Articles - Fluid Kayaks Detox Whitewater Kayak Review

Fluid Kayaks Detox whitewater kayak review
Fluid Kayaks Detox whitewater kayak review
Canoe & Kayak UK Editorial - Posted on 29 Jul 2011
The Detox whitewater kayak has been designed for kayakers that are looking for a kayak that can fulfil a range of roles. A Jack-of-all trades rather than an out and out specialist. The Detox is basically a hybrid or two styles. It’s a river running kayak with a playboat style planning hull. Designed to allow the kayaker to run fairly stiff rapids but also be able to make the most of all the play features they come across on their way down the river.

Facts & Features

The Detox sits between Fluid’s river running play kayak the Spice, and their out and out creek and expedition boat the Solo. It has a full planning hull and incorporates a variation of the same rail system that they use on their performance playboat design the Nemesis. These rails are combined with fairly boxy sidewalls and a generous kick rocker to create an exciting but stable ride.

There’s a whole heap of volume in the Detox and this combined with the peaked decks helps it shed water and keep you high on the water and in control. When you do plug it deep that combination also means it resurfaces quickly and predictably. There’s plenty of space in the back for carrying gear and it’s easy to access the area behind the seat. It has a full bulkhead footrest too, a must, in our book, for all river running boats.

Fluid’s Mod 3 outfitting is solid and easy to use. It’s fully adjustable and we had it all tweaked and ready to hit the water in about ten-minutes. Seat shape and padding is great, same for stiff and nicely-aggressive thigh braces, bulkhead has nice touch with dual densities of foam -- stiff by your feet, softer and impact-absorbing after that -- and the hip pads are a great mix of adjustability, curves and bumps. Oh, and the seat adjusts front-rear VERY easily and quickly. I can adjust position of bulkhead, seat, and thigh braces in 10 min. At the base of the outfitting is a wide plastic spine to increase hull stiffness and prevent the hull from oil canning. On top of that is a cradle, which connects to the spine and the deck creating in effect a rib cWhitewater kayakers testing the Fluid Kayaks Detox Whitewater kayakage for the boat and substantially increasing the structural stability of the boat. The easily adjusted seat, with pad, sits on the cradle. The thigh braces are nicely aggressive, just the way we like them and the bulkhead had a nice touch with dual densities of foam. Stiff under your feet and softer, more impact absorbing, everywhere else. The hip pads sit on plastic plates and move with the seat, so you don’t have to adjust them separately. Gripes were that our test boat definitely felt on the heavy side and was a hideous grey colour. Not good for a river boat at all, it was almost impossible to see on the water (if you buy one get an orange, red, yellow one, anything but grey), those niggles aside though all in all a nice, comfortable, well thought out outfitting package.

The Ride
We had the large size on test and it had the same wide seating position of most modern boats. We needed to whack some foam blocks in help brace our knees in, but once that was done it felt good on the water. Down river it felt nice and lively. It loves to boof and if you place that last stroke properly will launch you cleanly out every time. The rocker in the bow helps you to lift the bow nicely over small ledges and holes too. The rails make it a sharp eddy taker but we found that the slightly boxy sidewalls were a bit lacking in the initial stability department and could trip you up if you weren’t totally on it, they gave it a fairly bouncy ride while side surfing in holes too. On the plus side the rear deck profile and the width of the hull do make it easy to roll. The other weakness we found in the Detox was its forward speed. It’s slow and suffered from losing its speed through river features, radials and boily eddy lines etc. No surprise really as it’s got a whack of rocker. Not a huge issue on the majority of the rivers we have here in the UK, but it could become more of an issue on bigger volume runs.
On the playing front it was fun on green waves and zipped about and spun nicely. Boats like the Detox are all about compromise and overall we think that Fluid have pitched it about right. It’s a more than capable river runner and it plays well too, just like it says on the tin. As we’ve said it’s a boat that will sit well on the tight, technical type of whitewater that most of us paddle on in the UK and for those Whitewater kayaker testing the Fluid Detox Whitewater kayakthat want just one boat on the rack it’s definitely a strong contender

More info:
RRP: £899

Specs S M L
Length: 215cm 230cm 245cm
Width: 62cm 64cm 66cm
Volume: 235 litres 250 litres 270litres
Weight: 18kg 19kg 20kg
Paddler weight: 50-85 kg 60-95kg 70-115kg

Check out our first look video review of Fluid kayaks new expedition/creek kayak The Big Bang HERE

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