Current Designs Ignite

2015 Gear of the Year Winner

The Ignite strikes an unprecedented balance between speed and stability. (Michael Karsh)
Photo: Michael Karsh

Officially, it’s a surf ski—a notoriously tippy breed of boat that’s also insanely quick. In reality, it’s 40 percent surf ski and 60 percent sea kayak, with a wider 24-inch hull and soft chines that make this fiber-glass and Kevlar speedster less likely to roll. Which is to say, the Ignite ($2,599) is a brilliant compromise.

So many paddlers get talked into buying touring kayaks when all they really want is to rip out miles on weekend mornings. We tore across a glassy bay without fear of splashing into the drink, thanks to the Ignite’s large open cockpit, smooth edging capabilities, and beautiful tracking.

Lightweight for its 16 feet, this is hands down the best everyman’s fitness boat we’ve ever tested. 39 lbs;

Stability: 3.5
Maneuverability: 5 

More Gear