Most Recent Reviews
It is an old design, but still one of the most stable and predictable ones out there. It is obviously a bit slower than the full on sprint boats, but a world more stable and relaxing to paddle. It is relatively low volume, with a low deck. So, you need a skirt to stay dry if you are in chop or a fast river. At 185lbs, I sank the boat enough to put up a rooster tail from the submerged overstern rudder at full sprint. I think it is rated for under 160 lbs. But I still borrow the boat at times for low water. Its stability makes it a great river boat. The low deck is very tight on size 10.5 feet. At 6'1" I have the seat all the way back, and it is tight.
As for build, the one I had was well over 20 yrs old in Kevlar with significant sun damage. A new cover of paint on the deck, and clear resin on the hull, and the boat is like new. They are hard to kill. The hull flexes easily when run over rocks (wonder how I know that?). This boat had many many miles on it. It weighed in at some 22lbs or so. I give it a ten because it has lasted over twenty years and is still going strong.
My only complaint of the boat (and it may just be personal), is the seating position. I prefer the V10,V12 Mako 6 and Think Evo cockpits. The S1X feels to be paddling up hill. I have heard this from other paddlers as well. I have also heard the S1x special is improved here. Mine is a fixed dual foot well that is a tiny too big for me, and my calves rest on the well. I have used the adjustable dual foot wells and found it a little better, but no where near the paddling position of the other listed boats. Note, I have never tried their single footwell.
The boat is light (24lbs) and very well built. The rudder system is by far the best in the business, and there are a ridiculous array of rudders available from Huki. I have personally seen several DNFs due to rudder problems that absolutely would not be an issue with the Hukis. I wish the others would follow suit. I have the wide seat, and am "almost" able to paddle the regular (narrower) seat. I fit the V10 perfectly, and the V12 too (32" jeans). For a guy like me (mid pack paddler) this boat is great. If I lived on the coast and paddled open water daily, stability would not be an issue at all, and I would probably get a V12 just for the seating comfort (a little more like a K1). But, I feel I am probably faster in the S1X due to the extra stability. It is also more relaxing to paddle because of this.
Comparing this to a thunderbolt (which I have owned), is to compare apples and oranges. I would compare with Epic v10 and V12, Mako 6, Think Legend, Custom Kayaks new Synergy etc. The Huki guys are great to deal with.
I bought this boat because my nearest paddling spot is a river with many water skiers, and it is just plain annoying to paddle the Destroyer there (rated a 1 for stability). I thought the Sino would be better. It is noticeably more stable, but is still clearly a flatwater boat with low volume that is easily swamped, and can send you scrambling with boat wakes. I believe the Sino is based on a Plastex design, and both hulls look very very similar, with the Sino being only slightly wider at the waterline and just a touch more rounded. The seat and adjustable foot bar are the same design, and the seats are actually interchangeable.
I will leave top speed to the experts, but for my paddling, I am actually faster in the Sino due to the increased stability. The Javelin feels much more stable than the Sino, but does not get out of the water like the Sino and Destroyer. The odd thing is that I am a little unhappy with the Sino for one reason only: it is way too similar to the Destroyer, and now I have essentially two of the same boat. That is pretty funny considering the Destroyer is over $3500 new, and the Sino in glass is $1700. I would sell the Destroyer first actually, partly because the Sino is new rules and much sleeker looking. Even in glass, the Sino is very strong and the components are first rate. The seat platform in the Sino is a solid composite, and looks beefy as they get. How many old K1s with rotten wood bases have we seen?
Tracking is excellent. At 190 lbs, I feel at the top of the weight capacity, but I fit in just fine, and have plenty of foot clearance (6'1" tall, 32"waist, size 11 feet). The seat and push bar are widely accommodating. Having put the Sino side by side to another K1 from another country (oh, lets say some river in Canada), there was no comparison. The Kayakpro is hands down a better built boat, and significantly less money. A great boat for the money.
This boat is a pleasure to paddle in any conditions. It is very comfortable and well laid out. I also have a regular performance lay up V10. I would rate them about the same for stability, or maybe a slight advantage to the Mark 1. I time trialed the Mark against a V10 sport, and did better in the sport, and the sport is notably more stable (flat water test). So, obviously it would be that much slower than one of the front running skis (V10, Mako 6 etc). So why buy one? My understanding is that these skis are very popular for big water in South Africa. I think it must be due in part to the build. This boat and all its trim are much much more substantial then my V10 and a V10 sport I have used extensively.
I gave this boat a 9 only because it is a little slower without the benefit of increased stability. If you are not racing where every second counts, this is a great boat that will last many years.