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Reviews for Sprinter Kayak by Ocean Kayak


Rated: 8.91/10 Based On: 23 Reviews

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08-12-2014
Submitted by: tmwSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I own 2 Sprinter. I use one on Lake Erie and the other on the Gulf of Mexico . These boats rock!!! Fast. Turn on a dime. Tough. I can almost lift the bow out of the water when racing. Plenty of storage room as well. My only issue is the front and bow rubber hatches don't stay on when driving with the boats on my roof. The connection straps are rotted, so I need to buy some new ones. Overall, a terrific kayak.
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07-03-2014
Submitted by: RalphSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Scored a Sprinter with work needed for $250. well worth the work needed. At 6'1" 200lbs, the center hatch is almost at waterline. Don't plan to add the gaspatchi hatches due to weight limit. I should have bought this boat instead of my Valhalla Victory and Burton Moloki years ago. I like the idea of not needing to pamper this boat from hard landings and the typical fiberglass issues. Nowhere near as fast as glass but a nice happy medium. Not as tippy as a real ski but is sure aint no Scupper Pro. (I'm never getting rid of my Scupper though)
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12-10-2013
Submitted by: Herbert s.HintzSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Live in Florida (west coast) and have my Sprinter for about 10 years and it is the love of my life. With a Barton Wing Paddle makes it a fast boat. It is very hard to find a longer Kayak from 17 to 21 foot here in the USA.
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11-30-2012
Submitted by: BetsySend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Sprinter is no longer made by Ocean Kayak. I don't know why they sold the rights to this one because it was their best kayak. can't stand to paddle any other plastic sit-on-top here in Hawaii. They all feel like bathtubs after you've paddled the Sprinter. I am made for it. I'm 5'3", 120 pounds, and have never felt tippy in it, though most men do because their center of gravity is higher. I can almost hold my own against a paddler in a fiberglass one-man canoe here when I'm in the Sprinter. I've camped with it using small dry bags and it held a lot! If there's another used one for sale in Hawaii, tell me, and I'll buy it.
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09-20-2012
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just got my hands on an almost twenty year old Sprinter, and it's a terrific boat; sleek, fast, good primary and excellent secondary stability. Even though it looks like a ski, you can hang you legs over the side and she won't roll. The plastic is a bit flexible but unlike glass or kevlar skis you can easily modify it to your hearts content with hatches, padeyes, etc. Made in New Zealand, there are currently no distributors in US despite lots of Ocean Kayak dealers (go figure). OK is missing the boat on this one because there is no other intro level surf ski kayak like this one available anywhere in the US, though the Cobra Eliminator comes close. If you find one, buy it before I do, you'll love it.
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08-13-2012
Submitted by: Paul HannahSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I recently added a sprinter to my collection of kayaks (multisport and fishing) and it was an instant favourite as it is one boat that does it all - touring, fishing, child friendly, rugged and fast. I mostly paddle/fish offshore but it has also proven its worth fishing rivers upstream.

Its speed makes it a really enjoyable boat to paddle. On the first decent fishing trip I fished 30km of coastline, if I was in my Cabo or Scupper, my shoulders would have been drooping at the end of the 5 hour trip. I've had it out in 30knot wind and short steep chop and was impressed by its stability (especially secondary). When I am stationary fishing over reef offshore I have a small telescopic outrigger system which makes stability bombproof. If you have been kayak fishing for a while and want to step up the speed of your craft a few notches this is the kayak for you.

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10-26-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I am 6'3", 195 lbs, but the real factor that made this boat too small for me was the long legs (34" inseam). My knees were bent too high. I also did not have a seat or thigh straps; would have liked to try it with those. The kayak felt fairly stable (I do have many years of whitewater experience, but no surf ski experience). I would like to try the Spirit PRS, which seems to be a more modern version of a plastic surf ski type kayak; and its somewhat more available in the US (at least there is currently a US distributor).
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06-10-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The Sprinters are awesome! I own two. I purchased both from guys over 6 ft. And they found them unstable (one fished out of the Hudson River by the Coast Guard). I believe the center of gravity has something to do with this. I am 5'6" and do not feel it is tippy.

