Zenith

5.00 out of 5
(6 customer reviews)

£1,000.00£1,600.00

High Performance Surf Kayak

Constructions Explained

Product Description

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Designer James Hawker again mixes it up, this time mating his favourite surf ski and surf kayak to create a design that really has got zenith like capability. With the widest point of the hull forward of the cockpit and V through the stern with single to double concave, the Zenith carries wild speed once planing and is surprisingly quick to paddle out. But get your weight over the rail and pull into a carve and the crispest sharpest turns are yours to enjoy – anywhere on the face. Hit the lip and the speed and hull width mean it really flies but again that mix means that it also lands balanced and ready for the next move. The future is in this Ride.

Length – 238cm

Width– 62cm

Cockpit – Small

Maximum Paddler Weight –  95 kgs

 

Comes with:

– Bonded in front and rear mini cell foam pillars

– Ride shaped foam seat with hip pads

– Ride ‘Bloc’ minicell foam backrest

– Set of minicell foam foot blocks

– Fins – 3 fins, standard in thruster designs

– Optional composite thighbraces or foam ‘T-Piece’ foam thigh brace

– One-piece cockpit (Eclipse, Equinox, Mutant and Zenith)

-Have and special requirements? We will do our best to accommodate you

*Each boat comes with a surform to shape the backrest and other foam parts for

personal fit

Additional Information

Construction

Description

Pro Lite

Pro Lite – The champion’s choice. Pro lite kayaks are built with both Carbon and Carbon Kevlar material in hull and deck. Laminated with a foam core in the hull for improved stiffness, epoxy resin is applied via a vacuum process keeping weight down and finish uniform. The result, a boat of the lowest weight and highest stiffness. Optional Armour Coating layer applied to the hull for long-term durability. – treat with care as you take to the air! – Full carbon, or carbon Kevlar hull, left clear to see material finish – Laminated Foam core stiffening in hull – Full carbon, or carbon Kevlar deck, with personal gel coat design – Epoxy resin – lighter and stiffer – Vacuum bagged construction – Twin seamed – Outside Kevlar Weight –7Kg approx. depending on model – £1500

Pro

Pro – Competition level performance time and time again. Pro spec kayaks are built with Carbon Kevlar and Carbon material, and woven fabrics in hull and deck, laminated with a foam core in the hull for improved stiffness. Epoxy resin is applied via a vacuum process keeping weight down and the finish uniform. Optional Armour Coating layer applied to the hull for long-term durability. – Carbon Kevlar hull, left clear to see material finish – Hull roving layer-improving wear – Laminated Foam core stiffening in hull – Carbon Kevlar deck with personal gel coat design – Epoxy resin – lighter and stiffer – Vacuum bagged construction – Twin seamed – Outside Kevlar Weight –8Kg approx. depending on model – £1300

Core Lite

Core lite – Stiff and strong, for great performance every session. Core Lite construction uses layers of carbon Kevlar and carbon material in the hull combined with Rides signature core to give a stiff crisp performance. Additional Carbon Kevlar in the deck reduces the amount of resin used overall, keeping weight down and strength up in this great value lay-up. – Carbon Kevlar and woven glassfibre hull with personal gel coat design – Laminated core stiffening in hull – Carbon Kevlar, Carbon and woven glassfiber hull with personal gel coat design – Vinylester resin – stiffer and stronger than equivalent polyester – Reinforced sections – Twin seamed – Glass inside, outside Kevlar Weight – 10.5Kg approx. depending on model – £1100

Core

Core – Bombproof construction and value. Our Core construction featuring multidirectional woven glass fiber uses the same core matt in the hull as the core lite. keeping everything stiff. Woven Glass on the deck and vinylester resin throughout keeps weight down, strength up and price attractive. – Woven glassfiber hull with personal gel coat design – Laminated core stiffening the hull – Woven glassfiber hull with personal gel coat design – Vinylester resin – stiffer and stronger than equivalent polyester – Reinforced sections – Twin seamed – Glass inside, outside Kevlar Weight –12.5Kg approx. depending on model – £900

6 reviews for Zenith

  1. Dan Green
    5 out of 5

    :

    Having had the zenith for a few weeks now I thought I would do a review.

