Tag Archives: drop stitch flooring

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)

Full Dropstitch (FDS) Inflatable Kayak Buying Guide 2021

See also
Book
Other IKs
Full review: Shipwreck ArrowStream Full DS
Guest review: Aqua Marina Tomahawk Air-K 375
Paddling with a Yakkair Full HP2
• Preview: Advanced Elements AirVolution
• Preview: Decathlon X500
Preview: Gumotex Thaya
Preview: Gumotex Rush
• Preview: Advanced Elements AirFusion
• Preview: Aquaglide Chelan 155
• Buying direct from China

As predicted here years ago, eventually someone was going to find a way of making a decent inflatable kayak entirely from dropstitch panels. Something a bit more sophisticated than the three-plank bathtub on the left. As things stand, with some innovative exceptions, most Full Dropstitch (FDS) IKs are still made this way.
There’s more interest in FDS than ever, because buyers view them as superior to a traditional round tubed IK. Certainly they’re miles better than just about any low-end, low-psi Sevylor or Intex. And they don’t quite have the days-long drying issues of your shell & Bladder IKs (but see below). And right now you can buy a two-seat, obscure-brand FDS for just £600, including paddles and pump.

Solo/Tandem FDS IK specs

WeightLengthWidthPayloadPressureIncluded**Price
Allroundmarine
Force L
19.5
43 lbs
4.73
15.5′
86cm
33.8″
350kg
771 lbs
13 psi
0.9 bar
Pump€790
Aqua Marina
Tomahawk AIR-C
24.7kg
54.5 lbs
4.78m
15.7′
88cm
34.6″
260kg
573lbs
10
0.69
2 skegs
Pump
£1000
Aqua Marina
Tomahawk AIR-K
20.3kg
44.7 lbs
4.4m
14.4′
76cm
30″
210kg
463 lbs
10
0.69
2 skegs
Pump
£950
BIC Yakkair
HP2
15.5kg
34.2 lbs
4.1m
13.4′
85cm
33.5″
210kg
463 lbs
8
0.55
Pump£1300
Bluewave
Glider
18kg
39.6 lbs
4.73m
15.5′
85cm
33.5″
317kg
698 lbs
10
0.69
Pump
2 paddles
£660
DS Kajak
465 FLex
20kg
44 lbs
4.65m
15.2′
78cm
30.7″
250
551 lbs
10
0.69
Removable
floor
€1300
Kxone
Slider 410
15.5kg
34.2 lbs
4.1m
13.4′
85cm
33.5″
210kg
463 lbs
8
0.55
£1050
Sea Eagle
Razorlite 473
17kg
38 lbs
4.73m
15.5′
76cm
30″
340kg
750 lbs
10
0.69
Pump
2 paddles
£1490
Shipwreck
Arrowstream
25.4kg4.31m83cm340kg
750 lbs
10
0.69
Pump
2 paddles
£849
Story22kg4.7m82cm220kg10 psi
0.69 bar
Pump
2 paddles
£600
Shorter (solo) and longer 2-3 seat models also available • Prices will vary • Weights can be in-the-bag or on-the-water • Payload claims can be unreliable • **All come with a bag/backpack (some with wheels; quality varies) and a repair kit • You will need a high-pressure barrel pump.

What is Dropstitch?

For the full story on dropstitch (DS) click this
Short version: a dense mass of non-stretch ‘space yarn’ is magically stitched between two fabric sheets at up to thousands of stitches per square metre.
The dimples you see on an inflated panel surface are the space yarn under tension. Once the outside of the sheets are coated with PVC and sealed round the sides, on inflation you get an airtight flat, board-like panel.

When inflated via the usual valve, this panel can withstand much higher pressures than a normal round tubed IK. We’re talking up to 15psi (1 bar) which is four times more than even the firmest tubed IKs. In fact, on an FDS IK, half that is plenty, as you’re not standing on it like a SUP. The huge popularity of iSUP boards in recent years has helped advance DS technology and an FDS can be be nearly as stiff as a hardshell while packing into a bag, like a regular IK.

4.3m long and stiff as you like.

