Sean Rice shares his thoughts on the Ion

on Aug 13 in Downwind, Ion, Sean Rice, Surfski, Think, Uncategorized, Video by

Sean Uno Max 640 x 360
 On my last trip to the US I had the great pleasure of meeting and spending some quality time with the new brand new Think Kayak Ion.

I spent the first week paddling in the Columbia River Gorge with a bunch of SUPER keen and enthusiastic paddlers from around Vancouver and most of the NW parts of the US. The main attraction was the fantastic downwind paddling and perfect runs the river has to offer….. YES…. I said down wind runs and river together in the same sentence. If you don’t believe me go watch the videos. It will blow your mind. What makes the conditions so favorable for runs is that every afternoon the hot inland air sucks the cold sea air up the gorge at over 30knots against a flowing 2000km long river that’s in parts is a couple hundred feet deep. Well you get the picture!


Anyway it was a perfect opportunity to try the Ion out. I managed to grab it after one of the demo days and took it for a spin. The conditions were really good and let me push the boats to its limits.  I’m snug as a bug in a rug in my Uno Max and found the seating position in the Ion very similar. Definitely more room for the hips but I found that quite nice as it gave me a lot more room to rotate. The tail is fatter and a bit wider than the Uno Max and has a flattish spot just behind the seating area which makes the boat sit steady at speeds over 20km/hr. The fat tail helped me feel the lift of the run behind me and kept the tail out of the water which helped free the boat up to move around in the run a lot more. I would say it had the “loose” feeling of paddling a Spec ski down wind. GREAT!


The boat has the same cool cut away lines in front of the cockpit and looks very similar to the sleek Uno max nose when your sitting in the boat. I’ve never been a fan of boats with big fat noses. Just makes me feel slow even though that’s not always the case.  As for stability. The boat is fast on the water. It’s a step up from the Evo ll but with a lot more secondary stability than the Uno Max. The boat is a lot more forgiving when you broach or take one on the nose. It feels like it will tip to a point and then its pretty hard to push it over from there. A great security when you know you’re bound to get pummeled once or twice in big conditions. I loved the boat and would recommend it to anyone who listens to the advice of most Surfski coaches and chooses stability over speed. I think the Ion is the best choice of boat if you are looking for both qualities.


Sean Rice
World Surfski Champion


Sean Rice Ion test from Dion Maxwell on Vimeo.