NDK Triton

Does anyone here own or has paddled the NDK Triton tandem kayak? If so, I would like to hear your opinion of the kayak. My girlfriend and I are considering buying one. She is a beginner paddler and I’m intermediate/advanced. I’ve paddled a NDK Explorer for a number of years now and really love its design and performance.

I’m more interested in the fit and performance of the Triton than an NDK quality discussion (I’m familiar with all the issues). I’ve heard rumors the person in the front of the Triton needs a snorkel and the person in back needs oxygen…LOL.



I have paddled the triton - cool boat, fun and FAST! Didn’t feel any particular need for snorkels or oxygen. I felt very comfortable in the boat and so did my husband (who is the less experrienced kayaker), the fit was fine for both of us (5’8", 160 and 6’1", 195).

Personally - both of us prefer our own boats.

Took one out on a short paddle
a couple of years ago. Very fast boat. I was the bow paddler. I would love to get a used one.

Paddled one once also: Quite fast, and plenty stable. The one I paddled had the skeg, but I noted it’s also available with a VCP C Trim rudder; unsure what that is…

I have a Seda Tango, quite a bit beamier, but also deceptively quick. Less so though, than the Triton. I do like a rudder in a tandem, particularly when paddling with companions of different skillsets. Check the weights on the NDKs (As an Explorer owner-I was one too-you know they can be hefty, to say the least…). Tandems can be a bear to transport. My wife/daughter and I love ours-even though we own singles, it makes for a different experience paddling together. For us, it enables us to go farther faster, in bigger conditions than my wife would venture out in in her rec boat, and I’d feeling comfortable exposing my daughter to, particularly when crossing marina entrances, etc.

hours of grins
A close friend of mine is an NDK sponsored paddler, and in his fleet is a Triton. I have spent quite a bit of time paddling that boat with him, his wife, my wife, and any others that don’t mind getting wet (read on).

The fit in the stern position seems slightly lower than my standard NDK Explorer. I am 6’, with “husky” thighs, and my legs have only a slight knee bend while in the boat. Otherwise, it is very comfortable. It is particularly good if one’s partner is petite (my wife is 5’3", my friend’s wife is 5’1"), in that most doubles are freakin’ huge on paddlers that size. There is no pfd/skirt fit issues as in too many doubles (even at my size, I am surprise how many doubles have cockpit rims that hit me in the lower ribs).

The boat is almost radically different than other sea kayak doubles. While there are others of similar length, very few approach the wetted surface of the Triton. The boat is much easier to get going than other doubles, and for those of appropriate skill, very fast (Jon and I have held 6.5kn for hours).

Another difference is the approach to paddling it. The cockpits are closer together than most doubles, and it rewards those that understand paddling a WW canoe. All SK doubles can be paddled like that, ie, team oriented manouvering strokes, what makes the T unusual is that it is exceedingly easy to edge. The feedback on edge is almost unbelievable, it is the most stable boat on an extreme edge that I have ever been in. Result is that the boat, in good hands, is super manouverable.

It is not necessary to paddle it that way, as it is quite responsive to the stern paddlers steering.

It is very easy to roll, even by one person. While I have done so many times, it was amusing to watch the two dinky women do a short roll practice (cooling off on a hot day). On one attempt, they missed the timing and went back over; one of them set up again and rolled it back up herself.

It is long, and even though quite low (not much windage compared to others), prone to weatherhelm. The skeg solves that issue nicely.

While I could go on, there are two more points to be made. We had the boat out at a demo day, and novice paddlers did not have an issue with stability, indeed, the boat was well liked. Last, we have taken it out in our local proving ground, the world famous Columbia River Gorge- famous to wind surfers, that is. We have been out on a 35kn wind day, catching surf rides. Requires a lot of skill and strength of the stern paddler (and a very strong paddle shaft), but the boat was awesome and not a particularly wet ride for either of us.


otterslide, what a review
i have no need for a double but still want one, after reading your treatise on the NDK I am indeed curious/interested, but reality will probably dictate the double Kestrel by CD…

I bought a used Triton last year
It’s a bear to transport, but this is a thing of beauty on the water. The low profile makes it at once fast and maneuverable, not to mention a bit wet around the skirt. Having a tight-fitting skirt helps immensely. My son and I have taken this on Lake Superior and it handles everything the Big Lake can throw at us. The hatches aren’t voluminous for a long expedition, but it forces us to back more efficiently and lightly. Agree w/ Otterslide on the rolling. I had briefly “lost” my roll last summer paddling my QCC 500. I popped a cover on the front cockpit of the Triton, jumped in the rear, and in no time I was rolling like a fiend. The boat almost rolls itself.

Great times on the water with this boat. Buy one if you can find one used.


sounds like a lot of fun!

NDK Triton
Wow, thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments! I can’t wait to test paddle one.


NDK Triton - Update
Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to follow up on this thread. My fiancee and I just purchased a NDK Triton and we took it out for our first paddle yesterday on the Hudson River. We are extremely impressed with this kayak. The one we purchased is a 2005 leftover with a wire skeg.

This boat is long and sleek. When people see it they can’t help but comment. As my fiancee is a beginner, she was really concerned the kayak would be too tippy but by the end of our day, we were both amazed by the primary and secondary stability. The kayak did weathercock a bit more than an Explorer. I’ve always been more of a rope skeg fan but with the wire skeg, I’m just more likely to use it due to its ease of operation.

The speed of the Triton is impressive. We’ve just begun to scratch the surface on how fast we can make it go. It just effortlessly eats up the miles. The boat is also extremely maneuverable for its length. It responds very well to hip steering or a good stern rudder. Once my fiancee gets the bow rudder down, we’ll be able to turn it on a dime.

One interesting point is the cockpit spacing. Because the cockpits are closer than a lot of tandems, we were concerned that we would hit paddles. This never happened, even though we got out of synch several times during the day, so this does not appear to be an issue.

I just wanted to thank everyone again on this thread that gave us great input that steered us towards this kayak.


manufactory problem on TRITON
i have bought 2 month ago a triton double kayak splitable , and it has a lots of problem .

first of all air bubble on gel coat especially on bullheads of splitside!

…tnak you!!!


sorry for my english