Viking Kayaks Profish GT & Viking Replay

Published on October 11, 2014 by  via www.paddleguy.com (with permissions)
Here are the newest additions to the Viking Kayaks fleet Profish GT & Viking Replay. I had the pleasure of test paddling them last week while producing the promo vids, trials were held in a flat water lake and estuary environment then at a surf beach which gave a good variety of tests…here are my thoughts after these sessions.

DSC_0731

First let me point out that they are very much the same kayak except that the GT is rigged fishing ready including a Tackle Pod while the Replay is toned down to appeal more to the family including the Kid Pod. But here’s the cool thing…both kayaks are designed to be compatible with the Tackle Pod, Kid Pod and Chill Pod…making them interchangeable for your needs be them fun with the family or fishing adventures.

Feature descriptions from Viking Kayaks Website

Viking Profish GT“Compact Fishing Kayak”

This is the latest fishing kayak from Viking, designed for anglers looking for a compact casting platform to present baits and lures. At just 3.6m long, yet with a full size cockpit and our removable Reload Tackle Pod system, the Profish GT is exceptionally easy to handle on and off the water.  Plenty of bow lift, turned down edges, and a broad hull helps tame surf transitions. Whether you’re exploring small creeks or lobbing big baits around coastal headlands, the stability and load capacity will amaze you. Add the optional rudder and you have one of the most versatile fishing kayaks it’s possible to own.

Length 3.6m/11.8′ | Width 82cm/32″ | Weight 24kg/52lb | Carrying Capacity 175kg/385lb

Viking Replay“Versatile Family Kayak”

Our brilliant new recreational kayak, the Viking Replay delivers a full size cockpit, comfortable seating, adjustable footrests, and our unique Kid Pod for added versatility. The hull is shaped to give fantastic stability while allowing excellent control and maneuverability, and for those who want to play the turned down edges make waves fun.  The large rear well and great load capacity also makes this a fantastic dive platform. Trick it up with optional Reload Tackle Pod and oval front hatch, add the rudder system, and you have a mini-tourer for those summer expeditions.

Length 3.6m/11.8′ | Width 82cm/32″ | Weight 24kg/52lb | Carrying Capacity 175kg/385lb

My impressions

DSC_0799

Good Looks:

First impressions before hitting the water was they are a good looking kayak. The lines, molded handles, hatch placement, seat positioning, right down to the choice of graphics these are smart looking and well thought out. The optional large oval hatch on the foredeck will be a winner with many paddlers especially those that like to stow away larger items like the C-Tug trolley.

Molded side handles are another good looking and practical feature of these kayaks and make for handling the kayak off the water much more convenient, at on 24kgs this kayak is comfortable to load and unload on a car roof on your own.

DSC_0776

Comfort factor:

As with the Reload and 400 the seat position is low set and molded to ensure the paddler has that connected feel. This is a position I prefer and find incredibly comfortable paddling all day without the need for a seat. My preference is no seat but the GT does come with one if preferred, saddles are in place on both kayaks to accommodate the Viking seats.

Cockpit room is plentiful with loads of space to move around and flat areas in the foot wells to allow for standing positions. A little less room on the cockpit deck area for me to mount StarPorts for cameras and the like but that can be overcome by mounting what I need to the Tackle Pod or Kid Pod. I may look into mounting some track on the sides of foredeck to give me more mounting options.

DSC_0861

Performance:

Combine the low set seat position with a beam of 82cm and this makes for an incredibly stable platform, the addition of pontoon style secondary stability in the hull adds to the rock solid stability and comfort. That said the kayaks do not feel like slugs, they are very comfortable to paddle and cruise efficiently. At only 3.6m long they are no rocket ship but you could comfortably paddle all day at cruising pace.

The real exciting performance factor for me was how well balanced the team have achieved great tracking and exceptional maneuverability in the same kayak without a need for a rudder. Whilst the rudder is an optional extra I personally would see no need to add one…as you will see in the video footage above the maneuverability and tracking were faultless in these environments 10/10 mark for the design team from me on that achievement.

After giving it a bash in some decent surf I can reassure you the claim that it will tame surf transitions is true, in my session I added thigh braces so I could really throw it around and the kayak responded well as you will see in the video and images

DSC_1130-01

Summary

Another great addition to the fleet from Viking kayaks, I can see the need for both models in my household now that my eldest son is paddling his own kayak. I can see the GT being a perfect option for chasing bass and other fresh water species in the waters around QLD along with loading it up on the boat to head out to the outer refs to target GT and other reef fish. Find a dealer and take one for a spin you will be impressed.

