into the bungie cord holding the front pillar for on-river tweaking and pre-paddle bolt tightening leak prevention. The thigh braces are less aggressive than the ones found in the rest of the F.A.T. line-up leaving room for bigger legs, although even our largest paddlers considered swapping to the standard 2.0 thigh braces for more wrap around leg support. The adjustable bulkhead is clever and if you happen to be on the shorter side of tall, you might even get to foam it up a bit or wear your river shoes to reach.
There is so much foot room it’s silly. Designer Eric Jackson claims it will accommodate a 37-inch inseam, size 14 feet and 300 pounds. We couldn’t find anyone to confirm or deny it but the point is clear. This is a big paddler’s boat. Even the cockpit on the Super EZ is huge—a full 4 1/2 inches longer and almost 2 inches wider than other WaveSport boats. It’s possible to stretch a normal sprayskirt over it although we suggest doing yourself a favour and ordering one to fit—everybody makes one.
Telling the hull story
Different from the EZ and Big EZ, the planing surface on the Super EZ, Aces and Siren has been brought out closer to the edge, narrowing the width of the release chines. Just like boats designed for smaller paddlers and women specifically, having the optimum width is key to balance and edge control. In the case of the WaveSport Super EZ, Eric Jackson maintains its 7-foot length but brought it out another 11/2 inches wider than the Big EZ to provide a stable 27-inch platform.
The Super EZ’s seams or parting lines are nice and high above plenty of flare. The bow and stern maintain plenty of width and are incredibly rockered. Sitting next to any other playboat, the WaveSport Super EZ looks mammoth, yet on the river with a larger paddler inside, it rides perfectly normal.
Super EZ on the water
We had an interesting blend of paddlers in the WaveSport Super EZ ranging from a featherweight 175 to a respectable 230 pounds. The skill level and background was equally as varied with some old school displacement hull converts, freestyle paddlers and some all-river freeboaters—a cool cross section of the market. Interestingly, everyone’s first impression was that it was huge and they worried it would be too big, but that was only until they got on the river.
The most common first bit of feedback was that the Super EZ is confidence inspiring, predictable, super stable and comfy with room for a Pelican Case behind the seat. The bow and stern rest high and clear from the water for river running—this is where the Super EZ really shines.
Paddlers pulled off their cleanest lines in rapids where they said they are normally a little tentative. The high seam line or edge allowed them to cruise over otherwise small-boat-swallowing boils and not worry about the nose diving on ferries. Although no one can call a short boat fast, everyone was impressed by the speed of the WaveSport Super EZ. Most attributed the speed to floating higher out of the water than they have been used to. This floating rather than plowing sensation made the Super EZ feel very nimble and loose.
No matter how much you weigh it is worth borrowing a skirt and going for a rip in a Super EZ. Cruising off the tip of large waves it launches into the air and with such a large planing surface and friendly edges its an awesome flatspinner. When front surfing, the Super EZ does carve and although it’s 27 inches wide, transferring edges wasn’t an issue. Flatwater moves depends on weight; lighter paddlers (175 lbs) could still initiate and get vertical while heavier paddlers had the girth to stall and control the volume. Again it just looks and feels right.
Try the WaveSport Super EZ on for size
In the end, all our paddlers enjoyed the WaveSport Super EZ. Its river running capabilities opened their eyes to some of the challenges of paddling boats that have been too small for them. There is plenty of room and buoyancy in the Super EZ to wear shoes and carry a lunch and video camera. The built-to-proportion outfitting is ideal for large paddlers, and we think they enjoyed having to pad it out a bit. For once, big paddlers can watch others rip in smaller boats like the EZ or Big EZ and expect the Super EZ to perform the same for them.