Hurricane Category 5

-- Last Updated: Oct-05-09 10:56 AM EST --

Has anyone paddled one of these yet?

Just saw the banner ad here at PNet and got curious. Then saw some photos here:

Looks like an ineresting shape but seems there are a few things that probably miss the mark - the way the deck and hull come together, especially near the paddle entry area, could have been done to shave off at least 2-3" of width. And the, what looks like, symmetrical if not even slightly fish-form hull (underwater) is puzzling - perhaps to add stability, but I think that goes counter to the purpose of this kayak...

Wish I had a dime
for every kayak manufacturer’s claim that THIS kayak

1)Does EVERYTHING: “training, fast/light day paddling, and short multi day trips.”

2)Is fast

3) “Tracks like a train”

4) “Edges like a sportscar”

5) Has “great initial and secondary stability”

I’m telling you, we’re lucky to have so many perfect kayaks on the market.

That makes me chuckle
And how true, how true.

Who needs the power of water to market a boat, when you have “The Power of the Word”.

Forget the ad
In actuality the folks from Hurricane were very candid with me at a recent Demo day in Raleigh, NC.

1)You should weigh less than 200 pounds. So it should fit most every one except me. (My doctor says there is no reason why anyone should weight over 200. He claims it is bad for the joints if nothing else).

2)It is tippy when compared to a touring sea kayak. OK that seems very honest to me. I think it is much less tippy than any K1, thunderbolt, and many skinny skin on frames.

3) It tracks straight. Certainly it tracks straighter than must rec boats, almost all white water boats, and many other boats around 15 feet.

4) It turns well. It certainly turns about twice as well as my CD Solstice GTS.

5) Its a day tripper. Sure you could stuff a tarp and some granola bars in it an spent a nite out without much comfort. But if you have any other boat, why would you.

And another thing
Since it is only 15’2" maybe you could convince the race committee to to let you into the rec boat class with it…

If only it was 14’11" as there is usually a class for boats under 15 feet. Then it would be a sleeper.

I think this boat could be a godsend for flatwater racing. Thing of what pushing for a fast 6 miles three times a week could do for your fitness.

Ouch! All on point so far though -:wink:

– Last Updated: Oct-05-09 12:36 PM EST –

Marketing claims aside, as a training/fitness kayak it might actually work well for some people. At 15 feet it won't be too fast but probably fast enough to give a good workout. With the thermoform material and relatively light weight it should be easy to live and easy to take on Class I/II white water downriver I guess... The price is fine considering there isn't much else in this category - the Pyranha Speeder comes to mind as a direct comparison and is probably a sturdier and may be a better boat for rougher water at about 8 lb more... Will probably sell in low volumes though as it is "neither there not here" in terms of specs or features -;)

From the bottom, it looks like a canoe.

Not sure if racing canoes that have similar protrusions only use them for stability or also for turning. But some downriver and adventure racing kayaks have wings that add volume in big water but I think mostly exist to bring the width up to the classification for a particular racing category. My Rapier has these ridiculous protrusions behind the seat that I feel mainly serve as an obstacle to re-entry and add bulk but they make it 21.75” wide, where at the waterline it is only about 18".

In this Hurrcane Category 5 it seems the widening will actually provide useful additional stability and increased turning ability by changing the profile when sharply on edge…

It seems to have…
no forward bulkhead, and minimal deck rigging.

Keeping the weight and cost down a bit too much for me.


Love the Pic of your boat on your profile! But this Cat 5 is a flatwater trainer, so I looks like most flatwater racers with no deck rigging and one or no bulkheads. I think it is rigged pretty standard for the type and float bags are lighter than bulkheads and it is decidedly a warm water boat. Unlike your very nice real cold water capable sea kayak.

15 ft. long?
What exactly is the point in making a slow flatwater race trainer? Can’t be very fast at 15’.

Bill H.

I guess …
… just an easy to live with inexpensive and relatively lightweight kayak that should be at least as fast as most any “regular” sea kayak. It ain’t going to break any speed records though. But perhaps will move fast enough to allow one to maintain fast enough cadence with a small enough paddle…

I much prefer to paddle my Rapier 18 footer for fitness but the 13.5’ Sonoma works just fine too - I can move it at about 5 mph average for an hour or two and it gives me the same workout as the Rapier at 6 mph -:wink: The Rapier also teaches me stability skills compared to a sea kayak (this Cat 5 will too work for that to a lesser degree, I think)…

I was just curious if someone had paddled one of these things. Reminds me of the Perception Rhythm/Cadence (?) that are now out of production (which I have not paddled either)…

You Can Say What You Want

– Last Updated: Oct-12-09 12:57 AM EST –

about the Hurricane products but this may well be an up and coming product line. I paddled at the coast this weekend with a fellow and was able to watch his Tracer in calm and waves, not a bad ride. I wish I had asked to try it but I am reluctant to get out of my Explorer because I know there is always the possibility of a bad case of the wants.

