Competitive Kayak Racing

My buddy and I are in the market to purchase a double kayak and I am trying to find a boat that will allow us to be competitive in races as well as provide enough stability to go on multiple day trips. Currently, I have refined my search to a composite tandem kayak that is atleast 20 feet long, between 20 to 25 inches wide, with a sleek hull design. Am I on the right track or is it impossible to “have my cake and eat it to” ? Also, Is it possible to find this boat for under $2000?

clc and pygmy make kits
for wood composite doubles. it would be easier to find a tandem canoe to race and cruise in your price range.

Competetive? What races? Skill level?

– Last Updated: Mar-23-05 11:30 PM EST –

For some folks racing is purely a fun affair with a bit of pain thrown in. Then there are folks who are elite athletes and need to excel. They work hard at it, and have skills they have developed. They are driven to excel. They take pain when traiing, racing and during recovery, because they are driven. These are two very different attitudes and require different comittment and boats (for most folks).

Buying Used (highly recommended) or building the new sport tandem model from cheseapeake light craft would be the only way I know of to get a really competetive boat for that money.

25 inches wide, that tandem is not elite at all just for fun-racing. 19 is more like it, but it will take some skills to handle that. A spread of beams like 19 to 25 under the same consideration is like specing a ferrari and a taurus and saying one of these will do. What do you want? Real speed potential (with the skill requirments that go with it) or fun-racing.

Adventure Extreme 2002

– Last Updated: Mar-24-05 5:05 PM EST –

According to Bruce Gipson, the fastest double Sea Kayak available, and I believe him.

The surfski double Mako Mill might be the fastest open water paddle craft.


If he has to ask, he is not ready for
a mako.

Fast Tandem
These guys were pretty fast. (4 Pics.)

NDK Triton II
If you’re looking for a tandem kayak to compete in amateur kayak races, tour for several days, and spend about $2,000, I’d suggest looking at a used NDK Triton II.

Two 4 sale
Earlier this month a guy posted two tandems for sale.

Northwest Seascape tandem kayak $1,500 OBO

Current Designs Libra tandem kayak $1,550 OBO

The libra is a great family boat
or novice boat but with a 29 inch or so beam it’s no racer.

Fully agree. It weights like 100 pounds!

Fast tourer

The Seaward Passat is a nice fast touring double, but it’s not a racer.

Fjord Tandem
Surprised Ice didn’t mention this one. It’s on that same link above - just scroll down. An open deck model based on the Isthmus he paddled before his Mako.

Should be quite fast (slower than a tandem ski, but faster than most tandem sea kayaks except the more extreme ones) and in the price range. Who else has a 45 lb fast carbon tandem brand new for $2100?

Good boat for sane novices though
Not sure if I ever qualified.

good choice
My brother has a 18ft6in kevlar wenonah (sundowner?)canoe (44#) that is the fastest allowed in stock class at races such as 90 miler-30 miles a day while you camp out in adirondacks. Please check this race -90 mile canoe race and ask what is fastest boat allowed in stock class. Tandem kayaks weigh twice as much as canoe and you would need a trailer for 100# kayak that costs $2,000 and forget camping because how would you portage? A used 44# canoe might be $500. Spend a weekend with newmans of grasse river canoe. They have done all the races and are great teachers.

The Passat or the Passat G3 from Seaward are great touring boats. The seem to be very popular with racers here on Vancouver Island for the race and I know Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak in Vancouver uses them for the Tuesday night race series.


Thanks for the information. YOu have been really helpful. As far as looking at the postings for the two tandems at $1500 I am not sure I know how to navigate through the web site to view the contacts. DO you have any advice. Thanks again for helping me out!

A great racing double…consider:
building Nick Schade’s:

Designed by Nick Schade ( ) it is based upon his Expedition Single. Unless CLC or Pygmy has a ‘fast double’…this might be just what you are looking for…AND…you will definitely be able to build it for way under 2K.


Fast Tandem for Sale on P-Net
Probably too far to ship, though. Heckuva’ road trip…


(ME) Surge tandem racing surfski, 23’X 19", weight 54 lbs, fiberglass construction. Used only a few times. Manufactured by Stealth Perfomance Products. $1,300. Can e-mail photos on request. – Submitted by: heronsflight

yes it’s impossible
Get more specific about use and not the dimensions of the kayak. Knowing the dimensions of the paddlers and their total load is more useful. If it’s flatwater with portages then definately the canoe.

When it comes to “fast” you have to be fast. When it comes to a design being fast a LOT is given up to get the extra %5 in top end or efficiency.

If the race has any distance AND you’re asking for stability then you really don’t want a “fast tandem”,you want efficient and learn to paddle efficiently.

it really makes a difference.