Ever noticed that as the population’s girth gets larger, the coolest kayaks get narrower? We thought we’d seen the end of this irony, yet here’s a bold new sub-20-inch-wide offering from Current Designs, a company whose management fortunately missed the movie Super SizeMe.

Designer Nigel Foster calls his Rumour a “day-boat/play-boat” for the smaller paddler.

“I wanted to shape a small boat that would serve the small paddler in the same way a larger kayak serves the larger paddler in terms of initial stability, secondary stability and speed,” says Foster.

Not only is the length nearly two feet shorter than Foster’s most popular design, the Legend, the Rumour is also narrower and lower-volume overall—and of course much lighter and easier to schlep.

Current Designs Rumour Specs
Length: 16’5″
Width: 19.75″
Depth: 12″
Weight: 44 lbs
Cockpit: 25″ x 15″
Bow hatch: 9.5″
Stern hatch: 17.5″ x 10.75″
Total volume: 263 L
MSRP: $2,849 USD fibreglass; $3,249 USD Kevlar


Foster designed the hard-chine, shallow-arch hull to let bantam-weight paddlers effortlessly dial in an outside-edge turn. The quick transition from edge to edge will intimidate novices, but offers experienced paddlers easy and precise carving that’s especially fun in surf.

Indeed, Foster, who is big for the boat at six feet and 165 pounds, keeps a Rumour in his quiver for short paddles and surf play.

The buoyant bow provides a dry ride and reasonable capacity. Ignoring the 150-pound max recommended paddler weight, we crammed our demo full for a four-day weekend and gave the keys to a 175-pounder.

Low-profile, speedy and easy to steer with the hips, the Rumour was a pleasure to paddle in all conditions, even overloaded, and seemed capable of handling any size paddler it can fit.

[ Also read: Boat Review: Current Designs Ignite Kayak ]

Small paddlers with advanced skills should rejoice that there’s a new boat built especially for them, and medium-sized paddlers should not overlook the Rumour for day trips and play trips—not to mention it being a great reason to stay slim.

Different parts of orange sea kayak

Mini-size me (top)

The padded, moulded plastic seat has a slim, low-slung backband for minimalist support, backed by a curved and sloped bulkhead. The cockpit opening is small—a cross between an ocean cockpit and keyhole—but has plenty of legroom inside for six-footers.

Bean there (middle)

Bean-shaped Sea Dog plastic foot braces, instead of the more common aluminum Yakimas, provide on-the-fly adjustment with a release tab that you can reach while sitting in the cockpit. At Nigel Foster’s request, CD installed fibreglass bulkheads.

Left leaning (bottom)

Skeg control and day hatch are on the left. Foster explains, “Take any group out onto choppy water and ask them to brace with one hand and raise their other hand, and almost without exception people raise their left hand.” Who knew all those builders that put day hatches on the right are doing lefties a favour?

This article originally appeared in Adventure Kayak‘s Summer 2006 issue. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions here, or browse the archives here.

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