The Whio is an endemic New Zealand duck that lives exclusively in whitewater rivers. Ruahine owner, Tim Taylor, often comes across these fascinating birds while paddling remote rivers so he named our latest multisport kayak in their honour. Just like their namesake, the Whio was designed to be light, agile, and ultra confident in moving water. We took the same hull as our popular sea kayak - the Sea Hawk - and designed the deck and accessories to suit multisport paddlers. We wanted a kayak that novice paddlers, particularly those entering in the Coast to Coast, could jump in and feel safe but also competative...and we reckon we achieved that.
I've been using a trial version of this kayak for the last 12 months while coaching grade 2 certs. Previously I was using a plastic sea kayak and had really struggled to keep up with customers who were paddling their fast race yaks. My idea for the Whio was simple - I wanted an ultra stable kayak that I could perform rescues in, but it also needed to be fast enough to keep up with everyone. I'd also noted how many people were struggling with their kayak choice for the Coast to Coast - they simply didn't have the time to learn how to paddle a fast multisport kayak and simply wanted something that they were going to be safe in - I figured the Whio might be good for that too. Well I'm pleased to say that it's performed this duty exactly as I intended and I can now offer it to the public. At only 17kg it's extremely light for a kayak of this size, so it's easy to paddle for long distances, and due to the size it's very stable in the rough stuff. It'll be great to see a few of them down on the Waimak at Coast to Coast 2021!
- A high profile bow for riding over big waves trains that are common in whitewater.
- Carbon Kevlar multisport layup which keeps the weight down but the strength up
- An extra wide seat to cater for the biggest of paddlers
- Foam bulkheads, front and rear, that allow the kayak to flex without breaking it's watertight seals
- Front and rear compartments for gear storage.
- Front and rear deck nets for gear storage - perfect for stowing food, water bottles, and other commonly needed items while racing.
- An oversized rudder for ultimate control when the waves are throwing you around.
Price $4499 in carbon Kevlar
Weight: 17kg in composite
Colours: your choice of one or two colours
Paddler Size: up to 130kg and 6'6"