Kayakpro Nemo

Hi. I currently own a QCC 10X and I have been very satisfied with the boat for touring. I won two short races in it this year (my first kayak races). I have become very interested in getting more of a performance sea kayak for racing which I plan to do a lot more of in 2008. I am looking at the Kayakpro Nemo. Does anyone out here have any opinions on this boat?

I am 5’5", 118 pounds. My QCC is 44 lbs and I see that the Nemo is 35 to 36 pounds in racing construction. It is also has a longer waterline length than my QCC. I like that fact that it weighs less since I have problems lifting the QCC. I can hold the QCC at between 5.2 and 5.4 mph. Anyone know if the Nemo is able to go significantly faster? I will be using it for flatwater racing, ocean racing and marathons. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Sounds like you’re …
… answering your own question!

To add fuel to your fire, check the reviews (is you haven’t already):


Re: Kayakpro Nemo
I suppose you are right. :slight_smile: I have checked the reviews and I will be demoing the boat in January. Thanks!

Kayak Pro Nemo
You sound very close to the same size as me. I’m 5’7 and about 120 and I have a Nemo. I absolutely love the boat. I’ve had it since May and raced it about half a dozen times.

On the flats the boat is fast but where it really shines, I think, is in the rough stuff. I raced the Mayor’s Cup around Manhattan in it and never felt the least bit tippy or unstable. Without worrying about stability I can focus on power.

Generally I hold somewhere between 5.8-6.0 in the boat over distance (i.e. 10+ miles) for shorter stuff I can get it over 6 mph. Really the limiting factor for speed thus far has been me (i.e. the engine) and not the boat. I know stronger paddlers can push the Nemo up to and over 7 mph but they are all bigger guys.

Go test one and you will love it. I’m in the mid-atlantic and if you are anywhere close by you are welcome to try mine.

Happy paddling,


Things to consider,
The Nemo has a longer waterline, so it does have a higher hull speed “potentially”. The Nemo though probably has a larger wetted surface (slightly) than the 10x because it is wider so you will be pushing more water and at your size and weight that may be an issue.

For racing your 10x I believe only fits in the Unlimited class against much faster boats, too narrow for the Sea Kayak class, so the Nemo will allow you to race with boats more evenly matched, such as Epic 18, 18x, Rapier 18, etc. Jackl’s better half, Nanci paddled a QCC600 and found herself to be much faster in the 10x than the 600.

I don’t think you will find a very big difference for you “speedwise”, just a boat more specifically designed for racing, dimension wise, outfitting, weight. So good luck on your test paddle and let us know how it went.


10X is “Sea Kayak” class
The QCC 10X definitely meets the USCA specs for a Sea kayak. They require the beam overall to be at least 10% of the length over all. The QCC 10X has a beam of 11.36%. Looking at the lines show that the QCC 10X waterline beam is far above the minimum of 8.5% of LOA.

The 10X is one of the most efficient sea kayaks available today for lighter paddlers. It will be fast and easy to drive for lighter paddlers especially women and more serious juniors.

The 10X is fast because it has minimal wetted surface and a relatively slender hull shape designed for the 85 - 150 lb paddler.

The question is whether a 120 lb female paddler has the continuous power to overcome the Nemo’s additional wetted surface enough to take advantage of its longer waterline length. If we had drag curves for both boats, it would be easy to see how much contiuous power the paddler generates in her 10X. Then apply the same power to the Nemo’s drag curve to see what speed she could expect.

The weight difference between the boats will have little difference on straight ahead speed, but it is nice having a lighter boat to put on roof and also to portage. The USCA likes portages don’t they?

I personally believe the KayakPro Nemo and Marlin models are the best designed production boats designed to the USCA Sea kayak class specs.

I think the USCA class specs are a failure because they have excluded most of the popular performance sea kayaks even though they are slower than the new spec kayaks the rule mandates. I’ve been an advocate for the USCA to change their specs to follow a simple waterline beam to length ratio like the Sound Rower specs. However, if you want to race clone “sea kayaks” on shalow rivers with an organization that puts canoe racing first, then the Nemo or Marlin are the two best choices out there today.

The Marlin is for heavier paddlers while the Nemo is for lighter padlers. I think the Nemo will be best for paddlers between 150 - 175 lbs. So right now is unclear whether a lighter paddler might be better off with the 10X’s minimal wetted surface or the Nemo’s longer waterline. Maybe the Nemo for shorter faster events and the 10X for longer marathon events?

I am very interested in seeing what this paddler figures out. I like QCC’s and KayakPro. At least they offer decent kayaks suited for the often neglected lighter paddlers out here. I also like to hear about female paddlers paddling faster than most men on this site think is reasonable to expect.

I stand corrected!
It does fall into Sea Kayak class.

Poster asks if they will get a significant increase in speed,based on what I said previously and Envyabull states, I don’t believe you will get a significant increase in speed if any.


Pretty significant differnce…

– Last Updated: Dec-12-07 10:01 PM EST –

... in cross section shapes. Granted the 10X being shorter/wider almost certainly has less wetted surface area at same displacement - but given how much rounder the Nemo is I'd like to see the actual numbers on this.

Specs be damned. For the smaller folks imagine the performance they could get in a 2" narrower Q10, or foot shorter and 2" narrower Nemo!!! 21" beams for small intermediate and better folks is like me sitting on the dock!

Well, I have decided without a test paddle. I had someone interested in my QCC 10X and, after I thought about selling it, I just couldn’t go through with it. I really do love that kayak. It is so well made and the customer service is great. I have won overall female (and beat a good many of the males in my class too :wink: ) in two races this past season. With more training, I could probably get faster on my own. Maybe I will look into surf skis one day for more of a racing type boat but I’m hanging with my QCC for now. This discussion has been very interesting though and I’d love to learn more.

Good choice,
Why get something that will be very similar (performance wise) to what you have. A ski is a totally different animal and a very good choice to really get that “significant” increase in performance you search for. You can get the longer waterline, low wetted surface and very light weight you look for (plus a few other benefits). Good luck.


Which Surfski for lightweight female?
I made a very easy transition from the QCC700 to a Huki S1-R. I thought I would keep a QCC700 for rough days, but after just a few weeks with the ski, I realized I felt safer, faster and had a lot more convenience with the surfski. I sold both my QCC700s using the paddling.net classifieds and I now exclusively paddle a surfski.

The challenge for a lightweight paddler like Buffy will be to find a surfski suited for her light weight and lower overall power. None of the major 20 - 21 ft models from Epic, Huki or Fenn are ideal, although there are women that enjoy paddling these boats.

I would guess a surfski for lightweight female paddlers (100 - 135 lb) should be about 18 ft long and 16 - 18" wide depending on skill level.

The Huki S1-A is a good choice at 18 - 4" ft long, but at only 16" wide it will take a little seat time to get used to such a skinny craft. Women have a significantly lower center of gravity than men so that will help. Certainly paddling with a wing paddle will be necessary as the wing adds stability like from outriggers. Here is how Huki describes this boat: “The S1-A is 18 feet - 4 inches in Length Over All, and 16 inches in Beam Over All. She’s perfect for experienced racers weighing in at less than 150 Lbs and being 5’ 11” and shorter. 160 pound paddlers do quite well in the S1-A." I think the S1-A is a very cool looking boat with all the features one sees on the best surfskis available today.

I know Patrick from Onno Paddles and Tideline Kayaks had developed a small ski for his wife and an even smaller ski for his son. He has since moved to Hawaii (lucky dog), so I am not sure if these smaller skis will ever be made available.

What other small surskis are available out there?

Anyone beside me wish QCC or some other companies offered their kayaks with surfski style cockpits as an option? Their 10X, 600 & 700 models would be excellent candidates for a good surfski style deck in lieu of the sit in cockpit.

Racing boats for truly smaller paddlers
I’m finding this a very interesting thread. As a lightweight female who has tried to find the “perfect” racing boat for open water you all are hitting on exactly the challenges I encountered.

So skis … totally agree that the current breed of 21 foot skis are overkill for people of my size, weight class. I tried them for awhile but always felt like I was pushing way to much boat. Same thing went for a thunderbolt. My engine just can’t get those boats to anywhere near the speeds they are meant to be paddle at. The S1-A is interesting but I’ve got two friends who have them and both find the ski very twitchy given its 16 inch beam. I didn’t think that would instill confidence in open water racing so I kept looking.

So far the best for me has been the Nemo. Don’t be fooled by the 21 inch beam. The hull has a lot of flair and at the waterline when I’m in the boat it is probably closer to 18 inches than 21.

