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Kayak Classifications Chart: Length to Width Ratio

Posted by  on September 13, 2013

If you have ever entered into a canoe, kayak, or other flatwater race you have most likely had to list your vessel per its waterline length to width ratio (often seen as L:W). Most flatwater racing organizations follow this universally recognized classification for kayaks:

Single Kayaks

Sea Kayak- L:W ratio less than 9.25:1

Fast Sea Kayak- L:W ratio between 9.25:1 and 10.99:1

High Performance Kayak- L:W ratio is greater than 10.99:1

The Surge is 17' 8" from bow to stern (LOA) but has only 15' of waterline length (LWL)

The Surge is 17′ 8″ from bow to stern (LOA) but has only 15′ of waterline length (LWL)

 Double Kayaks

Sea Kayak (SK2)- L:W ratio less than 10:1

Fast Sea Kayak (FSK2)- L:W ratio between 10:1 and 13:1

High Performance Kayak (HPK2)- L:W ratio greater than 13:1

 

Sprint/Olympic

Flatwater race kayaks such as surf skis are classified by the number of paddlers: K1, K3, K3, K4

Belarus men's K4 team won gold in 1000m in 2:55.714 at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (Photo credit: Xinhua)

Belarus men’s K4 team won gold in 1000m in 2:55.714 at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (Photo credit: Xinhua)

Kayak Classifications Chart

The following chart is publicly available courtesy of the Sound Rowers Open Water and Paddlers Club, “a non-profit organization whose sole function is to sponsor human-powered boat racing for weekend and world class athletes.” This chart is the most comprehensive L:W ratio classification for kayaks by make and model available on the internet. Please feel free to reference this chart as tremendous research was invested into its creation.

