What am I experiencing? New kayak is a house to paddle

This is extremely informative and confirms some of my suspicions… Really helpful, thanks so much.

What makes a kayak efficient is the frequency of the bow wave it produces. A long entrance gives a loner period between those bow waves.

That is opposite of what makes many boats stable. Stability is based on wider shoulders and hips on a kayak. This cuts the frequency of those bow waves. It is kind of like the difference between big ocean rolling waves or choppy seas. On rollers you can surf and use the energy of the water to help propel you. It is almost impossible to do that.

Too many kayaks today are designed on a computer and don’t see water until they are in production. By then the costs are too high to trash it, so they sell a model that is a dog.

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I think a CD HV Nomad / Extreme would have been more suited to your liking. When I paddle in a group many say it seems one stroke and your gone. I assume you got it used maybe you’d be better to try something else if your not going to have to spend a bundle.

From what I know CD makes a hull to test paddle before production.

Here is a list of boats with LW ratio’s

Yes the extreme would have been smarter - I already listed the Infinity on Facebook marketplace. It’s just too recreation-oriented for me.

What state are you in?

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Northeast Ohio.

My guess is seat position or ballast would help. If it’s relevant, I am much faster in my plastic Prijon Marlin than in my Kevlar CD Isle. I think that is due to the Marlin being tighter on me (the Isle is a BIG boat,like the Infinity) and that I am close to the weight limit in the Marlin.

Isn’t isle 24" wide? Much bigger than infinity by 2" if I am not mistaken?

Oh to far for me to purchase. Thanks.

I know that there has to be some relationship of numbers used for classification but, gosh, this method places my Tempest 170 Pro among the Fast Sea Kayak class which in real life it ain’t fast.


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Just like cars, falling into a category doesn’t make the vehicle competitive! Classifications don’t take into account the hull shape, weight or stiffness.

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That’s absolutely correct, thanks for addressing this issue.

For example, a 2 ft wide x 4ft deep x 18 ft long iron pillar would be entered into the ‘fast sea kayak category’.


I’ll throw in my 2 cents. I’m not familiar with the Infinity but can make a few general comments about CD’s British style boats. I do have formal training as a yacht designer and I think there are some factors in play here that most won’t realize.

I don’t know who designed the Infinity, but many of CD’s older designs by Derek Hutchinson have very low volume in the bow and stern - those pinched in, upswept bows that you see on a Gulfstream for example. The Infinity doesn’t look as extreme, but low volume in the ends leads to a low prismatic coefficient - in short a number that gives an idea of the distribution of volume (displacement) along the length of the hull. Low PC gives a hull that is easily driven at slow speeds but that creates a lot of resistance at higher speeds. Compare the ends of the Infinity to an Epic or Rockpool Taran or any of the similar fast sea kayaks or surf skis (and even your old Necky) - they are very full in the ends which allows them to be pushed to higher speeds without dragging the lake behind them, as you noted. I think that may be the real geometry difference here, problem being is that you can’t measure it with a tape measure!

As far as comparing the Infinity to an Explorer or an Etain - first off I don’t think anyone has ever accused the Explorer of being a rocketship. Remember, though, that people paddling on expeditions aren’t usually looking to cover the distance in the shortest amount of time. They are looking for kayaks that are efficient and safe in the conditions in which they plan to paddle. Also look at which boats are chosen for the “speed runs” - Epics, Tarans, Tiderace Pace, etc.

Lastly, design does evolve. I owned an Etain 17.1 for several years (actually still do, as no one wants a 60 lb boat built for a small person). I now have a Tiderace Xceed S which is considerably faster than the Etain despite still being a true British style kayak. It has noticeably more volume in the bow - easily seen when looking up out of the windshield when the kayak is on the car! If you really want to burn up the miles I’d look for an Epic 18x Sport or a Taran.

Hope this helps!

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This is so helpful and informative, stuff I hadn’t considered.

At the very high risk of belaboring the issue, I want to add yet another consideration.

When we talk about the width at the beam of a boat, we are not talking about width at the waterline. Indeed some manufacturers list “width at the waterline” along with or instead of the width at the beam.
This distinction proved to be material in my last boat purchase as I started to lose my mind trying to understand the wide performance discrepancy between two seemingly highly similar kayaks.

The Necky Arluk is super narrow at the waterline. The sides of the hull meet the boat deck at a 50-60 degree angle, and the waterline width ends up being maybe 17 inches.
The CD Infinity has a more U-shaped hull that rounds out into a half circle; the width at waterline is essentially the same as at the beam (22.5 inches).

Another demerit for L:W ratio as a reliable informative performance metric.

Again thanks for the response!