Submitted: 04-03-2006 by coldkayaker
The Kayakpro Vampire is 211 long with an 18.75 beam. I have not had the opportunity to measure the beam at the 4 waterline but it seems to be considerably less than 18.75.
Construction/design impressions: Extremely well made with the construction being exemplary even the inside carbon/Kevlar surfaces being finished. The footrest, pull-bar and seat were quickly moved to fit my needs. The under-stern rudder appears to be carbon and is adjusted by two nylon adjusting barrels that were easy to use.
The design is striking with a relatively thin and high bow sleekly tapering to the stern it looks fast. The cockpit is large with more volume toward the bow, apparently to shed waves and water. The bow has a keel that is discernable up to approximately 2 feet in front to the cockpit.
Initial paddling impressions: Upon getting the Vampire to fit me, I took it out for several paddles over two weeks. During this time, I experimented with shallow, deep, suck-water, up/down wind/current, etc. just to see where its strengths and weakness lay. First of all, I was very surprised at how stable it was. Side wind/waves were no problem. After a few strokes the Vampire was moving well. At that point I happened to look at my GPS 6.9 mph! While warming up it was easy to maintain 6.3 6.8 mph for 5 min. or more. Most noticeable was the glide between strokes. There was little power lost between strokes. I did some 1min. pacing where it was very easy, even in very early season, to maintain over 7 mph.
Overall: The Kayakpro Vampire is very fast, stable and comfortable. I know at this point in the season I have not even come close to being able to evaluate the potential of this kayak. After more time in the boat I will file a follow-up, in-depth report.