It is pressure – or the ability to make a stiff form from an inflatable chamber – which has long been the weak link with traditional tubed IKs, especially once lengths increase. Floors need I-beams (above left), to act like the space yarn to make a flat, wide floor. But I-beams are expensive to assemble and – without pressure release valves (PRVs, more below) – are vulnerable to damage or rupture if over-pressurised through neglect or when left out in the hot sun.
Running 8-10psi, dropstitch technology eliminates the longitudinal sagging commonly experienced under a single paddler’s central weight in a longer, old-style boat (below). This rigidity enables sea kayak-like lengths of well over 4 metres (13′) which adds up to more room inside as well as a much better glide (less effort). It’s the same energy saving gained by pedalling a pushbike with hard tyres instead of soft.

Most full dropstitch (FDS) IKs are made of three flat panels. In a way they resemble a simple, self-assembled three-board wooden canoe (left).
On a regular IK, round side tubes upto 30cm in diameter also take up a lot of space inside. DS panels are typically just 10cm/4″ thick while retaining all the benefits of tubed IKs: light weight and buoyancy. The only downside seems to be the bulk: there is up to 4000 metres of space yarn in a typical 4.5-metre FDS. Add stiff PVC which is hard to roll up, and an FDS ends up twice as bulky as a similar-sized tubeless rubber boat. Nevertheless dropstitch is far more effective than using metal frames to support saggy IKs. In my experience this is a poor solution.
DS in IKs actually started with easy-to-fit dropstitch floors (derived from iSUp boards) but retained the round side tubes. These are still popular and are now called hybrids; seen by some as the best of both worlds. But all the boats on this page are Full DS. See image below for the three types of IK: tubed (bladdered – can also be ‘tubeless’); DS floor or Full DS.

Floors: Read This

Broadly speaking, FDS IKs are assembled by gluing three DS planks into a wraparound skin of PVC which holds the panels in a boat shape and additionally protects them from wear and abrasion.
Some floors are removable, a bit like a footbed slips into a shoe (right). This makes the hull skin’s inner floor accessible for easy cleaning, rinsing and drying before storage – an important part of IK care.
Not everyone may see drying as the deal breaker I make it out to be.

Unless a glued-in floor is fully sealed along the sides, water and grit will collect in the side cavities. But for deflation reasons, this cavity cannot be airtight.

Less good but almost universal is a DS floor permanently glued to the floor skin but not fully sealed to the side panels. See the two images above: at the bow and stern where the tape stops, water and debris can get down in the cavity. Some sort of drain valve helps water to run out of the cavities when flushing before deflating. Sometimes there are several capped drains along the sides, which is odd as just one will do.
These multiple drains are not a self-bailing ports, no matter what clueless vendors may claim or owners may think. Open the drains when afloat and the boat will part-fill with water for sure. Until I realised this, I was baffled by these drains. So it seems were actual owners.
Bluewave Gliders are like this, so are Allroundmarin, Sea Eagle RazorLite, Tomahawk, KXone, Shipwreck and anything else with the telltale drain ports. Even hybrid IKs like the Aquaglide Chelan have multiple (but closeable) ‘self-bailing’/drain valves along the sides of the floor.

Such a boat is nearly as much of a pain to dry properly as the bladdered IKs I go on about. There will always be moisture in the long, inaccessible side tunnels along the DS floor edge which you will struggle to dry properly. Proper rinsing and drying matter, if you want your IK to last a long time, especially after you’ve been at sea when sand and other debris can get in the boat. Seawater causes mildew, staining, odours and possibly rot, so does trapped organic matter, while in the long term trapped grit might rub unseen against the soft PVC until it wears right through (this will probably take years).

