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Reviews for Velocity Kayak by Sun


Rated: 8.13/10 Based On: 16 Reviews

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08-03-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I had a sun velocity for a short time. I wasn't a huge fan of this kayak as I had a difficult time keeping a straight line. It's stable and roomy inside. At 13ft long it should have tracked better and perhaps could have been my early paddling technique. After this kayak I switched to SOT and never looked back. Most people like this kayak and I had no trouble selling it for a small profit.
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08-09-2010
Submitted by: Errol J. SmithSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I've read the reviews (which stop around the year 2000). I've just bought a second-hand (third, fourth-hand?) Sun Maximum Velocity for mostly river adventuring. I bought this particular kayak because it was one of three kayaks that I and two friends used on the Orange River during March 2010, from a point in Lesotho, through back into South Africa over a distance of 400 kilometres (in 9 days). I'm 65 years old and the others are just ahead of me in that category. We all had different boats and I won't give the names of the other two. One was a glass fibre, about 6 metres and the other (which was my borrowed boat) was another "plastic".

During our nine-day trip, I watched the other two very closely because I wanted to see which was the better boat (I have a single as well as a two-man Indian-type canoes and had not had previous experience with kayaks). During the 400km long trip I capsized twice in rapids and the guy in the glass fibre kayak capsized once. The guy in the Maximum Velocity did not capsize at all. My second capsize was in a rushing torrent with waves from all sides bashing away at us and all the chap in the Velocity did was to cruise next to me as I hung onto my upside-down kayak, racing through whirlpools, dodging driftwood and logs as I rushed headlong for about 1.5 kilometres, before washing up onto a sandbank in the middle of the river. The guy in the Velocity then rushed off ahead to see if he could assist the other chap who was ahead of us. Well, that gave me great respect for the Maximum Velocity, also because this guy had very little kayaking experience and, except for his rudder that broke off when he hit a rock, he seemed to come off best out of us three.

The rudder design is not good on this boat (it seems old - it sure is battered, but sturdy) and I don't know if this has been resolved on the newer versions. The drop-down rudder peg protrudes below the boat and makes an ideal snag for anything in the water and any downward bang on a rock will smash the rudder (again). I'm working on a modification that will solve this problem.

So, all in all, I think that this is a great boat that I've used only once so far myself, but in rough windy conditions on a lake close to my home here in Cape Town, South Africa. It is a far cry from what I've been used to up to this point and it has proved itself in rookie hands, to be all that I would require for the future river touring, with all its packing space and stability.

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09-03-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I've tried lots of boats, owned several and I love my SUN Velocity (Riot Voyager). I'm 5'9" and weigh 230lbs. (boats I owned: 13í fiberglass river runner, used with a skeg for lakes, Perception Pirouette used mostly on lakes, Dagger Response lakes and rivers, SUN Velocity. The boat is very comfortable for someone my size and I'd bet even for someone up to 260lbs. Yes,,, it does what the SUN and Riot web sites say it does. I'm learning to run class II rivers (Deerfield River, below the gap) and I can navigate in and out eddies just fine. (This boat edges like a plaining hull boat and carves an easy 10' radius turn). I can't peel out like a white water boat, but I'm quite comfortable entering into a swift flow from quiet water. I use a longer 210cm. paddle for the extra leverage I need to swing the boat around. It ferries very nice and even surfs a little in a few spots on the river. (Iíll bet this boat will be a riot on ocean surf and Iím looking forward to it.) When I put this boat on a lake it runs faster and carves turns better than my wife's and son's 14.5' Perception Shadows. I didnít bother putting a skeg on this boat, it tracks nice. The 2 ĹĒ rocker helps turn/spin the boat a little, but I really wish they would have made the rocker a bit more aggressive so I could spin it. The unique chines actually seem to do what the hype says. Donít confuse the chines on this boat with the ones on the Pongo, and similar boats with several hard chines. I tried several of those boats and they are barges! Did I say I love this boat? I don't pretend that the SUN at 13' is as playful as a real Whitewater boat, but until I find the right used Whitewater boat for the right price, I'm having lots of fun on the river and intend to keep doing so. This boat spends 80% of it's time on the river. I plan to work up to the upper section of the Deerfield and I will run this thing through the gap one day. I have added some whitewater outfitting (hip and thigh pads), and I do have center post in mine.
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04-02-2004
Submitted by: Jack BarnesSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought a used Sun Velocity as my first kayak last fall. Its been a delight since the beginning, particularly paddling North Carolina during Hurrican Isabel. Its tracking is amazing, and makes me wonder what rudders are for. Although not the fastest boat on the water, it takes you where you need to on lake, river, or ocean. I would recommend purchasing a padded seat, as the molded plastic will hurt your back on an extended paddle. Overall, an excellent multi-purpose beginner's boat!
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08-13-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     In Sept. 2001, I bought two Maximum Velocity kayaks in Ottawa (Canada) for $1100. each. My wife and I love going out in them, and given their durability, we have no qualms about letting our (novice) friends and family take them out on the lake too. With the skeg down, even weak paddlers track well. I've noticed that in windy weather and rough waves the kayak sits on the water. I've never feared it would tip over. The front hatch on one boat leaks a bit...I don't know why. It's easy enough to drain, though. The skeg on both kayaks seem off line (crooked), but I guess they can be fixed with washers. I use my skeg less often as my paddling technique gradually improves. I pull my 5-year-old granddaughter behind the kayak; she's either in an inflatable rubber boat or on a windsurf board tied to the stern kayak handle. She loves going for a ride around the lake behind her granddad! Our rather-large lake has about 100 cottages and about 20 noisy boats. More and more, though, I'm seeing other kayaks. Over time, I hope to see these polluting motors disappear while the kayaks take over the lake!! It's not mentioned often, but the kayak gives a great upper-body workout. So it's not just fun and games, it's good for you.
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03-05-2002
Submitted by: Pierre
Rating: 9 of 10

