I have a QCC 10X and a Futura S1A surf ski. I am still learning the surf ski as it is just getting warm enough where I live to tip over and not freeze! :) I participate in a good many kayak races and I have used my QCC 10X up until now and done well. However, I think I have maxed out how fast I can go in it at around 6.0 mph. This doesn't tire me physically but the boat doesn't seem to go any faster. I have a good, efficient paddle stroke and strength (or so I have been told). I love the QCC. It is a great boat and very high quality. I would like to have the option of using a touring sea kayak or the surf ski (after I am used to it) depending on the race and conditions. I am thinking of looking for another, faster sea kayak. My 10X is 15'3" long, 21" wide, and about 42 pounds. I was looking at either the QCC 600X in carbon, the Epic 18X or the Epic Endurance 18. I am also considering the Kayakpro Nemo but I feel like I could find a used Epic or QCC a little easier than the Nemo. My only concern about the Epic is quality control issues. A friend of mine has an 18x and it is fast but he has had issues such as rudder lines breaking, issues with the seat, foam, etc. Not sure if these issues are just things he has experienced or if they are common. I'd like to be able to keep the 10X if possible for touring. I am female, 5'5" and about 120 pounds. Any recommendations or opinions?
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Might not be any faster,
You probably won’t experience much increase in speed with the 18’ footers compared to your 10x, wetted surface area, your size for higher volume boats will be a major factor vs. potentially higher hull speed for the longer boat. If you have access to any of these paddle it with a GPS, you might be surprised to find very little increase if any.
Know of another woman that went from a 600x to the 10x and increased her speed by quite a bit.
Lotta boat for her weight?
Get a Nemo
For your size and weight the Nemo is the best choice if you want to stay in the 18 ft max class.
I do not think the wagging tail rudder on the 18X can be very effective or efficient. It may be a good idea for shallow river races. Problem is you can’t switch it out with a better rudder.
The Huki S1-A is a very cool surfski for lightweight paddlers, although she must be tippy. I think Huki originally designed it for a very good lightwight paddler. However, I am sure they would sell a lot more if they made it a couple inches wider.
Hey. Buffy i’m a bit confused about the top speed you could push your “old” QCC. 6mph is about the top speed for me in my scratched up plastic Elaho loaded for a camping trip,with a small-blade touring paddle. Mind you i could never maintain that speed in a loaded boat for any length of time,but still, if you’re a competitive paddler (i’m not), in a quick composite sea kayak,i’d think you’d be quicker. Not knocking you or anything,but something just doesn’t add up. My experience with quick boats is very limited,but i did get a Looksha 2 up to 8mph. Maybe you’d be quicker in a more all-purpose quick sea kayak that’s more stable and let you concentrate more on powering yourself forward than keeping yourself upright?
IMO I think she is doing pretty good @ 6
Know nothing but my gut feeling is Buffy is plenty stable in the QCC already. If one spends a few hours on the S1-A as I think she has... going back the a 'regular' sea kayak feels like a barge that you could almost stand up in. A steady 5.7 - 6 in a 15' boat is pretty good for a petite person.