Warren Light Craft - LittleWing Kayak?

Not shopping, but am just plain curious on what this boat is all about. When a new boat hits the market it will often be discussed on this board as nothing more then a rehash of an exisitng boat, but I have seen one of these boats (not paddled it) and it is fair to say this boat isn’t a rehash of somebody elses design. Anybody paddled it? Has somebody really succesfully thought outside of the box on kayak design?


I think it did well in the blackburn
which was shortened this year,

some five mile thing. They could have found some heavy “motor” for it. As the main race was canceled I’ve not thought about it a lot.

It seems a wave negating (coke bottle fuselage) type of shape might work but only for a range of speeds.

The Coke bottle shape
seems to be only above the water line. Speed it probably has. I wonder if rolling, maunverability or back paddling charateristics are a bit different from most designs and if so in a positive, negative or just plain different way?

If you consider…

– Last Updated: Sep-23-06 3:59 PM EST –

...that edging a kayak to turn it requires a shape that's wider in the middle and tapers toward the ends, it seems logical that the Little Wing would not work the way a traditionally shaped kayak does. This strikes me as a classic example of why kayaks should be designed by paddlers, not engineers. It's a solution in search of a problem. Between that and the nearly $5000 price tag, I seriously doubt that the company will make it.

Little Wing 18/Blackburn
I’m the “motor” who paddled the Little Wing 18 in the shortened Blackburn. I’m a 60-year-old paddler, 165 lbs. from northern California. I have no business ties to Warren Light Craft/Little Wing. I traveled to the Blackburn because I’m buying a Little Wing 18 and have never paddled the Blackburn, so I thought it would be fun to preview my boat in a premier competition.

The race was great fun, but I was disappointed that it was shortened. I passed boats throughout the second half, and my opinion is that the Little Wing 18’s performance would have held up over the standard race course. Race conditions were calm, but in open ocean paddling before the race I found that it handled swell and boat wakes very well. My boat is due to be shipped in October, and, after I’ve had a chance to paddle it more extensively, I’d be happy to respond to e-mail inquiries about performance.

Little Wing Review
Here: http://www.wavelengthmagazine.com/2005/on05adam.php

A friend of mine also paddled one in the shortened Blackburn and I don’t think he was impressed with his results, but he is a smaller paddler and used to faster designs. I also paddled one awhile ago & found it comfortable & stable, a nice recreational boat. I’m not sure if I’d like the overall design of the boat in rough water conditions. It does appear to be custom crafted.

I think we may be talking about two different boats here. The first Little Wing produced was the 16’, which I have paddled and likewise find to be a stable recreational/touring kayak. The boat that I paddled to 2nd place in the shortened Blackburn (Touring Kayaks A class) was the new Little Wing 18’. I am accustomed to paddling fast kayaks (Loki R, QCC700X) and my sense is that the Little Wing 18 is not out of place in this group. This is just based on the feel of the boat and its performance in the race, as I have not had a chance to paddle it on a GPS-verified course in still water. I agree that the build quality is excellent.