Anyone else interested in this new fitness kayak? Has anyone paddled one yet?
Should be a fast, fun boat
for smooth water, fitness paddling. CD says it’s a fishform hull but aren’t the fast K-1s all swedeform? looking at the photo, it appears to be more symetrical than fishform. John
had/has one at his store I believe. Besides at $2500.00 at 33 pounds(Eric's website lists it at 38 pounds) it might not do well against the likes of KayakPro Jet, Think Fit, Razor and others in the K-1 trainer group. Jet is 26 pounds and around $1900.00 with understern rudder and true fitness full footboard with tiller vs SmartTrack pegs.
Thanks for making me aware of
the KayakPro Jet…
I had just told BrazilBrazil my next kayak was to be a CD Freedom…now i see for the same money I can be at 22 pounds!
in fiberglass advertised at 26lbs and is 26lbs, Gf paddles it, comfortable and fast. I believe they might of re-designed it a bit since I got mine, more rudder face(it needed it) and a better deck. Very good build quality. A paddling machine to work on form.
Hex, tell me
how much learning curve for me coming from the likes of QCC700, LookshaII type boats? the looksha is the narrowest at 20inches, the Jet is 18…also…this might sound stupid–but you can carry some gear in them right?
one more question
your thoughts on the Ruahine Firebolt…which would you get?
I would guess you will have a very minimal learning curve, I went from a QCC700 to an EFT and paddled the Jet of the bat with minimal problem during that time,, just slightly more tender than the EFT for me. Paddling a Looksha II it will be no problem for you to transiton over to it. As far as gear carrying, not on mine, no hatches no bulkheads. I do notice on the website than they offer a hatch option which looks to be from the rear inside bulkhead. This is a screwtype probably 5 or 6 inches only, so gear carrying is not alot.
Another option for you is the Think FIT, same hull as the Jet, hybrid configured as a ski bucket with a rear hatch(also screw type). I like these new type of boats since they allow you to recover(climb back in) if you spill. I also like the full footboard gas pedal steering for a boat that has a narrow foredeck,, very tight catch on these boats. Rolling is usually not an option with boats such as the Current Designs and the Jet,, too large of an opening to maintain integrity and bracing is nowhere to be found. They are efficient fitness machines to rack up miles but not to get caught out in conditions far from shore.
I have not paddled the Firebolt, did paddle an Opus for a bit and I believe the Firebolt is its replacement. Speedwise was OK, nothing to write home about, handled well, after all, these boats are designed for mostly river running. The one I paddled had the OZO pedals, for me better than the SmartTrack but far inferior than a tiller with full footboard or ski pedals. If you plan on racing,, the Jet and Fit fall into the touring class, the Firebolt will probably be unlimited and will be at a disadvantage against 21 foot ski's and T-bolts. Hope this helps.
It’s a Stratus w/revised deck
Was told at Outdoor Retailer it is simply a Stratus hull with a reduced volume deck and a marathon racing type seat sans backband, and no bulkheads. The Stratus is a nice boat, fairly fast. It is a very stable hull and can make looooong edged turns, but the rudder makes life easier. Have had mine (Startus) out in rough weather and felt confident in it. The Freedom will have a more open marathon, knees up type cockpit, so bracing may not be as solid as the Stratus. I gotta say, if you are looking for a fitness kayak, you’d get more fun and speed out of something like an E.F.T. or Thunderbolt, and would’nt be giving up much stability. I still think my Kajak Sport Vivianne will smoke the Stratus (and Freedom?) also, and can be filled to the gills with gear if I want. The Stratus will be just as fast (albiet heavier) once moving as the Freedom and can also carry a fair load, if you want a bit more flexability between fast touring and fitness? One last thing, The little spray/splash the bulbous bow spits up (wierd) bugs me. I hear it all the time paddling on flat H2o. Not sure why they gave it the bulbous bow, I really think it would have benifited much more with a knife edge entry, I mean the bow on the Startus/Freedom looks like an icebreaker!
Flat Water Boat
The Current Design Freedom appears to be a boat designed for flat water paddling since it has little if any rocker and minimal reserve bouyance in the bow. Nothing wrong with that if flat water is mostly what you do.
Rolling Fit - and THINK wish list
I’d like to try a Fit for that reason. If it offers enough purchase under the coaming it would be great. Re-enter and roll (even for non-rollers using a float) is a lot more reliable than just about anything else - particularly scrambles/cowboys on to kayaks with very round hulls and high rear decks.
If the Fit coaming doesn’t work well for rolling and bracing then it just complicate recovery vs a ski. If more pads/hooks are needed to be added - it likely begins to interfere with optimal leg position in a narrow catch kayak - unless it was designed with this in mind from the beginning. That thinking’s not too common on fitness/race kayaks.
One thing about the NZ multisports I like is they seem to address this, just not some other things…
My wish list for THINK: Something right in between the FIT and EVO with a cockpit that is good for racing AND rolling. Open water/slop runner that you never have to come off/out of if you dump. Fit would best it on flat, EVO would beat it on rollers, but THINK how often the water is neither in so many places!
A kayak like this would also be decent for quick fitness paddles on any water, some touring, etc. If they’d build it, I could sell off the fleet - drop everything on my “maybe” list, and save me a lot of work building a one off.
The Freedom is definitely Swedeform. The top view shows this clearly. I think the top view of this kayak is its best angle.
I did not see where they say it, but if the CD marketing people say fish form then they need to consult with their hydrodynamic people a little more. Who do you think has more power in developing new products at CD, the Marketing team or the design team?
The problem with Current Design is that they are now a just marketing company. Their true asset is the Current Design brand name. This marketing company uses the brand name to sell a product that just happens to be kayaks. Nothing wrong with this, but the products will need to maintain a level of quality and performance that comes close to the marketing department’s claims, or the brand name will suffer and lose value.
Overhanging Bow - Why
It does not make any hydrodyanmic sense for the CD Freedom to have an overhanging bow. Just about every performance paddler understands that an overhanging bow serves no hydrodynamic purpose. There is not a good reason for this 18 ft long kayak to lose about a foot of waterline. Or if you look at it the other way, there is no good reason to add a foot of useless dead weight to the ends of a perfectly fine 17 ft kayak.
The only explanation is that the marketing people have trumped the hydrodynamic people (does CD have hydrodynamic people?) and insisted on an overhanging bow. The overhanging bow is a style element seen on all CD kayaks. The marketing people know this model is most likely to be purchased by a loyal Current Design paddlers who already believe in the magic of the elf shoe bow. If this model did not have an overhanging bow, how would they explain it on every one of their other models? So perhaps the overhanging bow is a good marketing call.
33 lb Kevlar = Soft
I hope this boat has a cored sandwich construction? If this is a solid Kevlar boat that truly weighs 33 lbs it will be one soft ride that will only get softer over time. Actually, since it is not well suited for rougher water, it has a chance of maintaining some stiffness if it stays in mostly flat water.
I don’t get this boat, alot of contradiction. Get a Sea kayak hull, strip the bulkheads, hatches, skimp on the construction(kevlar 33lbs), don’t update footpegs, seems like they went halfway on what the intent was. Weight is still high for it’s intended use, Sea kayak hull that can’t be used as such due to the amounts of water that will be in it if you spill, I can just imagine trying to drain this boat with it’s construction. I would imagine major damage. For fitness paddling footpegs don’t do it for meneeds a full board), and the price point is not competitive. Without a pullbar at your feet I can imagine that some paddlers may have an issue of riding up on the back tip of the K-1 type seat(if they use there legs).
350 lb Cargo Capacity!!! Ha ha ha
I can not believe they say the max load of this boat is 350 lbs!!! You put 350 lbs in this boat and it will nearly be a submarine. It will not handle any waves taller than the few inches left above the surface including the chase boat wake which will be needed to rescue the flooded kayak and an unhappy swimmer.
This boat does not have any hatches so is not designed to be an excursion kayak. So I guess CD expects up to 350 lb paddlers to buy this boat? C’mon! Where is the honesty? Where is the trust? Who is behind Current Design’s marketing, Karl Rove?
Based on the dimensions and pictures, the Freedom seems to be a boat for paddlers who weigh between 150 and 225 lbs and I am being very generous with that weight range.
To be Fair
To be fair, I am a huge fan of performance paddling and wish there were more models out there suitable for full time rudders and wing paddles. So kudos to Current Designs for adding a model aimed in this direction.
I’m not sure if the Freedom will find a niche in the flat water market it seems to be best suited for. Flat water performance paddlers seem to graduate to much skinnier kayaks very quickly.
I wish the Freedom was a true ocean performance kayak aimed at the lighter female paddler. There is a big hole in this market that very few are trying to fill. The QCC 10X is one of the best new additions to this market, but there is still a need for a junior/female powered big water kayak that is a little longer and narrower than the 10X.
There are a lot of talented lightweight paddlers that want to bomb the ocean. Add 1.5 - 2 inches of beam to the Huki S1-A and you will have a winner. I wish we were discussing the debut of a kayak like that.
As it is a Stratus with lowered deck
and no hatches or bulkheads, I’ll mention I’m 194lbs and believe it would quite easily handle a heavier paddler. I’ve loaded down the Stratus w/fire wood and gear over 60lbs on top of my weight and really didn’t have any issues. It just became more solid in waves, and there were waves. The boat was nowhere near ‘submarining’ as you say. Slugish to get going, but still no pig filled. If you have fears of big H2o and waves, put in the mandetory airbags you’d have to put in any other boat of it’s type! You could say the same thing about a Thunderbolt, as they have no bulkheads unless you pay extra for them. I’ve had my Stratus out in storms, and it aint no Pintail, but it was still easily managable and a hoot to surf. I agree with you in that the boat coulda been a lot better for it’s intended purpose. Just for the record it was Dave Kruger (ex Wenonah, now Bell Canoes) who designed the hull. As far as I know, it was his first kayak design. Yes it could use improvements, but still not a bad design for a first kayak effort by Dave.