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Work and travel have kept me off the water for too long recently, so I was really happy to be heading to Rye New Hampshire to put the Journey 13.5 into the ocean for a bounce around in the surf. When my son and I arrived, it was clear that the 10-15 knot onshore wind had affected the surf which wasn’t well organized. Any rides we might get would be short and likely to end “violently” in the dumping beach break…..oh well.
It turned out better than either I or my son thought it would, and as he tide dropped the waves steepened and cleaned up quite a bit. The Journey handled these conditions really well, and was able to catch waves easily and show a good turn of speed once surfing. The boat’s primary stability really made sitting still waiting for waves very comfortable, but where I thought it excelled was the secondary, which allowed me to really commit to the wave if I got broached at the end of a ride. On more than one occasion I leaned way into the wave on a low brace to absorb the impact and stayed upright every time…..nice!
The other nice thing was the ability of the shorter Journey 13.5 to spin quickly to get in position to catch the next wave, my son who was in a traditional 16′ Brit style sea kayak had to work a lot harder to do that in these short period waves.

By the time we turned for home that wind had picked up quite a bit and was blowing 15 knots with higher gusts and the journey held its direction without many corrective strokes. As an experiment I stopped paddling and the Journey 13.5 quietly turned bow in to the wind and waves which is exactly what you want and the sign of a well balanced boat.
This was the first time I’d had the Journey 13.5 in some wind and lumpy water and it did great! I’m looking forward to getting the Journey back in the ocean soon, and I’m excited to see how the shorter length and maneuverability allows me to play in the many rock gardens which dot our coast line up here in New England.