Prone River Surfing

Prone River Surfing

By Adam Masters, bellyak Founder

There is no better feeling than having your face inches from the water while watching the river rush by. Going fast while sitting still. Prone river surfing causes time to stop, and everyone remembers their first time better than prom night. For most, it’s the only anniversary that matters. Most impressions of surfing conjure up Gidget standing effortlessly sliding down a perfect TV wave with nothing but palm trees and coconuts for miles. Those of us lucky enough to not go to bed every night stuck to sandy sheets have to look for our own endless wave, the waves created by the timeless forces of rocks, water, and gravity.

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Just add water! Pure Fun

You don’t need a river or a wave to have fun on a bellyak. Like to swim and be in the water? Then the bellyak will enhance your aquatic experience by helping you become one with the water. Are you a resort owner looking to add another activity for your guests? Do you have an adventure center that is looking for something that is new, easy to do yet challenging?


Perfect for kids of all ages, guaranteed to make you smile!





Don't you want to be this happy?

Don’t you want to be this happy?


Lightweight and Portable, easy to take to wherever the water is!

As always, Designed and Made in the USA for the World!

As always, Designed and Made in the USA for the World!

Lauren at the ocean with her Bellyak

Bellyaks in the Ocean

Remember that deodorant commercial “Strong enough for a man but PH balanced for a woman?” The Bellyak version is “strong enough for hard whitewater but perfectly suited for the ocean.”

Wave Time

I’ve often thought of the bellyak as a cross between a kayak and a surfboard, and I even studied surfboard profiles when coming up with the bellyak design. Rivers and waves have one thing in common: they are both dynamic, moving forces that can either beat you down or give you the ride of your life. I spend most of my time in and around the rivers of western North Carollina, so sun and sand were a welcome change from rain and rocks.

I traveled to Folly Beach recently to visit with dealers and outfitters, but most importantly to have a photo shoot with ladies on the boats…we have way too many shots of a: me, and b: dudes in rivers all geared up. My friend Stratton Lawrence, proud bellyak owner and excellent journalist for the Charleston City Paper has many beautiful and willing friends who came out for a fun surf session at Beach Access #4.

Paddling out through the waves is almost as fun as surfing back in

Paddling out through the waves is almost as fun as surfing back in


Which boat is good in the surf? All of them! The Frequency is great for paddling out and getting a good workout in…the fast hull combined with the toecups allows for great speed and glide. Paddling just past where the waves break is a lot of fun. The ‘body cavity’ of the bellyak gives you great stability within the boat, and the hatch lets you take whatever you might need. There is a beer ban on the beaches of Folly, but does it extend to the ocean? The Frequency holds two beverages of your choice in the drop in bowl in the front hatch…just paddle out past the waves and enjoy! I doubt anyone will stop you.

Not just for bellies! You can stand on it too.

Not just for bellies! You can stand on it too.

The Play series, designed for ‘playing’ in the river is right at home on ocean waves. The planing hull makes surfing a snap, and the extra rocker allows you to do 360’s and other tricks.

The new Play 35

The new Play 35

åÊWhy Bellyak in the Ocean? Why not just surf?

Surfing is great, if the waves are good. If the waves aren’t great, then the surfing is not so great. Since the bellyak is like a kayak, you are planing above the water at all times, which means that you can surf the smallest, sloppiest of waves and still have fun. What does this mean for you? That any conditions will provide endless exercise and entertainment. Plus, you can lay on it when you’re done, as it makes an excellent ‘dynamic nap platform.’


Play 35




Don't you want to be this happy?

Don’t you want to be this happy?

You too can be this happy! Just ask your local retailer or rental agency about Bellyak, and if they haven’t heard about us, tell them! If there isn’t a dealer close to you we ship anywhere in the USA!

What You Need to Bellyak

What you need to Bellyak

Bellyak – Play or Frequency

Shred Ready Standard Half Cut Helmet – Shred Ready Standard Half Cut

Astral Buoyancy PFD – Astral Buoyancy

NRS Propulsion Glove Hand Paddles – NRS Propulsion Gloves

NRS Kicker WetshoeShoes are optional…but we like NRS Kicker Wetshoe

That is about it folks!

Depending on the water temp and time of year, you may also consider –

*Adam’s Note

Because you are exposed to water more than in a regular kayak, a wetsuit offers the best combination of warmth and flexibility for being in the water, without extra resistance from extra fabric of, for example, a drysuit. In the heat of summer, shorts and/or bathing suit and a rashguard are usually enough, unless it’s really cold water (ie: the Nantahala). Be sure to sunscreen the back of your legs–that’s not a fun sunburn! Also, a lifejacket and a helmet are essentials. So far, the PFD’s by Astral work best. Many kayaking vests are made with extra thick padding in the abdomen area and/or pockets which, unfortunately, can be somewhat uncomfortable to lay on. The Astral vests“Norge” or “Abba” with Kapok foam seem to be best, as they conform well to the body while laying down. NRS Propulsion Gloves are used for speed and direction. We are also developing an area on the boat for storing a dry bag. As of now, there is a sizeable hatch in the bow. We love Watershed Dry Bags in general for toting gear.