Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Knysna Jester Surf Ski - Entry Level Fun for Kids & Lighter Paddlers

My eldest daughter Kiri, perhaps due to 10 years of childhood exposure to endless Vimeo movies of paddling misadventures, is naturally drawn to any paddle craft I happen to pull off the roof.
She'll jump on a paddle board, hop into a kayak or ski and paddle it around at Swallow Rock, Dolls Point or anywhere else we happen to be having a demo or instruction day.

The problem is that none of them are actually designed for her small frame, and there isn't really any way she can get a genuine paddling experience beyond the simple joy of floating around.
Miss Kiri in her ski
A few months back I surprised her by buying a Knysna surf ski, a smaller design called the Guppie which is designed for lighter paddlers. It's entry-level stable, well made, and crucially, has cockpit ergonomics which allow paddler heights ranging from her diminutive 1.3m, up to 1.8m. We've enjoyed several winter adventures together paddling on the Georges & Hacking Rivers, always with an ice cream stop thrown into the mix, and being the adventurous little girl she is, we're now eyeing off the Bundeena surf break for a Daddy/Daughter surf session, once the water warms to a temperature acceptable to a tough 10 year old.

Speaking to the local Knynsa Racing guys, they pointed out that the Guppie has been superceded by a newer, sleeker ski in the same genre called the Jester. I was impressed by the upgrade, and think it'sfantastic that there is now an entry level ski available for juniors, smaller men & women to learn the sport, that doesn't cost an arm & a leg.

I'm pleased to say EK are now selling the Jester, available in four colours, for $1750. If you want to get your kids into the sport, or have become frustrated by a lack of ski designs around that are stable enough for smaller-framed beginners, then this is one to consider.


  1. Thanks for the great post!

    In your opinion, what is the maximum weight of the paddler for the Jester? Can the paddler really be 1,78m?

  2. Yes, the foot ar adjusts all the out to a paddler with a regular inseam at 1.8m.


The Audax vs The Surf Ski

We're occasionally asked if the Audax is just a surfski with a sea kayak deck, usually followed by our explanation that you can't ju...