     I am from the waterpark (Ile-Perrot) around the many islands surrounding Montreal. Solo kayaking at night is what get's me off. So a stable craft is what I need. Being a relatively short man, I am able to strech my legs on the front deck, throw my head backwards and stretch quite at will... and even go for a nap. The MAX VELO IS GREAT ! An extra cushion around the seat is all you need. My first long venture was the Saguenay River in the mid St.Lawrence area...with the whales under the full moon of August 2001. Left me breathless !
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12-26-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have just received the newly renovated version of the Velocity Expedition. From whatI know this is the final version of the Maximum Velocity. I had the Max Velo initially and was excited when they mentioned the deck fittings are now moulded in the plastic so no holes are drilled through allowing the odd drip to itch my legs. The boat has a beautiful gloss finish now and new hatches like the little sisters Flight Expedition. I really noticed the smaller or shallower cockpit on the Velocity which gave me a secure fitting in some waves. Get rid of the skeg cause with a little lean it rips a turn and after you get used to leaning you are the man!. They really did a good number on the bulkheads as they now come cemented and finished with a much cleaner look and to boot they drill in these monster bolts to insure the bulkhead is not moving. Well done Boys and Girls. very classy and well appointed and finished kayak. Want a perfect do it all kayak at 13 feet? Look no more.
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12-26-2001
Submitted by: CCSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I'm a 55 year old guy with lots of paddling experience who wanted something I could car top solo and fish both steelhead rivers and salt water inlets, without wincing every time the boat finish touches a rocky shore. I bought a Velocity Max with a full rudder in August 2001 and flat out love the boat. My Velocity has the glued foam padded seat and bulkheads. I've had a slight leakage on the rear hatch which might be more serious if I paddled in heavy waves for an extended time. My seat needed some adjusting which the dealer did cheerfully and immediately while I waited. Otherwise, great boat, 9.5.

I've paddled mostly down the Fraser River, stopping on sandbars to fish salmon. The Velocity paddles nicer with a pair of heavy salmon for cargo :-)

I paddled Ross Lake, from Canada down to the North Cross highway in Washington, State, and had plenty of room for all the camping gear plus room for more. I did that trip in an afternoon and morning, and never dropped the rudder. For me, the boat tracks like a dream and I have rarely used the rudder. In river eddylines I expected the fluted hull to give me fits to turn, but the boat is quick and almost ignores the grabbing cross currents while obeying my paddle directives. At the lower end of Ross Lake I carried boat and gear up the trail to the highway, a harder task than I want to do again, unless I build some sort of carrying yoke for the boat. I'd guess it is 3/4 mile total carry and up nearly 1000 vertical feet, with most of the elevation gain in a steep switchback section. However, this shows what can be done with a lightweight boat.

