Your #1 source for kayaking and canoeing information.               FREE Newsletter!
my Profile
Product Reviews > Kayaks > Cobra Kayaks > Strike Add Your Review Now!

Reviews for Strike Kayak by Cobra Kayaks


Rated: 8.78/10 Based On: 18 Reviews

Kayaks
Research Kayaks in the Buyers' Guide!
Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image
Select Kayak to View in Buyers' Guide



05-22-2014
Submitted by: Rocky
Rating: 8 of 10

     Bought a used Strike 2 mo. ago and I'm never looking back. 20 years paddling experience on my trusty OK Malibu II, catching waves was fun but lacking true performance. In the surf the Strike is a totally different animal.

Sitting still in the water, the Strike seemed tippy at first, 20 years of sitting in a tandem boat will do that to you. Over 10 minutes of paddling however, the stability improves exponentially. The Strike's short length, low volume, and flat bottom translates into poor tracking and extra effort in paddling. If you are looking to fish, trek, or cruise (all noble pursuits) the Strike is not the boat for you.

Cobra designed the strike to do one thing and that is wave riding. Straight, angled, or faded takeoffs are a breeze. Yes it pearls easier than most SOTs, but nothing that can't be taken care of with lean and take off angle. It planes really well and is fast enough to outrun the breaking lip of the wave. Turning is largely intuitive merely by focusing on the water 20 feet ahead of you, just looking ahead is 80% of what you need to do. Everything else is a lean here or an extra stroke there.

The flush decks and well draining cockpit makes it so you don't get bogged down with a bathtub of water just when things are starting to get good. Any instability to the boat disappears with speed (like with a bicycle). The hull has deeply channeled rails that hold when you need to maintain a high line, and break free easily for hard cutbacks. Paddling out and punching through oncoming waves is easier than I expected from such a small boat.

My boat is outfitted with a 5" fin, paddle leash, and foot straps (actually a bungee strung tight). You can get thigh straps and a back rest, I view these as superfluous hindrances. The eyelets on the Strike are plastic and break easily.

I have ridden the Strike in 2-8 foot (faces) surf and have yet to find its limitations. If you are a surfer looking to expand your number of rippable days, the Strike is for you. If you are a novice kayaker seeking new ways to enjoy the ocean, this is your boat. If you are an expert kayak surfer, this is a great boat for your quiver. Yes, there are more high performance boats out there but they cost 3-5x more. When my polyethylene Strike bounces off the rocks I just paddle back out to the peak. Fiberglass/epoxy don't do well with the rocky reef and point breaks around here.

My 8/10 rating is based on performance alone. If you factor in cost of ownership and durability my rating of 8 becomes a 10.

Submit your own review!

Win a Kayak or Canoe
05-01-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is an addenda to the previous review shown below...

Rolling- I'm getting close to 60, and as much as I hate to admit it Iím not as flexible or as strong as I used to be. While I can roll a whitewater kayak with excellent consistency, some of the bigger boats aren't following my orders they way they used to.

I took the Strike to one of our local pool rolling sessions to try it out. To be blunt, I couldn't roll it. The chine is just too much of a hurdle for me to get round. I gave the boat to a couple of extremely athletic 20-somethings to see what they could do with it, and the results were mixed. George, who is skinny and about six-four, could not roll it. However, his buddy, Rush, who is about five-nine and 155 lbs, was able to roll it. I'm about five-eleven and 185.

The bottom line-- some excellent paddlers might be able to roll this boat, but it's not easy. Smaller paddlers might have an easier time of it, but I don't really have a big enough data set to support that conclusion.

Attachments-- The buckles on the manufacturer-supplied thigh straps dig into my shins. The brass clips on the back brace and thigh straps clog up easily with sand and grit. Spray them with WD-40 before and after paddling. I don't recommend heavier lube, as that tends to attract more grit. The WD-40 has more of a tendency to penetrate into the nooks and crannies and flush stuff out.
I agree with the person who said that the fittings seem to leak a lot.

I got the storage hatch in the rear of the boat, just in case I had to loan out all my other boats for a flatwater paddle. It has a nifty lock/closure system, but it needs to be sprayed with silicon lube on a regular basis, or the stress on the handle during opening might be too much for it to handle.

The skegs do great things for the boat, but in a lot of conditions I prefer to leave them off, especially if the waves are small and I have to shimmy through shallow water to get out into the waves.

