Preview: Gumotex Rush 1 and 2 IKs

Gumotex Rush (DSF)

Available again, May 2021
See also:
More about Hybrid IKs
Interesting discussion
Another detailed online review
A similar DS floored Seawave is due end of 2021

Gumotex are moving on up with hybrid dropstitch technology, originally showcased in 2019’s Thaya which is basically an old Solar 3 with a DS floor to make it more stiff. The new-for-2020 Rush 1 and 2 (left) is quite a more sophisticated advance on a DSF or hybrid IK.

The Rush models came out in April 2020, just as the pandemic hit and lockdowns, shutdowns and slowdowns spread across the world. It’s also said there was some kind of quality control calamity at the Gumotex factory which led to many completed boats getting shredded. As a result, stock of Gumotex IKs dried up at a time when post-first-lockdown IK demand went ballistic RTW.
Other IKs gradually came back online, including other Gumotexs, but oddly, the all-new flagship Rush was put right to the back of the queue. I speculated this may have been a production issue and it seems I was right: I read in the PaddleVenture review comments:
“There is actually a modification to the Gumotex Rush [for 2021]. The drop stitch area on the bow and stern elements is said to have been improved. Apparently there were more complaints here than usual, so that at the end of last summer no more Rush models were produced and this part of the boat was revised”.
It’s not clear what the problems were, but it proves that making anything other than a flat DS plank is tricky and also a boat which can get round this (like the Itiwit X500) will be superior. The Rushs are due back in stock from May 2021 by which time all Gumotex IKs received a substantial price hike. The R2 will now cost over €1500. It’s also said the entire 2021 inventory has been allocated to pre-orders.

‘Hybrid’ is a cool word for a kayak which isn’t a Full DS like a Sea Eagle Razorlite and many others. These IKs are assembled from three flat dropstitch panels making boxy hulls which, according to the graphics on this page of the French Gumotex importer, can be sub-optimal in choppy waters.
Me, I also think a totally flat, barge-like floor doesn’t help, but the Rushs get round this with raised side tubes which act more like stability pontoons, a bit like the Tributary Sawtooth.
In addition you’ll se on the left the suggestion that tall, flat sides are more affected by waves and wind, which does seem plausible. Of course, if you only every intend to paddle flatwater on calm days, this doesn’t really matter.

Derived from iSuP boards, DS has become a blessing to IK floor design which hitherto had to use I-beams of parallel tubes (left) which complicates assembly and is prone to ruinous rupture if over-pressured, unless fitted with a PRV or the IK is exceptionally well made.

A Gumotex hybrid IK (below) retains the regular round side tubes of a classic IK for better secondary stability (afaiu) but features a DS floor for much-needed rigidity. However, unique to Gumo, DS end-panels are also used on the bow as well as shorter and less obvious panels at the stern.


A word about this fabric paraphrased from here:
Nitrilon-Dropstich is composed of a core of 1100 dtx polyester fabric made up of two sheets joined by a mass of threads exactly 10 cm long. Unlike regular PVC-based iSuPs and DS kayaks, the durable elastomer plastic coating is not glued to the fabric, but ‘pressure-impregnated’ which eliminates delamination risks more common with bonded PVC coatings. An additional layer of polyester-reinforced Nitrilon is vulcanised to the floor bottoms making them double thickness.”

The Rushs differ from the Thaya (1st gen Gumo DS) with the panels forming a more ‘hydroformed’ bow, another weak point with regular blunt-nosed tubed IKs. The Rush’s bow makes a water-slicing wedge sharp enough to cut ripe avocados.
The semi DS side tubes are more complex than a DS floor attached to two round side tubes (like the Thaya and some Aquaglide IKs, for example) and explains the high price.

The vital stats on the tandem Rush 2 are said to be 4.2m long x 82cm wide. Compare that to my Seawave at 4.5 x 78; the Seawave has an 11% better length/width factor (LWF) of 5.77 vs 5.12 over the Rush 2, but those are my Seawave measurements. The side tubes are said to be 19/20cm on the Rush compared to 22 on my Seawave. This and the length may contribute to the load rating dropping to 195kg vs 250 on the longer Seawave. That’s still plenty, unless you’re hauling a moose carcass out of the Yukon.
The official weight varies between 15.5 or 17kg, depending on where you look online. The higher figure is the same as my modified Seawave with packraft seat mod.

