Waterman K2

Weight (lb)

Waterman K2 Options

  • 62 lb
  • 44 lb

    Waterman K2 Description

    The Waterman K2 is a kayak brought to you by Nelo Kayaks. Read Waterman K2 reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other kayak recommendations below or explore all kayaks to find the perfect one for you!

    Nelo Kayaks
    Waterman K2 Reviews

    Read reviews for the Waterman K2 by Nelo Kayaks 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!

    Embed these reviews on your site


    FANTASTIC boat, a dream…

    Submitted by: CA139 on 7/27/2020
    FANTASTIC boat, a dream unicorn that is the perfect combination of stability and speed that no one thought possible. Sadly, it has a few minor flaws but they are very easily remedied with inexpensive mods and some elbow grease. The worst part of this boat is that they seem to be very hard to get. If you think you want one and are comfortable with the price BUY IT, glad I pounced on my chance to get one. That's the short version. For more detailed info, read on, if you dare. First off, the part you all want to hear about is how the stability blends with speed. It mostly does. The boat is very fast; as a matter of fact the first time we paddled this boat it took us 45 minutes to go around a pond that normally takes us about 1 hour in our Stellar ST17. The only reason why we didn't go even faster was the boat was a little bit too tippy for us and we needed to get used to it. There were some final adjustments to the seats we had to do and adapt our paddling style to a boat requiring more skill but once we made the adjustments to the footrest lengths, seats and our paddling, we were off to the races. Interestingly you can even adjust the seat height, you have over an inch of raising or lowering in 6 different positions at about 1/4 inch difference each so if you're starting out you can begin at the bottom and then slowly raise it up as your skills increase. Most "normal" doubles are as long as a fairly long single but are significantly wider. You really don't feel the loss in speed from the extra width because the second person means you don't have to paddle as hard. While the sprint or top hull speed might be a bit less in the end you can keep a pretty high average because neither paddler has to work as hard so it's almost as if you get the extra width and stability for free without a performance penalty. Double kayaks are very easy to just bomb around in, paddle anywhere without getting tippy and go fast too which is why they are so wonderful for a couple looking to get on the water stress free. This double adds some significant length measuring 22 feet long but has the width of an average touring single kayak. Now 23.5 inches on a touring boat isn't that tippy, but remember that there are two of you so you have to account for all the unexpected movements of your partner. Normally the extra wide doubles mask this fact so it's not a problem. With the Waterman it's not a huge issue, but you have to be more cognizant as 23.5 inches is plenty for one paddler but it's not a huge margin for two people so you had better get to know your paddling partner well! Furthermore, the steering is from the front, not the back. It can be converted to a back steering boat but you need to buy some extra parts and do a significant amount of work with the lines and whatnot. If you really want to it's possible but given the work involved it's probably not worth it. I mention this because normally you put the better, more experienced paddler in the back who react to and synchronize with the less experienced paddler in the front. The more capable rear person will take care of steering with rudder as well as edging the boat as the two require coordination and this traditional setup works better for novices. The Waterman reverses this; it's not necessarily a bad thing because now the person in charge of steering also has better visibility thanks to being in front. You don't have to rely on an inexperienced or inattentive paddler that acts like you can turn in an instant telling you that you're about to run into a log at the last moment at full speed that their body was blocking. In a perfect world the steering person being in the front is ideal assuming their partner can follow them perfectly but if one paddling partner is less capable, and doesn't have a good stroke rythm or is not that attentive, now they will be in the back making the ride unpleasantly tippy. So this should not be your first double but once you get good in a more steadfast touring double you'll adapt in no time to the Waterman. If you're feeling very comfortable with a more sedate double, it doesn't take long for you and your partner to get used to this boat. I wouldn't take it out with a kid who isn't into all this coordination stuff or who isn't physically fit. On the other hand it's not so tippy as to be scary either. When you're out of sync or do something you're not supposed to the boat wobbles a bit just to let you know you're not doing it right. Boat wakes and waves or wind are not a problem at all, only poor technique. It's just stable enough you could change clothing on top of. Unlike a surfski you don't have to be moving to be stable. You can stop, take a drink, eat a snack, take photos of wild-life, enjoy the looks under a cliff, inside an inlet or pretty cove, and check out the scenery having the stability to pull out your camera, phone or binoculars and look around while not moving. The boat is marginal for fishing but by the time you're buying this boat you probably have others more in tune with that. So if you want a fast boat but still require storage capacity, maybe go camping and need to be able to stop and have stability to carry out tasks while stopped this is your ticket. With the Carbon/Kevlar WWR#4 layup the stiffness makes it a responsive, refined machine. You don't have to lean much to edge. You don't have to paddle hard to make this thing GO. The way power is trasnferred in the water and gets you up to speed reminds me of my coach when I was a kid saying just that word full of