Alternative to 18 x for 140 lb paddler

Looking for suggestions of sea kayaks for light paddler that would keep pace to an Epic 18x.Looking to do some racing but want to stay in the Fast Sea Kayak class.


Also QCàC makes a 16 footer.

Maybe look at the Kayakpro Nemo, a racing kayak designed for lighter paddlers.

How Light?
See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Re How Light
140 lbs.

Clouldn’t do bad in a P&H Cetus LV or Impex Force 3. Would depend on how it fits and feels on the water. Sounds like a test paddle is in her future.

Other options will follow as well, I’m sure.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

West Side EFT if it is in the FSK class
is the only one that I know that would be faster.

Anything shorter would be slower.

Jack L

FSK class- warning
There are two different classification rules currently in use by race organizers.

One is the Sound Rowers classification system; one class is the FSK class.

The other system is the USCA specs; they spec a “sea kayak” class, but not an “FSK” class.

There is an important difference between the two systems, and particularly relevant to the Epic.

The Epic 18x meets USCA sea kayak specs, but not the SR FSK class. The 18x is classified as an “HPK”, same as most surf skis.

The Epic 18x Sport does meet SR FSK specs.

Yes but …
there are about a dozen different classifications for sea kayaks depending on the race director, and on some of the races they even make the classifications on race day depending on who shows up with what.

Some of the races I have been in have classes for between 14 feet and 18 feet plastic/ composite/ under 14 feet plastic only/ over 18 feet/ must have two hatches/ must have one hatch, etc , etc

Jack L

Boat Choices
Not worried about whether 18x fits in a certain class,just looking for boat recommendations that can keep pace with it.

Choices so far 16x and QCC600; 2 feet shorter than an 18x? Will these keep up?

Cetus LV ,Impex Force 3 , maybe?

So far I think Nemo and EFT would be most likely.

Any other choices?

How about a Silhouette or a Nelo Inuk?

I know for a fact that the 600 won’t,
and I doubt if the 16X will, but can’t say for sure since I have never paddled the 16x

Unless you are a superman, you will need a boat as long as the 18 or close to it

Jack L

Nelo Inuk?
Fast, round hulled, 18’…or Valley Rapier 18. I would say the Rockpool Taran - but it is a bit heavy and more geared for fast expeditioning…

Matching motor to hull
Don’t limit the smaller paddler to the same boat length you use and need. Chances are they’ll keep up with your fsk using a shorter boat. It’ll still be a long boat.

Next is features for the uses it will be put to.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Shorter is not always slower
Shorter is slower for top speed like sprinting but for and distance a shorter boat may be more efficient at your race pace. My race pace is really slow so my 18 foot boat is not faster than my 16 foot boat so long as I am in flat water.

Race Pace
My race pace goal is to be able to keep up with /be competitive to paddlers using Fast Sea kayaks. Therefore I was looking for suggestions for the proper tool(boat). For some ,they are faster in a shorter boat but I believe those paddlers would be outmaned against better paddlers using boats such as the 18x.

Short race vs. a long race

– Last Updated: Oct-21-11 11:33 AM EST –

For a short race (under 10 miles) I think you may be better served by a longer boat since you do want to be pushing close to hull speed there. On a longer race, you might be OK with a slightly shorter boat but I would still think a well designed for you 18 footer would serve you well.

In either case you need to find something that would have lower resistance for you - should be slimmer than what someone 60lb heavier than you needs.

I know a slim person who is only 120lb or so paddling the Nemo and she beats me every time if I paddle an 18 footer too (in my case the Rapier 18). She is a better paddler and definitely better conditioned than I am. She barely sinks the Nemo at her weight so her resistance in the water is much lower than mine (I am around 190lb). So, she is faster than I am when in similar boats, but these boats do not behave similarly for us - I'm pushing a lot more water than she is but we have the same waterlines. I have to move to my surf ski (Epic V10 Sport) that is 2 feet longer - then I can keep pace or even get a little upper hand in shorter distances where I can push the longer hull to go faster.

I'd say seriously consider the Nemo. The more recent versions have good sturdy hatches and improved rudder (retractable now). Read the review here (Kayakcyndi is the above-mentioned paddler) and why she chose the Nemo. I don't know of another boat in the FSK class that would be faster and more ergonomic for a smaller-sized person than it. I would not recommend the Rapier 18 for a small person - the cockpit is huge and very tall in the front, and while the hull will still perform well, the Nemo will feel better...

EDIT: how about a shorter surf ski? A V8 is in the FSK and competes with the 18x etc. But I know it will feel too big for you - wide catch, wide seat, big cockpit... Maybe if some other manufacturer comes up with an 18 foot ski for a smaller person it could be an option...

There are also some strip-built models like the Pax 18 or perhaps a scaled down to 18 feet version of the Mistery by Nick Shade that would work great too. Just need to build them -;)

NDK Pilgrim Expedition
Nigel Dennis’ Pilgrim Expedition is an extremely fast kayak that is specifically designed for a smaller person. At 17’ x 19.69", the beam to length ratio approaches the FSK specs. It books.