    Straight out of the wrapper the boat looks nice well built and comes with a great selection of pre cut and shaped foam to enable quick, effective outfitting with minimal fuss. There was even a surform supplied to enable quick custom fit straight out of the packing. Fit is good with plenty of room for my size 10 feet with wetsuit boots.

    The first two surfs were in small clean conditions and I was pleasantly surprised at how quick the boat was to get up and planing despite its short length. Direction changes are quick and very smooth.

    In a bigger wave the Zenith wants to perform. When the wave walls up fast the boat will go exactly where you want it on the wave and it actually feels quite “safe” knowing that if a section is throwing you can position the boat well up on the wave to get along the section. It also accelerates round closing sections very well. Roundhouse cutbacks are great but what I really like about this boat is how vertical you can get your top turns. It literally snaps round off the lip.

    When it comes to hitting the lip the Zenith seems to take off and land in a quite controlled manner with great pop.Its rails I find are quite forgiving at the front of the boat. Coming from the Phantom where I had to work hard to avoid tripping the rail on landing I have found the Zenith allows you to be thinking of the next move rather than tripping the edge.

    Stability in the line up. The zenith seems to be a little unstable to a point which I guess is down to the v in the hull. However this is only up to a point whereby it seems to have a nice secondary stability and sits lovely on an edge. Rolling this boat is easy.

    Overall I am very happy and am looking forward to getting some big autumn swells in this boat. Thanks guys

  2. Christopher Hobson
    5 out of 5

    :

    What a great day today, two surfs in the new Ride RideSurf Kayaks Zenith. So here a few words on what I thought…

    To be quite honest, I was a bit worried about getting into this kayak. It has been almost a year to the day that I last surfed a ‘Short’ High Performance surf kayak, as I have been surfing the Eclipse for quite a while now. So I was quite anxious that I would have ‘forgotten’ how to surf it.

    I got to the waters edge, jumped into the boat, and immediately felt comfortable. After a bit of a squeeze through the smaller cockpit, the boat felt great. Lots of room inside, and loads of foot room, which was really surprising, as it looks incredibly low volume on the front.

    I feel I am at the higher end of the weight range on this kayak at 96kg, although weight range is quite often determined by paddler ability as much as volume, but this really didn’t seem to hinder the performance.

    The paddle out – well, it was pretty easy. The Zenith just skipped over the white water, and carrying lots of flat water speed, perfect for a long paddle out.

    Stability – It felt very stable, it almost felt like it had a secondary stability to it… So, if sitting in the flat water, and you loose your balance a bit, its like it catches its balance again just by sitting there. Quite relaxing really.

    Comfort – Surprisingly, the boat is super comfortable. With its low profile front, it looks like there is little foot room. But with size 9.5 feet, and 33″ inside leg, I was in it for 4 hours today, and not a single ache!

    Catching a wave – This took a bit of getting used to. Coming from an Eclipse (2.7m long), where you can catch almost anything you want, it was different. But, I was still able to catch ‘fatter waves’ if i wanted to, or go super late on the take off, and its forgiving rails lets you drop and go!

    Speed – Well, this boat has an abundance of it! When you drop into a wave, make that first turn, you feel a rush of acceleration, and it shoots down the line. Even on a mushy, fatter wave, it still has speed in abundance.

    Turning – This really blew me away. This kayak, turns more like a ski than any other kayak I have ever paddled. The unique design of the Zenith, with its widest point much further forward, concave on the hull, and pin tail; allows you to really crank it round quite effortlessly, and make those last minute ‘lip hits’, and pop a few airs.

    What else to say? Well, I was thoroughly impressed by the zenith today, it was a breath of fresh air to paddle something New, Original rather than a ‘tweak’, and Exciting!!! So get your Ass in a demo, and see what all the hype is about!

    Check out this video from testing the kayak –

    https://vimeo.com/100855274

  3. Mike Barry
    5 out of 5

    :

    I paddled the Zenith for one day during the Irish Open. Here’s my thoughts.

