Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Riot Glide – Review

In the spring of 1997, Riot Kayaks set out to design a kayak that would enable them to win the world rodeo championships: the ultimate wave-surfing, hole-riding, rodeo kayak.

Riot Glide - Review

From Riot:

We succeeded in creating just that a boat so far ahead of any other kayak at the 1997 championships, that athletes who felt disadvantaged lobbied for a last minute change in the scoring rules to prevent the Glide from achieving high scores on the moves it had been designed to do, and in which it excelled. That was prototype number one. Thirty-three completely vertical ends in twenty four seconds, multiple blunt splitwheels on totally green waves, airborne six point wave wheels, super blunts, freewheels, rockwheels, super clean cartwheels, clean shuvvits and more. The list is endless, the limits are undefined. If all-out rodeo is your thing, then this is the only possible choice.

Riot Glide - Review

The Glide was the “boat that changed the rules”. I picked up a dark green Riot Glide with was termed the surf seat, which was a deeper fitting seat that raised your knees tight into the underside of the deck. The deck formed the thigh braces. This created a superb fit that allowed better for control of the boat. Only now are we staring to see manufacturers putting seats with the ability to raise the front edge into their boats. Some Glides were also available with the power seat which was a surf seat taken to the extreme! No fancy backrests and no fancy footrests.

By todays standards the Glide is pretty long but importantly featured a few innovations that appeared again in the Riot Disco. This included the planning hull, textured hull, sharp edges and for the later models even fins.

Riot Glide - Review

On any size wave the Glide was a dream to both surf and spin. But take it out in big water or in the surf and the Glide was absolutely amazing.

Riot Glide - Review

Your edge control had to be pretty good as mistakes were not forgiven.

Riot Glide - Review

Lower volume (squashed) Glides were also developed and named the Slice, but were essentially the same. I owned a Glide and a Disco for a number of years. I sold the Glide on but even now would love to get another. A great kayak from the days when Unsponsored sprung into life.


  1. Dave Miller

    I’ve got a Glide for sale, love it to death, but my feet are just too big to be confortable now I’m gettin older.
    Colour meltwater, good condition light hull scratches, mostly surfed. From the last batch ever made.
    If you can find a good home for it I’m asking £150, based south coast, can probably get it to Nottingham.

    • steffanmh

      I know this is a very old post – but is it still for sale? I’m on the South Coast too.

  2. Gary

    I think I actually have the glide in the pics above. Bought it off Matt Shepherd a good few years ago.

    • Unsponsored

      That will be the one.

      • Gary Worthington

        I am selling it if you know anyone who might be interested. It is just not getting used as all my paddling lately is instructing scouts on flat water at Yarm.

  3. Timothy Fullwood

    Changes were not just lobbied for, but were actually implemented just days before the worlds. Addison apparently refused to take his competition runs and instead was pictured in his boat holding a protest banner for unfair competition rule changing, and he had a point.

    Coming at a period of history where Dagger and Perception had complete domination of the market, after this boat, that status quo was eternally shattered. After this, boats from the big-two were never more than also-rans against smaller companies which brought innovation after innovation and rewrote kayaking.

    Pyranha had the Storm and Attak, the latter smashed the barrier on cheap access to playboating. Wavesport redefined slicy starting with the X, XXX and Foreplay. The jewel of the era was the Disco, which was simply a rewrite of the kayaking experience. From a kayaking point of view, from a kayak-culture point of view and from a business point of view, The Glide was the catalyst for change that was never seen before.

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