WaveSki Surfing in the UK


site written and hosted by

Kevin Andriessen
(formerly Dirty Habits WaveSkis)

Wild Things canoes

go to Wild Things main website

last updated 3rd Dec 2010

Wave ski equipment and paddles

A Personal View

'Big waves are measured not in feet but in increments of fear'.     Hawaiian surfer


For those of you who don't know me a brief into; I bought my first ski (then called a surfski) in 1977 after my Surfer mk2 surf kayak imploded on me one gnarly March day at Putsborough and I had a long swim in with not another soul anywhere to be seen. I'd soon filled in the deep seatwell and fitted a seatbelt, in 1979 I won my first contest at Watergate on a custom ski and in '83 and '85 was British ranking champion. In '83 I spent 2 months in Aus and came 4th in the NSW Open at DeeWhy Point in monster surf, Christo & Petrie were 1st and 2nd, this was probably my best ever result. In '84 went to SA for the first World Waveski Champs and was founder member of WWSA. In '85 became secretary of the BCU surf committee and started making skis for a living trading as Dirty Habits. In '86 went to Hawaii for the Worlds and won for UK the right to host 1989 Worlds. Because S.Africans would be coming to UK for this event I drafted a constitution for a new British Wave Ski Association on the flight home. The following weekend was the surf ctte agm where I announced the move and resigned from BCU - what a row that caused. 1989 Worlds went v.smoothly and I became President of WWSA for next 2 years. I stopped competing about 1992 and a few years later sold Dirty Habits after making about 800 popouts and 100 customs to concentrate on building up 'Wild Things' and rotomoulding kayaks. In 1997 was asked to be chief judge at the Worlds at Gwithian which was my last real involvement with the organised side of the sport but I still really enjoy surfing my ski and haven't changed waveski or style for 10 years, but my ski is wrecked - must make a new one!!

I wrote a history a few years back for some guy at Aberystwyth Uni but never got it back so here goes again. The intention in the 'Chronology' is to give a factual account of what happened when and without voicing any personal opinion - you can read that in 'A Personal View'. Most of the sources are from old friends, memory and Beachbreak mags and other old treasures! Some of what happened was before my time and was totally entwined with kayak surfing - so if you hate kayaks you'll just have to bear with it!
The 'chronology' concentrates on the years 1975 to 1992 which is when I was most active and is broken down into sections to make it a bit more manageable. One of the sections is a 'whos who' so if you find your name there and don't agree with what I've written please email me; likewise if I've forgotten you! As I write this my intention is to include some original articles from old publications and newsletters.
'A Personal View' is an opportunity for me to spout-off about things like 'my biggest wave' and 'why I think slash-cutbacks killed the sport' and so on.
'Waveski Design' is pretty much the same really - arguments as to what sort of designs are best for what sort of waves.
Please send in photos from this era if you have any, mine must get pretty boring after a while; and if you have anything written to add please send it along as well.