    First up, it looks fast, it looks aggressive, hard to paddle, low volume ends and sharp rails.
    When I got into the boat I was expecting a hard time. I was surprised at how easily and quickly it paddled out back, despite there being a fairly unending messy shoredump. The boat was comfortable and stable and moved quickly. The low volume ends also easily punched through and waves that would have been impossible to go over.
    I also found it easy to wavewheel or barrel roll off the back off waves, it swung around quickly. As a bonus out back, I could flatwater cartwheel it, keeping you entertained while waiting for sets 🙂

    On a wave, I was surprised how quickly it took off, it got going sooner than I expected and was up to speed very quickly.
    Its a fast boat. I could make sections, float sections or zoom around sections with time to spare.
    It climbs really quickly too, just like my wave ski, it can hit the lip easily, quickly and hard.
    Most impressively, was how forgiving it was to land ANYTHING, a few times I thought i’d catch a rail, and it just glided down the wave and easily made it out to the next section. So easy to land, both forwards and backwards.
    Turns are a lot of fun too, the sharp rails and low volume ends really let you drive and slice the boat through the turn. You can easily go loose and slashy for the turn, its easy to push the tail out,
    Or as I prefer, you can easily drive the low volume nose through the turn and carry bucket loads of speed with you.

    Comfort wise, I like simple outfitting, there’s alot less to go wrong. Everything was set up nicely. Good support from the backrest.
    It being a demo boat, I was loose, it was not outfitted, no footrests.
    The front is low volume but wide, so I had plenty room for my size 10 feet.
    I was still comfy, and could connect with the boat well.

    It looks really cool too 😀
    I’m ordering one!

  4. Nathan Eades
    5 out of 5

    :

    After 6 years with no kayak surfing in my life and purely waveski riding, I was anticipating the transition back into a kayak to be a difficult task. As my waveski was shaped by James Hawker, the mastermind behind Ride’s new surf machine, I had a sense that it might suit me and was curious to see how well it could perform… I was simply amazed by the experience I had while surfing the Zenith.

    There are various behaviours the Zenith possesses which impel me to draw the conclusion that this is THE kayak to be riding right now. It has a combination of features enabling all round high performance surfing rather than pigeon- holing itself into being a one trick pony. While some seek a kayak with phenomenal down the line speed and minimal turning capability, the Zenith serves up a fat portion of speed but uniquely delivers a side plate of manoeuvrability. Balanced with a confidence invoking stability, this kayak holds no limitations for the innovative surf kayaker.

    Slashing
    Slash turns have never been a manoeuvre I have enjoyed as they usually entail forcing the kayak around a tighter radius than it is capable of and dragging a large amount of volume through the water in order to flick the tail out. The resistance created by the kayak during this action often results in the loss speed and sometimes causes the surfer to stall so severely that you fall off the back of the wave. Ride have removed this resistance by decreasing the volume in the front of the Zenith, softening the front rail and cutting away even more volume from the side wall creating a concave either side of the cockpit. When I began throwing myself into slash turns with the force that used to be required in previous designs, the Zenith simply flicked around, kicking up spray and retained the wave effortlessly, even when I attempted them in weaker surf. Not only does the Zenith enable you to complete slashes with ease, it also makes them feel enjoyable, which is a whole new experience for me.

    Rail to rail transition
    Firstly, let’s focus on the rail before moving onto the transition. While the Zenith has fins and a planning hull allowing you draw turns out from the tail, it also has a long gripping rail enabling you to park the boat at the top of the wave for the first few pumps to build up speed before you really start throwing it around. With a rail which provides you with so much grip in the face of the wave, you might think that releasing one rail and switching to the other would be a challenge and result in you tripping up or power flipping. This is not the case; the chamfer on the underside of the front two thirds of the rail running from the tip of the kayak up to your thighs makes this experience more forgiving, enabling a swift flick of the boat from the wave side rail back onto the beach side, resulting in very fast, snappy turns. The concaved walls in the deck allow one last little flick to accentuate the turn and send that spray up, before gently rolling back onto the hull.

