Fun, "Faster" Kayak for inland lakes

I’ve been out of kayaking for about three years due to time constraints. Looking to get back into this extremely rewarding endeavor. I only have access to inland lakes in Michigan. Have somewhat lost touch with the current crop of kayaks. My interest is mostly fitness paddling, (2-4 hours), also enjoy playing in “rougher” inland lakes water. I enjoy “feeling” the sense of speed as my skill and fitness level improve. The shorter, the better because of space constraints. I’ve looked at surf skis but they are usually too long and I like the idea of learning/performing more advanced skills, (rolling, etc). Any suggestions are appreciated.


To get speed you need waterline length and relatively narrow width. Short kayaks need to be relatively wide to get the required stability. You really can’t have a short fast kayak.

You can look for those with plumb (straight up and down) ends since that will make the waterline length as long as possible for the given length. Over all length, long pointy ends, do nothing for speed.

Bill H.

I have an Alchemy that rolls nicely and behaves well in rough water. It’s only 14 feet or so. It’s not super fast but I can generally hang with whoever is paddling a 16 foot boat.

Check out :
The Epic 18 or the QCC-700

A bit shorter would be the QCC-600

If you are a small person the QCC 10-x

jack L

Try these
Stellar S16 or a QCC 400X.

If you want speed
In a sink, you’re going to have to find a way to deal with a little more length. You didn’t provide your size, nor how much you are willing to spend. Anyway, my suggestion would be to check out the Eddyline Raven 16’-9". That boat fits most people–it’s quick, handles rough water nicely and it is pretty fast for its length. If you’re a larger person, check the CD Sirocco/Gulfstream. If you can go just a couple more inches, give the CD Prana a look. The Prana is a very impressive boat.

Depending somewhat on your size, one of NC’s 15’-8" models might do the trick. They are very light, fast and great in the rough stuff.

Venture Islay 14
The Venture Islay 14 might be worth a look if you can find a dealer (since they are made in the UK by P & H, there may be a dealer somewhere within a reasonable drive of you in Ontario). It’s a bit cheaper than some of the other models so far suggested and shorter at 14 feet. There are favorable reviews on here:

I have no experience with that model but have owned a Venture Easky 15LV (which the Islay model replaced) for 6 years and really like it for speed and handling.

The fastest cheap “short” kayak I have ever paddled is the Pyrahna Speeder.

It does have some quirks, many find it to have little initial stability, and it does require floatation bags in the front, but it is a great “fitness” kayak that can handle rough water. It has a low enough profile to handle decently in wind if you know how to edge a kayak.

People either hate them or love them, and they stopped building them due to the limited demand. They can be found used cheap because the current owner does not like them, or not for sale because they are loved. Mine is not for sale, it is my go to boat for quick high speed blasts (several hours out on the water).

Northern, mid, or southern Michigan?
How short is short? New or used?

Craigslist has lots of kayaks listed, some very nice ones (alas, all too big for me).

Stellar makes a 14’ ski .