Scroll down to check out some of the awesome images captured

DSC_0736DSC_0844-01DSC_0791DSC_0888DSC_0780   DSC_1140DSC_0731   DSC_1203DSC_0923-01DSC_0772DSC_0950-01DSC_0843-01DSC_0833

All about Hulls

get to the bottom of kayak design and find the right boat

While most of us look for hatches, pods, rod holders or mounts when looking for a shopping for a new kayak, we should turn over the kayak and also look at stringers , channels, keels and waterline for the real indication of a boat’s fishing ability. What goes into the design of a kayak are the hours slaved over the features of the hull to improve speed and efficiency.

There are two objectives to this engineering, stability and weight capacity. The challenge here is to pack as much capacity capability into a boat and still maintain stability even while standing.

A channeled hull, which features two grooves running across the length of the boat gives these results. Channeling the hull increases the surface area  to increase capacity and improve straight line tracking.

Looking at the bow and stern of a kayak gives you a rough idea on its maneuvering capability.
rocker
R
aising the bow and stern decreases the surface area but turns are easy. On the other hand, a kayak with “no rocker” will travel straight but will be very difficult to turn. Its a design balance, but as kayak anglers, we should roughly know what kinds of water and terrain we are venturing into so as to make the most of our effort in terms of paddling time and distance versus angling time and tracking. In addition, a rocker keeps the keel in the water when surfing in with the current so the boat stays straight.

“Its a design balance, but as kayak anglers, we should roughly know what kinds of water and terrain we are venturing into…”

Flared sides of a kayak also helps the boat to handle the bigger waves so they can rise over it. Flats sides would cause the boat to broach giving that rock edge feeling.
ea5017_flaresides

In open waters, flared sides gives it a more narrower and efficient footprint (meaning unstable). But as more weight is added the footprint increases which improves stability.

Hull design is about getting the most performance over different water conditions.  Its all about the right hull for the right waters. Bear this in mind, a hull design is never bad unless its breached.

Here are some glossary terms when it comes to a hull lot of discussion..

Stringers: Channel or ridge that runs down the side of the boat to improve tracking and or stability.
Channels: Groove that runs from bow to stern. See stringer above.
Keel: Ridge that runs down the center line of the kayak hull.
Waterline: Where the water comes up the side of the boat.
Capacity: Weight the boat can safely carry without sacrificing performance.
Chine: Where the hull meets the gunnel.
Hard Chine: Sharp angle where hull meets gunnel. Improves primary stability and maneuvering.
Soft Chine: Soft angle where hull meets gunnel. Improves secondary stability.
Primary Stability: Primary stability is the relative stability of a boat that is sitting flat on the water right-side-up. A wider base gives increased primary stability.  Planing hulls tend to be wider at the water line and thus provide more primary stability. In flat, motionless water, a planing-hulled boat is harder to flip over than a displacement hulled boat. From www.nrs.com.
Secondary Stability: Secondary stability comes into play when the boat is turned on its side. The more surface area touching the water equals better stability. Good secondary stability helps keep the kayak upright when the paddler’s balance goes beyond the primary stability. Generally, no one boat is harder to roll than another. Some boats (like those with good secondary stability) are just easier to roll with bad technique. Technique is the key to good rolls regardless of the boat. From www.nrs.com.
Rocker: The bend in the keel from bow to stern. More rocker improves maneuverability but decreases tracking.
Tracking: The tendency for the kayak to continue in a straight line.
Volume: The amount of space inside the kayak. Usually measured in gallons.
Flare: The side of the boat goes outwards as it rises from the waterline.

H20 2014 Super Tour TPX

SUPERTOURTPX (1)TPX_Low_Front_CompletePaddle3

New for 2014 is H2O’s newest high performance paddle. Once again H2O breaks new ground in paddle material science. Our new SuperTour TPX paddle features blades made of a light and durable exotic carbon polymer. Our 2014 SuperTour weighs in at a scant 27 oz, the perfect blend of art and science. Available in both high and low angles.
Length: 210 / 220 / 230 / 240
Shaft: Bent Carbon / Straight Carbon
Weight: 765 g / 27 oz
Blade Colour: Black 
TPX_Side1 TPX_Front1 (1)

We have Gone Fishin'… Be back with a monster!