We would love to say something like "This unique design concentrates and focuses the paddler's psychic energy to effectively levitate the hull clear of the water, reducing wetted surface to zero." But, alas, it is a boat and floats on the water like any other. However, within the realm of the sea kayak category of boats the EXPRESS is particularly easy to move, outstandingly responsive, and inordinately seakindly.
The Express has an especially nice blend of tracking ease and snappy maneuverability. Youll look forward to finding tight places and narrow twisting channels to challenge your boat handling skills.
As all Mariner sea kayaks, the Express is designed specifically to handle the most difficult conditions easily using paddling skills alone, NOT by resorting to a rudder system with its attendant complications and disadvantages. The wind/water couple is balanced for no-hassle tracking in beam winds, and its unique hull features make running with a following sea a sport, not a struggle. In following seas the molded skeg and hard chine keeps the stern from skidding and the hull's ability to carve a tight radius turn back down the face of a wave makes broach avoidance easy.
The EXPRESS is a trim sixteen foot long by twenty two and one-half inch wide. Flared sides with a full bow and stern minimizes the footprint on the water while providing a large storage capacity. Although harsh pounding in head seas is common to many kayaks with this much gear volume the Express has a particularly soft ride.
The small area of wetted surface means less friction. The narrower waterline beam cuts both friction and wavemaking drag. The result is an easily driven hull with surprisingly fast top speed.
The narrow waterline, flared sides and hard chine help keep you dry and the EXPRESS upright and under your control in extreme conditions. The shape is reminiscent of a (long narrow) river dory. These dories are the only open hard shell boats that take passengers through the swirling rapids and huge waves of the Grand Canyon. The narrow "river dory" shape is effortless to lean for control yet provides high secondary stability so you feel comfortably stable even when tilted well to one side. The low initial and high secondary stability lets steep side seas pass under you without tipping the kayak. The hard chine "edges" into a steep wave to prevent you from skidding sideways down its face. Other benefits of this shape include a dry ride and resistance to pearling either end in steep waves or surf.
We designed a strong ruddering effect into the hull. You control this by tilting the EXPRESS slightly to one side while continuing to paddle. Because initial stability is low tilting to turn is effortless--even with a gear load. At cruising speed one sweep stroke and a tilt results in a precise turn that will carry well beyond ninety degrees. When you return it to an even keel the crisp yet effortless carved turn ends and the EXPRESS tracks positively off in the new direction.
The EXPRESS spins quicker and turns in a tighter arc than nearly all kayaks that need a rudder. Amazingly the EXPRESS also tracks straighter than many kayaks that require far more effort to turn. The superior tracking ability of the EXPRESS is most noticeable when it counts most, in difficult conditions, such as side winds or a following sea.
With any MARINER kayak surfing following waves can be great fun. With its' deep keel and hard chines in the stern quarter helping to resist broaching the EXPRESS is virtually riding on rails.
We build the EXPRESS in two sizes. The EXPRESS LP (Low Profile) provides average sized paddlers (110 to 200 pounds) with a more intimate cockpit fit, tighter knee braces for improved tilt control, more elbow clearance, and less windage. The EXPRESS EX (EXpedition) is for taller paddlers 160 to 240 pounds. It is about an inch deeper in the hull so can accommodate tall long legged paddlers with size 14 feet, paddlers preferring a roomier, higher and drier cockpit, or those wanting expedition sized storage and weight capacity. While the Express hasn't been reviewed by Sea Kayaker magazine a kayak with the same underwater shape has been. Click here on Elan review or on ELAN or EXPRESS in the "Reviews:" pickbox on the sidebar. (Shorter or smaller paddlers--80 to 160 pounds--should try our new Elan. The Elan is a 1" lower and 3/4" narrower version of the Express hull. To provide even more elbow clearance for those with short waists, than just lowering the deck, the rear of the Elans cockpit has been recessed into deck another inch. Also our Coaster has long been a favorite of smaller paddlers--as well as surf and rock garden hounds).Hull Configuration and Features: