152 Lincolnville Ave.
Belfast, Maine 04915

Ruahine Swallow:
Rough water racing kayak from New Zealand

"The Swallow is an extremely fast kayak designed for racing. . . . This is the radical update of our popular Swallow. It has the same basic dimensions as the earlier model, being 17.7 feet long and a maximum beam of 18.89 inches. Designed for the Multisporter progressing to a faster kayak from an Intrigue etc, who finds a K1 too unstable. The Swallow is a very popular intermediate level kayak for such events as Coast to Coast, Tongariro Classic, Crater to Lake, Weka Wild Thing, Wellington Crazy Man, and The Motu Challenge to name a few. This new kayak, designed with help from Richard Karn (ex team NZ) is slightly faster, is more stable and turns easier than it's predecessor. " --Ruahine Kayaks

Having previously spent only about 10 minutes in a boat narrower than 21 inches, I was happy to find that I adjusted very quickly to the Swallow. First time out paddled in conditions that included 18 knot winds, 2 knot currents, and 2 foot seas -- and felt quite confident in it. Having paddled the boat only about five times, I did a five mile time trial on a local lake -- averaged 6.2 mile per hour with a total time of 48:03. In another time trial on the same course 10 days later, I brought my time down to 47:07. Suffice to say I've never paddled that fast (or even close to it) for that long in my life. I'm excited about continuing to paddle the Swallow and bringing my times down more in the coming weeks and months.

What continues to impress me about the boat, in addition to its easy speed, is how user-friendly this boat is. The footbraces and rudder system are easy to use and effective in keeping the boat on course. Usually you would expect to give up a lot of stability with this kind of speed, but not so with the Swallow. And they tell me it's even faster in rough water! Available by special order. Details on some preliminary time trials in the Swallow at Virtual Racing.

Spring 2007 update: while still something of a neophyte in the boat, I feel I've had good success with it: a first place finish (45:19 in an 8 mile downriver race, 65 boats, 1st place overall and in K-1 Long class -- see news article) and a third place finish (2:04.54 in a 16.5 mile downriver race, 450 boats, 3rd in K-1 Long and 7th overall) in the two races I've entered in that boat. The Swallow handles the whitewater really well and is plenty well-built enough to handle the occasional mix-up with rocks. -- Ray Wirth

• Kevlar/Carbon Construction

• Adjustable OZO Footrests
• Kengineering Flip-up Rudder (80% less drag and improved turning efficiency)


Length: 17' 7" / 503 cm
Weight: 26.4 lbs
Price: $2655

Ruahine Swallow Photos

For more information on the Swallow:

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Water Walker Sea Kayaks Belfast, Maine 207-338-6424 info@touringkayaks.com