Canoe–Kayak: The use of the words canoe and kayak has become blurred over years. Traditionally one sits inside a kayak and the cockpit is covered with a splash deck. The term "kayak" increasingly applies to paddle-sports craft that look similar to traditional kayaks. A single cockpit kayak is known as a K1 Kayak, a double or tandem kayak a K2 Kayak and a triple cockpit kayak a K3 Kayak.

Kayaks and canoes can also be differentiated by the number of blades on the paddle. A kayaker uses a double bladed kayak paddle (wing paddle), whereas a canoe paddler uses a single bladed paddle.

Many countries consider kayaks to be subset of canoes hence the Governing bodies refer to the sport of Canoeing.

The International Canoe Federation governs the sport and determines the maximum length of a racing kayak as follows: K1 Kayak 5.2m and K2 Kayak 6.2m. Downriver kayaks or white water kayaks have their own kayak race regulations. As the Downriver Kayaks do not have a rudder skill is required to steer and balance the kayak in white water.

International competition kayaks are constructed of composite materials; fibreglass, kevlar and carbon fibre. Kayak racing classes have also been established for plastic kayaks and plastic surf skis based on the kayak or surf ski length. The “Short Plastic” class is for kayaks shorter than 4.5 metres. The “Long Plastic” class is a Plastic Kayak or Sur Ski over 4.5 metres.

  Kayak Construction

A racing kayak or surf ski is constructed of plastic, fibreglass, carbon fibre and kevlar.

Plastic Kayaks:

Modern roto-moulded Plastic Kayaks are strong and UV resistant. Whilst being heavier than composite kayaks, the advances made by Finn Kayaks and Spirit Paddle Sports have produced fast high performance racing kayaks and surf skis.

Fibreglass Kayaks :

Fibreglass is the kayak construction material of choice for most kayak river races worldwide, providing kayakers with a paddle feel similar to carbon/kevlar kayaks. With a good strength to weight ratio fibreglass kayaks offer an excellent value for money option.

Carbon/Kevlar Kayaks :

Kevlar kayaks and carbon/kevlar kayaks offer the ultimate paddle performance giving the kayak an excellent strength to weight ratio. Kayaks are light, strong and rigid enabling maximum paddle efficiency.

Kayaks-Custom Made :

  • Customise the colours for your Kayak – specify kayak colours
  • Customised Kayak construction – specify Kayak construction material, seat, T bar- pedals etc.

Kayak Rating

Racing Kayaks and surf skis have been rated on a 5 point scale on three characteristics skill, ability and speed. A novice kayaker should consider a kayak rated 4 or 5. An elite kayaker should consider a kayak rated 1 or 2.

For advice or information on choosing a Kayak contact Kevin White – paddling kayaks at an elite level for over 25 years during which time Kevin has been involved in racing kayak design, supply and also manufacture of kayaks and surf skis.

Racing Kayak Range

K1 Kayak K2 Kayak K3 Kayak Plastic Kayak & Surf Ski
    Yetti   Yetti  
  Yetti   Ascent      
  Manta   Renegade      
    Preditor Downriver  
  River Animal       River Animal  
  Lancer CX          
  Lancer CX - Maxi          
  Vadja River            
  Vadja Supersonic