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10-04-2001
Submitted by: B.
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had my Max Velocity for a few weeks now, and gotta say I love it. I was looking for a boat with as much versatility as possible, and the Velocity is the only boat I found that comes close to satisfying my needs. My paddling background is in whitewater, and this boat is ideal for a whitewater paddler looking for a lighter-duty touring boat that you can also take downriver. It tracks pretty well for a short boat, but turns on a dime when you get it up on edge. (I was truly amazed at the maneuverability of the boat, as the hull is designed with a series of keels that make it look like it would be a b*tch to turn. Not so.)

The boat tracks pretty good without the skeg as long as your paddling technique is sound. (If your technique stinks you might end up paddling in circles, as another reviewer did.) Deploy the skeg and the boat runs straight as an arrow. The light weight of the boat translates into decent speed, though you probably won't be able to keep up with your paddling buddies in the 17' full-on touring boats. The Max Velocity has enormous cargo capacity for a 13' boat, and I like that the rear hatch is big enough to easily swallow sleeping bags and other large items.

Though I think the design of the boat is great, there are a few areas that could use improvement. The cockpit outfitting and seat are so-so, and I'd prefer traditional molded thighbraces to the "integrated" brace design in the Sun/Riot boats. The seat has no real fore/aft adjustability. The coaming could be more pronounced to allow better mating with nylon/bungee touring skirts. I'd like to see a neoprene cover for the rear hatch. And the skeg mount is slightly off center, though that has no discernable effect on tracking when the skeg is down.

Bottom line: a great boat for someone who just wants ONE boat to handle everything from coastal paddling to easy class III. If the shortcomings mentioned above were addressed by Sun, I'd rate this boat a 10.

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06-22-2001
Submitted by:
Rating: 9 of 10

     I am relatively new in the kayaking department but I don't quite understand what all the negativity is all about concerning the Max Velocity. My wife and I tried the Pungo (which seemed to have everyone all excited) and found it too wide, wobbly and tracked like it was lost. We then rented a Velocity for myself and its little sister (Max Flight) for her as she is only 3 apples high. We had these out for a full day in a hefty breeze on a large lake. There was no tracking problem with either kayak. They were very stable and a joy to paddle. In fact, the Velocity I had out didn't even have a skeg and it still ran well. We were impressed enough to order up a Max Velocity for me and a Max Flight for her the next week.

Problems with the purchased items??? Yes there were/are a few minor ones. Her Max Flight was tracking to the left with the skeg in the down position. Either the mount is a little crooked or there is a slight misalignment in the stern moulding. Solution - a 1/4" flat washer inserted as a shim under the port side mounting half. Straightened out the tracking error in a flash. Of course, she does find that it tracks quite well with the skeg up so she wasn't too worried. For me, there is a thigh pad that could be a little better anchored but that looks like 5 minutes with some contact cement. Also there are some drips coming down on my feet around/through the top rivets. This looks as if it will need some clear silicone - Now "THAT" sounds like a big job. All in all, we are very pleased with them. No, they aren't comparable to a Mariner or something from Current Designs but then we aren't paddling to the High Arctic and we only paid $900 each ... in Canadian dollars too!

In light of a few small adjustments we had to make, I give them both a 9 out of 10. They do a great job of what they were designed for.

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06-04-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 6 of 10

