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Stellar 18' Racer (S18R)

by Stellar Kayaks and Surfskis

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.

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Reviews

Like a previous post I really wanted to like this boat.…

Submitted by: on

Like a previous post I really wanted to like this boat. Unfortunately and probably unfairly I keep comparing the S18R to my Epic V10S. The Stellar is a decent enough value and the drop down stern rudder works great. The boat looks sharp and I like the concept of feet together paddling though I feel the cockpit and footboard/smart track rudder pedals are built for a really big person. I am 6' 185 with size 10 feet and compared to my Epic the Stellar just feels sloppy big. Worse than that for me is the fact that there are no cut aways on the front of the cockpit and it took me a while of banging knuckles on the side of the boat. Finally the amount of energy used to propel the Stellar at a set speed feels far greater than that of the Epic. That being said the Epic is 6 pounds lighter, 2 inches narrower, 2 feet longer and a hell of a lot more comfortable and fun to paddle.

I have 8 boats but wanted a stable surf ski. My wife…

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I have 8 boats but wanted a stable surf ski. My wife wants more room in the garage an imperfect situation. The stellar rep I went to in Florida was a very nice guy and I wanted to like the S18R which he assured me was the same hull as the S18S surf ski. I'm 145 lbs and 5'6". I thought I would like the S18R and as many have said, it is well made. The foot peddles were very hard to adjust and I never did get the two levers to clip properly. Its something you never want to set and never fix. The bad part was how tedious it was, for me, to paddle. I can normally paddle with my wing for several hours at near 6 mph. I was having trouble maintaining even 4.4 mph. Also, I had to hold my elbows high and it was tiring. Instead of my usual 10 miles I quit at 3.6. The rudder bounces a real lot on every floating twig.

Awesome boat for anyone transitioning to a surf ski. It's stable and…

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Awesome boat for anyone transitioning to a surf ski. It's stable and plenty fast especially in flatwater or rivers with current. The adjustable rudder pedals make the boat easy to fit and using a mid-wing paddle the boat moves great! Initial stability is good and secondary stability is awesome. This is a particularly great boat for bigger paddlers. I'm over 225 and the boat has plenty of speed.

The Stellar 18R is in my opinion one of the best boats…

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The Stellar 18R is in my opinion one of the best boats out there. It surf's just about any wave. The finish is top notch, both inside and out. The seat is comfortable enough for most people. The true shining star of this boat are the footbraces. It has a three point locking system that is far superior to any boat company out there. The speed of this boat is also the fastest touring boat out there, I should know because I won the South Dakota challenge and the MR340 with this boat. All in all, I raced 7 races and won all 7 races in class.

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.

I took the Stellar S18R in Excel layup out today and was…

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I took the Stellar S18R in Excel layup out today and was very impressed. The boat is very fast and I would say the fastest 18' kayak made. I have had the 18X and the Marlin.

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!