The Project X by Wavesport is a full on playboat meant for having fun down the river or playing on your local wave. The kayak comes in the following sizes: 48 (small), 56 (medium), 64 (large) – and comes with adjustable outfitting for that perfect fit. The medium sized boat is 5’11” long, weighs 32 LBS, and has a volume of 56 Gallons. The project X has a supported weight range of 100 to 260 LBS.
My opinion of this boat may be biased but that’s because it was the first kayak I’d ever purchased. The boat I learned and developed in to become the paddler I am today. I was always on the tall and skinny side, which worried me because of the struggle to fit into most boats in my weight category due to my long legs. However the adjustable outfitting of the project X albeit a tight fit was comfortable, responsive and gave a feel of confidence on the water.
What I Love About The Wavesport Project X
Immediately one of the things that stands out about the Project X is just how responsive the boat is to the water. The outfitting being very tight and snug made the boat feel like it’s an extension of the paddler’s body. Every little change and movement of the current – you can feel through the boat thanks to the spectacular outfitting. Not only that but for a playboat it tracked very well in current, unlike some other boats. It moved forward like a river runner, yet could be thrown around on all features just like any other playboat. These features further built on my confidence and paddling skills in general.
When comparing it to other playboats, one of the more noticeable differences is Balance. As far as stability goes, playboats are pretty wobbly and meant to be thrown around. The Project X has that feeling of control and stability while yet maintaining the fun, rowdy, freestyle aspect all playboats have. When trying out other boats, I really got a feel of less control and having to put in more effort to perform basic river runner moves.
What I Would Change…
Honestly the only changes that I would like to see on the Project X would be stronger material for the surface layer of outfitting, slight reduction in kayak weight, and a drink holder between the legs for a water bottle. I say this because the material that is on the top layer of outfitting tends to peel after a bit though it doesn’t affect the overall comfortableness of it. Hydration is very important so not having a good spot for your water bottle to stay and letting it bounce around inside the stern is annoying. Overall the Project X is a great boat. The changes I would make are very minimal.
Typically the Project X can be seen at the local playspot or on any big wave. Most of my use with it has been on the big friendly waters of the Ottawa River surfing all the various play spots on the way down. Coming back in the spring when the levels are huge, I still felt safe and comfortable navigating the large rapids. The good tracking making it easy to navigate huge pushy whitewater, giving a slight sense of control while surrounded by bus sized waves.
The odd time I’ve even taken it to local spring time runs that would be more suited to a river runner or creek boat. These runs included various Mississippi runs in Ontario, small local creeks ranging from class 2 – 4. The seven sisters of the Rouge and Upper Petawawa River. The Project X made these runs possible with how well it performs in the water. As a playboat it allowed play all the way down the runs catching waves on the fly, throwing kickflips for days and ramping over rooster tails. Then when it became time to run the more serious rapids, it would cooperate and move where it was pointed.
A Great Kayak For Waves!
Overall I think the Project X is a fantastic kayak to learn and grow in. With how well it responds to the paddler, it will build confidence with basic river running, yet has all the features of a playboat. At first it may be a little shakey with how well it reacts to the water, but that will only speed up the learning process of any new paddler. The project X helps build core skills for new kayakers without that feeling of being pampered like a creek boat or river runner would.
Where this boat shines though is on the wave. I’ve surfed everything from holes, smooth waves, tall waves, trashy waves and rodeo holes. The Project X performs well in all of them, though where it’s best at is a wave. My fondest memories of this boat is coming screaming down the face of a wave bouncing and carving all over the place. You really get a huge sense of energy and speed with this thing even without throwing tricks. It feels exhilarating — no ride is ever boring. It’s the kind of kayak that makes you want to really give it and throw the biggest tricks you can and with how well it pops, it will allow you to do just that.
Last Words on The Project X
If I could go back and pick any kayak as my first, I wouldn’t change it. The Project X is my favorite kayak and what has made me into the paddler I am today. Its versatility in the water and roots as a full on playboat make it a play machine that can be used almost anywhere. Despite its age, it’s still worth buying and I highly recommend it. Buying it used now would be a really great bang for your buck, and if you’re worried about wear, the material for it is highly durable. My Project X has been through hell and still performs like it’s brand new. These things are tough and will last a long forever if you treat them well.