Stellar’s recently introduced Rapid-S racing kayak has the potential to boost the performance of a lot of flat-water marathon paddlers. Based on the very fast 20’3″ SES surf ski hull, the Rapid-S is even a bit faster, apparently due to the paddler location/balance. As a sit-inside kayak, it can accommodate larger paddlers that cannot fit comfortably in the SES. Paddlers comfortable with 17″ surf skis should be comfortable with the stability of the Rapid-S. I tested the SES at the recent dealer’s conference, and found the stability surprisingly good, especially for a 16.3″ wide boat. Stellar builds a lot of secondary stability into their hulls, giving paddlers a comfortable margin when things get a bit hairy.
With a rugged Multi-Sport type hull and a kick-up over-stern rudder, this boat is designed for tough rivers and up to class II rapids. As Stellar puts it: “The Rapid-S is born from the desire to go fast down class 1 and 2 rapids in the Mountains of New Zealand. The hull shape is derived from the popular SES with the flexible, yet stiff multi-sport construction to bounce off the river bottom. The bow deck has a streamlined high volume shape to shed water when punching through rapids to keep you moving on the backside. Over stern rudders kick-up out of the way when they run aground, a must for shallow waters! The Rapid-S is a beast on the flat water too, moving very fast on the slack water or lakes.”