Back in black – Fatyak Kaafu Adventure S review

We reviewed Fatyak’s standard construction Kaafu back in 2013. The brand introduced their lighter, more durable Kaafu Adventure S version back in 2015 and we were intrigued to see how this differed from the original.

On the beach

Fatyak have come a long way since their inception. Noted as one of the leading sit on top kayak companies in the UK they manufacture equipment that suits a range of styles and abilities. The Kaafu is billed as a versatile all round machine that copes with small waves, moderate distance touring, the odd bit of fishing and family paddling. The immediate difference between the Adventure S model and its standard sibling is weight.

Coming in at only 16kg the reduction is significant and extremely evident during transport. Those less burly individuals will relish the weight saving properties of the Kaafu Adventure S – getting on and off roof bars, carrying to the put in and carting any distance is now a much more inviting prospect. Compared to the original Kaafu the balance point, when held by one of Fatyak’s moulded carry handles, has also improved. This is also possibly a knock on effect of being made lighter – either way this trait transfers positively to carriage.There’s no getting away from the fact that rotomoulded kayaks, in general, are weighty toys. Anything that addresses this situation is therefore a huge tick in the box and Fatyak have certainly covered it with their Adventure S.

Like the Model T Ford, the  Kaafu Adventure S is available in any colour… as long as it is black. This may not be to everyone’s taste although you can’t argue how snarly the boat looks on the beach. Ready for action in stealth mode is the impression you get. A note about plastic materials should also be made. The Adventure S is billed as a more durable boat with the manufacturing process delivering a hull to take more knocks, scrapes and bangs than the original Kaafu  (not that we’ve noticed any issue with the original).

As far as hull contours, rocker, cockpit moulding and storage options go the Adventure S is the same as before. Some pretty hefty grooves are cut into the underside of the Adventure S and a wide rear end tapers down significantly to a chop piercing bow. Storage hatches, fixtures and fittings are solid and well thought out with further options available to customise at point of purchase.

Out afloat

Launching the Adventure S is standard fair – all of the boat’s stability is located at the rear. Clambering aboard too far forward could result in a dunking so less experienced paddlers will be wise to keep rearward. Once afloat it’s noticeable how much more reactive and lively the Kaafu Adventure S feels than its sibling. Sitting much higher on the water – due to weight reductions – the Adventure S feels poised to deliver performance orientated paddling that’ll put smiles on all paddler’s faces. Shifting about the cockpit, with feet wedged solidly against firm toe rests, the Adventure S responds in a heartbeat with improved manoeuvrability.

Even with its high riding feeling the Kaafu’s nose slices through flotsam with keen efficiency. For those with skill it’s possible to rail the Adventure S onto an edge and reduce the amount of boat in the water, resulting in less drag – great for increasing speed (when done in conjunction with a higher cadence of paddle stroke). If there’s a wave knocking about the Adventure S is certainly adept at providing some kayak surfing fun. There’s significant rocker running along the forward section of the hull’s shape and moderately steep waves can be tackled. Once riding swell paddlers will need to bank the Kaafu onto its edge, thereby engaging those hard hull chines. This increases bite and grip and stops tail walking off the back of waves.

Although we didn’t head off on any long distance touring expeditions we would be quite happy to undertake moderate distances with the Adventure S. The rear tank well will take a decent amount of provisions – you’ll just have to make sure everything is packed down in secure dry bags as there’s no protection against moisture from the boat itself. Middle and front located storage hatches give a number of other options for stowing kit and don’t forget Fatyak offer their nifty Kaddy – a storage unit that slots snugly into the rear tank well of the Kaafu.

Conclusion

Fatyak’s Kaafu is a popular boat and the brand’s improved Adventure S model only serves to further the appeal. Retaining all the good traits from the standard version the Adventure S will attract an even wider breadth of paddler – it’s reduction in weight suiting a larger audience. Personally we love the black only livery and admire the wide range of use across multiple sit on top kayak scenarios the Adventure S delivers.

FATYAK ADVENTURE S FEATURES

  • Drain Plugs
  • Drinks Holder
  • Fittings for Backrest
  • Fittings for Knee Straps
  • Integrated Carry Handles
  • Paddle keeper
  • Rod Holder
  • Scuppers
  • Storage Hatch
  • Stowing Mesh

FATYAK ADVENTURE S DETAILS

Manufacturer Hull Type Length Width Weight Max Load Seating
Fatyak Kayaks Standard 3.02m 0.77m 16.00kg 130.00kg Solo

WANT THIS KAYAK?

RRP: £440

Manufacturers

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