Kayak Suggestions

Hello …I’m 6’2’ & 215 lbs, looking for suggestions for a touring kayak for flat river racing, except for an occasional barge. Looking for something that is stable and fast with a rudder. I have moderate experience and looking for a width of at least 21"

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.



CD Nomad
current designs Nomad which use to be called extreme. Many reviews here on paddling.net under Extreme name

For what?
Why the rudder?

I agree, why a rudder?
For racing, a rudder is contraindicated. Adds drag and weight. If there are circumstances other than racing you have in mind for using the boat (like windy large lakes or coastal paddling) a drop down skeg would be a better option. And stability is relative. Better speed is usually tied to a hull design that will feel squirrelly in primary stability.

rudder can be lifted out of water. I see friends with skegs in rough windy water struggle to maintain course and expend more energy than my rudder boats.

Maybe want to think longer on this

– Last Updated: Feb-22-16 11:03 AM EST –

While a rudder is actually common in racing kayaks, it is often there because a truly fast racing kayak is also relatively narrow and a stiff turner. A hull that is faster is often stiff to turn, and at speed there are reasons that a rudder may be preferred. I am not remotely a racing type so will leave it to them to discuss that part.

But, I am wondering about the combination of your wanting a stable kayak and the rest. If you get into a faster boat is is likely you will have to be comfy feeling it somewhat on edge, and a fast racing-suited boat can feel a heck of a lot more uncomfortable on edge than a average touring kayak.

I suggest you get into some proper racing kayaks before you buy anything, to get a sense of how they are different from the slower general purpose boats.

I mentioned the rudder to accommodate varying wind conditions on larger lakes and an old shoulder injury that seems to push me in one particular direction. Planning on paddling the MO 340 this year…not sure which direction to go for kayak selection. Stability seems to be better for me. Any suggestions would be help.

Thanks !

focus on foward stroke
Many people doing long expeditions are now shifting to rudders. I recently heard Brit Sean Morley talking up the benefit of a rudder for long expeditions (and he does use a ruddered boat on his long trips). The main reason is that with a rudder, you can focus on your forward stroke and use the rudder to make the minor adjustments. This is supposed to be a larger benefit than the loss of extra drag the rudder may have.

Keep in mind that Sean knows Brit style boats - he used to be the west coast rep for Valley, which has few ruddered boats. And he knows long expeditions.

QCC 700x, Epic 18x, Stellar S18 or S18R. Seda Glider 19. Tahe Marine Wind 585. All ruddered boats although you can get QCC 700x with a skeg. Although reason they all have rudders is that they don’t turn easily. Well Epic its built into the hull itself.


barges may look slow
But they’re not.

But if you’re only racing one occasionally, no worries…