ManufacturerModelL/W ratioRace Classification
_ANY_Down River RacerHPK
_ANY_ICF Sprint and Marathon boatsHPK
Action FishEmpire Fly7.9SK
AquaDynamicThelon 178.2SK
AquaterraChinook7.9SK
AquaterraScimitar8.4SK
AquaterraSea Lion8.3SK
Azul KayaksAspen8.8SK
Azul KayaksSultan9.4FSK
Bear Mountain Boat ShipEnterprise8.3SK
BergansAlly Folding Sea Touring Kayak10.1FSK
Billington Sea KayakSurge8.28SK
Boreal DesignsAlvik8.3SK
Boreal DesignsEllesmere9SK
Boreal DesignsFjord8.3SK
Boreal DesignsInukshuk8.1SK
Boreal DesignsMuktuk8.2SK
Boreal DesignsNarwhal8.2SK
Chesapeake Lt. CraftChesapeake 168.6SK
Chesapeake Lt. CraftChesapeake 178.8SK
Chesapeake Lt. CraftShearwater 178.8SK
CobraCobra Expedition8.5SK
Current DesignsAltura6.2SK
Current DesignsAndromeda8.3SK
Current DesignsBreeze6.5SK
Current DesignsCaribou8.5SK
Current DesignsExpedition9.7FSK
Current DesignsExtreme9.5FSK
Current DesignsFreedom9.8FSK
Current DesignsGulfstream8.5SK
Current DesignsKestrel 1406.2SK
Current DesignsPachena6.9SK
Current DesignsPiceses8.6SK
Current DesignsRaven7.3SK
Current DesignsSlipstream8.1SK
Current DesignsSolstice GT & ST8.5SK
Current DesignsSolstice SS9SK
Current DesignsSpeedsterHPK
Current DesignsSquamish7.3SK
Current DesignsStorm7.9SK
Current DesignsStratus 189.8FSK
Current DesignsVision 1306.5SK
Current DesignsVision 1407SK
Current DesignsVision 1507.3SK
Current DesignsWhistler7SK
DaggerBaja8.4SK
DaggerCortez 16.58.3SK
DaggerMagellen8.1SK
DaggerMeridian7.8SK
DaggerSeeker8.2SK
DaggerSitka9.3FSK
DestinyAquila<8.5SK
DestinyDeception8.8SK
DestinyDefiance8.7SK
DestinyKiska<8.8SK
DirigoDirigo<8.5SK
DragonworksIslander8.9SK
Easy RiderDolphin7.7SK
Easy RiderEskimo 15<8.4SK
Easy RiderEskimo 16<8.4SK
Easy RiderEskimo 178.4SK
Easy RiderEskimo 18.68.7SK
Easy RiderHarpoon 1910.5FSK
Easy RiderSea Hawk8.4SK
EddylineCalypso9SK
EddylineFalcon (16′)8.7SK
EddylineFalcon (18′)9.7FSK
EddylineFathom8.5SK
EddylineHeron10.7FSK
EddylineMerlin<8.0SK
EddylineNighthawk8.5SK
EddylineOrca8.2SK
EddylineRaven8.3SK
EddylineSea Star9.7FSK
EddylineSkimmer<7.0SK
EddylineSkylark5.3SK
EddylineWind Dancer8.5SK
EddylineZephyr8SK
Epic18xHPK
Epic18x SportFSK
EpicRecreational GP6.1SK
EpicTouring Cruiser 16<8.8SK
EpicTouring Endurance 1810.5FSK
EpicV10/V10L/V10 SportHPK
EpicV12HPK
FeathercraftK1 Expedition8.1SK
FeathercraftKhatsalano S9SK
Folbot Folding Kany as single<8.0SK
Folding Craft500 EX7.5SK
FuturaCarrera<13.7HPK
FuturaFutura<8.0SK
FuturaFutura II<12.3HPK
FuturaFutura TR<14.4HPK
Georgn. Bay Folding Kayakany as singleSK
HeritageExpedition LP8.4SK
HeritageNomad8.2SK
Hoby CatQuest5.5SK
Hody SportTK-110.9FSK
HopOnTopHopOnTop6.8SK
HukiHuki S1-AHPK
HukiHuki S1-X15.5HPK
Hutchinson DesignBaidarka Explorer8.7SK
Hutchinson DesignIslander<9.0SK
Hutchinson DesignUmnak<8.4SK
HydrTufLiteSea Runner8.2SK
HydrTufLiteVenture<8.3SK
Impex KayakForce Cat 49.7FSK
Impex KayakForce Category 59.15SK
Innova KayaksSeaker 16.3SK
JKK KayaksSupernova11.8HPK
JKK KayaksTotal Eclipse11.8HPK
JKK KayaksU211.5HPK
Kajak SportArtisan Millenium8.8SK
Kajak SportAvalon Viviane9.9FSK
Kajak SportInfinity Active7.3SK
Kajak SportViking Expedition8.4SK
Kirton KayaksInuk10.6FSK
Kiwi Kayakany as single<7.0SK
Klepper Folding Kayaksany as single<7.0SK
Mad RiverMonarch7.7SK
MarinerCoaster7.4SK
MarinerElan8.4SK
MarinerEscape8.9SK
MarinerExpress8.9SK
MarinerMariner10.7FSK
MarinerMariner II10.2FSK
MarinerMariner XL8.8SK
MarinerMAX8.3SK
Momentum Yacht DesignLoki R9.1SK
Momentum Yacht DesignLoki Sea Race13.6HPK
Mont BellEllsmere 3508.5SK
Natural DesignPolaris8.6SK
NautiradGreenlander 167.9SK
NeckyAlsek<7.0SK
NeckyArluk I11.5HPK
NeckyArluk II/1.8/1.99.9FSK
NeckyArluk III8.7SK
NeckyArluk IV7.3SK
NeckyChatham 167.4SK