    Down the line speed
    So a kayak with the ability to flick around on the wave and swiftly shift from rail to rail must surely have a weakness….Could it be the down the line speed? Prior to surfing the Zenith, I spoke to a few people who had drawn conclusions following their own comparisons between the Zenith and other manufacturers’ latest models. They were quick to tell me that they did not feel that this was a fast kayak and I have to say it did take me a bit of playing around to find, but once I started to put the Zenith into the right part of the wave, I unlocked all the speed I needed. This kayak will sit anywhere you put it on the wave and when I finally sat it back in the pocket and began driving turns out of the bottom, it unleashed itself and sent me hurtling towards the lip with the speed of a gazelle. While the Zenith may not possess the instant velocity which some surfers relate to speed, those more seasoned riders among us who know where to put a surf kayak and are prepared to slot the kayak into the critical section of a wave will be rewarded with the speed they seek on a level I have not experienced in a kayak before. I did not find the true potential of the Zenith in my first session so I would urge anybody wishing to trial a Zenith to take their time and really put this kayak through its paces to give yourself the opportunity to find the magic-as I did- of the Zenith. A new wavesski or surf board takes a good rider a few weeks before they click with their new craft. If the Zenith is the kayak that has managed to get closest to the performance of a waveski, then you should expect to invest a little time in your new toy and find the advantages it has over the many competitor models.

    Surfing the slop.
    The Zenith looks more kayak-like than some of the other arguably more radical looking surf machines out there. The seating position is a little more central giving the appearance that the tail is perhaps slightly longer than competitor models. This gives riders the option to surf on the middle third of the kayak rather than off the back tail as you would with a ski, and while some surf kayakers might find this strange to begin with, it actually enables the kayak to stay on the plane and retain its speed even through sloppier sections. This has two advantages, the first being that you can get it going on weaker waves and the second is that when you are competing in waves with less push, the Zenith will keep its speed through your manoeuvre without stalling as a kayak which is dependent on a hollower wave might. I think it’s this characteristic that makes this new addition to the line-up really stand out from the others, as costumers who are about to shell out on an expensive kayak want to make sure that their new toy will perform in a range of conditions and not be dependent on a certain wave type. The Zenith’s versatility allows you to ride the rail every time the wind chops up the face or the waves become fatter, then switch back to powerful bottom turns driving your momentum out of the tail to initiate big manoeuvres off the lip when the conditions wall up.

    Floaters
    As far as I am concerned, a kayak wins hands down over a waveski when it comes to floaters due to the extra volume kayaks possess, resulting in greater stability when you get yourself up onto the aerated part of a wave and perform your floater. Despite looking very low volume, the Zenith still retains this advantage and due to its extra width in the front third of the hull, I found it sat beautifully up high and glided through the floater with ease. Those chamfered rails I spoke about earlier assist the landing on the other side giving you the confidence to start anticipating your next manoeuvre before you have even come off your floater and back onto the green face.

    Re-entries
    I had wondered if the reduced rocker in the nose, exaggerated by the lack of volume up front might cause me problems when coming down from a vertical manoeuvre in the critical part of the wave. Even when I felt like I had pushed my luck too far and the nose was sure to bite and throw me over the handle bars, there was always sufficient lift to keep me out of trouble. I really enjoyed throwing the Zenith up to the top of the wave, laying down some beachside rail and letting it glide through the manoeuvre as a waveski would. The law of physics states quite clearly that what goes up, must come down and there is nothing worse than smashing the lip and feeling the release we all so desperately seek, then dropping down the wave, biting the rail and rolling up dazed feeling like somebody has slapped you across the head with a big rubber glove! I can honestly say that I did not catch a rail during the week I rode the Zenith and have to admit that despite loving a waveski, I found myself getting off the water grinning like a Cheshire cat every time I took it out for a spin.