Pressures are another obvious difference with the Seawave. The 6cm DS floor runs at 0.5bar (7.2psi), actually a modest level for DS, but an IK doesn’t need to be as stiff as a iSuP board. The slimmer side tubes run 0.25 bar or 3.75psi (same as the Seawave). Well, that’s according to the table from the online manual shown below. Many outlets still list 0.2 sides and so did the Gumotex website until I corrected them.

0.25 is a bit higher than normal IK pressure but not quite as high as 0.3 in a Grabner, a Zelgear Spark or the 0.33 bar on my modified Seawave. When you combine that with the stiff DS floor, the 0.25 sides must make the Rush IKs Gumo’s stiffest IKs by far. The difference is, I added PRVs to my Seawave sides before running them at 50% higher pressure to automatically protect them. The Rushs don’t have any PRVs which explains the warning in the manual, above right. It’s odd but worth remembering that my super-stiff Grabner Amigo didn’t feature any PRVs either, not even in the floor. Quality of construction (gluing assembly) must have a lot to do with it.

When you add any colour you want as long as it’s black, you do wonder if no PRVs is a good idea, because in the sun black things get hotter, faster. Black may be great for Cockleshell saboteurs, not so good for visibility at sea and it kills photos stone dead.
It’s true the Innova-branded Swings in North America have long had black hulls and no one complained. But they only run 0.2 bar so need help in stiffening up in the hot sun. They also have fixed decks in red. Many Grabner IKs are now made with black exteriors too (right).
One assumes the Rush’s grey, lowish-psi floor will handle increased pressures from passive solar heating, especially as it’s in the water most of the time. But the black side tubes will get taught which becomes a nuisance to manage (or worry about), even if tubes/cylinders handle high pressures better than flat slabs.
In fact, as you’ll see from the comments below and elsewhere, Gumotex have found black is not notably worse than red or green in absorbing solar heating and dangerously over-pressurising. And if you’re that worried it would be just as easy to install PRVs in the Rush side tubes, as it was on my Seawave.

Because a DS floor is flat, one imagines it will hinder effective tracking, despite having a skeg at the back. The flat hull will plane over the water and wander off to the sides like a packraft – the so-called ‘[windscreen] wiper-effect’.

So, similar to Sea Eagle‘s patented NeedleKnife Keel™ (right), Gumo added a more discrete ‘keel hump‘ under the bow (left) to compensate for the lack of old-style parallel I-beam floor tubes which added a directional element. You can see from the overhead image above that this keel hump is mirrored on the floor inside the boat, either by design or need. This protuberance makes a high-wear point on the IK in the shallows so it’s just as well the floor is double thickness Nitrilon, as mentioned above. It’s the same on any boat. On my Seawave I pre-emptively added a protective strake – a strip of hypalon – to the central tubed rib, though to be honest it never got much wear as I try and be careful. Mine was hardly worn in five years of mostly sea paddling.

Rushs can be fitted with optional decks (green on the R1, above, red on the R2, below), using the same velcro system as the Seawave, with those horribly bulky alloy spars (right) supporting the decking (surely a flexible rod like tentpole material wouldn’t be hard to make). I read on other reviews that they’ve greatly improved the coaming (hatch rim) so that spray skirts attach more securely.
In the still on the right the footrest appears to be the usual rubbish black cushion adjusted by strap and seats can be moved to a variety of positions, too, but the other images show grey footrest tubes which are supposedly dropstitch – much better.
Seats are now solid foam, but the base looks too thin and low to me. A stiff foam backrest (with side bracing straps) is good, but an inflatable seat base is much more comfortable to sit on because you can vary the pressure and so the height. Foam eventually loses its cushioning but an inflatable seat doesn’t need to be made of hefty hull-grade hypalon, as on other Gumo IKs (more in the vid below). But anyway, a seat is easily changed to suit your prefs. More on IK seats here.

The Rush 2 has slimmer sidetubes than a Seawave and does seem quite low. It may benefit more from a deck.

