Review | 2014 Fatyak Kaafu Kayak
We've recently taken delivery of a Fatyak Kayaks Kaafu - a single seat kayak designed for use on slow moving rivers, lakes, estuaries and for coastal exploration. Being so versatile, it can be used in surf - although Fatyak also produce a kayak specifically suited for this purpose, if that’s likely to be your main discipline.
The Kaafu is available in a range of nine striking colours: light or dark blue, green, pink, purple, glacier white and our personal preferences of red, yellow or orange. We elected for orange: it matches our superb Fatyak Mahee tandem kayak for one and whilst the other colours look fantastic, we feel that orange is one of the most visible colours out at sea.
The Fatyak logo is clearly marked on each side and the Kaafu designation at the top of the bow. The Made in Britain label completes the conservative and clear branding, with Fatyak Kayaks being designed and manufactured in Williton, Somerset, in accordance with BS7852.
As with the Mahee, the Kaafu has a prominent safety label and included in one of the hatches are a printed safety guide and floatation keyring. Top marks to Fatyak for including such detail and for considering such an important issue. With the increasing uptake in kayaking, whether for recreation or sport, it is evident that many people are not learning basic sea-safety before heading out. We can't stress enough, how important it is to follow British Canoe Union and RNLI recommendations and the Fatyak guides are a useful introduction to these.
The Kaafu also includes a serial number and it's worth taking a note of this in the relevant section of the Fatyak guide, both for guarantee and insurance purposes, in case of theft.
The Kaafu tips the scales at 20kgs and is just over three metres long at 3020mm. It's 770mm wide and 300mm high. It's longer than many single sit-on-top kayaks but this should aid with stability and certainly helps with practicality out on the water. More of this and on.
Without doubt, it is immediately evident that the Kaafu is superbly designed:
A large, deep storage section at the rear is secured with bungee cord - enough room to pack a dry-bag with warmer clothing and food, fishing gear or possibly, even a small tent.
We are particularly impressed that Fatyak have designed two dry storage hatches into a single kayak: one which is ideally located for access, between the legs and the other toward the bow. The rubber covers are secured to the hatch via the hull so they won't become detached when you remove them and the eyelets can easily be fitted with cord to ease with removal.
The hatches are suited for mobile phone, keys, camera or energy bars and are deep enough to take a can of drink. Apart from the omission of the small storage tray then, the Kaafu has as much storage as the already impressive Mahee tandem kayak. This makes it perfect for all-day touring for one person and its storage is far more useful than the two bungee sections on the Ocean Kayak Frenzy we usually paddle, which offers no dry storage whatsoever.
The Frenzy does include an easy-to-reach secured fitting for a water bottle and it would be great to see a similarly designed fitting on the Kaafu. An easy solution for now is a water-bottle with a carabineer attachment, fitted to one of the deck-loop fittings.
Two paddle parks, secured with bungee cord at the side of the Kaafu make it easy and secure to temporarily store a paddle, whether fishing or carrying the kayak to the water.