Translated from Outdoors People Magazine - Sep 2020
In the past summer months, to our great delight, we were given the opportunity to test the Super Kayak prototype on our Adriatic. We were especially pleased with the fact that we are the first in the world to be given this opportunity and that after detailed testing we participated with the designer and originator of this project Kirk Kirchev in perfecting and finishing the final details of the kayak. As it is still a prototype, we will not go into the final details such as dimensions and weight, because of course everything is still subject to change.
What immediately attracts the attention of this vessel at first glance is the construction itself. This kayak is drastically different in design from the kayak we are used to so far, namely it is a kayak with two hulls, and the rower is located between the hulls above the water surface. The hulls are pumped like those on inflatable kayaks with the difference that there is a solid outer membrane that protects the inner air bellows from external influences and thus allows the buoyancy of this kayak. The way of rowing is the same as with any other kayak. The hulls are interconnected by a light metal construction to which a very comfortable seat is attached. At the rear of the structure, the installation of a net, such as on catamarans, for carrying luggage is planned. Instead of classic footrests, the feet rely on the front structure itself. At the time of the test, the footrests were not fitted. We managed without them, but they are definitely necessary for longer kayaks in order to avoid unnecessary scratching of the feet on the structure.
The handling characteristics of this kayak are actually surprisingly good. The first thing you feel right away is the incredible stability. Accidental overturning is practically impossible, and in the test we had to make a fair effort to turn around to test it. The position of the rower is a bit higher in relation to the sit-in and sit-on top kayaks, so it is necessary to take this into account when choosing the length of the paddle. The width of the kayak alone does not create a problem with rowing, but given the extremely comfortable position of the rowers, you may find that you spend a good part only in chilling on the water surface, even if there are small waves, since it feels like a very comfortable rocking chair.
Cruising speed and manoeuvring abilities:
The cruising speed of this kayak actually really surprised us. We were expecting a slower boat, and the test actually showed that it is an extremely agile and very fast kayak in its class. We reached the final speed extremely quickly, which can be attributed to the low weight of the entire vessel, and easily maintained a cruising speed of 6 km/h(4mph). Given that there will be some more pre-production changes, we are convinced that the cruising speed will increase further. The hulls of this kayak have an aggressive narrow design which allows the direction of movement to be maintained without difficulty despite the fact that there are no rudders. Also, manoeuvring along the shore is extremely easy and the kayak itself can be turned 180 degrees in place with a full paddle manoeuvre back and forth. We also got some first-hand information about the development of a sail construction that could be mounted, but more about that when we get hold of that prototype.
Why choose this kayak and for whom? Well, in fact, the answer is very simple. This rowing boat will appeal to all rowing enthusiasts. Due to its extremely high stability, it is excellent for all beginners in rowing, and as its other handling characteristics are at an enviable level, even the most experienced will have fun. During the testing the waves were small to occasionally moderate, so we didn't have a chance to test how it behaves on big waves and strong winds, but on these moderate ones it was fun, and how it sits above the water surface then the waves also cooled us down pleasantly since it was hot. Perhaps the most interesting thing is that you can assemble and disassemble this kayak in just a few minutes and for that you don't need any tools, not even a pump, and everything fits in a medium-sized bag and is easy to transport, and if necessary, it can be carried on the back, since the bag has built-in shoulders like backpacks, or dragged on built-in wheels like airport suitcases. This fact will surely delight all kayak lovers who have nowhere to keep such a boat.
We look forward to further development of this concept and look forward to future tests.
online edition2020.Online EditionOnline Edition58