Submitted: 06-09-2008 by James Kelly
I stand at five foot six and weight a hundred and forty pounds. I walk between eight and 12km a day, everyday of the week and work as a kayak instructor and guide. I come from a sea kayak guiding background and was used to boats like the P&H Sirius and Capella.
After an introduction to Surfskis and a trip to Port Townsend, WA to demo the valley boats, I decided on the Rapier after a 15minute paddle in it. I was sold.
The Boat - Gorgeous. I spoke with many paddlers and they told me not to worry about the quality of manufacture in the boat. I can put my mind at ease. There wasn't a flaw.
Length: 17 feet 11.5 inches
Weight: 36 pounds
Beam: 21.75 inches
Material: Ultra Kevlar
My first trip in was dicey at best, as the boat and I both struggled with obtaining dominance. Not to mention I haven't paddled a ruddered boat in almost a decade and had to 'relearn'. I spent only a couple of hours in the boat on flatwater.
The second trip involved 50km in darkness and against northerly headwinds of 15knots, alone. With ice on the deck and lines froze solid, along with powerbars and goretex, the boat managed to attain and hold its cruising speed throughout the night. I was grateful for the efficiency as I was tired and appreciated the output of the boat.
Edging - The boat responds well to edging, given its design and sweep strokes work well. Again, keep in mind the boat is for speed. However, I have played with it in surf, using stern rudders, and also played with it in current from fast flowing rivers here in British Columbia.
I can pack enough gear in there for weeklong trips and will be using it for six days on a trip in Esperenza Inlet / Nootka Sound at the end of June.
Paddle float reentries - Haven't tried yet, but rolling the rapier is a lot of fun, and I have begun rolling more and more now. Sometimes, having a reverse stroke at the end of the roll helps.
The boat is stable for a surfski. However, I find the stability to be tender for a 'sea kayak'. I love it. The secondary stability is definitely in place and you can really feel it. However, to me, you can also feel the almost complete lack of initial stability. I will own this boat forever.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Ill revise this review after my trip in Nootka...