The first time I saw the Edge Alnes Ocean (EAO), I noticed that it had a very unique design, both in the way the sharp lines formed the hull, and how the short length complemented the rocker.
On this day, it was a paddling buddy who was going to test the boat.
We have been paddling the same kayak for years, so it was a true pleasure to see his facial expressions, body language, and enthusiasm throughout the day.
I was therefore very excited to see if EAO would meet my expectations.
I have had a lot of experience with whitewater paddling and surfing, so I was extremely curious to see what would make EAO stand out.
After all, its website promotes it as a boat perfect for dynamic conditions and surfing.
The first thing I noticed was that the deck lines were loose enough to easily grab them with neoprene gloves.
I also liked the composite reinforcements on the bow and stern, as well as the Keel Easy Stripe along the keel. These were cool and functional details.
The seat was comfortable, and the thigh braces ensured good contact with the boat. The front deck had a perfect height for big feet with large shoes, and the rear deck had a perfect height for rolling and self-rescue.
Once EAO was in the water, it felt right at home!
The immediate feeling of quality and stability due to its primary stability was very reassuring. This stability remained even when edging and during sculling.
My expectations were exceeded with the first paddle stroke because EAO turned 90 degrees with just one stroke!
It is so responsive to the slightest movements that it resembles a whitewater kayak, just waiting for my command. EAO is extremely intuitive, and all the techniques I learned in skills courses now make sense and have full effect.
Fortunately, EAO is not just a "park and play" boat, as it tracks very well during regular touring paddling. During the test period, I even had a sidewind of 10 m/s, which the good retractable skeg compensated for very well.
Alnes Ocean in surfing
Due to its flat hull and short length, EAO takes on steep waves gracefully without nosediving. The lift in the bow during surfing is remarkable!
It has no problem gaining enough speed to catch the waves, and it traverses the waves beautifully. In a side surf, the wave easily passes under the boat due to its steep hull design.
The conditions on the test days were relatively small, but one of the absolute highlights was EAO's ability to navigate.
Timing and positioning are essential in surfing, and the fact that the boat turns on a dime makes it even more comfortable.
With EAO, I could actually sit facing the waves, without having to constantly turn my head. I think I actually caught more waves during this session than usual.
Alnes Ocean in maneuvering
Bow rudder, stern draw, stern rudder, J-stroke. EAO responds excellently to all of these techniques. This is FUN!
During self-rescue/cowboy rescue, the stern sits low in the water, making it easy to get back in. I can even sit in the cockpit without sculling the paddle for balance. I try a few rolls, and it is absolutely effortless. EAO is easy to roll.
I have now paddled EAO for four consecutive days, both in surfing and maneuvering, without feeling much strain on my body compared to other boats in the same conditions.
EAO kayak is like a Swiss Army Knife, a "Jack Of All Trades", because this boat delivers on all parameters.
It is safe and exciting, while also inspiring you to push your limits beyond your comfort zone – where the magic happens!
Photo by: Monica Blindheim