Tubeless rubber IK: dead easy to dry

A theoretical way to eliminate these issues is by fully sealing or ‘wallpapering over’ the floor DS panel gaps: usually the bow and the stern as shown in green above. To drain and dry such fully sealed boats, you simply flip them over to shed the excess water, then deflate, spread out and wipe dry, just like the round tube Grabner on the left.
A boat modified like this would have no crud-trapping, moisture-retaining cavities. The flaw with this idea would be the air trapped in this sealed-off cavity would make the boat difficult to pack compactly: like trying to roll up a partially deflated inner tube. It needs a breather hole: a simple plug would work. Pull out the plug when deflating, plug up once pumped up to keep water out.
Fyi: this is all hypothetical but an Italian chap with a BIC told me he had just this problem: gravel and grit collecting in the cavities. One solution of his was to stuff the openings with a sponge. Water may still get in but bigger grit won’t.
In 2020 Advanced Elements introduced the innovative two-panel AirVolution FDS IK which seems to have no crack between the upper and lower panels. Good for them because, apart from the added labour, sealing the insides is not exactly complicated. For the moment it seems other manufacturers are happy to settle on removable floors or fitted floors with drains, just as some buyers are either oblivious or contented with bladdered IKs, despite their greater drying issues.

Protracted KXone cavity drying instructions using what seems to be a hidden floor drain valve (6, 7).

Actually their is a worse option: supposedly ‘self-bailing’ FDS IKs which have little side cavities on the edge of the fitted floor and simple drain holes in the outer skin. There are no closable drain valves.
The tellingly unused and unbranded FDS IK (left) I saw on eBay was like this. I had to check with the seller as there were no photos of the floor. Within an hour it sold for £700, but once on the water the new owner will find their boat filling up from below. It may only be a couple of inches but that water will slosh back and forth as you paddle along, adding several kilos of weight and upsetting stability. You could easily tape up the holes in the outer skin, but this is why what look like ‘bargains’ come unbranded and without guarantees. No brand would risk doing it this way and get rightly hammered by negative customer feedback.

Keel tubes

One benefit of having the floor panel separate above the PVC outer skin is you can stick a thin inflatable tube in there to give the hull more of a V-shape. The AirTrek FLex 465 by DS Kajak (and possibly the same-but-different KXone FLex) have these optional shallow inflatable keel tubes (‘AirBone‘) under the removable but clamped-down floor which you can easily inflate via a loose hose. It changes the hull shape from flat to V. More speed and a bit less stability is what they claim, and you can easily deflate the keel tube on the move if conditions get iffy.
An FDS IK’s barge-flat floor is one of its less good features, so this sounds like a clever idea. And as said, the floor is removable so it can all be cleaned and dried easily. Sounds like a win-win to me. See the video below or here.

Tracking (going straight)

Just about all of these FDS IKs come with an easily fitted slot-in skeg or tracking fin that’s often as tall as Flipper’s flipper. Like a fixed keel or rudder, the help the boat go straight. Some even have two under the dumb assumption that more must be better. A tall skeg will drag in the shallows and the boat can’t easily be sat on flat ground without stressing the fitting. But a skeg is easily trimmed – or you can buy a spare and cut it down for shallow conditions which need it. More about skegs here.
FDS boats also feature rigid moulded bow and stern pieces (below right) to help slice through the water. This is typically a weak point on broad-nosed tubed IKs (below left).

Hardshells and conventional tubed IKs can also have a curved hull in both axes: lateral and a bow to stern curve which is called rocker. The more banana-like the longitudinal profile the more rocker and the easier the boat turns and rides over waves.
With the formed bow and stern pieces, box-like profiles and plank-floors, an FDS IK has zero rocker, meaning these boats track well but are hard to turn without a rudder. Many owners report that indeed, they glide as straight as an arrow. One French KXone owner admits that after a year of use… ‘It always wants to go straight, even without the skeg‘ and he’s thinking of installing a rudder. Another reviewer from the US says: ‘The 393 RL tracks very well, almost too well. I trimmed 3″ off the skeg for better clearance in shallow water and it still tracks straight and true. It’s easier to turn now as well, another nice improvement.’ Here’s another short review from the UK.
This was my experience too with a DS-floored Moki II and the FDS Shipwreck, but on the latter it was much improved by removing the skeg. The boat’s firm hull innately tracked well enough

Hull profiles

FDS IKs are still crude box shapes because, excepting the Decathlon X500, making anything other than flat DS boards is too complicated and expensive. The design and handling of these FDS IKs are limited by these constraints: high sides, flat floor, no rocker. Add the fact that the rock-hard floor can make them as uncomfortable as a hardshell, but adding a well padded seatbase, stability can take a knock.

