stingray or huki

which one is best and and which one should I get?

Submitted by trying2paddle on Mon, 05/30/2005 - 4:57pm

Aloha T-2-P,
Paddle both kanus, in varying conditions and use your okole to decide.
If you don't paddle the kanu first, you are buying blind.

Good luck.

#1 Tue, 05/31/2005 - 1:17am

It depends on a lot of factors. How big are you? What conditions are you paddling in? Where are you? New boat or used?

I have paddled the Stingray, the Huki V1-a, b, and z.

Huki is a very well built boat, and Jude appears very good at taking care of his customers. The V1-b seems better for bigger paddlers and flatter to moderate conditions. The z seems better for smaller paddlers and flatter conditions. It tracks well, but I found it didn't turn very well while chasing swells. The V1-a seems obsolete compared to the z.

The Stingray is great for bigger paddlers in moderate to bigger conditions. Seems to like a following sea much better than going uphill. Does not like cross wind due to large volume.

Are you looking at buying a new boat? The Hawaiian built Stingrays seem far superior to Canadian built. In fact, they stopped Canadian construction and moved to Minnesota (which also stopped production due to quality control).

If buying a used Stingray, beware of "Made in Canada".

The above is all my opinions only. Definately try to paddle what ever you are concidering, and paddle it for a good long run. If you are not comfortable in the boat it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. Also, the most important aspect is the motor not the boat. Goodluck and let us know what you decide. Later, 1968

#2 Tue, 05/31/2005 - 4:20am

1968, I'd be real careful about commenting on builders decsions without some of the facts.

I agree with you somewhat w.r.t quality. during intial startup phase there were some pretty poorly made Stingray canoes from Canada mostly some seaming issues and smal blems.. but the decsion to move production back to Minny was based on the fact that Current Designs kayaks ( some of the BEST built in the business) were also made in that factory and the decsion was to consolidate for production efficiency and control - not for quality)
this decsion displaced 50+ dedicated employees and craftspeople..

I don;t even think they have started making Stingray's yet at the new location...

The OC Mirage continues to be made in Victoria BC cuz Wennonah doesn't have the facilties to do it. ( they're contracted out to a yacht mfg in Canada) All North American Mirages are ordered thru the US , shipped from Canada.. weird, but it seems to work.. :lol:

#3 Tue, 05/31/2005 - 7:22am

[quote="trying2paddle"]which one is best and and which one should I get?[/quote]

I use to owned a Canadian-built Stingray and now own a Huki S1-X surf ski. No comparison in construction quality: the Huki is great and Jude is responsive and reliable. See above regarding mainland-built Stingrays; difficult to find a solid boat without some soft spots.

Can't speak to how they compare when paddling since I have gotten rid of the ama!

#4 Tue, 05/31/2005 - 8:05am


I was only repeating what the president of Wennonah canoes told me.
I got a late made Stingray after 6 months of waiting (supposed to be 6 weeks). Was told that three different canoes were made for me and each one failed QC. When I finally got my Stingray, it leaked, it had seam issues on the hull and the ama, soft spots/ voids, a pedal came off during a race, and the rudder cable broke during a practice. All within eight months. I was promised a new boat and was told numerous times that it was being made in Minnasota, but then they just couldn't get it right. Currently awaiting refund.
I know that they were consolidating, but was told in no uncertain terms that Stingray production was being moved due to QC. They have stopped producing them altogether for now.

I know this wass a little off topic, but back to topic...
If you buy a Canadian made Stingray, make sure the seams are watertight. I know they made some good ones, but I have seen first hand several bad ones. The stingray as a boat/design is AWESOME. I wish I could get a Karel made one. Surfs better than anything I have been on.

#5 Tue, 05/31/2005 - 9:17am

It's pretty tempting to weigh in on the Current Designs-produced stingrays, but maybe a little unhelpful. Seeing anyone leap to the defense of some, uh, [i]inconsistent ?[/i] boats was interesting.

(It was also news that so many people were employed in production. WOW)...

But really, you asked about which boat is best. You're never going to get an answer to that question, though you could get a pretty important opinion (yours) if you tried them all.

I'm writing to mention one criteria for selecting a boat that you shouldn't ignore: time.

These exotic boats can take FOREVER to get. Call around - see what the various lead times are. You may find you like the sound of a good boat that you can get in a week (or a month) better than a perfect boat you'll need 6-8 months to get.

