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Element Medium

 
4.3 (3)
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Element Medium - 1942_SNAG0871_1286870327
Element Medium - 1942_SNAG0872_1286870328
Element Medium - 1942_SNAG0870_1286870328
Element Medium - 1942_SNAG0869_1286870328

Short Facts

Brand
Fluid

12 Shochet Street
Parys
9585
South Africa

Phone: +27 56-817-2951

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The Element is a surfkayak. A pretty unique one, actually. The Element is at the forefront of an exciting new development in the kayaking scene. Imagine higher speed and better carve than you will ever experience in your playboat. Imagine using that high speed and hard carve to throw bigger and faster freestyle wave moves than you ever did before. That’s what the Element is all about.

The Element is shorter than a traditional surfkayak, giving up a little bit of speed but gaining a lot of extra manoeuvrability. Super quick directional changes is the name of the game. The shorter length is also key in making big freestyle moves possible.

Apart from the pronounced carving rails that become progressively harder towards the stern, the hull also features release edges, similar to those on a playboat. Those edges make spins and grinds effortless, and they are also the reason why the Element is relatively forgiving.

The pronounced bow rocker is perfect for a late take-off or surfing steep waves. The peaked volume in the stern keeps the boat buoyant, enabling the hull to release easily even at lower speeds and in choppy conditions. The seating position is similar to that in a whitewater kayak, with knees spread out.

Naturally, the Element is designed for waves, not holes. But it is not confined to ocean waves. A lot of effort was made to ensure the Element works equally well on river waves, both small and big ones.

If you live at the coast, the Element is the perfect tool to experience some real speed, while also giving you the opportunity to throw freestyle moves in ways you've never done before. If you live inland and have access to green waves, the Element will let you catch and surf waves you haven't surfed since the death of long playboats.

User reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Design 
 
4.7  (3)
Perfomance 
 
5.0  (3)
Quality 
 
3.7  (3)
Value / Money 
 
4.0  (3)
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Overall rating 
 
4.5
Design 
 
5.0
Perfomance 
 
5.0
Quality 
 
4.0
Value / Money 
 
4.0

While I wouldn't recommend this boat for someone's 'only' boat, it can be very fun and challenging in a way that will make you a better paddler. (not in the pulling-you-hair-out way) It's pretty solid, will take a beating and LOVES waves. in smaller surf (3-5') laying backwards with the tail down and your back on the surface - and letting the wave pick you up and push you is a lot of fun.

Don't worry about pearling this thing and pulling an unplanned ender. you probably won't. if the sets have a long period and are smooth in the valleys, you should be able to catch almost any wave you miss also. very fun in standing waves too. when it's at speed, everything falls into place smoothly.

Also - this has enough vertical volume that wet re-entries will usually result in less cockpit flooding than lower boats. watch your tail when paddling out though - as the lack of tail rocker can make this thing stand up if the waves are tall in the shallows.

I hope this helps.

Review

Affiliated
No
About Me
more enthusiasm than talent, but improving both. I've been paddling for about 15 years in just about everything - mostly south florida water (ocean - beach, inlets, and offshore/non-salt water - flat water/some whitewater, and the occasional hurricane and resulting floods)
Pros / The Good
This boat is different than any playboat you've ever paddled. On a straight front surf it is VERY difficult to pearl the bow, it handles 10-20' seal launches very well - surprisingly predictable. The rails take some getting used to if you're more familiar with standard playboats.

The fins are great, but usually unnecessary unless you're in tall surf. spins, blunts, kickflips nicely. sidesurfing in the wash is very easy and comfy once you're used to the rails and are bracing properly.

they've moved the back band rachets up near the top of the cockpit - so they aren't sitting in sand anymore.

Here's the really great part... you can ride waves so tiny that longboarders can't even catch them. it's pretty fast for such a short boat too. at the same time it's very fun in big stuff too. if your surf is mostly wind slop like we get in south florida you'll take a beating on the inside of the break, but once you get out, you'll have a lot of fun.

You don't necessarily need the fins all the time - usually I leave them out with just the disks in to keep the sand out unless i'm hitting surf above the 6' range.

spend the time to outfit this boat for you - and you'll love it.
Cons / The Bad
as has been mentioned before, this is a specialty boat. it has high volume in places you may not be used to. as has been mentioned before, there's very little primary stability - but once it's going, it's all butter.

don't bother with flat water unless you really want to. this boat has enough surf kayak in it to be a PITA on flat water because of the poor initial stability. you will, however, get used to it - but there are much better boats for flat water.

stern rocker? none. this boat sometimes feels like a sea kayak when turning. use the rails or use the tail - much easier turns.
Recommend
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Design 
 
5.0
Perfomance 
 
5.0
Quality 
 
4.0
Value / Money 
 
5.0

I just purchesed a set of 4WFS for the Kauak, I currentlu have the disks in place that came with the boat with no fins, I recomend this to keep sand and grit out of the screw holes. SO when you buy a set of fins get a extra set of disks so you just switch out disks. I aklso recomend hetter 2 5 degree fin disks for the front and 0 degree for the back, this balances out speed and carve nicely. I got a find for a surf trip I am taking in a little while. I will use the fins but will most likely paddle it withough on all except for the biggest days!

Last thought, As a Board and Kayak Surfer, I hate it when Playboats come out into the surf because play boats don't have the speed or carve needed to stay in the right place on an ocean wave so eventually the play boat gets stuck in the soup. I dig it when surf boats are out because they really surf but I hate to say it but surf boats are limited in their ability to pull the modern Play boat moves. The Element solves this problem, it has the speed and carve and can keep thing interesting and dynamic on the wave, so If you are a Play boater in the ocean surf, it is time to get an element, show off your moves and build better relationships with our board surf brotherin!