Below, a review of a Rush 1 by Austrian Steve. Can’t understand a word but some observations: I like his convertible Eckla Rolly trolley/cart/camp chair; also love the lovely long canoe chute at 20:40. Have to say though, I winced a bit at some boat dragging here and there. Do the right thing, Steve; it only weighs 12kg! Note also this shortish boat seemed to track pretty well without a skeg – the frontal keel-hump may be effective in leading it by the nose, after all. But in the comments Steve admits the stiff, flat floor slaps down hard on wave trains coming out of rapids and I suppose would be the same at sea. It’s a drawback of flat, raft-like DS floors.
See this for an easily translatable written review also in German.

The price of a 2021 R1/R2 has jumped from a hefty £900/£1200 to €1150/1500, plus decks going from £200/310/370 (tandem). There’s also a rudder kit (price unknown) which will be similar to the Seawave unit. IMO it’s not so useful, even on the longer R2. But like decks, some may like the option.

As you can tell, I was comparing the Rush 2 with my 5-year-old Seawave and wondered if it might be time (or an excuse) to change. An unprecedented five years of ownership proves there’s nothing wrong with my Seawave [I sold my Seawave in May 2020 then bought another in October].
What are the benefits of a Rush 2? Black is not such an attractive or useful colour for a boat, and neither is losing a foot in length or 50kg in payload over the Seawave – at least at sea. On a river the greater nippiness from less length will have benefits, but for that I have a packraft. As for greater rigidity, it looks pretty good in this clip but my adapted HP Seawave was very good compared to the lower-pressure Gumboats, and it seems the speed (see below) is no greater, but the gliding effort is reduced. The word is a Seawave with a DS floor will be out at the end of 2021 (probably 2022) but that will begin to approach Grabner prices.

Good owner’s review (in French)

14 thoughts on “Preview: Gumotex Rush 1 and 2 IKs

  1. pankanel

    Hi Chris
    Don’t disappoint us. Buy the new Rush, do your magic, and let us know if a prv can be installed on the ds floor.
    I ‘m afraid that without one, it will be unusable in the greek summer (you may remember the problem I had with the side tube of my sw).
    Keep up the good work
    Panagiotis

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    1. Chris S Post author

      The problem is we are stuck in London this summer, not anywhere interesting, like Greece (where we toxic Brits are currently banned ;-)
      Plus it is quite a lot shorter than a Seawave but no shop in UK will let you try it or even see it right now.
      Fyi: I don’t think a PRV is needed in a modern D/S floor. (I see old Sotars had D/S with PRVs in the 90s).
      I am pretty sure if you run them at the recommended pressure they could handle some overheating with the usual precautions. Also, cutting a hole into DS is not so simple; it will imbalance the evenly spaced tension on the strands (but then I suppose a PRV will stop pressures getting high and staring them).
      I have read that D/S does not last as long as regular tubeless with good care (but I still think it’s many years).

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      1. pankanel

        Well Chris you see, in the greek summer with temperatures not falling from 30 c and sometimes up to 40 c, we don’t talk about some overheating. When the side tube of my sw opened, I was constantly relieving pressure from them. With no luck. I think that if I think about getting a ds boat I will discuss it first with the lady (professional) who repaired my sw. I would be very sceptical to buy a ds boat if I wouldn’t be able to install a prv on the ds floor. Especially in a boat like Rush, with an integrated ds floor, any problem with the non replaceable floor will mean the end of the boat.
        Regards
        Panagiotis
        PS Regarding your comment about toxicity, I would wait to see what happens. I have the feeling that since the end of a very effective quarantine, people here behave like if nothing happened.

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      2. Chris S Post author

        Morning Panagiotis, it sounds like summers get very hot in Greece but can it be that different from some other countries where Gumotex are sold? You’d think a 1000-euro IK could handle such pressures providing the usual care is taken on land. Some smaller Grabners like the Holidays (or my old Amigo) run 0.3 bar but have no PRVs at all (Grabner give all sorts of air-down warnings when on land). I think if I owned a no-PRV Grabner again I would fit 0.3bar PRVs all round simply for the worry-free convenience.
        Also, you must have iSUP boards in Greece which run much higher pressures then most D/S IKs and yet, as far as I know (and the one I tried once) they do not have PRVs (I am not sure they even make PRVs which go that high). I suspect modern D/S fabric is much stronger than what was made in the Sotar-with-PRV days and by spreading the load is able to safely sustain take much higher pressures than an I-beam floor. I would feel more confident with a D/S with no PRV than an I-beam floor with the same.
        Interesting iSUP articles
        http://www.windsurfer.co.uk/SUP_iSupConstruction.htm
        https://www.airhead.com/blogs/news/an-inside-look-at-the-technology-of-inflatable-paddle-boards

