When I was 12, my friends were divided into two camps—Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. Most of my friends chose the Super Nintendo, probably because of peer pressure, but a few went with the Sega Genesis. It was sleek, super fun to play and, well, it looked really cool—just like the latest version of the Titan Genesis kayak.

Titan Genesis Specs
(V:II / V:III)
Length: 5’9.5” / 6’0.5”
Width: 26” / 27.5”
Volume: 55 / 66 U.S. gal
Weight: 30 / 33 lbs
Weight Range: 120-180 / 165-260 lbs
MSRP: $1,100
www.titankayaks.com

Titan’s Genesis is a friendly freestyle kayak

Upon first look, the arrow-like shape of the bow immediately stands out. Thinking this design might be tailored to the advanced paddler, we asked Titan owner and lead designer, Anthony Yap, about its styling. “Don’t be mistaken—while this is a high performance boat, it is by no means an advanced paddler’s boat,” he replied. “The goal was to create a high performance freestyle boat that is still friendly and easy to use. After years of prototyping we believe we’ve hit the nail on the head.” After a few rides of our own in the Titan Genesis kayak, we agree.

The Genesis excels in whitewater

The bow plugs deep and straight, easily allowing the boat to get vertical. Coupled with its short stern, the Titan Genesis comes around lightning fast. The slicy bow and stern initiate effortlessly, giving it a well-balanced feel when linking ends.

On a wave, the Genesis immediately feels both stable and predictable. While some of the newer playboats on the market have a very twitchy feel, we found the Titan Genesis responsive and controllable. Putting it on edge results in a nice, hard carve that releases without a Herculean effort, allowing you to throw blunts or cut back in another direction.

Man paddles a Titan Genesis freestyle kayak through whitewater rapids
Feature Photo: Jo-Anne Caldwell

Spins come easily thanks to the loose feel of the hull, but we did notice that momentum stalls slightly just as the boat reaches 180 degrees on a wave. On the other hand, the Genesis backsurfs like a dream and we were happy to stop it there. For many paddlers backwards is not a position of comfort or control, but if you find yourself always flushing after tricks that land you in a backsurf, the Titan Genesis might be your best friend.

Functional performance outfitting

The outfitting lacks the sleek refinements of the hull but is functional, durable and most importantly, comfortable. A foam foot block, adjustable one-piece molded seat, ratcheting backband with hip pads ingeniously mounted on flexible flaps that pull closer as you ratchet and strong aluminum thigh brackets all give you great contact with the boat and allow for long play sessions without the need for yoga between rides. It’s not the easiest outfitting to set up, but take the time and you’ll find that tiny adjustments make a huge difference in performance.

Try your hand at the Titan Genesis kayak

The Titan Genesis kayak is a comfortable, unique looking ride that is equally at home on a wave, in a hole and on all the rapids in between. If you are looking for a new playboat, add it to your list of boats to try before just caving to peer pressure and buying the same boat as your friends. You might find it’s a way better system for your style—just like Sega’s Genesis.

This article was first published in the Fall 2012 issue of Rapid Magazine. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.

 

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