ICF K1- first time impressions

-- Last Updated: May-29-05 10:57 AM EST --

Well, got my used K1 (Jaguar) on Thursday, but didn't get it out until this morning. Decided to leave in the high plastic seat that it came with, figuring I could always take it out later if it was too tippy. Walked it onto the dock, put it in the water, climbed in, picked up my paddle, and promptly flipped over. Got back on the dock, emptied out the water, and tried it again. This time I got moving without any problem, and was actually able to do just under 10 miles without flipping. It actually has "decent" secondary stability, once you get used to it. The acceleration and manoeuverability are pretty amazing- very responsive to a lean turn, far more than I had expected. Actually, it's so responsive that it becomes a bit of a challenge to keep it going straight- I can see that one of the things that I will have to work on is simply keeping the boat totally level and straight. Felt like I was able to get a good solid wing stroke going, with good leg drive- not quite a sprint, but certainly a long race pace. Didn't have the GPS working on the downriver part, but was fairly easily keeping it at 6.5mph going up into the current. Had to confront one boat wake, which was no big deal. Pulled back into the dock, put my paddle on the dock, said hello to the fisherman, and promptly flipped again.

The moral- keep moving!

Would love any tips anyone has about keeping the boat going straight- is this a common problem?


thanks for the report
Sounds fun. Some days (like yesterday) I have a problem keeping my Mako going really straight. If I’m tired and moving pretty fast, I tend to lean left which gets the boat going right, and for some reason my body wants to extend my right leg, which only makes it worse by pressing the right footpedal. I just have to train my body not to do that.

Where did you pick up the Jaguar from?

Tell me about your boat. Who makes it? What are the specs?

I did a search for Jaguar kayak and came up with a Sisson site that said they did not make a Jaguar - American Eagle but used it as a comparison for their boats.

Oly boat

– Last Updated: May-29-05 2:19 PM EST –

If you can handle a boat wake on the 1st paddle, you will be fine in no time. Try hand paddling or feet on deck when you're ready to get out. You might have to adj. paddle due to narrow entry. If you have understern, it should track very well, overstern is a bit more sluggish & you may have to pull one foot out a bit to get it to turn well. Good luck!


Try that link- it shows the boat and describes its dimensions. It’s a fairly classic old rules K1- nothing really special about it. Those in the know say it has a little bit of stability, which must be true if I could paddle it reasonably competently the first time out. Dimensions are a bit deceiving for these boats- the old ICF rules stated a certain minimum width, which everyone got around by putting these non-functional flares on the hull. When you look at it underneath, it’s basically a round hull with some pointy bits high up, above the waterline for the most part.

Paddling one of these is a totally different experience from paddling a regular kayak or ski. I will probably use my ski on Saturdays, at the lake, and then use this on Sundays, at the river (glass calm usually). It definitely makes a “boring” flatwater session a whole lot more interesting- my cerebellum feels like it had a serious workout.

It does have an overstern rudder, so I guess I will have to concentrate a bit more on keeping it going straight. I have big feet, so I keep pushing on the pedals, I suspect.



– Last Updated: May-29-05 5:06 PM EST –

So moving = stable and stopping = wobbly. No stopping in the middle of the lake for a sandwich.

Sounds a lot like a good racing bike.

going straight
That will come. First time I paddled one I had fits getting accustomed to the tiller. If you’ve got pedals you are probably doing what I did the first time I ever paddled a ski, mashing the pedals with every stroke.

Problem it seems you are having is really common. Boat flops to one side and wants to stay there. No real trick to it but practice. Make yourself focus down the course (or some point ahead a ways) and not watch the bow of the boat.

Keep that lean for the turns. With a rudder and a lean it is amazing how sharp an ICF boat will turn, especially an old-rule boat flopped over on its wing with a big overstearn rudder. My Stiletto will just about turn on a dime compared to my slimline ICF boat with its tiny understearn rudder.

Jaguar will be a great boat for twisty river races.

going straight
I have old rule van dusen eagle with tiller and understern rudder. Have no trouble going straight but can’t turn. Have to lean use stern rudder/sweep etc… and make wide turns. I first got boat january 04 my crek was frozen so went to group practice. Had sheen of ice on boat and swam four times. Now with time in boat don’t flip unless goofing off. Practicing paddling backwards and sculling draws help balance alot.

