The Stellar 18 Race (S18R) is the next generation of performance sea kayak and was born from a simple desire to go fast. With a fair hull, a longer waterline and narrower beam than the S18, the S18R is a racing machine. A reduced catch and the lightweight, yet stiff laminates boost your performance even further. As with the rest of the kayaks at Stellar, they are an uncommon blend of stability and speed, which are the hallmark of our brand. With the deck rigging and 2 water tight storage compartments, this boat is also a very capable kayak for touring as well as racing.
Read and submit reviews for the Stellar 18' Racer (S18R).
Single skin laminate hull made of Carbon & Kevlar® fabric, with clear gelcoat finish, and the deck is the standard Advantage construction.
Read reviews for the Stellar 18' Racer (S18R) by Stellar Kayaks and Surfskis 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!
This is my first review and probably will update in a few months. This is my first rudder kayak. My current kayaks of choice are Romany 16, Cetus LV and Tahe-Marine OC. Previous to those I had Nordkapp 18, Necky Chatham, Explorer and Avocet. The kayak is absolutely fast. That’s never an issue. The construction is spectacular. Attention to detail! Great finish and trims. It feels slightly tippy compared to my sea kayaks but easy to get used to the stability which is really good for a boat this narrow. I had a chance to paddle an Epic 18x before purchasing the Stellar 18 and for me, the Stellar felt better. It was my own preference. I even tried rolling the Stellar and while it’s absolutely not a rolling kayak, it’s not as hard as I imagined. i did miss a roll due to my hip snap coming out of position. The foot pedals are very well made. The seat feels a little to low for my taste. I have been paddling the seat and once I get to the hight I need I will probably raise the seat. You have the ability to place the seat in three positions away from the back of the cockpit to better trim your weight or body posture. Mine is all the way to the front to leave space for a layback roll and a water bladder behind my seat. i hate that the back band of the seat is raised by a bungee that reaches accross the deck. This makes it impossible to get a full seal from your spray skirt.The entire concept of not edging but using a rudder takes a while to get used to. The lack of a day hatch unlike the Epic 18x is very annoying. It’s obvious a person who does not camp or travel long distances in the kayak designed it. It was probably designed by someone who paddle races for 20 miles. Not 100+. If the back band and the day hatch issues were corrected in the future, this boat would be a solid 5 star. I will be adding the day hatch and bulkhead.
This is a boat that is stable in all conditions, I was a little lewry about the rubber hatches but they are water tight. Since I use a lot of 303 they should hold up fine. I removed the handles front and back to make the boat more streamlined. Since the boat weighs only 36 lbs it is easy to handle and lift onto my truck. The rudder system is great, it handles and turns fine except on big waves when as most boat with a drop down rudder it comes out of the water, but not a problem when you use your paddle then as a rudder. The way this boat is you can put all of your power into the forward stroke with very little bracing.
If you are into fitness paddling or racing this is the boat to get, or maybe into fast touring this boat will carry you thru.
The foot pedals are best I have seen in any kayak, they are the same ones they use in the surf skis and are very strong, the cockpit is large to get your knees up for a good forward stroke. I was able to paddle it from 6-6.5 mph with ease and had no problem paddling it for several miles at about 7 mph. I did sprint it a few times and reached a high of 8.4 mph
I think it is faster than the 18X or Marlin and have paddled them both. I think it might be as fast as my EFT, of course the EFT is in a different class in most races. The stability is better than all the of those boats. It has won 2 big races this year that I know about: the South Dakota Challenge and the Missouri 340
I think Stellar hit a home run with this boat!