NDK Romany vs Explorer rocker

Can anyone tell me how much rocker the Romany and the Explorer each have. Is the Romany just a shorter lower volume Explorer? What is the difference between the two models.

The Romany family is a series of boats meant for sea kayaking, but also being playful and stable in rough conditions, typically 16’6” except for the expedition models.
The rocker is more present to allow for better maneuvering.
The explorer has a longer keel line and paddles like it’s in rails, but is not as playful, harder to maneuver. It’s meant for going far, fast and straight.
Depending on what type of paddling you want to do and your size, there are plenty of options from NDK.


The Romany has visibly more rocker than the Explorer. It is not just a short Explorer. The two models share a lot of basic traits, with the Romany being easier to maneuver, very playful (assuming you have good edging technique).

I paddled a Romany in Mexico Sea of Cortez and loved it. Easy to roll. Tracking in wind so so.
If I could only have one kayak that could be a good choice out of the ones I have tried.

My friend Celia (another frequent participant on these forums) has paddled a Romany for some while and 5 years ago she kindly let me use it for a day outing during one of my summer visits with her at her Maine cabin on the coast. I felt the same way about the Romany – what a perfectly wonderful kayak! (other than being a little heavy for my taste.)

No surprise that she has that model as she has been kayaking the Maine coast for decades and has tried and owned many models before she found that one. If I ever came upon a good deal on a used one I would be tempted, though the “barn find” composite Perception Avatar I stumbled across 3 years ago has enough similar specs, comfort and performance that I have not felt as strongly about potentially acquiring a Romany.

I noticed several Romanys at DelMarVa paddling skills camp last year – maybe this year I can talk one of my fellow attendees who brought one into letting me test theirs side by side with my Avatar to see if my perceived performance equivalence is imaginary or not.


I was going to say, heavy. My husband handled it for me but I can handle my other boats just fine.

I wonder how heavy it is. Is it plastic?

Kind of a good versatile all round kayak for sure.

Does nicely in some waves, maneuvering and turning.

I need a light boat because sometimes I am alone.

Yeah, the Romany & Explorer were my kayaks of choice years ago.
In '09 my back went out on me - a miserable month hobbling around.
Since then it’s only lightweight boats for me - Sterling (even more rocker than NDK), TPB, Tahe (Greenland & T), Epic (no more - I’m just not a ‘fast’ paddler).

Explorers and many (but not all) Romanys are composite. Weight will depend on layup. My 2007 Explorer LV weighs around 54 lbs.


I’ve noticed in the past that SKUK never seems to post the weights of any of their models.

I vowed to never have another kayak that weighed over 50 pounds. The composite Avatar shows as 50 pounds per the 2004 Perception catalog, but when I actually weighed it with my baggage scale it came in just under 49 pounds. Most of my boats are under 40 pounds and 4 of them are under 30. Have not weighed the salvaged 18’ long Northwest Discover yet but the catalog weights range from 40 to 59 pounds dependent on layup. Feels like somewhere in the middle.

My quickie judgement criteria for approximating weight is whether I say “Oof!” (under 50#) or “F**k!” (over 50#) when I hoist it by the cockpit from waist height onto my shoulder.