Performance--
Note that this boat LOVES to come back into shore. Of there's even the tiniest bit of bite in the little dregs of a wave rolling in towards shore, this boat will ride it. Yes, there are better performing surf kayaks out there for tricks (all of them glass/epoxy), but the Strike can surf the grodiest little wavelet you can catch.

Submit your own review!

07-16-2012
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I'm a very experienced (25 years) whitewater kayak paddler, ex-instructor and slalom racer. I got the Cobra Strike because I go beach camping a lot and it was a pain using my whitewater boat for ocean surfing.

I took this boat out to the Feeder Canal, which is where the US Olympic Team used to have its training facility. It's class II-III at the top and class I at the bottom (it was built to feed water into the lower reaches of the C&O Canal, which is where it got its name). It got a lot of attention from the other paddlers there, who had never seen one before.

The first thing I noticed about the Strike is that it handled almost identically to a whitewater kayak in class I water. I just got in and paddled, same response to currents and eddies. However, one thing whitewater paddlers need to know is that this is NOT a dry boat! With my 180-lb weight, I was sitting in two inches of water through the scuppers right off the bat. Of course, since I was in whitewater, I did not use the skeg.

The one huge difference in performance between the Strike and enclosed whitewater boats is in the upstream edge. If you get the upstream edge of the Strike caught in the flow, you are in for some SERIOUS effect. As an experienced river surfer I had the chops to deal with it as soon as I felt it, but later when I was pushing the envelope I did suffer some consequences (more on that below). Suffice it to say that, while it is very similar to a whitewater boat in most ways, if a beginner or an intermediate whitewater paddler catches an upstream edge in this thing, they are going over, and that's that.

On the ocean, of course, that's not as big of a concern, because the waves are more spread and the surf-able part of the wave is steeper, so very little chance of that happening.

I had the boat outfitted with backbrace, thigh straps, and foot straps. My heels were getting a bit cramped, so I took my feet out of the straps. I found myself at the head of the line for surfing the little hole at the top of the chute, and headed in for what I thought would be an easy paddle. However, I pushed things a bit too far during a cut-back and went upside down. Instead of rolling I just came out, mainly because my feet weren't in the straps. However, when I surfaced, I found it amazingly easy to perform a self-rescue and climb back in the boat. I just flipped it upright, reached across from side to side, and pulled myself up. For a boat this small, I did not expect such lateral stability. In a few seconds, I was back up at the top of the Feeder surfing again.

I can't wait to try it in the ocean, but I also can't wait to try it at several other Potomac River playspots...

Submit your own review!

05-17-2011
Submitted by: jerkinthegerkinSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I used to use a bodyboard. But hung it up. I only use the Strike. Took it to Central America in January!
Submit your own review!

04-13-2010
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I am super impressed with this plastic ski. I used to ride f'glass wave ski's in South Africa years ago, and now live in Oahu, HI, and just bought the Strike. It handles as well as any glass ski I used to ride, punches through waves paddling out with ease, and love the new thigh straps compared to the lap strap I am used to, Hawaii surf spots have a lot more shallow coral & rock bottoms, so bailing out quickly is good for your health, here.
Submit your own review!

08-27-2009
Submitted by: WndbrkrSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have had my Cobra Strike for two years and loving it. Very maneuverable. I was out in 10 to 12 foot waves from Hurricane Bill this weekend. It was near impossible to get out past the break, but it was worth it; awesome rides. The kayak catches waves great! I rocketed down the face of the wave cut right or left and up or down the wave again . Just AWESOME!! The surfers were surprised at how it maneuvered it is. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to ride surf.

I had a Frenzy before - it was fun, but all you did was come straight in, now I feel like part of the wave and I am surfing it in. The day ended when a wave closed out on me and snapped my Carbon Fiber paddle, but the kayak did not flip I made it in.

Submit your own review!

09-06-2008
Submitted by: mySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My 1st kayak was a Cobra Play (Surf). A little more versatile boat, hooked me on surfing. Then I traded for the Strike and now I can stay out of my Strike. Very good in all surf. Small summer swell, or blasting Winter waves 6..8..10 feet. I also paddle La Jolla to free dive. It's more work to paddle then a Scrambler or Explorer. That makes it more fun and a better work-out
Submit your own review!

05-31-2008
Submitted by: VRSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     This has to be the most miserable boat I have ever paddled in the surf. I typically paddle a dedicated surf kayak but I ended up taking a class that used these boats to unwittingly accompany a friend. I couldn't have been more unhappy.