I have paddled this yak 20 miles in one day (out to the Content Keys and back) and it was effortless. I wish it had a tank well for storage of cooler and fishing equipment. I always use this yak for distance paddling.

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06-09-2011
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The sprinter is a great all around boat in my opinion. I read some reviews that say it is tippy. Trust me, far from it. Maybe if you have never paddled a kayak before and this was your first kayak then yeah maybe you would think it is a little tippy. I think a newbie would feel comfortable in a few short paddles. I fish from this boat constantly. So you know if I can fish from it, the boat is fairly stable.

As far as the speed goes, maybe not the fastest sit on top but you are sacrificing stability when you gain speed. So yeah there are faster SOT out there but they are not as stable as this boat.

I would consider this a great boat for fitness and general everyday paddling. If you a racer this boat will hold its on to most kayaks but if there is a tippier boat out there the same length it will probably be faster as long as the person paddling it is a great paddler. I give this boat a 9 for the all around comfort, speed, and stability this boat has. If you find one for sale I would not hesitate to buy it. You will enjoy it.

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04-20-2010
Submitted by: Martin KerrSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Had the sprinter for a few weeks now and love it to bits. I tried a K1 racing kayak and just couldn't stay in it for more that 100 yards. The sprinter feels almost as fast but is just stable enough for my ample bulk to not fall off it.

It is easy to car top as it is so long it loads (one end first) like a sea kayak. The rudder and peddles work very well and are super fast to adjust. Upwind and downwind it is superb. Cross wind and cross waves I am still a bit nervous in it but I already feel my core muscles and balance improving so this is probably a problem with me and not the boats stability.

It has quite a reassuring secondary stability that I didn't think was there but found when I messed up. The two times I have nearly tipped have laughably been when gliding and not paddling. The boat is so low to the water that when you balance the paddle across the gunwales it is common for one blade to catch the water and give you a surprise. I started using my wooden Greenland style paddle and this cured the problem. Very long slim blades. It also slowed me down to sub-divorce speeds when paddling with the family.

The only real negative is that at 15stone I am constantly sitting in a few inches of water. I have not tried scupper plugs but will update if they help. I kayak in a light wetsuit or cycling tights which dry quickly so no real problem. Might think differently in the middle of winter?

All in all a great boat. Will buy another if I manage to kill this one. (Unless I try a cobra eliminator and love it more.)

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02-03-2010
Submitted by: DavidSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just bought a sprinter (used). Took it out both of the last two days, during the peak of whale season. I own six kayaks and I bought this one for our Sunday excursions. Generally we use our kayaks for camping. The coast that we traverse Hamakua I believe a bit to rugged for a sprinter. However we regularly go out on Sundays for a leisure tour. I found it quite nice to be faster than my companions.

Although it is tippy and requires constant balance, like a bike, I expect my coordination to develop with some time and it will become second nature.

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02-09-2009
Submitted by: PDPSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Just bought a Sprinter today.
I was concerned about the size due to postings shown here. I am 117kg that is 257.4 lbs. 6' tall. Quite broad shouldered and big chested. I am carrying too much weight around my waist. This said, when I sat in the Sprinter I found it quite snug but very friendly... You need points of contact it helps with stability. Foot well probably a tad small but very workable I'm a size 13 shoe. Took out for a paddle and was impressed. Ohh I got wet but...IT'S A SKI AT THE END OF THE DAY. If you don't want to get wet, buy a Kayak and put a skirt on it. It's been 23 years since I have paddled a craft of any time and while it was wobbly I did NOT come off. So far happy with the purchase. Would recommend for the bigger guy wanting something that is considerably quick on the water.

