fastest kayak 17.5' or less & 21" beam?

I’m curious what other paddlers have found to be fast kayaks. I’m specifically looking for kayaks 17’6" and under, and 21" beam width and wider; popular dimensions for my most local races. I know the QCC600 is a good fit with a long waterline for those specs, but curious what everyone else suggests. There’s also the Epic 16x and Stellar 16 that appear to have long waterline lengths, but I haven’t had a chance to try them. My sea kayak is close at 17’5" x 21.25" but probably a 15’ or less waterline length. The new Epic V7 surf ski probably would be good at 17’x21" but haven’t had a chance to paddle one. I’m heavier than the Qcc600 recommends, good on the weight range for others I’ve mentioned, so trying to look at as many options as I can, especially looking for something I haven’t considered. Thanks.

The Epic 16X is a sweet boat.
I haven’t paddled the others.

end of the day
Probably not a tangible difference in speed for those boats.

You should inform your local race …
director(s) that the length of the fast sea kayak, (FSK) class is maximum of 18 feet.

You’ll end up buying a Epic 16 or a QCC-600 and then end up at the back of the pack in a race with the FSK class

Jack L

CD Caribou
I paddled a Current Designs Caribou a couple of days ago and it felt pretty fast. This was a brand new boat, so it wasn’t the older version.

plumb bow and stern




You’ll be paddling upstream (forgive the pun) in a brit-style or IMO even a west-coast style kayak.

I believe Jackl is correct about 18’ being the limit for the FSK class. Better not to short yourself.

What ever boat you get,
Don’t get a carbon one with a Smart Track rudder if you’ll be using it in salt water.

You’ll live to regret it!

Jack L

Viviane kayak
Previously made by Kajaksport and now made by Mykskayaks is 19 feet long and is considered a very fast boat. My kajaksport Artisan Millennium is 18’ 3" X 21 1/4" and is quite fast as well.

Jackl why no carbon? & why 17’6"
To JackL I know about the rudder by why not carbon? You mean only carbon or Kevlar/carbon blend too?

To OP why 17’ 6" as others have said FSK is 18 is there some other reason? If FSK that would put you into a QCC 18 or Epic 18X or Stellar S18R.

And Andy the link for the kayak you mention show no USA dealers.

On the rudder …
No problem if your boat is Kevlar.

My wife and I had Kevlar QCC’s with the Smart Track rudders, and went through all the changes that were made by at that time Seal Line.

When we up graded to carbon Kevlar is when the problems started.

The back of the aluminum track would corrode just as if termites ate it away, and I mean bad. The second year we had them, they fell off into the boats while in use. I sent pictures of them to Steve at QCC, and he sent me two new sets. The next season was a duplicate of the previous one. I even sent him one set so he could see them.

I have to keep a supply of the tracks with me now, knowing that I will be changing them out once a year.

I originally thought it was a galvanic reaction between the stainless screws, the carbon, and the salt water, but after the last ones I changed out two months ago I am now thinking the stainless screws might not be in the equation.

I gave up on them and decided to go to a different rudder system. Two weeks ago, I changed out to my new system, and when I removed the Smart Track system, after only about 100 miles of paddling, both tracks were all ready rotting out, but the “termites” were working at each end and no where near the stainless bolts.

My wife likes the Smart Tracks so much that she wants to keep hers until we have no more new ones to change out.

I have three sets left, and I am going to experiment with them, and coat the backs with epoxy to see if it solves the problem.

I sent the US distributor a picture, but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

Long story, but you asked

jack L

Hi Andy
Neither of those boats qualify for the FSK class.

They are over 18 feet

Jack L

so it only happens
In the carbon boats. Thats super interesting.