First of all, I'm 5'5", 120lbs. Despite claims that this boat works well for almost all sizes of paddlers, there is no doubt that I was too small for it. For me, this boat was like paddling a bathtub. This boat is SLOW SLOW SLOW, it doesn't track well, and it doesn't edge well. After catching a wave, the boat still required continual paddling just to ensure that I wouldn't go off the wave. This boat definitely doesn't track or control well. It has a vicious tendency to turn parallel to the wave -- far worse than most longer sea kayaks I've taken into the surf zone.

After using this boat, my legs ended up covered in black and blue bruises. The reason: the thigh straps for this boat were just not good and that boat is a lot of volume for someone my size. I like to throw a boat around in the surf to do top turns and cutbacks. This boat would have none of that. Being so massive and unresponsive, it was very difficult to get it to turn.

After using this boat, I find it near impossible to believe Cobra's claims that this boat is good for both beginners and experts. If you're looking for a good boat for an occasional recreational paddle and not to become a serious kayaker, then certainly I would recommend this boat. If you're interested in anything else, do not use this boat.

Submit your own review!

03-19-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought the Strike summer of 2006 to use in storm surf and excerise at Lorain, Ohio on Lake Erie. I am very happy with this boat! I have used it with a regular seat, footsraps and Thighstraps and just the lowback support. For just flatwater paddling I only use the the regular seat. I feel that the boat is fairly quick for such a small craft and will almost plane off even in small boat wake paddling hard.The boat does not track super great even with the fin but I did not expect it to. I have used it in storm waves as big as 5' and it's a hoot! I can catch a small roller on the outside by leaning way forward and take it all the way into the beach. I carry the boat by one of the tighstraps and have not yet had any of the plastic eyes break.I would think it will not be a big deal to replace them with stainless when they break. Allaround I would suggest this craft to anyone that is looking to get on the water easily for exercise and surfing!
Submit your own review!

05-11-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I am hooked on surfing my strike, I have experimented with no seat, no foot straps,etc. I have settled with a back support which just flattens down if I have to lay back on a big wave, thigh straps and paddle leash. I took the foot straps off and used the 2 holes up front in the middle where the foot strap attached, and have a saddle anchor there for the curly paddle leash, this keeps me pretty well attached centrally without too much interference. Sometimes I get numb feet,only draw back . I get cranky if I dont get out enouh lol. Great boat!
Submit your own review!

01-11-2006
Submitted by: Troutboy NZSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     What a boat! I love my strike, I would consider myself an advanced user of it, it's soooo fast, stable, turns easy, can do 360's, cutbacks, catch EVERY wave if you want! I often get comments from surfers on how much fun it looks.

The fittings are crappy, replace the eyes with stainless, file down the fin to 2/3rds of it's size, use leg straps and wax the seat area! it's light, easy to carry, good for general paddling.

Cobra backup is superb (in New Zealand anyway). It's easy to get back on after a wipeout and surfs backwards superbly. Lean back on the take-off of a big wave or you'll pearl, it's very sensitive to weight distribution.

This is one AWESOME boat I can't speak highly enough of. I have had so many kayaks over the years but this is the most fun versatile boat you'll ever purchase.

Submit your own review!

11-14-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Strike is maybe my 6th or 7th sit-on-top; heck maybe 10th, and it sits among a few sea kayaks in my garage. It's the most single-use, dedicated sit-on-top I've ever owned. It's for surfing. And I've had more fun with it than I have ever had with any sit-on-top. I traded for a Wilderness Systems Kaos, another surf-oriented sit-on-top, a few years ago, and using it didnít turn me on to surfing with plastic at all. I borrowed a friendís Strike a couple months ago to surf with a friend who wanted to try my waveski, and I went right out and bought one.

I have some trouble with my neck which resulted in several fused vertebrae, and I'm not planning on chasing my skills up to big surf. I stick to stuff below 4' and look instead for longer, outside, rides. But I love this boat. I think this is Cobra's best design ever; in fact I hear it was designed by a waveski designer. Other boats come and go in my garage, but I don't think I'll ever get rid of this one. It is balanced, strong, and so much fun. The hard rails hold faces really well, it does cut backs acceptably although not nearly as well as the waveski, it bounces out when I slide down over the top - which is a lot of fun, and it rises over the whitewater to exit pretty well with either a back or forward stroke.

If youíre interested in surfing with plastic, get this one.

