Boat Review: Current Designs Ignite Kayak

Paddling Buyer’s Guide

The name is appropriate for the Current Designs Ignite, a highly capable hybrid that fills the gap between high-end surfskis and sit-on-top recreational kayaks. For touring kayakers, it could spark an interest in go-fast fitness paddling or even recreational racing. For fitness freaks and race geeks, it could ignite the possibility of taking that first overnight trip.

Current Designs Ignite Specs
Length: 16’
Width: 24”
Weight: 39 lbs
Material: Fiberglass/Aramid
MSRP: $2,599

The CD Ignite races ahead

The Ignite blends the stability and predictable handling of Current Designs’ popular Solstice GT touring hull with the open cockpit of a surfski, then adds spacious watertight storage compartments. It’s a chimera that may well be the most versatile speed machine we’ve paddled.

Cruise or sprint

Two hatches offer 125 litres of dry storage (that’s double what you’d have backpacking), but the buckles-lid-neoprene-hatch-cover system was the fiddliest of any test boat—making getting at your gear a chore for stiff fingers and smaller hands.

Detail of the Current Designs Ignite's cockpit
The Ignite’s cockpit. | Photo: Virginia Marshall

The waterline on this 16-footer was the longest we tested and, not surprisingly, accelerated effortlessly to the fastest cruising and sprint speeds.

Sleek, minimalist styling

The Current Designs Ignite is all about smooth and sleek. The shallow-V hull and soft chines offer lively, seamless edging. The beam is widest behind the cockpit, where it measures 24 inches, for a longer, more efficient entry and minimal drag.

That minimalist approach extends to the Ignite’s deck rigging, where we noted the lack of perimeter lines and a single bungee X on the stern. Handles are positioned beside the cockpit at the boat’s balance point to assist with shoulder carries or re-boarding.

Speaking of which, the Ignite weighs in at a manageable 39 pounds, thanks to its fiberglass/Aramid layup, carbon rudder footboard and frills-free (yet surprisingly comfortable) seat pan.

[ Read more: The Need For Speed—Sea Kayak Racing ]

Make haste in the Current Designs Ignite

Blending the long waterline and open cockpit of a surfski with two roomy watertight hatches and reassuring stability, the Current Designs Ignite is an ideal starter ‘ski for fitness and light touring. Whether you seek to cruise or sprint—or ideally, both—the Ignite is a hybrid with easy maneuverability on and off the water.

Video Review of the Current Designs Ignite Kayak:


This article originally appeared in the Adventure Kayak
Summer/Fall 2016 issue.

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