Riot Sun

Hi gang, i would like some info on Riot sun,flight or stealth.I saw a used one and the man told me that they are real fast on the rivers and track pretty good and it could be used for some white water and surfing alittle.

Any thoughts?

I believe these Riot boats all have
convoluted bottoms which makes for more wetted area. They will feel spunky and kind of fast for a short paddle, but over a long day you will be working harder.

As for whitewater, I recommend picking up a real WW boat secondhand. You should be able to get a recent model river runner such as a Dagger GT for $400 or less.

We have one and we like it!
We have the Sun Flight version of the Riot Stealth (they are identical- we compared them side by side in the store) and it just saved our last trip. We did the last 32+ miles of the Buffalo River (AK) 8/1-5/2005, starting at Buffalo Point and taking out at the White River. My wife started in a Prijon Combi 359 and immediately complained about its tracking, the Prijon handles like a much smaller whitewater boat even when loaded- turns on a dime and instantly turns around if the boat is moving faster than the current. We did not have the bolt on skeg attached because no one from Prijon or Rutabaga ( I really love them- still) mentioned it was a special order item when I ordered the boats at Canoecopia. And i guess that special orders take until maybe the next Canoecopia??

My son (15) started in his Stealth, he has the yellow one from the “Pimp My Boat” episode. His boat has every possible piece of deck rigging you can conceive, but he tested more than a dozen boats for the combination of size, tracking and turning that he liked and he picked the Stealth. It was also a great deal at Carl and Johns in Madison – the hardest paddling store to find in the World!

So that first evening we repacked and switched my wife to the Stealth, she loved it. It tracks well and still has good turning ability. She carries less weight in gear than he does and that got the boat up higher in the water (His load in the Combi was fine). No one ever used the rudder and we may remove it for our next trip. How do I know it was successful? We wife wants to go earlier in the season and do the entire 125 miles straight through next year.

The bottom is convoluted, but that makes it strong- it has the strongest stiffest bottom of any kayak we own. That is amazing considering that the only thing we have that is lighter that is about the same length is the Carolina 12 for my 10 year old. We didn’t notice that she would get stuck any more frequently than anyone else; the river was bony in quite a few shoals. Actually the rails on the bottom make the Stealth slide over the gravel when dragging much easier than the other boats.

Oh yeah surfing, last fall we took the kids to Kohler Beach and lucky for us there was a six foot surf coming in from the southeast. If you are going to learn it should at least be exciting. My son took the Stealth in and out through the surf without any problems and the only instructions being to stay square to the waves when going out. How do I know that the waves were 6 feet. After I got home I measured from the front of my Yukon Expedition to the point where the top of the wave was when I pearled it coming into the beach. My son did a snap turn on top of a wave and slid down the back of the wave to come help me collect things. It may not be a surf ski but it did just fine.

It is of course tough love, what my wife didn’t see were some fitting changes that required a few hours each to repair. The easiest thing was to move the seat back 1 inch past the factory stops- this was required by the location of the front bulkhead. The Stealth is a small volume boat for short people carrying a light load. My son is 5’8”, my wife is 5’4” or 2” depending on who is asking (she is always taller than her sisters). We will be moving the seat back forward. The second modification was the hatch covers and seals- the version we have was intended to seal using a rubber (weather stripping like) gasket. I’m sure whomever designed that is in some other line of work. We went back to the fine folks at Carl and Johns and they sold a set of neoprene covers for the new riot voyageur that has exactly the same openings (that was my idea- I figured anyone stupid enough to try and save money on the funky gaskets was only going to pay for design/tooling once for hatch openings- bingo) . So we use both the neoprene and the gaskets.

The last thing we needed to fix required more tinkering- The rudder was controlled by foot pedals (adjustable black plastic) that slide on another black plastic piece bolted to the Kayak. The way ours was originally put together with the control lines there was about 4 inches of adjustability that was not available. To fix it I had to take off the sliding mechanism, not easy since it is secured by a bungee cord glued (soft glue) to the piece bolted to the hull and reverse it. I had to drill a hole in each sliding piece for the knot in the control line to go through to make for a clean install. If I were buying another the sale would be contingent on the shop fixing this issue. Another possible solution would be to pay to have them replace the steering controls with a set of Prijon gas pedal steering controls. On the other had – my wife just paddled the Stealth for 28 miles of mostly flat non-moving water and never even asked how to lower the rudder.

Would I buy another? Yes, before the trip I would have told you to look at a Prijon- better plastic, better fitting, better footpegs, better hatches, better seat. Now I’m looking at another one- My ten year old son will most likely outgrow that Carolina 12 this winter- he is one of those rock solid kids who hurts your back when you try to lift him, he weighs a lot more than he looks. The Stealth, for almost the same weight, would give him more freeboard, more width, and as his brother and sisters point out he will be able to carry stuff , lots of heavy stuff (although my younger daughter figured out how to get drybags into the back of the Carolina). Oh yeah, he is our second weakest paddler and the good tracking ability of the Stealth would be a benefit.