I hope this helped,

Marcel!

Review

Affiliated
No
About Me
I am 5'10 and 220 LBS so out of the recommended weight range for this boat, I have owned and Element since the fall of 2008 and have exclusively used it on river waves as I donot live near the Ocean. I actually really love this kayak and am planning on getting a second one here pretty soon. I am an ACA instructor and have been paddling for about 14 years. The Test Area for this boat has mostly been at the Pueblo play park and some other Parks areound the southwest! I have to say that this boat has re-sparked some of my passion for kayaking that was lost when boats lost their ability to truly surf. That being said SURF is exactly what this boat is for-Not holes, Not Creeking, Not Holes, so if you love to surf, cutback, grind float and even get covered from time to time, or if you are a river boater not a Ocean guy and can add an extra boat to your quiver then this is the boat for you!
Pros / The Good
So I have not found any issues with the fit of this boat. The seat moves forwad fairly easitly, but as others have mentioned you do need to pull and cut the pilar to move the seat far forward which I did, but not a big deal as it keeps the pilar really solid. The boat does not have any initial stability until it gets up to hull speed on a wave, then it is rock solid. Speed and hard carving are unbelievable in the kayak. So it shines on waves where regular play boats can do notthing but strait surf. The other amazing thing is that this boat is super loose, spins on super glassy slow waves are effortless. I have apddled many play boats and none compare to how loose this kayak is. The place where the Element really shines is in its carve, once you get it dialed you can actuall cross a wave in a hard car nearlly 90 degrees to the current, hit the shoulder, cut back hard and carve back across the wave 90 degrees to the current, if your timming is right and the wave lets you you can actually get covered up by the wave breaking from your first carve. I also found that this boat blunts just fine and can initiate airial moves from a back surf verey well but you loose hull speed greatly when back surfing. Also I know some folks have had an issue with this boat catching waves or plaining out but I have not found this to be an issue at all, even with my weight. Last on the flat water the boat actually cartwheels and loops fine, I have an IR overthruster on this boat and can slam out loops with no problem, in a hole or on the flat water so although surf specific it still can hang with the Play boats a little!
Cons / The Bad
The only issues I have had with the boat is the foot block, I like foam over inflatable foot blocks so I just customized mine to mimik a Dagger Foot block which has now made the boat super comfy for me. I have big thighs and am still paddle this boat for 8-9 hours a day some times with little break and have been fine in it. Also when I first had this boat out it leacked like crazy, I finally figured out that the drain plug had never beed sealed. so I had to pull it off and seal it, since then it has not been and issue and the boat is really dry. Last is that this boat, being surf specific does not bounce off the stern, with no rocker back there you gain lots of speed but loose bounce, so forget about typicel arial moves off the stern, but personally I will take the speed over the bounce. The ratchets are on the floor which is a lttle harder to get to but I have yet to have an issue with them binding or rusting, but then again I have not been in Salt H2O with the boat yet
Recommend
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: November 23, 2009)
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Design 
 
4.0
Perfomance 
 
5.0
Quality 
 
3.0
Value / Money 
 
3.0

Not a bad boat

About the reviewer

I am an advanced freestyle paddler. During the period in which I was using this boat (the entire summer) I was alternative sessions in my Allstar throwing FAR bigger moves. And will be using that as my reference boat.

Test environment

All ranges of surf, from tiny to massive, saw it all. Please note I never bought or used fins, but installed the boxes to increase hull-speed. If you are looking for a full-on surf boat this really isn't the boat for you anyway.

Review

The first thing I have to say about this boat is that it is a specialty item. Treat it as such and don't bother buying it unless you will really use it. Second, it is not a normal playboat, you have a higher center of balance and zero primary stability. The best advice I ever got about this boat was that the first 3 sessions I was going to have my ass kicked but I would love it after that.

Goods: The hull design of this boat is quite interesting, insanely fast and loose. I wish all playboats were as fast and loose as what fluid cooked up here. This boat will let you do endless super clean spins down the face of a wave and still stay ahead of the foam pile once you get a feel for it. Similarly this boat wants to helix and flip turn. If you don't have one yet you will with some time in this boat. Back- blunts and back pan-ams are big and easy to land with the volume in the stern and rocker profile. Wave riding itself is pretty good, it would be a lot better with fins but that would kill the freestyle so I chose not to use them. Cutbacks are super clean and easy to execute, a very well designed boat from that angle.

Bads: This boat doesn't do blunts. Simply put it doesn't like to do it. A clean blunt isn't an issue, but an average paddler who just wants to be able to throw a blunt will find it tough to work with the bow rocker in this boat. If you want to blunt, try it clean and it will snap right around. Airscrews are similarly limited by this bow profile, and I have yet to find a work around that doesn't involve slamming my back into the stern. This is annoying, but hey without the bow this wouldn't be a surf boat.

Outfitting: This is the pitfall of this boat. The outfitting is incredibly poorly designed in this boat. For starters the back-band ratchets are located on the bottom. This means that after one use they are clogged with sand, and within 3 are rusted, jammed and useless. The seat comes way too far back from the factory and takes a pretty decent amount of modification to fix which involves removing and cutting the pillars, poor planning. The foot-block system is the worst I have seen, I wound up tossing the whole outfitting kit into my spare foam pile and using a Jackson Happy Feet rather then mixing and matching foam and buying glue (no they don't even provide adhesive).

If you are buying any Fluid boat demand the new seat system!

Conclusion

A great boat in the surf. Does exactly what it is supposed to.

Review

Affiliated
No
About Me
Location: Nantucket Ma, US
Age: 21
Weight: 74 kgs
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