kayaks similar to Kirton Trainer

I’m doing boat-buying research for my club, looking for kayaks that we can use as baby steps toward real racing boats. To give you an idea of where we stand now: some of us can stay upright, more or less, in a Kirton Trainer, but most of us are still happier in a Kirton Tercel.

There’s another Kirton, apparently similar, called the Tor. Any knowledge out there? Other training models, from Bako, Nelo, Plastex, …?

If life were perfect, we would have a boat with a racing-style waterline but flare and volume higher up, to cope with the waves on the Hudson River. Probably too much to ask, I know.

– Mark

K1 Trainers?

I had a Nelo Razor for awhile. It would be similiar to a Tercel. The Kirton Tor is much less stable than a Tercel and only the very confident could take that boat out on something like the Hudson River on even a really nice day. Another trainer is the Jet from KayakPro, which happens to be based out of New Rochelle, NY.

Simon River Sports has the Laser. Kirton has the Talisman - a bit more racer like than the Tercel, also a fine boat.

Westside Boat Shop has the Wave Piercer, which I think is kind of a K1 trainer. Hope this helps.

thanks, I’ll take a look
I will read up about these boats – already started, actually. Thank you for the suggestions.

I see that Kirton’s web page labels the Tor with the same stability rating as the Trainer: 6 out of 10 (where a Tercel is a 10 and a K1 is a 1). I take it you wouldn’t agree with that label?

Any knowledge of the Nelo Viper 51 and Sea Vanquish? They both seem to be marketed to people who aren’t ready for a full-on K1.

– Mark

Viper/Sea Vanquish
The Viper is essentially a rebadged updated Razor; it’s fairly stable, along the lines of the Kayakpro Jet. There are a number of individuals who race these in ocean races, although not me. Paddled (if you can call it that) the Sea Vanquish for a very brief period. I swear I think the Nelo folks slapped a ‘Sea’ decal on the Vanquish K-1 and called it an ocean racer. Put it in the water and let go, and it goes belly up. I have seen it paddled in nasty three foot confused chop and wind driven waves, but the individual at the helm is supremely comfortable in an Olympic K-1. It’s a quantum leap up from even one of the more tender skis. After climbing out of the Sea Vanquish, I felt like I could stand up in the Viper and balance a chair on my nose.

The traditional Struer ladder
Here in Denmark the traditional climb down the stability curve goes like this:

Struer Tracer

Struer Lancer

Struer Razor

All typical club kayaks and then finally you buy your own modern racer from Nelo, Vajda or Plastex.

Good luck!

comparison to non-Struer boats
Is the Struer Razor the same design as the Nelo Razor mentioned a couple of times above? I ask because the Nelo Viper 51’s numbers (520 cm x 51 cm, or 17 feet x 20 inches) are comparable to a Tercel’s, and that is consistent with the statements above that a Viper is like a Razor is like a Tercel. And I’ve paddled a Tercel; therefore, I’ve paddled a Razor :slight_smile:

If all that is true, then I am looking for something a bit less stable than the Razor, since I am pretty comfortable in a Tercel. Do you agree with all these equivalences? If so, do you know if Struer offers something faster than the Razor?

– Mark

SRS Delphine
is a sort of an intermediate K-1 or step up from most K-1s (jet, laser, etc). I think it is rated at a stability of 4.

Training Boats
When I first started racing, someone loaned me a Westside RPM, which is like a 15’, non-rudder, semi-stable ICF. I think that makes a good trainer, especially for smaller paddlers. Although boats such as the Tercel, Jet, Laser and Razor might be more stable. Something like the Razor is good because it’s more like an open water boat with it’s built in bulkheads (I think Simon River makes a Dart which is similar). I’m in Massachusetts and have an old RPM which you could try, I also have a Simon River Delphine which I might be selling, the Delphine also has sealed bulkheads & is kind of an advanced beginner trainer. I’ve started some paddlers out in the RPM, moved them to the Delphine, then into something like a Javelin. Pam

The hull of the Nelo Razor is really a copy of the Escape(which Kirton and German Neumann builds on license).

The Escape was designed to be as fast as possible while still fitting into the Danish/Scandinavian ‘touring kayak’ class.

The Struer Tracer is a slightly faster and more tippy kayak than the Escape and thus must race in the ICF class.

The Struer Razor is way more tippy than these kayaks though still easier than a Vajda Supersonic or a Nelo Vanquish.

In this part of the world, worn down Struer (glassfiber) club kayaks are often for sale for very little money.

Good luck!

I hurt my back trying to empty water from west side t-bolt so I added rear bulkhead. I could tip over and lay perpendicualr across back deck to paddle to shore. Cables are not a problem for a bulkhead. Maybe it leaks a little… Still safer because a boat full of water is as heavy as a log… EFT has front and rear bulkheads. My boats have small out of way thigh braces so knees go out when waves get big. Dress to swim and stay close to shore when water is cold.

ICF boats in cold water are a safety nightmare. Every winter Canadians stop paddling about now and go hiking, then xc ski. They really kick butt all summer in races becuase they enjoy the full range of season fun. Every year great paddlers die in cold water on a warm day. Overton makes cheap wetsuits that work well for me

Your delphine has bulkheads…
because mine didn’t. I eventually traded it for a more stable Laser. I liked the boat especially for the shorter sprints, but I didn’t feel comfortable paddling it on the longer distance paddles. It felt sort of twitchy and it didn’t seem like I could really concentrate on my forward stroke. I did like the boat though and if I had the money, I would have kept it and bought another more stable sprint boat. Of course, I know with more seat time I could have gotten better in the boat, but I love ww, river running and cycling too much to concentrate soley on flatwater paddling.

Delphine with bulkheads
My Delphine does have bulkheads, they aren’t absolutely tight but they would keep out the majority of water in the event of a capsize. I think the twitchiness of the Delphine might come from the V bottom (just my personal thought). I’m used to more rounded bottomed boats that roll around easily, although the Delphine is stable is has a funny little jiggle when you get the stuttering “Sewing Machine Legs”, and mine is made worse because it’s fiberglass & the rudder cables clang on the side. Still, the fact that the platform seat is completely adjustable up & down, front & back, and for different angles, and the full footrest easily adjusts with a turn of a dial makes it a nice boat for a variety of paddlers to fit into quickly. And the front is cut away nicely for good paddle entry. Pam

I know what you mean about the clanging around of the rudder cables. It was a nice boat though. The guy I traded boats with is a member of my club so I could probably still race in it. I’d like to try the Kirton Thor. Another guy in my club owns a Thor and I think I might try it out sometimes.

thank you all
Thanks, everyone, for your help. This has given me a lot of models to look for.

davemcadoo, thanks for the safety advice. My club’s existing boats all have float bags fore and aft, so I think we’re okay for flotation. We don’t do crossings in the race boats, so we would be near shore in case of a capsize. And we’re having our annual discussions about what clothes to wear as the water cools, so I think we’re okay on awareness of the risks and ways to reduce the risks.

Last question for this thread, I promise:

I don’t see many race-training boats for sale on the Web. What am I missing? I would have thought these boats got cycled out of people’s inventory as they improved their balance; I was expecting a good market in used boats.

– Mark