training kayak purchase advice?

people, i want to buy a fast training kayak for flatwater/slow rivers/ day trips/hard exercise. I’m 49!, 195lbs, 5’11", and a former canoe racer tho i don’t know how to roll. i’ve been drooling over the new Nelo Vampire but jeez thats a wad of cash! also read about epic endurance, necky looksha3, kayakpro jet. I want something pretty stable but fast. Here in Dallas the only easy paddle spot is white rock lake and you would not want to flip in that nasty water. any suggestions? also i want it very lite, cool brite colors, and don’t wanta wait forever for delivery. help! tom in dullass texas.

training kayak
If you are in Dallas look at Texas Kayak and Canoe Racing forum. Here are my Texas Water Safari links:

Also contact Erin Magee. She has some used boats for sale including racing K1s in addition to safari boats:

Prijon Barracuda
Love mine for exactly the reasons you mention. Every fast yak is tippy.

They will ship directly to your door.

Perception has a new one out in

Into the Mix Throw
a looksee at the Simon River Sports website ( They may have a few used or leftover Dart Xs in stock-don’t think they’re producing them any more. Light, reasonably stable and outfitted with a nice big cockpit for torso rotation. The X has a bulkhead and hatch too. Similar to a Nelo Razor or a Kayakpro Jet.

KayakPro Jet,
Call Gray at Kayakpro, just got in some Jets in the Club Construction at 26lbs that he can deliver immediately at a decent price. Great trainers that you can race in the Touring Class if need be. Faster than the Epic’s and QCC’s at a fraction of cost and half the weight.


my suggestion
I paddled fast in a west side t-bolt that is only 18 in wide up above the water line. Had that boat all summer before daring to take one hand from paddle to grab candy from pocket but next summer paddled half mile from shore in white caps. The key is I added small out of way thigh braces to a boat where everyone said no thigh braces. When boat started tipping to right, lift up on right thigh brace with right knee and you do not swim when nailed by big wave. Using 2 in white ethafoam, I added rear bulkhead so my backup plan is to lay perpendicualr across back deck and paddle to shore. Did this in clinton 70miler when got flipped by wicked whirlpool by oneanata bridge. Thigh braces make a narrow boat seem wide and stable as insurance but flatwater racers say do not add thigh braces. The key is wide out of way thigh braces. Paddled that boat 1000 miles a year for 4 years and won some races so maybe I know being far from shore in a boat with waterline width of 15 inches.

Extra Fast Tourer(EFT)
By West Side Boat Shop(near Bufallo NY). Very similar to Thunderbolt that Dave mentioned above, but considerably more stable. Still allows for full rotation, and leg pumping. Weighs in around 30 Lbs or so and costs $2400. Paddles very similar to a race boat. Google west side boat shop.

Texas Training Kayaks
Lee Deviney in Texas is supposed to be making some training ICF kayaks based on an older and stable design. I can’t find his address or email but I’m sure Erin can direct you to him.