    Comfort and build quality
    The surface finish and logo placement certainly makes Ride kayaks look professional, and when you pick any Ride kayak up, the lack of weight (of their middle and top spec builds) is very pleasing indeed. A quick inspection of the hull informs you how stiff Ride are managing to produce these kayaks, but the attention to detail on things which have been overlooked by Ride’s predecessors started to raise my eyebrows the more I inspected their range. Let’s start at the beginning… you first unzip a professionally finished kayak bag and slide your shiny new Ride kayak out which is filled with an abundance of pieces of foam. There are different sized, pre-cut foam pieces for the footrest, an ergonomically shaped back rest and (for the Zenith) a mushroom to insert between your legs to lock yourself in. Within five minutes, I found myself feeling fully locked into the kayak and very comfortable; at this point CEO of Ride kayaks, Tim Thomas wondered over with a surf form and helped me further customise the fit. Needless to say that the kayak really is an out of the bag and ready to ride product similar to the quality you would expect from a white-water kayak.

    The cockpit rim is a nice touch and I am sure that the Ride manufacturers scratched their heads for a long time trying to figure that one out, but it was definitely time well invested in my humble opinion. The Ride range has a one piece cockpit rim, integral to the top deck, meaning that there is no extra glue or filler to chip away creating leaks in the future and of course less material means less weight.

    I cannot sit here and tell everybody to go out and buy a Zenith, as the truth is there are some excellent kayaks on the market and have been for a long while…You will need to go and test each one yourself and find the kayak which suits you. What I can tell you, is that this little kayak made me fall back in love with kayak surfing, it got me through heats with varying conditions and enabled me to complete a variety of manoeuvres delivering me to the final of the Open HP at the Pantin World Championships this year.

    PROS
    Fast
    Progressive
    Highly manoeuvrable
    Easy paddle out
    Very forgiving
    High quality product
    Comfortable

    CONS
    Limited space for the larger paddler

  5. Alberto Miguel
    5 out of 5

    :

    It’s difficult to start, but i will start from the beginning…

    The first time that i tryed a Zenith was Edu boat in Peniche. I felt immediately fitted inside the boat, and didn’t felt the need to put extra foams… i felt confortable and with space to ajust myself in.

    The padle out is easy, the boat it’s so adjusted to my body that every movement that i do gives me a quick response in the water, very good to across the white whater and quite funny, because if you get enough speed you can do some turning’s, you can release the tail in the air 😀.

    What i love in this boat is that when i’m surfing with it, i feel that i’m surfing with a waveski, i have some friends that surf with me and they say that when i’m surfing with the Zenith it’s looks like i’m surfing with a waveski…

    Really easy to release the tail, really nice on the bottom turn’s without losing speed… really, but really, really maneuverable and stable… And something that i enjoy in this boat, some times when i’m surfing a wave, i’m so distracted with some pretty girl’s on the beach that i forgot that i’m on the wave and the wave close near by me or i get with the lip on me, but because this boat it’s so forgiving, that with other boat probably i would turn upside down, with the Zenith i get out safe, and as if it had been purposeful, and with some lucky i get a blink of an eye from some girl :D.
    As the seat is in a central position, for me helps me when i’m working with the weight of my upper body to get the best surf in the wave and helps in the rail to rail transition. All the time balanced…

    I really like to surf on those days that are all messed up, that it’s impossible to know from where are the waves comming… in days like that i’m always pushing the limits with the boat and i’m allways have a funny surf, with no crowad 😀

    I hope to improve my kayak surf skill to squeeze all the qualities of the boat.

    I am very happy to have bought this boat, i feel that i found MY boat!
    From Portugal with love,
    Alberto Miguel

  6. Odei Etxeberria
    5 out of 5

    :

    Three years passed already, since the first time I surfed the zenith, in the ocean spirit in Portugal. The first time I tried it I felt the potential of this kayak, because it was fast and easy to move in the pocket, I really loved how it cutback, it could really make explosive turns, in critical points, without losing speed. The best kayak ever to hit the lip, because, you can do fast bottom turns when need it and doesn’t lose so many speed as other kayaks, when we have to do a long bottom turn. The volume in the front of the kayak helps us to paddle out easily, so it makes a really polivalent kayak. Thats why is a good kayak for expert and iniciate level surfkayakers!

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