Skeg up he could lean a nice turn and with a little skeg no problems with weather cocking. The other thing is the speed, stoke for stroke it seemed just a little faster than the Explorer like it had more glide.

Then there is that odd plastic. His two year old boat still had that translucent shimmer after two years kept outside and the hull was still slick with just a few scratches for someone who frequents NC oyster beds. I dunno, I'm just a rookie but Hurricane products seem to have consistent quality and I hear they are paddlers, they'll latch on to something sooner or later.

If they had a 17.5 along the lines of my Explorer I would try it, maybe even buy it.

Possibly next year
I had written Hurricane sometime last year about the possibility of a bigger boat, because I was afraid that I wouldn’t fit in the Tracer. They wrote back that they were working on something for bigger people (don’t know if that necessarily means longer) that should be out this year. Then I found out that they were putting their energy into other things. Last time I wrote them about it, they said that it may happen next year.

By the way, I do fit in the Tracer. I still feel like I’m getting used to it, but I also have an Expedition 128, and I can’t say enough good things about it. If they do come out with a bigger boat, I may check it out also.

NDK Explorer?
It’s not awfully hard to find a boat that seems to move off the dime faster than an Explorer, much as I do love my Explorer LV for what she does well. If I want to be able to sprint off I take the Vela.

Most I know who have tried the Tracer like the boat. But it’s far from the only kayak out there with a quicker hull response for speed than the Explorer.

They don’t call it

– Last Updated: Oct-13-09 11:44 AM EST –

Zippy, that's for sure (The Explorer I mean) Still the best kayak I've had, always wanting the best I've never had - on a budget

Hurricane Cat 5
We paddled one last weekend! I would agree you need to be under 200 pounds. As a small woman I found it fast, light and amazing to paddle and if the price is $1275 as I was informed it may be in my garage come spring. Like most people, I was hung up on cargo capacity, rigging and other adventuresome stuff and found I don’t need since I rarely load camping gear. I’ve found that MOST paddlers I meet rarely do overnights yet here we all are with sea kayaks that we don’t utilize day in and day out. I’m sure there are many of you that do paddle fully loaded kayaks but I’m realizing that I want to cruise for two hours as far and fast as I can and the Cat 5 was awesome. My husband sits at 200 lbs and he loved the Cat 5 but alas his size 12 feet were jammed too tight although he had good hip and knee room under the thigh braces.

I think they have a real winner! I sold my Tampico 135S for a sea kayak and regretted it immediately. The Cat 5 is the boat I really was looking for. And it’s a real head turner too! Love the Granny Smith Apple Green! I took her for a few turns up a narrow river and was delighted with how easy I could lean and edge an easy turn around the bends. So it’s not just a racer girl boat-but if you want to fly…the Cat 5 will oblige.

An interesting test
would be to list all the thermoformed manufacturers, study their materials and designs, test them, and see how they differ.

I think Hurricane has chosen a specific price point that defines their quality. There is only so much you can do at that price point. It meets the needs of people looking to buy in that price range, which is a good thing.

I also think it takes a particular corporate mindset to explore new materials and designs and develop the skill to make better kayaks from year to year. It takes ambition and drive to stay ahead of the competition as the sport grows.

It takes all kinds of kayaks to make a world. There’s room for everyone, from casual to elite.

I think that’s just the intent of this kayak - short exercise or day paddles at a good pace and price -:wink:

Sat in one on Thursday
I had to go to Great Outdoor Provision Company to get some stuff so I called ahead to see if they could pull one down from the rack for me to sit on as I didn’t have a lot of time.

They didn’t have one in the store because they had just sold one. But they went to the warehouse and got me one and were unpacking it as I arrived. I told them before they did this that it was for a possible spring purchase but they were glad to do it anyway.

I too noticed that my size 12 feet were not going to fit under the side decks in the straight up position. But if you put your feet in the center under the HUMP there is plenty of room. When I get mine I’m going to put a cushioned bar across both foot pegs so I can really hammer down. I’m 5’10 and 220 ish and the boat fit me well well. The seat seemed very comfortable.

I plan to reward myself this spring when I get down to about 200 pounds which the Hurricane representative told me was about the most you want to wiegh and get this boat to perform.

I’m going to put a nice picture of the boat on my refrigerator!