Side note: I noticed that you are going to do a big race up north in double ski. I am in Va halfway between north and south and have a double mako ski front is for a 6" person rear adjustable. If you guys want to meet halfway to train it is available. I don’t use it much sometimes cruise with wife and baby but I think he may be too squirmy this year.


A common mistake is to kick on the tiller instead of having it in a soft grip between the feet. A nose- heavy kayak can also be tricky to steer. Make sure the kayak is correct trimmed.

eulink: thanks for the offer, but we’re just going to have to practice in july/august for 2 weeks and then call it “good enough”.

arneri: i have gas pedal style controls, so i think it is more that i mash them a bit with my big feet. i think i’m trimmed fairly well- i’m almost the same size as the guy i bought it from, and actually didn’t have to move the seat pan at all. he definitely knew what he was doing, so i should be ok.

like scombrid said, i think i just sort of get it over on one side and then have to work to get it back the other way. it’ll probably come.


OT practice
Speaking of the 90 miler, I ran 40 yards with my surfski across a sand bank, jumped on and my arms nearly died as I tried to get back up to speed, This is going to take some getting used to; can’t wait to run 5 miles.

Wait till you get up here. I got a trail for us to run with the boat on, after we do a good long workout. Its going to be a fun July!!! Eulink,i would love to go down to virginia and practice, but I can’t see how I will have the time, but thanks. Do you race the Mako double or not? hopefully there will someday be an offshore race for all of us in the East to paddle

K1’s are challenging on the flat water, makes such a difference, and the acceleration is amazing. It really helps me focus on better technique. I have a Wenonah Eagle and Orion, along with a Struer and an understanding wife. If any one wants the Orion, its for sale (inexpensive).

you are out of your freakin’ mind
i can just see the two of us running around the east end with a 24ft boat- it’ll take about 10 minutes for the east hampton police to haul us off to suffolk mental health.


but you are a doctor, so they won’t keep us. . . . right?

Certifiable, Perhaps…
May I suggest you affix an inflatable blow up doll in the seat well for your portage practice. Feigning a royal procession may grant you diplomatic immunity from the eastern consulate (Plus you can park just about anywhere.). Dress her nicely, maybe some pearls.

Andrew, congrats on the K-1 acquisition-10 miles your first outing? You go.

Mark, second time out on the Mark 1, managed not to swim this outing. Call me Mr. Twitchy though. Checking my watch feels like an adventure. I keep reciting the mantra; “Be like a shark…keep moving.”

I got in a Tiburon
the other day, with some help from a nice bystander. Capsized three times immediately. Finally managed to get going with a forward stroke alternated with a reverse low sweep. No way I could have checked my watch! But I did make it a couple of hundred yards, turned around, and was feeling pretty good until one of my buddies grinned at me, causing me to laugh, which promptly capsized me again. Tippy!! At least he was nice enough to tow me back to shore.


have not raced in it. A friend had it and was selling it and buying a boat from me so we swaped. I got it to paddle with my son, he is now 2yrs old so it will be a while, have been out wih my wife and also with my wife holding son in lap and me paddling. There is another double mako in our club and there has been some talk of trying to do Kent Island in doubles.

foot well size
how big are they? in my single i can only paddle barefoot or with very narrow surf shoes on. it would be great if i could fit a shoe with a sole into the double, since we are going to have to portage and i would rather not have to change. can you get a teva style sandal or running shoes into the rear footwells? size 11.5 for reference.


Thanks for explaining why
these types of boats often have a diamond shape to them looking from overhead. I’d just assumed that provided some magical hullspeed properties, didn’t know it was simply to meet the letter of some rule. How goofy.


It is nice to farther develop our skills…

90 Miler
That particular race is absolutely unknown to me; however, I doubt that such a long race is going to be won during the portages such as in a 12 miles marathon.

If the idea is to try to win such a long event try to train the second face of the O2 system, which is based on glycogen (the first two hours), triglycerides, free fatty acids, and proteins (as the final source of fuel). To do so, training time must be well above two (2) hours, four (4) hours non-stop once or twice a week. This will be way better tahn 4 or 8 sessions of 1 hour each.

Only my two cents,