Anybody have some suggestions/thoughts on a sit-on-top that’s be fairly fast for 2 - 3 hour fitness paddling a couple of times a week yet has some turning ability to make class I moving rivers more enjoyable where turning would just be for fun and sport? I’m a 220 lb 61 year old, who paddles a Torrent for Class II - easy III, but I’d just like something more for cruising and fitness paddling near home a couple of times a week.

I’m considering an RTM Disco and a Cobra Revision based on reviews and comments. Use would be fitness and short day trips so gear capacity is not an issue. Very unlikely I can try the boats due to location, so at some point I’m going to make my best guess and get a boat. Carving turns OK, spinning not critical, but decent turning a must, so this is my dilemma. To me decent turning I could live with would be something like 90 degrees one sweep stroke, 180 dgrees 2 - 3 strokes.

Whatcha think I should consider? What won’t work, what might? Plusses and minuses? Thanks so much.

By the way, thanks to all y’all who suggested I contact Onno paddles. Got a Surfcross for the Torrent and it is AWESOME!! I was unfamiliar with Onno until I posted here. What a great site for paddlers. I reviewed the Surfcross here:

Revision is a great kayak but it’s not going to turn with a single sweep stroke.

Taking a page from my experience training and racing down class I rivers. An overstern rudder would be perfect for fitness paddling. I know it is somewhat blasphemy but, it makes a fast boat turn.

Just a thought. It might not be for you. I’m glad you like your onno.

Ryan L.

Tarpon 140.
I’ve run class 1 in a Tarpon 160 and the 140 turns better.

You could set up a small, fast canoe
so that you’re sitting and using a double blade. Coldens and Placids are intended for this, but with careful shopping you can keep the cost down.

When a canoe is leaned onto its cheek, it can be spun very quickly.


– Last Updated: Jun-29-11 12:18 PM EST –

Thanks for providing the info. I may have to back off some on my hopes for turning ability and just look for glide and decent speed for the short (2 - 3 hr) fitness paddles. I had noticed the Re-vision was listed for fitness paddling on the Cobra website. I was very interested in Tarpons until I saw the weight, and really want a SOT to provide different paddling experiences in addition to my Torrent and three solo canoes (Encore, Baboosic, Prospector).

If I just focused on lighter (50 lbs or less) fitness SOTs and disregarded the turning are there any other recommendations. I like hearing all ideas and considerations. Thanks.

Your weight,which is also mine,
limits you in the SOT realm. Heritage used to make some lightweight ones,but I was too heavy for them.

I hate the weight of my Tarpon, but the trade off is how well it performs in the water.

surf ski?

Bic Scapa?

– Last Updated: Jun-29-11 1:19 PM EST –

There's some info in the buyers guide here. Pretty fast for a SOT, and wasn't hard to turn, as I remember. I'm close to your weight, and that wasn't an issue:

Hunt Johnsen “Wave Witch"
12’5” 30 lbs, has a rudder, very fast paddler.

Not good for whitewater. Probably requires a great deal more finesse than you are used to.


– Last Updated: Jun-29-11 1:51 PM EST –

If you are wanting to paddle for paddling's sake, or fitness. You should consider a stable surfski or similar with an overstern rudder. There are a few rotomold ones but a composite ski would be fine as long as there are now ledges to carry over.

Look at this, it is a used cobra eliminator, there is a lot of links in it as well.

Ryan L.

What to do?

– Last Updated: Jul-03-11 7:09 PM EST –

I appreciate all the posts plus a couple of email responses. Probably I will stick with either a Re-Vision or Disco and then if I want even more speed then I'll sell one of my canoes and look hard at the surf-ski or an Expedition type kayak with a rudder.


The Disco looks like such a cool boat, has great regard and might be really "hot" if I lose the 20 lbs gained this year (maybe new thyroid medicine and summer bicycling will do it). I'd be taking a chance with it though. The Re-Vision seems a safe choice and almost guaranteed to fit my 2 - 3 hour fitness paddles 1 - 2 times a week and provide a fun ride on class I fast rivers without technical rapids., had nice comments from 2 users. Thanks again, and I'll post comments after my first paddle on whichever I choose.

what about the
RTM Midway?? seems like that would be the better choice over the Disco for a 200+ lb guy.

From one Fat Paddler to another
I’ve tried the disco and it is fine for a 14 foot play boat. I think the Revision is more of a surf boat so I’d bet the tail would drag in flatwater like other surf boats I’ve paddled.

I talked to Cobra not to long ago and I understand they are no longer making the revision, so if you must have one move fast.

If I had to have just two boats, one would be an RTM Disco and the other a Cobra Expedition. So I guess you can tell that this 230 pounder, 5’10", 32 inch inseam and size 12 feet likes the Disco just fine.

Sold on the Disco

– Last Updated: Jul-06-11 9:10 PM EST –

You da man, FrankNC!!

I'm going for the Disco, no regrets!!! I appreciated all the comments and wavered on the Cobra Expedition and RTM Midway, but the Disco is calling my name. I'll do a report/review after I've paddled her some. Now to just lose some weight to enjoy it even more!! is THE BEST!!!