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01-03-2008
Submitted by: Akbuk KiwiSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     2 Sprinters were part of my stable of kayaks I raced in for multi-sport races. Ideal for low water rocky rivers, up to grade 3 rapids. Stable for beginners, and the timid at heart. Kayak used by top female finisher in the 2005 Mohoe Man multi-sport race (sea kayak leg). Beating Carbon fibre Race ski's. With stability come power and speed. A brilliant plastic boat.
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06-15-2007
Submitted by: stallionSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Fast SOT kayak that is blast to paddle. I use primarily in a flat water river. Looking forward to the ocean.
This is my first kayak, and for me it is very stable. I paddle it with a wing paddle and have had no issues with stability. Tracking is good and the rudder system works well after it has been set up.

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06-07-2007
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Just tried out my new Sprinter last night (strictly flatwater). Is it tippy? Depends on your frame of reference. I tried a lifeguard spec surf ski once and had to dangle my legs in the water to stay upright. So, if you're coming from a surf ski, this thing is solid. If you're coming from a typical SOT, it's a little tippy. For me, it was feeling pretty good after 100 yds or so.

This boat is a hoot! My easy cruising pace got me 4.5 mph on GPS, fast cruising 5-5.5 mph. Hard for me to get it above 6. It's a very wet ride. The water was at the top of the scuppers as the boat was sitting by itself. I'm 190 lbs and I sat in a pool. Didn't bother me, just lettin' ya know.
The footpegs are very narrow. I just fit my size 8 Chota Nunavut heels into them. This boat was really made for small people, short and light. I wouldn't suggest it for anyone heavier than I am, as a matter of fact, I think 150 lbs or less would be better. The seat was very comfortable but it does need a backband. It also needs handles in the middle of the boat. The gas pedal rudder works well once its set up. It appears to be a Swede form design, but the bow is very high volume. Because of this, it might make for a good multi-sport boat (flat water to Class II stuff). I'll try that out later.
Maneuverability is good, the rudder is handy when you're trying for speed. More maneuverable than my Tarpon 160, similar to Manta Ray 14, less than Synergy 14. Can't wait to get it in some textured water.

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06-02-2007
Submitted by: JBHSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I owned a Sprinter for about 2 years. For a plastic sit on top it is fast and fun to paddle. It works well paddling through the ocean surf and up and down the beach. I did not mount a front hatch because I did not trust a front rubber hatch to hold up crashing through the waves in the surf but the rear hatch has good storage capacity and held up well going through the waves. It has very little rocker and surfing back in with large waves I had problems with it dumping . The cockpit fit me perfectly and the excellent foot pedal system allows you to push on the foot supports and also control the rudder, so I always felt in control in the ocean, except for surfing in. I sold it mainly because I got tired of always sitting in water when I used it in flat water and wanted a little more room for a fast plastic sit on top that I could fish from. I bought a Cobra Expedition which is slower, much slower turning (even with a Feathercraft tandem rudder), but has more storage and access for fishing.
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05-29-2007
Submitted by: kenneth lenzSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have recently purchased a sprinter and am very glad I did.I traded a tarpon 160 in for it and it took some getting used to as far as the tippy feeling right off the bat. The boat is fast and sleek and very stable for how thin it is. I am very pleased with it. the only problem I have is with the center screw on hatch, it's too much of a pain to get on and off quickly, otherwise I couldn't be more pleases with the Sprinter.
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05-02-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I'm 5'11' and around 165 lb, and my wife is under 5' and 106 lbs. We both have Sprinter kayaks. After trying several plastic sit on tops, we had to acquire the Sprinter because it's in a class of its own.

Fast, incredibly stable under way and seaworthy. Turns on a dime with rudder and lean action. Initial stability may be somewhat of an issue on the very first time the boat is used, after a couple of times on the boat, it's easy to handle. Secondary stability is amazing for a boat this narrow

We use a low back rest to reinforce correct posture. We paddle in flat water and open ocean, handling up to 4 foot swells in any direction, surfs swell without burying the nose while shifting weight. We don't surf breaking waves.

