Kayak for going fast and endurance

Hello. This is my 1st kayak purchase. I’m 6 feet and 185lbs. I’ve paddled a Necky Rip 12, Necky Manitou Sport 13, and Necky Zoar 14’6. The Zoar was funnest but still wide.
I like to paddle slow , twisty, rivers and medium lakes. My main reason I want a fast kayak is for solo adventure races. They are held on rivers and are around 5 miles in length.
I want as a nimble vessel that won’t be cumbersome in smaller and lower waters.
Shawn Bruderly

I’m sure others will suggest specific boats, but for what you’re describing a longer boat and greater skill handling that boat would be in order.

Fast and nimble, as far as a boat goes, are essentially opposites. A short, and fat boat is very nimble - hence the design of white water boats. They offer pitifully slow speed and track like it’s your first time on a unicycle. A long and narrow boat can be much faster when paddled efficiently but not inherently nimble. You need skills to turn the boat sharply on edge.

Anything in between is a compromise, and won’t be the best in either class.

The first question is how much money are you willing to spend? Second question is, do you have proper storage for a longer boat and ability to transport it?

The first comment is almost spot on, but there are exceptions. Most longer boats are a bit more to handle, but there are some that defy that rule altogether. It is also possible to acquire the skills to handle a whole bunch of boats in the 17 foot range and even longer on just about any kind of water you are likely to want to paddle such a boat.

As a general rule, you are going to have to go longer and narrower for a decent turn of speed and there are a lot of boats that meet that requisite. But even so, there are boats that are exceptions. I paddled a 14 footer (Kayak Pro Namu) this weekend that can easily keep up with longer boats.

Here are some boats to look at: Current Designs Prana, Current designs Sisu, Current Designs Sirocco, Eddyline Raven (good luck finding one), Delta 17, P&H kayaks, Valley Kayaks and Stellar Kayaks. There are many more, but these will at least give you a start.

As Sparky said polar opposites fast and nimble . I would first decide if you want plastic or glass then decide if you want a rudder or not. Faster boats usually have rudder as they have little rocker to turn. Maybe a boat about 15-16 feet with long water line (Little to no rocker) and rudder.

@White Walter said:
… My main reason I want a fast kayak is for solo adventure races. They are held on rivers and are around 5 miles in length. … Shawn Bruderly

Shawn, what do the people paddle that do the adventure races you wish to compete in? Start with those.