I've asked this before, but

I guess repetition is the key, because I’m just not understanding.

Why do people like those sea kayaks with the very upswept bow and stern? I prefer those with a much straighter line (Riot Liberty, for example), but maybe that’s because I don’t often paddle in big waves.

Does the upswept bow make it cut through waves better? Or make it more “playful”? (What does that mean, anyway?)

To me, the upswept ends just serve to catch the wind and make my boat a weathervane. Annoying.

Help me understand, Obe Wan.

This has been discussed so often…

Look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWXXTAnNRoo for some opinions.





Personally I prefer the classical look.

Now lets talk about rudder vs. skeg… :slight_smile:


– Last Updated: Sep-03-10 8:07 AM EST –


It ain’t the bow. The stern shape
can make it a weathercocking fool of a boat.

Generally, boats with a curved shear are considered more beautiful than those with one that’s straight or flat.

It’s about how the boat works…

– Last Updated: Sep-03-10 10:56 AM EST –

not the aesthetics. Obviously elfin-ended boats are functional in places like open ocean or you wouldn't see a lot of them there. From your profile it appears you are a flat water paddler, so to upsweep or not to handle waves is really not much of a consideration compared to someone regularly going thru 3 ft seas.

If pointy ends are a part of hulls that function well in a chosen paddling environment, that's what matters. Not how they look on the roof rack.

BTW, I have one of each. My NDK Explorer is upswept and elfin-ended, my P&H Vela is much more straight out. My decision to use one or the other for a given paddle doesn't have anything to do with the ends of the boat or the likely winds, but the overall volume and handling of the boats.

"weathercocking fool of a boat"
Of my 4 sea kayaks the one that has the greatest tendency to weathercock is the one that does not have up-swept ends - Necky Elaho DS. Of my boats the one that is most neutral in beam winds and seas is the one that has the most up-swept ends - Valley Nordkapp LV. However, I will not assert that the amount of boat in the air at each end is the determining factor. There are many factors contributing to how a boat performs.

I own the boats I own because I like their performance and I happen to like how they look. I also like the looks of both of my ww kayaks (Pyranha I3 & Wavesport Diesel) - so maybe I find a boat attractive as a result of liking how it paddles :wink:

You’ll know if you need one
If you stay on flat water, you don’t need to be concerning with the advantages of upswept bow and stern.

I have one very flat boat, which I love using in calm rivers and lakes. My very upswept boat works a lot better in wild water, for manueverability and avoiding pearling. The flatter boat does do better in big winds.

You’re kidding
Why would you accuse me of trolling when you know nothing about me? Real nice.

I said that I don’t OFTEN paddle
in big waves. I have been on the ocean and on a couple of the Great Lakes. That’s what made me curious about how the upswept ends would handle. I did actually paddle one kayak like that (Sirocco) and didn’t like it, but I think it may have just been too big for me overall. On one particularly rough day on the lake, it felt like it was bouncing all over the place, I had no control.

Your comments make sense to me though, and confirm what I suspected.

Yes, they are definitely prettier.

Pointy ends weren’t it

– Last Updated: Sep-04-10 1:23 AM EST –

If your experience was with the Sirocco, the behavior was due to the overall hull design which is intended to be pretty maneuverable, not the pointy ends.

As I tried to say above, what matters is the overall performance of the hull to which the upswept ends are attached. The most steady on boat in the basement in higher winds is the Valley Aquanaut, a definitely pointy-ended boat. If we had a Valley Pintail, also of the upswept bow, it would be the hardest boat to handle in wind. As it stands right now the hardest of our boats to handle in the wind is the DS Elaho, which does not have an upswept bow or stern. But it does have a heck of a lot of rocker.

Interestingly, somewhere along the line I heard that the rudder on my old CD Squall was functional in balancing wind effects. I never tracked that down, but it seems relevant here.

There are many who prefer the aesthetics of a more plumb look. Otherwise QCC wouldn't sell any boats. But you can't just look at that feature and from there determine how the boat will perform - you have to look at (and demo) the whole boat.

Didn’t you notice the question mark?
Or do you not know that ‘?’ indicates question not assertion?

And that question was because you initiated a thread on a topic that has been endlessly discussed for years on this board, apparently without enough genuine curiosity to bother reading what has already been written.

People buy QCC for the looks?
I thought it was for the performance, quality and relatively low price.

No - it’s because the boats work well

– Last Updated: Sep-04-10 2:13 AM EST –

But there are many who also strongly like the aesthetics of their plumb look, and if they had to choose between two boats of equal performance with different ends would take the plumb look. At least that's what I've heard from QCC owners around here.

And I'd add that their customer service is phenomenal.

eric_nyre had something interesting above that got buried out of the main thread, which goes to people having a response to how a boat looks. How much that colors their assumptions on a large scale I don't know. But I have encountered paddlers who will respond to the plumb bow look of the boats like QCC, or Swift, or individual boats with flat lines like the CD Caribou, positively enough that if they find a boat that works for them of that look they don't look further. I've also encountered people who tended to focus their search within the upswept bow look.

Happily there are boats that do the job in a variety of design aesthetics so this works out.

real nice

– Last Updated: Sep-06-10 1:42 AM EST –

Did you consider that perhaps I *have* read some posts on this board, but there are so many differing opinions, it's hard to sort it all out and know who's right?

If you're so annoyed at me, why respond at all? Or do you just have a bad attitude in general? Just a "question", of course. See my point?

Thanks, Gerry
I think that first youtube link is especially helpful in demonstrating the difference in how they handle. Very interesting.