#6 Tue, 05/31/2005 - 1:31pm

Thanks for the advice about the stingray, does anyone know who to contact about getting a stingray made in Hawaii and what else is wrong with canadian made stingray besides the seam problem, thanks again

#7 Tue, 05/31/2005 - 9:04pm

To get a Stingray made in Hawaii you would contact Outrigger Connection ( The wait is probably 4-6 months, and the shipping and crating is pretty expensive. Depending on how big you are and what conditions you paddle in there are other Outrigger Connection boats, as well as other mainland options (hurricane, 2 different Kakus etc.)
Good luck, 1968

#8 Wed, 06/01/2005 - 3:29am

I'm about 6' tall 210 lbs and I've paddled both Huki V1Z & Stingray. To me they were two different canoes.
The Huki was great on flat water, almost as fast as the Ellua for me. In the swells it ran well too, but in the chop I couldn’t control it at all. Personally I don’t like the ama on the Huki because too much of it rides the water (I cant fly it though either), but I hear Jude has designed a new ama. A couple of cub-mates have the same ride and they seem to be built solid & light.
I found the Stingray to run good in the swells, chop & flats. It's a good all-around-ride. Not great, but good. Plus's are volume for fat guys like me. Great hydration port under the seat & a large bungee area. On the down side the foot wells are too small and the ama has a goofy set up from the factory. It seems to plow unless you bend stuff around.
Just go out and paddle them both and see what you feel. Personally I don’t buy into the big guy = big boat theory. I paddle a Kaimana and move it better than my Stingray. So keep your mind open.

Manufacture all make great canoes and some not so great. The best thing about our sport is that you can speak directly with them. I had crappie Stingrays (too many) but after dealing direct with the builder I was set up with a perfect ride. CD in Minnesota replaced the poor canoe and the new does not have a single imperfection. I bought my Kaku direct and John serviced me great. No builder will sell you a #2 canoe without discussing it with you.

#9 Wed, 06/01/2005 - 2:13pm

Yeah I have to agree with Pete above. I had a chance to paddle a few boats this year (Huki, Stingray, Kaimana). I am not a big guy weight and height wise (190lbs@5'9") but the boat I loved the most and was very comfortable and fast in was the Kaku Kaimana from John Puakea. The boat surfs great and pics up every little bump and it's pretty fast in flat stuff as well. It's easily the most versatile boat I have ever padlled so far.

#10 Fri, 08/26/2005 - 7:58am

seen jude today, he just pumped out a new prototype canoe... the ama looks more like the amas of the pegasus, but the iakos go into the ama, unlike his other canoes where the ama and iakos are attached by a screw... the canoe is shorter then his other boats. he did say he only paddled the canoe for one hour before he tried racing it.

i never really tried a stingray, but for me its harder to get a huki to ride a bump cleanly and smoothly without having any promblems...

#11 Sun, 08/28/2005 - 6:39pm

I love my Huki.
I have only been paddling five years and every day is a revelation. Over the past five years I have been lucky enough to own/paddle/race: Hurricanes (old and new), Kakus (Elua & Kaimana), Stingray, Fusion and my Huki V-1Z.
Any of these kanus paddle great, as they should for the state-of-the-art technology and manufacturing capabilities that exists today.

As for the two kanus in question, my two pennies worth...
I have paddled a Canadian made Stingray some and it "feels" big and stable. A little rudder input gives a lot of steerage back in return. I assume this is because of the rocker. Several of our club members ( purchased Stingrays a few years ago and most had to be replaced because of Quality Control issues. O.C. Canada handled this fairly and relatively quick.
I raced a Fusion last year, up in Mass. (Thanks again Mike) and enjoyed the paddle completely. The Fusion "felt" faster than the Stingray and rode the small bumps available, nicely.
Fast forward, past a few kanus, to today and the Huki.
I love this kanu. Every paddle is an absolute joy. I live on the Atlantic and have access to the ocean (front yard), the Back Bay (back yard, literally) and a day doesn't go by that I am not completely humbled. Conditions vary from mirror flat to washing machine chop, with the occassional epic downwind run. The V1-Z has done me well through all of this. In my opinion the Huki is not the fastest kanu in the flats (though very close) and not the best bump boat. It's the all-around performance that I am so stoked goes good all the time. I have raced the "Z" in every race possible, in the ECORA OC-1series, this year. I have exceeded my expectations and the kanu seems to be competitive in speed. My favorite condition to race in is nasty, upwind, chop. The Huki's bow seems to cleave it's way through the mess and the connection with the kanu's seat and legs (cockpit) makes you "one with the machine". Flying the ama in these conditions feels great. When I become a better downwind paddler I may realize the Huki's true, surfing capabilities. Until then I'll catch what I can.

Jude is unequaled in customer care (with one exception, Blake Conant, the East Coast, Hurricane rep.) and will ensure you are taken care of. He builds a custom kanu, to your request and the follow-up care was an unexpected bonus. Many Mahalos Jude.

If you have any questions or want any more info...

#12 Tue, 08/30/2005 - 4:05am

get a stingray.