     Bought a Sun Maximum Velocity last season as a second boat. I have to rate it a mixed review. I purchased it for light weight, size, and all around versaitily. My first boat is a Wilderness Systems Alto, which I adore. Several negatives of my Max Velocity are poor workmanship - the mold is very poor, the skeg is mounted slighty unevenly, making tracking less than perfect, bulkheads do not come close to holding water (which was a big reason for paying for a Max versus a plain Velocity since I take it out in potentially rough water - big disappointment here), and the seat is not comfortable for the long haul. Billed as a padded seat and pictured thus, what I got was a molded bottom with a lumbar sling across the back - which is just not great for a long day in the boat - probably fine for whitewater folks on brief, intense runs - but I am using more as a light touring vehicle. Without the skeg, the boat goes in circles, which I have yet to figure out why. Its hugest plus, and probably why I haven't sold it yet for something else, the back hatch is huge, and if I take the top off, my 80lb. best buddy of the canine variety fits right in and rides just fine - we are quite a sight on the water! The high combing of the cockpit is less than ideal for touring, and since I am short, it is even worse. Primary and secondary staibilty is very good, without it being a recreational barge, which is good for people trying touring kayaking for the first time. It gets a 10 for weight and dimensions, but probably a 4 for my criticisms. I gave it a 6 overall. If you want to take your dog, and do not want a huge cockpit barge, I highly recommend it!
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06-04-2001
Submitted by: MBSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is a follow up to the review I wrote about one year ago. I'm still happy with my boat: at 13 feet I can store it in my shed, at 46 pounds I can haul it on my car top alone without any problems and I can carry it around in a cinch. However, I must agree that workmanship is poor and that a few modifications are sometimes needed. This is why I'm giving it one point less than last time. But I still give it an 8 because it works well in most situations, you can have a snooze in it without fearing of tipping over, and it does go straight. Of course, being only 13 feet long and having such a rocker, the boat will turn more than other kayaks. But with proper paddling techniques, the boat goes straight even without the skeg (which I virtually never use).
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02-12-2001
Submitted by: MarkSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     The fellow in the first review was unhappy and I agree with him for most of his situation. The kayaks had problems and Sun has addressed them. The Max Velocity has improved moulding techniques. We have added a second gasket virtually making the front and rear hatches airtight. I had one on the waves of Tofino and had a few INCIDENTS, heh heh I came to realize one must have a different seat as I kept falling out in the middle of a roll, and I am a larger paddler. On the plus side you sure won't get stuck in a bad situation. As a result of this trip we have decided to cut out the molded in seat and place a regular sea kayak seat inside so one may pad it out for more aggressive maneuvers.
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12-28-2000
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     The workmanship on my Max Velocity was atrocious. The skeg bracket was placed incorrectly on the boat so the cord hung up and the skeg would not function. Metal bracket was cut and filed down flush with boat to rectify. Then the cord broke in one trip; turns out the hole in the bracket was cut roughly; so that was filed smoothly and the cord replaced. The bracket that holds the cord in place on the boat for operating the skeg from the cockpit was of poor quality and nonfunctional. I replaced it with a $3.25 clam cleat that holds the cord on the boat deck instead of dropping it in the water, and it holds the cord in place rather than allowing the skeg to drop randomly. The seat was advertised as having extra padding. Well, they just jammed a lot of pieces of foam underneath, tilting the seat back and the edge of the seat was cutting off the circulation in my legs; So I removed all the foam, replaced the bolt with a shorter one and rectified that situation. The bungee cords were too flimsy on the deck rigging, so I replaced it with quality/heavier cord and added a few loops to extend the rigging for better utilization on both front and back decks.

The back hatch cover leaked. Had to cut the rubber seal and add silicone. Worst of all: Both bulkheads leak severely; this is a safety hazard. The Rep told me it was impossible (as both compartments filled up with water); they told me to seal it with Lexel. After four tubes of this, it still leaks, just not as badly. I had it pointed out to me by other paddlers that Sun used cheap foam instead of closed cell foam. So, for all the shoddy workmanship and problems I give the boat a 1.

For the diversity of the boat, I agree with the other reviews to date. It has enough room to camp from over night, it turns nicely, skeg keeps it tracking well, a good all around boat , but not a fast boat at 13'. The higher cockpit area can be a plus when the water is colder. An all-around boat that I would rate a 10. So I compromised and rated it a 5 for total score.

My biggest disappointment was no acknowledgement from the reps.. No call backs from my phone calls and no answer to my letters of complaint, and no response on my commentary regarding their warranty, which touted their product's double bulkheads as being waterproof. They're like guilty rodents with their heads stuck in the sand. Because they do not stand behind their products/warranty, I do not recommend anyone buy any of their products. I let my salesman know, and he said he would no longer be dealing with Sun (NY). When I called dealerships in NJ carrying Sun products, they said they would not carry the Max Velocity because of known bulkhead problems (Summer of 2000).

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06-24-2000
Submitted by: MBSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is a review of the Maximum Velocity, which is a Velocity with 2 bulkheads, adjustable foot rests, padded back rest, and skeg. Definitly one of the best boats in its price range, with fairly good tracking and good stability. It's not a very fast boat, but with its light and rigid plastic, it can probably compare with a plastic 15 footer (this needs to be verified). The drop-down skeg is great in rough conditions, and given the boats rocker, you can still turn easily even with the skeg down. The main drawback is that the deck in front of the cockpit is a bit bulky and sometimes gets in the way. Overall, this fun boat is excellent value.
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05-16-2000
Submitted by: MikeSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Designed to be a crossover boat, and it is just that. Fits a variety of water conditions. Recommend for new kayakers and/or for recreational use (or second kayak) and helps the undecided if they wish to specialize in one particular class of water. Fits my requirements perfectly- goes straight, able to store equipt, very stable for fishing, and good in class 2. Excellent all purpose. I just haven't rolled it yet- has anyone?
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