The Sisu: An impromptu review

Mike Looman (left) let me take the 2017 Sisu for a test paddle.

Mike Looman (left) let me take a spiffy white-over-blue 2017 Sisu for a test paddle during a recent day trip.

I recently test paddled a new kayak that was not yet announced to the public, thanks to fellow kayak instructor and Current Designs sales person Mike Looman. The boat is called the Sisu and it’s the newest kayak from Current Designs. Last week the Sisu was publicly announced at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, Utah, so I can finally give you my thoughts about this boat.

First of all, here’s how Current Designs describes it:

The second collaboration between Danish designer Jesper Kromann-Andersen and Current Designs brings the Sisu. Slightly wider and shorter than its predecessor the Prana, the Sisu is more nimble and maneuverable as well. The Sisu excels in rock gardens, tide races, wave faces and tours with ease. This exciting kayak is also extremely user friendly for aspiring paddlers to rapidly develop skills and elevate performance. Available in fiberglass and Kevlar composite constructions with exceptional outfitting throughout.

Thanks to Mike, I hopped in for a test ride back in July. I experimented with edging turns, holding on edge, rolling, forward stroke for maximum speed, and reverse strokes. It performed all these functions very well. The Sisu is 16′ 0″ long and 22.3 inches wide. I didn’t have a GPS to measure my speed but it felt just as fast as my 17′ 6″ Valley Aquanaut. It has what’s known as a Swede form, which means it is widest behind the cockpit instead of in front of the cockpit like a British design. Swede form has a cleaner, longer, and more slender entry, giving efficient touring speeds and maneuverability. The Sisu is responsive. I was able to edge it for quick turns. Because of the relatively narrow bow it seemed to easily slice through waves. A nice feature of the Sisu, one that you’re seeing on a number of new sea kayaks, is the extra day compartment in front of the cockpit. Bottom line: I like this kayak. I would love to try surfing a Sisu on Lake Michigan waves sometime. Maybe I can talk Mike into an extended loan for further evaluation. Are you seeing this, Mike?


What do you think? Please comment!