And the flat floor and box profile may make edging – leaning on one edge as you turn or to counterbalance on waves – trickier. You’d need thigh straps to do this, although I never got that technical with the Shipwreck. This Tomahawk owner said his boat’s initial (or primary) stability was a bit shaky, but once on edge was quite stable and took a lot to tip right over. This was on flat water. In more dynamic conditions things may happen too fast for you to react.

Pressure-release valves

It’s notable that there are no PRVs on most of these FDS boats, presumably because the very high density of space-yarn means they can handle over-pressurisation better than an I-beam floor where the forces are more concentrated. The two-panel 2020 AE AirVolution is one exception.
Otherwise, better branded FDS IKs have clear warnings at the valve not to exceed recommended pressures (below). Some claim DS panels without PRVs won’t last as long as I-beams with PRVs. Much will depend on the quality of the original manufacture/assembly, maintaining the correct pressure and where possible, leaving the boat in the water on hot days to keep things cool.
These boats’ smaller volumes also means they’re quicker to inflate than a regular IK, although the effort in reaching 10psi requires a barrel pump. Tall and slim barrels work better than short and fat: it’s this shape and not the volume which counts. A 4.4m FDS panel can be filled to 10psi in just a minute; allow a bit more time for the floor.

Footrests & Decks


Not for the first time I see my ideas adpoted by manufacturers. In Sea Eagle’s and Airkajak’s case it’s a simple footrest tube with an adjustable strap which I came up with a years ago! It’s so much simpler and more versatile and effective than the mushy pillows still used by Gumotex. KXone and Gliders and Shipwreck use a padded strap.
In any type of kayak, a footrest helps you connect with the boat, execute powerful strokes and not slide down the seat as you do so. And as an IK doesn’t have the benefit of a hardshell deck to brace knees off, a solid footrest is all the more useful.

The KXones may come with optional removable decks. Once you realise this boat is as rigid as a sea kayak, adding a deck (or at least some sort of deflector at the front) may be a good idea for managing bigger waves. A regular IK will bend up and over the waves; a stiffer FDS IK will cut through them and may swamp, especially if loaded.
IK World ran a comparison between her old style DS-floored Sea Eagle FastTrack and the 393 solo Razorlite, as well as giving a fuller review of the 393. You may like to scroll down and read some of the readers’ comments about issues and returns they’re having with early RazorLites (the very first FDS IK). She mentioned the FDS boat was less stable, but to me the stability of the yard-wide FastTrack is beyond the pale.
About 76cm on the 473 is still 30-inches and I felt quite safe in my 69cm-wide K40 right up to the point when it was coming in over the sides (thigh braces helped greatly, I admit). Then again, the 83cm-wide Shipwreck is actually more like 60cm at the waterline where it counts, and I (quite heavy and tall) found the 6cm-thick seat pad made me very tippy. Removing the foam from the seatbase resumed normal service.

You notice Sliders and the BIC are much wider than a Sea Eagle RL, for example. This is because they’re pitched as SUP IKs, in that you can stand in the boat (left). With the popularity of iSUP boarding, this is a clever gimmick. But sit-down paddling performance will suffer. Me, I’d sooner have as slim a kayak as possible.

Good on all these brands for upping the game with their takes on FDS IKs. It’s a big step in making IKs less ‘bloat’ and more boat. Many people commonly mistake them for hardshells.
Having spent years looking at loads of images and videos of all these boats, at the moment the 20-kilo DS Kajak 465 is the one I’d choose, except the massive bulk of these things puts me off. The removable floor aids proper drying and cleaning, it’s no wider but half-a-foot longer than my Seawave, and graphics-wise, it doesn’t give me a migraine. But €1200 is a bit of a gamble. The Shipwreck ArrowStream which I did actually try (review here) was a great deal but the price has now jumped to £850.

Spotted a mistake or have something to add? Your comments are welcome below.