Headquartered five minutes from Canada's St. Lawrence River and the mighty surf waves at Lachine Rapids, Riot helped launch big-wave riding as its own kayaking subgenre. The Astro carries on that tradition with a fast-planing hull and delayed rocker to aid aerial moves but maintains a bow profile narrow enough for easy cartwheel initiation in small holes. The cockpit contains rigid molded knee pockets like the older Riot boats but also comes with a set of padded thigh braces, for added comfort, and screw-on fins, so you can carve a wave like it's a Texas congressional district. 54 gal; www.riotkayaks.comBonus: A boltless skirt rim keeps you drier.Bummer: The new Riot cockpit is an improvement over the old change-purse opening, but it's still no lounger.
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