Yak For Adventure Racing?

-- Last Updated: Jul-15-09 1:04 AM EST --

Any recommendations for a go fast kayak for adventure racing?

It would need to go fast in a straight line but also be extremely quick in handing for small twisty rivers and marshes as well.

I am 6'2" and weight 257 (down from 306 a couple months ago).



fast and very maneuverable
seems to eliminate the ruddered boats.

While some ruddered ones are plenty fast they don’t maneuvre like some skegged boats can.

At your size there aren’t infinite options in skegged boats.

The ones that come to mind are: Impex Assateague, Valley Aquanaut HV and P&H Quest (less maneuverable than the first two). I am sure that your could have other offerings in your area.

Generally speaking a more maneuverable kayak will be slightly slower.

Needless to say that a surf ski would be very fast but would turn very slowly.

"seems to eliminate the ruddered boats?"
That’s REALLY off the mark!

Serious racing = rudder. A rudder reduces speed lost to corrective strokes and turning strokes as well as allowing tighter turns without bleeding off as much speed. All of these help improve your times.

Skegs are OK for dealing with crosswinds, and open water touring uses (on kayaks designed to have them) but actually reduce maneuverability when deployed and would suck for small twisty river paddling - where nothing would likely be better than a skeg (and my main kayak is skegged, so this ain’t about personal bias).

I wonder how a ruddered kayak
would go in “small twisty rivers and marshes as well.” and “extremely quick in handing”

as described by the OP.

I envision reeds and grass getting stuck in the rudder?

How would it go reversing out from tick reeds?

While you are right about being faster it’s the maneuverable part that I was addressing.

Somehow I don’t recall ruddered boats being particularly known for maneuverability (“extremely quick in handling”).

I rarely see ruddered kayaks used in tight spots.

I guess all depends on what the actual adventure race brings…

Yukon Expedition with rudder. Reasonably fast in a straight line, carries a good amount of gear and excels on twisty creeks.

tho ones
Gnarlydog mentioned are several good choices for touring kayaks that will turn well. The Aquanaut HV perhaps not quite as responsive to edging if it’s like the regular Aquanaut.

I tend to think of what kayak I need for the next year or two.

If you aren’t a really serious racer you probably won’t benefit from having a rudder.

You seem like someone who would benift more from a all around skegged touring kayak, that you can paddle 10-20 miles, learn good technique, turn when you need to turn, and have some fun in races.

Rudders have advantages in racing, some surfing, and very long trips, but tend to be more point a to b and most people don’t want or need one.

over-stern kick-up rudder
For river, with the sort of weeds and junk you’re imagining, an over-stern kick-up rudder would be the obvious choice (pretty standard of kayaks, and why I didn’t specify this over a surf ski style under-stern - though HUKI and other offer an over-stern option and you’ll see those skis on river/adventure races, Jude even does special layups). These rudders slide over obstacles and can most can be hauled up as needed too. Have you ever used or really looked at a typical kayak rudder?

Seriously, when do you see skegged kayaks chosen for use in small twisty rivers? What are you basing your comments on? Sound like you’ve watched one too many Brit boat rock gardening videos (where those boats are almost surely not using their skegs either!). Skegs reduce maneuverability, can also catch weeds, and would have same or worse issues in reverse.

How do you come up with that…
… as a response to someone asking about Adventure races on rivers? Seriously. Some folks really like their tea strong I guess.

Need more info
Would help if you’d give more info about your current level of paddling skils/experience (what/where/when/how), and the events you are talking about. Hard to recommned kayaks when some good choices might be too advanced - (downriver, multisports, modified skis, etc.) - or not right for the venue(s).

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:
I love reading this kind of posts… the responses are so funny :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Lots of qualifiers
would apply but for an off the cuff answer, a Pyranha Speeder.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY


What do the folks who do well use?

Some links

Watch some: http://broadbandsports.com/node/192




Depending on the relative importance of the conflicting attributes of a kayak, one can go from a Dagger “green boat” to a surf ski to to a row boat to a skif to skin on frame for Greenland adventure racing to anything in-between -:wink:

This would be considered a typical “adventure racing” kayak for rivers and some ocean: http://www.gearzone.com/Ruahine-F1-Kayak-p/244-15807.htm

not sure what you disagree with
this is what I said…

“If you aren’t a really serious racer you probably won’t benefit from having a rudder.”

that means if he is a serious racer than a rudder would do him some good… if not I would consider a good all around skeged sea kayak like I said…

Oh yeah, your the guy who said that a skeg will prevent someone from turning… now that’s a joke…


That’s what kickup rudders are for

– Last Updated: Jul-15-09 3:05 PM EST –

Check out the kick-up rudders that South Africans use on the ICF boats that they race on rivers.

Might not be fun for a novice but I don't have any problem racing on little streams like the Weeki Wachee in my Nelo with a weedless design understern rudder.

One thing to consider is that the racer may already be very tired by the time they get in the boat. I suspect you’d want something that would forgive imperfect technique.

That might be one argument for a rudder.

QCC Q700X?

need more info
Skill level? Distance to be raced? Gear to be hauled? etc…

Issue is it seems you didn’t read…
… the OP and instead just inserted your own preferences ( likely for completely different uses), and anti-rudder bias that is not warranted or relevant to the question.

What do skegged sea kayaks have to do with adventure racing on rivers (which in itself could mean a range of things)? Could you use one? Sure. If it’s what you already had and you rarely raced. If that was OP’s situation he wouldn’t be asking.

BTW, I do most of my paddling in a skegged sea kayak, but for adventure races I’d want something lighter (logistics/portages), faster, more spartan (don’t need typical sea kayak setup/features), and ruddered(unless paddling component was really short/minor and I could get by - but odds are paddling would be my stronger area and I’d want to max that).

Horses for courses. Mules are fantastic animals, but you don’t take one to the derby!

Sorry, if my

– Last Updated: Jul-15-09 4:39 PM EST –

advice upset you.. I clearly stated the advantages for having a rudder.. this OP just rushed a purchase of a Capella 160 that he got for racing, so I wasn't sure exactly what his intentions were.. to me that indicated someone who could benefit more from a good all around kayak for a few years to lean good technique.. but it's not my decission and I was clear that a rudder would be good for racing..

I paddle with several avid kayakers who have a rudder and never use it. they could afford as many kayaks as the want but bought that one and are fine with it.. they told me it didn't maneuver well.. so I thought that was really good that the OP wanted a kayak that was fast and maneuavered well..

You claim that I have a bias against rudders is your own imagination..

If anyone wants to recommend one and prefers it that's why were are here.. but I was very clear about some of the advantages for having a rudder..

Are we not allowed to state the advantages of having a rudder or not?

BTW I haven't had a beer in about 6 weeks, so I'm not sure why you would mention a drinking problem.

Edit: better yet, why not offer your best advice and not attack everyone else with no specifics or "a skeg will prevent you from turning" who is also here to offer their best advice..

The only problem here is you didn't read or comprehend my post.. and now I have wasted time with someone whoes only intention is being unpleasant and condesending..

wrong question.
I kicked the butts of three adventure racers in the Chattahoochie race several years back. They had the best gerar( ultralight Minn2s and a Jensen.) We had a very heavy Jensen.

They had bulging muscles and Spandex bicycle shorts.

I had regular shorts. They had great honking big double paddles. They were in their 30/40s and All male teams. Iwas in Mixed team with the average age 50( My partner was a youthful 42…

We beat them not by gear but by training, training, and seat time in the boat.

Moral: gear is good but practice if you want to compete. Just having a fast boat is not the whole equation…