        (The ‘toxic Brits’ comment was a small joke on the vastly different outcomes to the epidemic between UK and Greece ;-)

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  2. Garrett Wong

    Hi Chris, long time reader first time poster. Saw your recent post about selling your seawave! I guess on to better and bigger things? Just purchased one myself and about to embark on new PRV. Btw do you choose to allow comments on some posts but not others?

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    1. Chris S Post author

      Hi Garrett. Should have kept the SW for the summer – it was a clear-out spasm! – but there will be another IK. You will enjoy yours.
      You saw the new super valves, I take it. Let us know if they fit. With comments, happy to receive but I usually forget to tick some box on some posts. If it’s automatic the spam folder gets clogged.

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    1. Chris S Post author

      Thanks J-F. yes I saw that video while writing the Rush story but it seems odd it’s the only mention and it was last year when the Rushs were coming. Could it be the new D/S Seawave? It also seemed odd that he said it was self-baling but that it was also meant to have a cockpit. Usually you only have one or the other. We shall see.

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      1. azgorh

        Hi Chris, first of all congratulations for your blog, I have been reading from a time.

        Let me ask you if you dont mind because I am now confused. I have been saving money to buy an inflatable kayak and I was convinced to buy a Seawave because I only use it for long distances in the sea. My problem now is that i dont know if its better to buy the Rush 2, the actual Seawave or maybe would be better to wait an update of a new Seawave with drop stich. In your big experience what do you think would be the most wise decision?

        Thanks for you blog and your adventures.

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      2. Chris S Post author

        I think you can’t go wrong with the original Seawave if you can find a good price.
        Same weight, cheaper, 30cm longer, 5cm narrower than Rush2.
        If you add the high pressure PRVs in the side as I did (see the page, i updated it) + add better seats and thigh strata you have a great sea IK which I think becomes nearly as stiff as a Rush. But if you can get to try both (difficult, I know), so much the better.
        The new D/S floor Seawave will be expensive – let’s hope the size and weight are the same.

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  3. Roberto Muzzetto

    Hi Chris,
    sorry for my personal translation, for zip-colander I meant zips which let a great quantity of water in, even if Gumo state “The enclosed deck prevents water getting in” for Swing models. I replaced the footrest with the one from Twist 2/1 and it seems to work.

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  4. Roberto Muzzetto

    Hi Chris,
    quite an interesting review, as usual, even if with no real testing, but reach in interesting details. I do agree with you about the black colour being not visible and attracting solar rays which implies pressure increase, especially in southern regions like mine (Sardinia); moreover I don’t like that colour for a boat (but it’s my personal taste!) otherwise I could think of buying one. I reckon Gumo will not deliver Rush in different colours in the near future, this is their reply to my doubt on colour: “Regarding Rush, I can guarantee that you do not need to worry about colour, because we use black colour in USA for ages now and nobody complained on problem. They use kayaks in Florida, California, Oklahoma,…. in all US states. Rush has great characteristics and we received only best feedback on it”.
    Besides, they seem not to be prone to changes or improvements on their models (i.e. the zip-colander or the useless footrest on Swing models).
    Thanks for your useful reviews
    Regards
    Roberto

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    1. Chris S Post author

      Hi Roberto, shame to hear Gumo has no plans to make other Rush colours. A quick Google shows that actually heat build-up is not so great (15% more black vs white car) so red will be less. And I just read Steve’s video comments (some in English): “… Gumotex said they measured the temperature of the black material in the sun and its almost identical with the dark green, they have for Scout and Baraka.”
      Which leaves personal taste, dull photos, and safety/visibility benefits. Oh well.
      Not sure what a zip-colander is but yes, footrests have long been a weak point, and Rush gets the same old rubbish cushion. Easily replaced by a piece of plastic drainpipe.

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