power and enthusiasm.... "GO!" I will never forget being told that as a kid. As you get more comfortable and in sync with your paddling partner you can really lay into the boat and it rockets off impressively. Nothing in the touring class even comes close to this kind of high performance. Some compromises are made, you trade a bit of room, slightly smaller cockpits, a bit of tightness overall for tall people and some stability but you get almost race like speeds. Nothing any faster is going to be stable or practical at all, nothing any more practical or stable is going to be anywhere near this fast. I also feel less tired when I paddle this boat compared to shorter, wider doubles. It's so efficient you barely have to touch the water. Once you get in sync with your partner it's effortless to just power around. Steering is a bit tricky as the boat is light and responsive but once you get going the slightest bit of edging or rudder will get you where you want to go. Just like this boat is a nice combination of stability for this high level of speed, it also has a nice combination of both tracking straight in wind as well as easy maneuverability especially for a boat this long. It tracks like a boat this long but turns like a shorter, lighter boat, the only thing that gives its size away is that once you get it turning the ends keep going and it wants to keep turning so it's better not to turn that hard unless you really have to. The fit and finish is wonderful and very particular. This boat has an identity and is obviously not mass produced. The designers obviously had something in mind that is specific as you don't see the typical mass produced fittings of most boats. I have to take a moment to describe these ergonomics; they are not adjustable on the fly as they employ screws and widgets. You're going to have to get out of the boat and remove a bit of hardware. This is still very nice as it does not require tools. This is more time consuming and onerous than the Stellar boats which can be adjusted on the fly in the water. I mentioned the adjustments are not that easy so this is a boat for a couple that will be paddling it long term. It's not the kind of boat that you can adjust for for different people quickly and easily. On the other hand the hardware is stiffer, once it's in, it's locked in and theres more to brace with confidence as nothing is going to move until you go through the process again so no wobbling and you can apply more power. It contributes to a very fast, refined, sharp feeling. On the same token, with the Nelo if you actually want to take stuff off or change things almost nothing requies tools except some items on the foot that has screws, everything is has hand tightened widgets. Different philosophy, both are good just be sure that you have everything adjusted before first taking out the boat and be ready to come back shortly once you're on the water for a few minutes the first time. The rudder itself is also like this. The system is the absolute best I have ever had the pleasure to steer and trim on the water. You have to compare it with the low level rudders where both entire pedals move so if you apply any steering you are always unbalanced one leg vs the other, and paddling hard makes you step on the pedals to accidentally steer if you aren't careful as well. The next step up is the Smart-Trak rudder which is nice because the pedals have two pieces with only the toe part of the pedal moving under pressure but the lower part of the pedals are fixed allowing you to still brace. This is wonderful but the Smart Trak is spring loaded and there's a dead spot of slack when changing directions from going one way to the other so you never really know how much rudder you have applied when applying an opposite input. It's not precise and drives you nuts even with extensive experience as the numb spot always leaves you applies either too much or too little rudder. The Nelo system has a 2 piece footboard, the top part of which moves when you step on it with your toes. This way you get the bracing all the time, you can keep a certain amount of left or right trim, and there's no spring giving you slack so you always know exactly how much rudder is there based on your respective (toe) positions. You can just feel it. On the water it's sublime and simply the best handling rudder system out there. Unfortunately on land the problem is the rudder is either all the way up when retracted, as in pointing vertically up, or all the way down. This means it never really folds into the boat so the blade is always sticking out somewhere in the way when you're storing or carrying it! It's not a bad thing but when cartopping or trailering or flipping the boat in your back yard to wash and wax it then it creates a bit of a hassle and something else to be careful about vs the other two rudder systems out there that aren't as good on the water, but so much better on land. The cockpits are a bit smaller than most doubles and more commensurate with a racing boat. The positive here is they take less water even if you don't use spray skirts. Another nice element is the boat feels snug around you like a performance seat on a sports car. It helps you brance and lean and feel this boat better. Given the responsive nature, you need minimal edging and control inputs so the smaller cockpits help and contribute to enjoying the boat's personality. If you're 100lbs overweight and need to sprawl around maybe a near race boat isn't for you; at 6'4" and 183lbs with size 13 very wide feet I was afraid I couldn't get in. Indeed entering is not as easy as the more sedate tandems with huge cockpits but I am glad to report with the Waterman it's not a big deal, a lot easier than I thought. So unless you're significantly overweight which means you've got bigger problems, if a long guy with big feet like me could easily deal with this boat you'll be fine entering and exiting as well, don't worry. You do have the choice of two different rudders, an outside one that can be raised which makes it more appropriate for shallow or flatwater, or an internal