Kayak Design Can be a Delicate Negotiation
Designing a kayak is a complex proposition. For every performance
element gained, another may be diminished. Kayak design can be a
delicate negotiation which, when done well, minimizes this sort of
compromise. Of course the paddler and the water also have a say in how a
boat performs. Each paddler is as distinct and different as our kayaks,
and the water is an ever-changing medium. So a kayak must be built to
come alive and respond to the conditions and possibilities of both.
that said, there are some basic features to understand before you
choose your kayak. Performance comes down to a few things combined: The
shape of the hull (remember that no perfect hull exists, except maybe in
theory), the skills and condition of the paddler and the nature of the
water. We suggest you take time to study kayak design, talk to a dealer and seek out instruction to help you make the best choice.
Length and width affect speed and maneuverability. When it comes to
speed, it's all about surface area. A long, thin line allows paddlers to
slice through the water quickly-a real advantage if you plan on
touring, but a drawback on twisty rivers. A 17 foot-long kayak will go
much faster than a 10 foot-long kayak, but a 10 foot-long kayak will
turn easier than a 17 foot-long kayak. A narrow kayak is faster than a
wide one, but wide kayaks tend to be more stable (depending on hull
View these pages for more information on performance factors:
Wider, more stable designs with larger cockpits for easy entry and
exit. Ideal for beginners or anyone seeking casual fun on the water.
Slightly longer kayaks for increased efficiency
and speed. Perfect for beginning to intermediate paddlers who may want
to spend time on the water.
narrower kayaks for efficient long distance paddling. The choice for
paddlers who are continually challenging their kayaking skills.
The perfect blend of styles, with sit-on-top stability and sit inside performance.
The fun of solo kayaking, doubled. Models for recreational use, day touring and longer expeditions.