NeckyElaho7.5SK
NeckyEliza8.1SK
NeckyKyook<7.7SK
NeckyLooksha II10.6FSK
NeckyLooksha IV<8.9SK
NeckyLooksha V8.1SK
NeckyNootka7.7SK
NeckyPhantom13HPK
NeckyTelsa<8.5SK
NeckyTornak<8.5SK
NeloFW 200014.5HPK
Nigel DennisRomany Explorer8.2SK
NimbusHorizon<8.7SK
NimbusLootas8.3SK
NimbusPuffin8.5SK
NimbusSolander8.4SK
NimbusSprint10.3FSK
NimbusZoom9.23SK
Novus CompositesNC 15<8.0SK
Novus CompositesNC 178.3SK
Novus CompositesNC 199.1SK
NW KayakCadence8.8SK
NW KayakEsprit8.7SK
NW KayakSportee<8.0SK
NW KayakSynergy8.3SK
NW KayaksDiscovery8.9SK
NW KayaksPursuit8.9SK
Ocean KayakManta6.1SK
Ocean KayakPro S1 1094.8SK
Ocean KayakScrambler<7.0SK
Ocean KayakScupper7.5SK
Ocean KayakSprinter10.4FSK
Old Town CanoeEgret7.8SK
Old Town CanoeMillenium8.8SK
P&HBahiya8.6SK
P&HCapella7.7SK
P&HIona<8.5SK
P&HOrion<8.5SK
P&HQuest8.4SK
P&HSirius8.5SK
PakboatsPuffin Swift6.8SK
PerceptionAvatar 167.8SK
PerceptionCarolina7.9SK
PerceptionEclipse8.6SK
PerceptionSonoma 13.56.8SK
PerceptionVizcaya8.1SK
PrijonArctic Tern 146.8SK
PrijonBarracuda9.1SK
PrijonCabalara6.5SK
PrijonKodiak8.5SK
PrijonOdysee7.8SK
PrijonSeayak7.6SK
PrijonTouryak7.3SK
PrijonYukon Eskie8.4SK
Pt. 65º NorthK1 R8.6SK
Pt. 65º NorthK1 VR8.9SK
Pt. 65º NorthK1 XP10FSK
Pt. 65º NorthKIR8.8SK
Pt. 65º NorthX Lite8.4SK
PWSAvocet8.6SK
PWSIntrepid8.3SK
PWSOsprey9.4FSK
PWSSea Otter7.9SK
PWSSeal10.8FSK
PWSThunderbird7.8SK
PWSWidgeon7.9SK
PygmyArctic Tern8.3SK
PygmyArctic Tern 147SK
PygmyCoho8.6SK
PygmyGoldeneye8.5SK
PyranhaOrca6.8SK
QCC KayaksQ300<8.8SK
QCC KayaksQ400<8.8SK
QCC KayaksQ500x8.8SK
QCC KayaksQ600x9.7FSK
QCC KayaksQ700x10.3FSK
Rainforest DesignsKap Farvel8.1SK
Rainforest DesignsTelkwa8.3SK
REI (?)Marlin (on top)7.7SK
Riot KayakTourlite 156.8SK
SeafarerSolander8.6SK
SeafarerSprint10.4FSK
Seavivor Folding KayakGreenland Solo9.8FSK
Seaward2005 Tyee8.1SK
SeawardChilco9.5FSK
SeawardDiscover Aurora7.7SK
SeawardEndeavor8.7SK
SeawardNavigator8.3SK
SeawardQuantum8.8SK
Seaworthy DesignEnetai9SK
SedaGlider10.8FSK
SedaGypsy7.5SK
SedaIkkuma 178SK
SedaImpulse10.4FSK
SedaStarlet8.2SK
SedaSwift8.6SK
SedaViking8.4SK
SewardChilco9.4FSK
SewardQuest9.4FSK
Sisson Evolution>12.0HPK
Skim KayaksDex9SK
Skim KayaksDistance9.8FSK
Southern ExposureLegend9.5FSK
Southern ExposureReiver9SK
ThinkEvoHPK
ThinkFitFSK
ThinkLegendHPK
ThinkUnoHPK
Third Rock KayakEspresso8.4SK
TRAKT-16009SK
TritonLadoga 17.2SK
TwogoodChalupski13HPK
TwogoodMakoHPK
TwogoodPhoenix11.3HPK
ValhallaValhalla12.3HPK
ValhallaVictory13HPK
Valley CanoeAquanaut8.8SK
Valley CanoeAquanaut RM8.2SK
Valley CanoeAvocet7.9SK
Valley CanoeNordkapp9.4FSK
Valley CanoeNordkapp H208.7SK
Valley CanoeNordkapp LV8.7SK
Valley CanoePetrel<7.6SK
Valley CanoeSelkie<8.6SK
Valley CanoeSkerray8.6SK
Valley CanoeSkerray XL8.9SK
Valley Sea KayakRapier 2013.8HPK
VenturesportBlack Marlin<13.7HPK
VenturesportEclipse<13.5HPK
VenturesportElan Crosstrainer<14.6HPK
VenturesportShearwater<13.6HPK
VenturesportVector<12.3HPK
VenturesportVenture7.6SK
VenturesportVintage>8.0SK
Venure KayakAyr 16.58.5SK
WaldenVista<8.0SK
WaldonVision6.6SK
Westside BoatWave Piercer11.6HPK
Westside BoatWave XL/Ultra15.7HPK
Westside BoatX Par EFT14HPK
Westside BoatX Par Missile18.9HPK
Wilderness SystemsAlto<8.7SK
Wilderness SystemsArctic Hawk9.4FSK
Wilderness SystemsCape Horn 178.8SK
Wilderness SystemsEpic9.7FSK
Wilderness SystemsSeacret<8.0SK
Wilderness SystemsSealution8.1SK
Wilderness SystemsSealution SS/II8.1SK
Wilderness SystemsSealution XL8.8SK
Wilderness SystemsTempest 165 Pro8.6SK

Sound Rowers used the following methodology and measurement for the kayak classification chart: Sound Rower’s Kayak Classifications: Tom Cartmill’s System

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