one that depending on the size blade is bigger and more responsive for deep water or ocean type paddling. I prefer the former as you don't have to worry about water depth and rocks as much although plastic blades are available. Changing from rudder to the other is possible but it's kind of a pain in the butt. You can buy this boat brand new and you specify which kind of rudder you want, mine came from someone associated with Nelo who was nice enough to give me both. What is important is that there is a hole in the bottom which is a conduit for the bottom rudder and not using the lower, "internal" rudder means there's a hole in your hull for its pin. The physics mean that if the compartment is sealed with the rudder lid it shouldn't flood but you know how sometimes we're not all careful then it will flood. More importantly it can take on a little bit of water when you rinse and wash the boat, enough to make the hold mouldy if you're not paying attention and store it with the lids closed. So I was told if the prospect of leakage kept me up at night that the compartment hole can be sealed off with silicone. I used Lexel Sealant, strong enough to be watertight, soft enough to gently force the internal rudder column through it easily should I ever change my mind and want to install the bottom (as opposed to external) rudder. The seats are also spectacularly uncomfortable. They are well positioned for maximum leverage as well as weight savings, and can be adjusted in more ways than most. For example you can even raise or lower them so if the boat feels tippy you can adjust the seat height over 1 1/2 inches in 6 different slots which is wonderful. As you get better you can raise the seats for better leverage. Unfortunately they lack seat backs and are VERY hard carbon so you will start to think that sciatica is contagious and the water is full of it as every time you go out you'll catch a bunch of your legs tingling and falling asleep. These are obviously lightweight, full race seats built in the boat's spirit but adjustments are easy. For $120 you can get more comfortable seats from Nelo, or even better there are seat pads with velcro adhesives so the pad can be moved based on personal preference even after applying the velcro. These are far less expensive at only $20 each. You can also buy blocks of foam from amazon at ~$10 each and just using gravity and pressure they will easily stay there. Any of these options will increase seat comfort enormously to the point where you can paddle the boat for hours without the dreaded sciatic symptoms. It's a small issue but worth mentioning given the ease of the fixes and it's quite possible that you may find it comfortable as the boat comes. YMMV but thankfully even if these seats don't work for you there are easy and inexpensive ways to fix it. The length of the boat also makes it very particular. Almost no kayak is this long but thankfully at 52lbs it's not hard for even an 11 year old to help carry it but you have to be careful about turns and maneuvers on land. It feels heavier than the 55lb Stellar ST-17 Advantage simply due to the length. More care and measurement should be employed when cartopping. You have to understand that the hull is widest aft of center (which helps tracking) so this is a factor when strapping the boat, you need to keep it a bit more forward than you think with the straps in front of and behind the bulge which is not in the center but slightly aft. At the same time it can be unbalanced if you keep it too far forward on a rooftop, or if you keep it too far forward on a trailer and you take a turn the front part of the kayak can hit your car and get pushed back loosening everything. This asymmetric bulge is to improve tracking because a boat this stiff and light could potentially be very twitchy and highly influenced by the wind or current. As it is the boat is very manueverable when you want it turning with minimal input but stays on course like a high end boat should. The light weight, stiffness and hull design contribute to this nice combination. Unfortunately the length combined with this aft located bulge means it's another small but real challenge you should know about on land otherwise if you put the rear straps in front of this bulge the boat can fall off your vehicle. These are not big deals, again, you got a 22 foot boat you have to deal with it but you don't get the performance for free, there will be adjustments that need to be made. They are not huge, but I am just mentioning it for prospective owners to be careful about these things. Overall I am smitten by the Nelo Waterman. It's an incredibly fast boat that gives up a bit of stability and a bit of room as well as practicality compared to other doubles for a whole lot of speed. You can use it as a total sleeper and given its width enter it with the touring kayaks in a race only to wipe the floor with everyone. Or you can use it as a faster family boat as your skills are progressing to do the same lovely paddles in less time, or be able to go farther in the same amount of time. I would liken this boat to a high performance station wagon. You have the sports handling, you have most of the power of the big motor. You do have to make some compromises in terms of practicality and comfort because you need that to gain that much speed but it's a refined machine that can melt away mile after mile without you even knowing. At the beginning there is a tiny learning curve of stuff you'll have to get used to it but I spelled out what you need to watch and none of the criticisms are really drawbacks, just things you need to adapt around that aren't present in lower performance boats. Those that are getting bored with their family tandems and want something faster, but still able to stop and enjoy the scenery, bring the necessary stuff along to enjoy a longer paddle should look into the Nelo Waterman. If you're considering this boat I can confirm that it's everything you want and more; if you're comfortable with the asking price, buy it you won't regret it. It's that good.

    Similar Kayaks for You: