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Zephyr Description

The Zephyr is a canoe brought to you by Blackhawk. Read Zephyr reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other canoe recommendations below or explore all canoes to find the perfect one for you!

Zephyr Reviews

Read reviews for the Zephyr by Blackhawk as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

I went to the Swift Canoe...

I went to the Swift Canoe company to buy a solo canoe when thet first started to make them. I tested them and they were nice but expensive. They had a slightly used solo canoe from another company so I checked it out while I thought about the Swift canoes. This was far better and I bought it. They said it was a Blackhawk Zephyr and didn't know what it was made of. At 37lbs I wasn't too bothered. I still find it a joy to paddle and use it empty as a play boat or loaded up as a tripping boat. When tripping I put the heavy food behind the seat and my pack in front of me. This balances it makes the stearing easy. I have had it out in Temagami for 2 weeks (I am 140lbs)on big lakes with big winds and never took on a drop of water.

I know a lot about...

I know a lot about Blackhawk canoes. I worked at Blackhawk Canoe the summer of '85 and again from 1991 till 1993. The other reviews really are right on the money. I've paddled a lot of boats, but have never found a boat I like better than my Blackhawk Zephyr.

With admittedly less initial stability than the oft compared Bell Wildfire, the Zephyr is noticeably faster and more enjoyable to paddle. It's attention to detail is unmatched even today (especially today?). The seamless integration of the decks and flotation tanks have to be seen to be believed. It was a lot of work making all those extra parts and later fiberglassing them into the hull - but it had CLASS. I've been paddling my Zephyr for 12 years now and appreciate it more all the time. My model is all Kevlar/Carbon weave cloth with a Spectra belly panel. The wooden rails and thwarts are all mahogany. This particular boat is an experimental layup of my own design (double strength hull bottom with lighter weight decks, flotation tanks and seat pods). Actual weight is the standard spec of 34 pounds for the GOLD (spec was 39 pounds for the fiberglass model).

You should have met the owner, Phil Siggelkow. Early mornings he'd come downstairs with mussed hair wearing a $100 pair of Royal Robbins slacks, barefoot on the resin and gel-coat covered shop floor, a mug of thick Eight O-Clock coffee in one hand and an unfiltered Camel in the other. A certified genius if ever there was one.

If you can't buy a Zephyr, do whatever you can to at least paddle one - it'll give you something to compare all other boats to.

Mine was fiberglass with...

Mine was fiberglass with ash and mahogany trim. I used this boat almost exclusively before I paddled with a dog. This is a fast and efficient low volume solo. Rumor is that it may be Blackhawk's best hull. I'm 180 pounds and probably near the upper limit for the boat; it's easy to lean until water comes in...shallow boat! But it cruises great, accelerates as well as any solo, and it also turns on a dime. And it's extremely well made - and beautiful - like most Blackhawks. Super hot solo...just kind of small.

The Zephyr is a neat...

The Zephyr is a neat alternative to the Bell Wildfire at 14'2". It was made as the smallest member of a family which also includes the Ariel (15'1") and the Starship (15'11" I believe). The boats were originally constructed as touring or light tripping canoes. But the Zephyr found a home among many folks interested in Freestyle.

Blackhawks were built until about 1994 by Phil Sigglekow in Janesville, WI. The Zephyr is one of the most interesting (and beautiful) hull shapes any canoe has been constructed in. It's radically asymmetrical above the waterline and slightly fishform at the water. The stern is low and recurved to gain the maximum waterline length with the least windage.

The Zephyr is a wonderfully responsive canoe for an experienced paddler that loves to be heeled over to the rail. It makes a fun boat to play with freestyle during the evenings after a day traveling.

Blackhawks are available in fiberglass (Silver layup) and kevlar/fiberglass (Gold layups) with mahogany and ash trim. A nifty option is the SST adjustable cane seat that both slides and allows height adjustments.

Hunt for a used one at your local canoe shop.... It's worth the paddle.

No longer being...

No longer being manufactured, but worth checking out, if you come across one. A very efficient (even fast) hull with lots of final stability (not so much initial stability). This boat is best paddled kneeling. An absolute joy for cruising and light tripping (this paddler = 125 lbs). Tracks well, yet also turns responsively when heeled. One of my favorite solo boats of all time. A wonderful boat to grow into, skill-wise. I'll never become bored and 'outgrow' it. Handles great in a variety of conditions, including winds. Aesthetically, a beautiful hull. These boats are well-made, with a lot of attention to detail and design. For larger paddlers, Zephyr's counterpart is the Ariel.