Fast 14' Kayaks

I just wanted to chime in on fast 14’ or under kayaks for those of you that like fast but want to keep length down. I just purchased a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 Pro. One word, “awesome”. Today, I gave it a test paddle to see what she would do. Paddled 3.53 miles and averaged 5.3 mph. I maxed out at 5.6 and was able to easily maintain a cruising speed of 5.1 fairly easy. I race in a kayak class of 14’ or under so I am always testing different kayaks that fit in that class. Last year at a race I tried out a Stellar S14. The dealer said it is the fastest 14’ kayak out there. It was fast but not any faster than the 140 Pro. And, the Stellar is a little longer than 14’ and can not be used in my class. Also, it is nearly impossible to keep it straight without the skeg down. The 140 pro is straight tracking and stable. There are very few kayaks that are faster. Westside Boat Shop Delta for sure, and the Seda Vegabond might give it a problem. Also, the Phoenix Appalachian is a fast one. Anyone know of any others that fit the bill?

The Perception Sonoma 13.5 is pretty
fast and fun, but out of production for several years.

14’ race class?
Do tell. Where’s the races?

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

If it fits you, the KayakPro Namu S is a bullet.

That was a good boat

14’ kayak class
I live in Ohio and all our local races have a class for shorter boats.

The Cape Falcon F1 is an efficient 14 ft skin-on-frame kayak, quite nimble, very quick and light. Hard to come by, granted, but a sweet ride nonetheless.

Funny, saw the thread title and first thought was the Sonoma. That really is a pretty remarkable little boat; fast, lively, light.

The Dagger Alchemy 14 is a quick small kayak. It is as fast as my Nordkapp.

Tsunami a fast boat, lol
A 24 inch wide Tsunami 140 isn’t a fast boat at all. There were a few that mentioned other brands much narrower with longer water lines which will be faster. Not saying YOU weren’t fast BUT you would be faster in many other boats than a Tsunami 140. I had one a while back.

2 questions:
1) Was yours a Pro or roto?

2) Which 14’ or shorter kayaks do you feel are faster?

Are you as large or as strong as the OP? I thought that you were pretty small.

Is determined by waterline length.

Efficiency is determined by wetted surface area, less is better. To a lesser degree rocker and stiffness come into play.

So you would want a narrow stiff boat with a long waterline and little rocker…

Perception Wavehopper
Under 14’ in length. Max beam at waterline is under 20"

Rounded hull

Hard to find a new one, but there are plenty of used ones around.

Ok. Before you knock the Tsunami Pro, yes it is a Pro, you should paddle one first. It is way faster than the roto. I know all that stuff about water line length, beam, wetted surface, rounded hauls, etc. But when it works, it just works. I was impressed when I test padded it and now I own it. I have two other older fiberglass boats at home just under 14’ I race and only the Delta by West Side Boat shop beats me if paddled by a good paddler and the Pro is just as fast as thoughs boats. Just telling it like it is for the paddlers that are interested in a short fast light touring kayak. I didn’t buy it to race it, but being as fast as it is helped with the decision to buy it. I’m 57 years old 5’ 11", 185lbs and consider myself a fit paddler.

More considerations
Longer waterline length has more potential speed IF you have the power to take advantage of it. 14’ might be perfect if it matches your power profile and desired speed.

For more potential speed check out something like an Epic 16X or 18X . These kayaks are setup for a racing posture with feet close together on an very comfortable angled footboard, with knees relatively close together. This posture allows for a very powerful torso rotation and will potentially yield higher speeds than a typical touring posture (with feet splayed-out “frogleg style” and heavy use of a backband), but may take some time to get used to the change in stability.

This is all very personal, of course, but if you are looking for speed in a shorter kayak, find the one with the longest waterline in the class and outfitting that will let you use full torso rotation.

Greg Stamer

The 16X is a sweet boat.

– Last Updated: Mar-17-16 1:34 PM EST –

Mine was abused when I bought it, but it's about my favorite and I'd like a more pristine version some day.

I'm not sure I'm much faster in it than my Perception Sonoma 13.5, though, even though I should be. The Sonoma 13.5 is a pocket rocket.