Windy days are no problem, the Sprinter tracks well with the rudder system provided. The adjustable foot rests allow for applying forward paddling technique and rotation. The rudder can be set in two ways, depending on the desired sensitivity to foot pressure. The boat's handling without rudder is tricky but possible, due to the rocker line which enables turning and surfing, but also makes the rudderless boat sensible to side shifting of bodyweight.

Forward and back hatches are appropriate in size and the rubber covers provide an hermetic seal. The day hatch right between the legs is very accessible for hydration and light food, I just fitted it with a mesh bag attached to the hatch cover.

I have to give the Sprinter a 10, because, for a plastic sit on top kayak, it does extremely well for the way we like to paddle and it adjusted very well to our different body sizes and weights. After Sprinter, a glass surfski!!!

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09-11-2004
Submitted by: carbonkayakSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I use the Sprinter at the kayak club I belong to. It is excellent for flat water day and fitness paddling. It is tippy at first but as I got used to the kayak it was no longer a problem. It is small and sleek and is good for a smaller paddler. My daughter(5'3" 115 lbs) does not have a problem with the tippiness because of her size. I need to use a low backrest with it. I noticed it is no longer listed on the Ocean Kayak website.
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06-21-2004
Submitted by: K1 surfSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Having poo-pooed this boat years ago when it came out and I was a rep for Prijon paddling a lot. I have now for the first time tried one out as a loaner until my Mako XT arrives. I've paddled futura II's and venturesport shearwater's which were very stable glass ski's. I 've also owned and paddled an older 80's design sprint boat. Now being 6'2" and 230lb. instead of 190 like I once was I find the sprinter to be a joy. It is way stable even for my weight and fairly fast for tupperware. The seat area needs to be padded[set up for the individuals taste] as it will otherwise tend to move you into the bad slouch position which is not good for good forward technique. Once set up properly it proves to be a very effective boat to practice technique and train in and feel like your getting somewhere and again is very stable if you've had a bit of experience in any real kayaks. My hat's off to Tim and Greg on this design. If only it could have been blowmolded in Germany could it be any better!
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08-21-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased the Sprinter because I live close to the beach and use this boat for training. I race olympic/marathon K1 kayaks on flat water but do not have the time to drive to the river or lakes in our area in the afternoon. I paddle the Sprinter in the Gulf of Mexico. I had heard stories of how tippy it was but it is not too bad. I was surprised how well it handled rough water in the gulf. My 11 year old son also uses it when we go to the flat water. He really likes it. On the river, it glides well and can be paddled fast. I love to take it out on windy rough water conditions. It is very fast in the chop and can take large swells but I would not recommend this for anyone unless they have a lot of experience. I do recommend this boat to any racers who want a "do all" training boat. It is heavy and I do not like sitting in so much water, especially when it is cold. Most of the time the plugs work. For new kayak racers it is also good to use for learning balance. I believe initial stability is about a 5 or 6. Underway, it is very easy to handle. I like mine for a training boat and recommend it to anyone wanting a fun, fast and tough boat.
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03-12-2002
Submitted by: Carlsbad ChrisSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     Very fast and light! Sexy, but too slender for fat guys like me. I'm 185 and I was sitting in 3-4 inches of water (2-3 when at speed.) A great thrill to move so quickly, (especially because I'm accustomed to paddling my Cabo (aka Winnebago,)) but the Sprinter is for thin, wiry fellows only. Rudder system is very well designed and glides right over kelp without snagging. Maybe if I give up sweets and fried foods for a year??
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11-02-2001
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Basically a racing kayak, it is quite fast and has an excellent rudder system(you steer with your toes,while your heels are locked so you can brace,if you use thigh straps). Initial stability is low (feels quite tippy), but secondary stability is very good, once you get over the tippy feel you can lean a bit. It is stable enough to take out on blustery days,with smaller waves, ride is fairly dry for a SOT. Overall a fun,quick boat for touring and work-outs. Built in New Zealand availability is limited in US from all accounts, but if you can find one, TRY it out.
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