#13 Thu, 09/15/2005 - 7:49pm


#14 Fri, 09/16/2005 - 12:39pm

I am paddling a third-hand canadian stingray. Several club members got them also, and QC problems ocurred on most of them. The ama on my boat had to be sent back for seam problems, and they fixed it. I have been very impressed with the hull-it is watertight and solid.

Several of our club members just got V1-Z's from Huki. The new ama looks great, and the boats seem great all-around, just like YLDBill says. I would not trade the stingray for surfing waves and swells. However, I think almost any other boat would be better for going upwind. BTW, I weigh about 220, and really like the extra volume in the hull.

#15 Mon, 09/19/2005 - 4:13am

A couple of photos from the Sandbridge/ECORA OC-1 race, held this last, blustery Saturday.
I loaned my V1-Z to a friend...his first race...3rd overall and first in the Novice Div.
Jude sent me a new ama and it rocks.

#16 Tue, 09/27/2005 - 8:42pm

Huki - Jude has come out with a new hull design for the V1-Z, I don't think he's updated his website yet, but its a foot shorter. I got delivery of mine, I think its hull number 5 off the mold. And took it out last weekend for a quick paddle (been sick this whole past week). I haven't had a chance to really break it in on a long paddle yet, but the initial impressions are that its one awesome boat. Its very fast in medium chop, with its high bow it just cleaves the waves. After I get a chance to surf it I'll update you on the results.

Also, can't say enough about Jude's customer service. You have to remind him, but he always delivers.

#17 Sun, 10/02/2005 - 9:36pm

Aloha Longboardebo,
Can you take a photo and submit it here?
I am also on the list to paddle one of his new boats and I'm dying to see it.
Does Jude have an idea for a name yet?

#18 Mon, 10/03/2005 - 2:07am

There is a good picture of it on the Huki website, in the 'bargains' page. The great thing is that the picture has a Z and an X, side by side. You can see the width and volume difference between the 2. The X is a foot shorter and the stern on the X curves up slightly, looks almost like a Z with the stern bent upwards.
I've paddled both and they are very different kanus with the Z more of a flatwater boat. My first impression of the X was that it wasn't as fast as the Z but I quickly changed my mind on the first downwind run with medium chop. The X felt awesome in the surf. I think the Z is faster in the flats.
There you go, looks the same, same cockpit, same ama, totally different on the water.

#19 Thu, 10/06/2005 - 7:29am

Aloha Novce++,
Thanks for the link.
Unfortunately you can't see the bow or stern of the "X" in any of those photos...they are cropped off.
I can't wait to see the whole kanu moving through the water...maybe in my front yard?

#20 Thu, 10/06/2005 - 8:12am

Today, Jude from Huki has updated his website and it now features V1-X. I have to say I'm really happy with the changes and I am looking forward to trying out this boat. I have paddled "Z" but found it a little to small for some conditions (nose pearling and unresponsivness in heavy chop).

Also I like the funky new Huki amas, can anyone tell my how they feel (drag, glide, and weight, when flying that puppy).

Much appreciated!

#21 Wed, 10/26/2005 - 3:48pm

You should all check out this new Huki V1-X huki has built. Looked at the specs. It is a little shorter and has more volume than the V1-Z. Pics are now on the site.

I have a Kaimana which I love. The boat surfs great and works well in small bumps and the flats. This new Huki seems to be in line with the specs of the Kaimana in terms of length and volume/beam.

#22 Fri, 10/28/2005 - 3:48am

Heeeerrrre's Huki!

Sorry gang, just when you thought it was safe to go out and Paddle...

Jude sent me a new X to try out.


I am healing up from some minor trauma (right Keizo?) and took it out for an easy spin.
20 mph out of the South makes for some good swell around here and the X jumped all over it.

All I have is some static shots and some side-by-sides with the Z.
Of course I won't be able to leave "good enough" alone so more to follow.

Give me a holler if you have any questions.
Oh yeah, the Z is for sale.


#23 Wed, 11/09/2005 - 4:13pm

I took my X out for an early morning paddle today.
It was blowing 20 out of the South and the wind waves were kickin'.

All I got was this pre-surfin', flat-water, wavin' good-bye to the missus shot.

Probably the last warm day before winter here at the "Beach" and a good day to play Huki...get out and pull water.


#24 Wed, 11/16/2005 - 3:31pm

some of the best paddlers in the pacific northwest use huki's. although you put a great paddler in any boat, and he/she will make it go fast. so not sure that comment helps you any.

just don't fall into the mistake some people (including myself at times) make, and start blaming your boat/equipment for bad performances.

whatever you decide to get, i'm sure it will be great. all the current designs are so similar at the waterline nowaday. its all ball bearin's nowaday. i say go for what is most comfortable.

and remember!!!! -----> "a poor carpenter always blames his tools"

#25 Wed, 11/16/2005 - 7:03pm

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