Two Top End River K1 Kayaks
Legacy or Velox
  Velox Assault K1 Kayak
 

Kayak Centre produce two models of top end river K1 kayaks the Velox and the Legacy (made under licence to Epic Kayaks) for the elite paddler. The Legacy has a long and successful history, the Velox is Kayak Centre’s recent innovation in kayak design. In the 2010 Avon Descent both Hank McGregor (1st) and Kevin White (2nd) choose to switch from the Legacy K1 Kayak which they have paddled for many years to the Velox Assault - these were only two Velox’s in the race – so if results count the Velox should be on the short list river paddler looking for a competitive K1 Kayak.

Both K1 Kayaks are available in different sizes to suit paddlers of different weights. The Velox K1 kayak range consists of; the Attack and the more stable Sniper for smaller paddlers less than 75Kg, and the Assault and more stable Assassin for larger paddlers. Kayak Centre’s Legacy K1 Kayak is also available in two sizes medium for smaller paddlers XXL for the larger paddler.

Kayak Centre say that depending on the choice of construction they weight of these river kayaks will vary between 10kg to 13kg.

In tests the flat water characteristics of both kayaks are similar in feel as they have good volume in the length of the hull and a fair amount of rocker. However the Velox is K1 Kayak purpose designed for river racing. When paddling on the river the differences in the kayaks start to be felt. The river credentials of the Velox are immediately obvious is the design – the racked back nose contrasts the sprint type nose of the Legacy. Furthermore the Velox has a much stronger cockpit configuration than the sprint cockpit design of Legacy. The focus on the developing a fast river racing kayak continues to the design of the Velox tail where the deck has been shaped to protect the rudder and cable so it does not hook in the trees as well as a change in rocker to promote better tracking in changing water conditions found in river racing. When designing the Velox range of craft kayak centre used their vast experience in designing river boats taking into account the best points of all their previous designs to come up with the ultimate river racing range.

For the smaller paddler considering a medium Legacy, Sniper or Attack the size of the rapids could also influence choice. Both the Sniper and Attack have greater volume that a medium Legacy k1 kayak. Feedback from paddlers who have raced the medium Legacy in grade 2 and 3 rapids found it under buoyant in the rapids but it had good speed on the flat. Both Velox Sniper and Velox Attack would be preferred in moving water as they have similar speed on the flat. The major difference the two Velox kayaks – Sniper and Attack is that the Sniper is more stable.

On flat water in a maximum speed test, Hank McGregor tested the medium Legacy, Sniper and Attack – he clocked 17kmh in the Legacy and Velox Attack with the Sniper being 0.3 km/h slower. Hank said “in river kayak racing the speed difference will be not be noticed as you only race at 12 to 13 km/h.

After winning the Avon Descent said “My choice of boat this year for the Avon Descent was the Velox Assault. The kayak was made for a demanding river and the Avon was ever so much that. The conditions were the lowest in 38 years. My boat was fully Kevlar and bullet proof.”

   
  Kayak Centre – Legacy K1 Kayak
 

Hank McGregor’s Pros and Cons of the Velox Assault K1 Kayak:

Pros:

  • It’s a kayak that turns incredibly sharp which was needed in the low water to find the channels.
  • The Velox Assaults has a very forgiving hull with hardly any flat sections and in low rapids it made it easy to slide over the shallow rocks.
  • The deck design with its cut-a-ways for your paddling made it easy to get your paddle in close to your boat and helps with vertical stroke.
  • The kayak cockpit is very strong and lets in hardly any water and I was able to race without using a spray deck.
  • The deck has enough room inside that any running shoe fits easily.
  • The nose is shaped to allow you to ramp rocks without losing any forward momentum.
  • The Velox Assault rides a kayaks wave with ease and is easy to control.
  • The Velox Assault is a very fast and stable kayak and reaches it optimal racing speed at ease.

Cons:

  • The Assault has none.

 “Overall it’s the by far the best river K1 kayak I have ever paddled and recommend it to any keen paddler for their next race.”