I’d love to see a real open water capable ski for light (and I don’t mean 150 lbs) paddlers but unfortunately I don’t think there is a huge market for such things …

I had the same thought/question…
… regading smaller ski. All the shorter skis (other than S1-A) I can think of are lower performance and wider intro/fun skis…

She could start on a spec. Wider at 19", but many are a lot less at waterline…

As for the QCCs with ski decks - maybe - but SINK to SOT coversions seem to have issues. Better to do a ski from the keel up.

EPIC would seem to be more obvious one to do this - as they have the one rec SOT already - but likely don’t want to cut into V-10 Sport sales doing a ski decked 18 that has much smaller market potential anyway).

My QCC wish boat would be a “Q900” - about 19’x19" with a ski cockpit/self bailing but also decked over that - maybe NZ mulitsport style cockpit so it allows knees up AND decent bracing/rolling - ski style understern rudder (with interchangeable overstern option) and adjustable footplate setup.

The day I see this kayak is probably about 1 year after the day I get a place with space to build it myself.

Newest breed,

– Last Updated: Dec-13-07 2:42 PM EST –

of ski's narrow the void a bit,, but still room for improvement for the light paddler. S1-r, V-10Sport are easier for the 120-140lbs paddler to handle than the 21 footers,, more stable, slight compromise in hull speed. Think EVO a very interesting entry,, longer than S1-R, V-10 sport, stable, maybe more so,, and very small compromise in speed. Another interesting new entry is the Think FIT,, K-1 hull, with many of the ski's benefits, 20 inches wide, very light weight. I can see a light weight paddler doing well with this boat and probably very competitive in the Touring Class.


Have any of you ever heard of these multisport kayaks? I do some multisport races and had thought about these to. They make one for lighter paddlers called the Ruahine Rebel. I emailed them and they said it was strictly for racing in rivers, lakes, and sheltered harbors. In the sea you would have to use flotation devices. Not sure if it would give significantly more speed to a paddler my size. Here is the link:


I am definitely going to look into a surf ski also. I have briefly paddled my boyfriend’s Epic V10 surfski but not enough to test speed for me personally. I have even thought about a QCC 600X in carbon mainly because it is lighter and easier for me to lift. That has been a big issue with me but not enough of one to give up my 10X yet.

West Side Boat shop
I had also looked into multicondition racing boats from West Side Boat Shop - especially the Wave Piercer but not sure if my size would limit my potential in any of those.

My name is Karen by the way. :slight_smile:

Why not Jet - for non-ocean use anyway?


– Last Updated: Dec-13-07 5:00 PM EST –

The Jet and Fit are pretty much the same,, Fit allows you to climb back in(how easy I don't know),, Jet you would have to head for shore and dump the water. Deck on the FIT is a bit better allowing a tighter catch,, more ala K-1.


It kills me to read this…
stuff Buffy … I feel your pain.

Sigh , if I only had time. I would have a complete line of boats for smaller ( lighter ) paddlers and kids … all true scale, performance orienteted with ski like cockpits w/ optional ‘convertable’ closed decks.

Best I can do for now is offer my Smaller Wings.

The S1-A is the best / closest thing out there for lighter weight paddlers on the bumps … but you gotta have your sea butt.

Boats for lighter paddlers
Although I am not that light at 135 pounds and 5’7", I too find a lot of boats too big. For open water races I paddle a Surge sea kayak, made in Maine for lighter paddlers. For flatwater I used to paddle a Westside Thunderbolt but felt that that was too big, I went down to the Exceed or Excel which is like a smaller version of the Thunderbolt, there is someone in the New England area that has used one for sale that is quite reasonable. I’ve heard the Huki S1A is fast for smaller paddlers but might be slightly twitchy in open water, I’ve never paddled one myself. I also paddle a VanDusen Mohican in flatwater, which is a big boat but still feels pretty responsive for a smaller paddler. Although you’re looking for a small boat for open water, if you get into racing you’ll find there’s a lot more choices for smaller paddlers in flatwater boats. It seems there are more and more stable ICF boats coming out designed for smaller paddlers. Although the Jet and Laser/Razor seem big to me, boats like the Burn, Delphine, and Tor and old style ICFs like the Joker, Javelin, and RPM fit smaller paddlers well and are fast and responsive. Pam