Bottom Line – Great fun, Light weight kayak short enough some action on the water and long enough to haul your stuff for a week. Tracks well but still turns, do not buy if you weigh over 140 lbs. Do not buy the model with the front bulkhead if you are over 5’ 6” tall or 5” 3” tall if you do not want to change anything.

I wanted to reply to the other recommendation as well – we have boats comparable to the Dagger GT and they do not meet the criteria of a multi-day down river whitewater boat. They are generally slower, have poorer tracking, and can barely pack lunch and dry clothes. If you physically meet the size criteria and need the tracking ability get the stealth. If you have better paddling technique and want more maneuver ability than look at the Prijon Combi 359 (you do give up the front hatch) – a sort of creek boat on growth hormone.

I have the larger Velocity/Voyager

– Last Updated: Aug-16-05 3:31 AM EST –

and love it. It turns quickly and tracks like a dream. Frankly it surprised me as I expected the fluted bottom hull to keep it from turning or give me fits being grabbed by swirling currents. Not so.

I paddle a mix of huge and smallish rivers, up to class II, rarely III and also quite a bit of flat water, both lake and saltwater. It handles both kinds of water well. (Obviously a long skinny sea kayak would zip along in the ocean better and a playboat would do the witewater better, but these Sun boats do BOTH well). It is superb for my purpose, mainly fishing and camping. I paddled 26 miles of flatwater in an evening and a morning in Oct, starting at 7:00 PM and arriving at 9:20 AM with a good night's sleep on an island in the middle. Paddled some by moonlight. Then packed the boat almost a mile up switchback trails to a road. (Won't do that again but it shows what can be done with a lightweight versatile boat.) I've been told that it surfs superbly but have never tried it. It hauls a pile of gear for multi overnights.

My rear hatch leaks a bit as the previous poster indicated, and I had to set the seat back for my comfort as I could not extend my legs straight due to the forward bulkhead. I love the roomy cockpit yet with spray skirt. The smaller Flight should be even more fun.

Thank you so much for all the details on the sun, stealth.It should be a good fit for me.I am 5’2" and dont weight much.The man want $550 for the used one.How does that sound?

Could the Prijon have been out of trim?
Of course, to the extent a boat is designed for WW, it is liable to skidding turns. I find that with some WW boats, the stern will keep trying to “come around” the bow unless the boat is trimmed sufficiently bow up.

I’m not the haggling guy
Sounds good to me- I buy kayaks I don’t sell them. There are lots of people on the board who have experience in buying and selling and could give you advice on that.

I could tell you what to look for:

Ignore scratches and shallow gouges- only composite boats and showroom plastic boats don’t have bottom scratches (unless you have parked your boat near a CD rep :slight_smile:

Holes and cracks in the hull are a problem, some people could repair them, I would walk away.

The seat on our Stealth has a nylon cover that is not going to last long, ignore it. The seat back and tightening mechanism that is really low tech. If the seat back is there and adjusting strap is missing take off $30- if the Seat back is missing take off $75 (kit plus install). Make sure the drain plugs are all there (we have three) $12 each if missing. If it had a rudder and its gone- look for open holes or control cables at the rear of the back deck deduct $150 to $200.

Check the neoprene covers of the hatches– I would deduct $25 (order from Carl and John’s in Madison WI- you are going to need them) – if the boat didn’t have the neoprene but just had the gasket seal on the hatch cover- ignore the seal and its condition and deduct the $25 for the neoprene. If they used the kayak they know it leaks- if they didn’t you’re the expert.

The strap material on the hatches is the thinnest cheesiest strap I have ever seen, if they are still there it’s your problem. If they are missing or broken deduct $10 apiece.

There are some model differences- There are models without front bulkheads (may or may not have a front hatch) and there may be a model with hatches but without bulkheads. I saw some with rudders, some with a really cheap skeg, and some with neither. The rudder added $200-300 to the price of a new boat (it came with the double bulkheads). The skeg was a $50 option.

The bulkheads leak.

There are a few more things I would deduct $10-25 apiece for if missing or damaged: rudder control lines, up down left right, coaming trim, deck netting, under deck netting.

If the boat is in great shape on the top and has front and rear hatches and both bulkheads with a rudder than the $550 is ok even if the bottom is all scratched up. Get some advice on making an offer and driving the price down. The man selling it is too big for the boat and knows that is low volume, no leg room, has a weird floor, a cheap seat, and that the hatches and bulkheads leak. Furthermore it is an orphan, discontinued model (Flight) from a manufacturer that doesn’t exist (SUN). I would buy it at that price if it were yellow or red and in WI.

On the other hand, if you have an abused boat or cheaper model without a rudder, bulkheads, or front hatch you should be more in the $400 price range (I seem to remember that a factory pre-cut bulkhead foam kit is available – call Carl and John’s)

Does it have front and rear bulkheads? Does it still have the oval name badges, SUN on each side by the seat and Flight on the fore deck? If not deduct $50 for subterfuge.