Submit your own review!

12-08-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have surfed the Strike for over five years. I have surfed alot of waveskis and also own an epoxy Island. I always come back to the Strike.I dont use a fin, thigh straps or foot straps.I do use a big wave surfboard leash on my ankle.I have surfed one foot waves on the East Coast to twelve foot waves on the North Shore of Ohau.Its fast and will cut on a dime. This would be my choice for a beginer or pro.
Submit your own review!

09-04-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I'm a novice so I don't bring much life experience to this review. Took a surf kayak clinic through San Diego's Aqua Adventures - quite a rush. Did a fair amount of internet research and talked to a couple of people before selecting my Cobra Strike. I bought it from San Diego Sailing Center - somewhat at a bargain because the logo had a blemish. Because I wanted to be able to physically handle the kayak by myself (I'm a smaller person), it was important to me to pick a kayak that was relatively short (9'7") and relatively light (35 lbs) - plus one that was sufficiently stable and turnable for a beginner like me. I've taken the kayak out now about 5 times in the last month - Mostly at La Jolla Shores in San Diego County - where the surf is small. It's been great and everything I wanted in an ocean surf kayak. I've also taken it out on flat water (stuffed the drain holes with 99cent toy balls (drug store children's toys with smiley faces). It kind of scuttles like a crab in flat water - but since I'm out there for exercise and not to race or keep up with anybody else - this suits me too.
Submit your own review!

06-25-2001
Submitted by: Jim SmithSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought this boat as a high performance alternative to my Wilderness Systems Kaos. Barton Decker of Hatteras Island Surf Shop made me a deal too sweet to refuse. Basically, this boat has ruined me. I had been training for distance racing, and I wanted an alternative to spending so much time on flat water and in the gym; now all I want to do is surf. The boat is so fast down the line that I had to stop out running the waves. I looked at several options in terms of wave skis, but this boat just works so well in a variety of conditions that I can't see taking the leap. Unless you travel to Hatteras, the East Coast doesn't see the big rolling swells akin to the West Coast. We also do not enjoy any type of channel, or reef conditions. Wave skis require the use of a seat belt, but the Strike uses a movable foot board and thigh straps. Paddling out into the surf and rolling to avoid an incoming wave is not an option when you are dealing with sand bars a mere two feet below the surface. I can climb back on this boat and get going again in a flash; it punches through the wave faces like a champ. I just did my first honest to goodness cut-back on the face of a wave yesterday, and I hope it is the first of many. Try this boat in the surf. You will be amazed!
Submit your own review!

04-06-2000
Submitted by: L.R.Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Very stable, fast and easy turning board. Good first surf model, but limited to smaller (6ft.or less) Hawaii surf.
Submit your own review!

12-16-1999
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have been selling the strike since they invented it. It was actually designed by world famous waveski designer Danny Broadhurst,.it is probably the best plastic waveski out there and will prepare you for the jump to a real performance epoxy ski like the Island.
Submit your own review!

05-17-1999
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Use the Strike strictly as a surf kayak. Wave ride at San Onofre State Park in North San Diego County, CA. Graduated from a Wilderness Systems Riot. Boat handles well in most surf conditions. Have surfed in waves too small for board surfers and conditions that border on large...6'+...which is a fairly big day for So. Cal. Until it gets large, I go without the fins. Once it gets say over 5', time to drop in a fin to keep the boat from spinning out of the face of the wave. Without the fin, I'm able to crank some fairly serious turns. The boat drains very well when the cockpit is filled with H2O. I use thigh straps and a backrest on smaller days but ditch the backrest on big days...it definitely gets in the way when reentering after going verticle. I rigged a handle that fits the front eyelet (new models come with one) to grab if I'm out of the boat and I need to hold on through the white water. Trying to grab the thigh brace will darn near rip your arm off when the white water hits the kayak. One big negative is that the boat takes on a fair amount of water through the fixtures. As time goes on, the fixtures become quite loose and thus leak even more. Also, the plastic hardware will break leaving the thigh or back rest flapping. I have replaced three and now have gone over to chrome. The seat area can be enhanced by adding a butt pad. All in all, this has been a very fun boat.
Submit your own review!

Don't Miss the Paddling.net Weekly Newsletter!
Free Newsletter120,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!














Follow us on:
Free Newsletter | About Us | Site Map | Advertising Info | Contact Us

©2014 Paddling.net Inc.
Sweepstakes Shirt Sale