Introduction to the Nelo ICF K1 Family

Nelo has a long history of being the premier supplier of racing kayaks since Manuel Ramos, “Nelo”, started the company in 1977.  Constant innovation over the years has produced the finest K1s, K2s and K4s in the world, bringing home numerous Olympic and World Championship medals.   The high end Nelo’s have evolved from the Vanquish 1, 2, and 3 to the Quattro and now the Cinco.  Each new model bringing more innovation, speed and stability to the lineup through extensive research and development – including a constant stream of feedback from a tremendous team of world champion athletes.  While primarily known as “sprint kayaks”, many paddlers utilize Nelo K1s for “marathon” and distance training.  With the advent of the Cinco bringing additional stability to the line, we are seeing more and more paddlers with the Cinco in E or WWR construction be there go to distance boat as well.

K1s for more then just elite athletes: Quite often the rest of the Nelo K1 line is overlooked when the typical intermediate paddler is looking for a K1 to raise their game.   Whether a platform to work on stability in the river, complement their canoe or surfski paddling, or just overall fitness – nothing is better then grabbing a 20lb 17′ K1 and going down to the river for a paddle. The good news is Nelo also offers a full range of K1s to meet these needs, often referred to “trainers” or “marathon” boats – offering more stability while still having the paddling characteristics of a “stability 1” K1. Please review below the full offering of more stable K1s: The Vintage, Classic and Viper Family. Nelo has a K1 for all levels!

FastPadder is proud to be responsible for Nelo Surfski and ICF sales in the Northeast US, as an agent for EliteOceanSports.   We are very excited since it has been difficult in the US it has been to demo and order Nelo boats over the last few years, but with the addition of the new Surfski line, we are able to order frequent containers and meet the demand for all the Nelo boats (basically any boat on the Nelo website).  Check out our every growing local fleet of demo boats.  If we don’t have what you’d like to try, we can probably find a friendly paddler who will let you try theirs.

Nelo K1 Stability, Construction, Pricing and Estimated Weights:

Stability: Nelo uses a stability scale of 1 – 5 for all kayaks and surfskis.  When comparing to other brand boats, use caution since many other vendors will use a scale from 1-10.  Also be aware  “stability 1” K1 from different vendors will most likely vary.  Also over the years as the Nelo K1s have evolved, the different family of boats may have some subtle differences in stability.  For example the Vanquish 3 L and Cinco L are both “stability 1” but the Cinco is definitely more stable in addition to less front to back movement giving it even more of more stable feeling.  Like all boat selection, really best to try if you can.

E Construction – Carbon/Kevlar Heat Cured – $3,995.  “This construction is specific for marathon racing, and its main characteristics are lightness and stiffness. The balance between weight and stiffness gives this construction an outstanding performance in marathon racing.”  This is Nelo’s lightest construction, with weights varying from 7 – 10kg (15.4 – 22.2lbs), for the range of a Cinco M to the larger Viper 60. This is the construction elite athletes use for marathon races.  Awesome construction for weight and stiffness, just be cautious if paddling in area with underwater obstructions.  Will not take an impact as well as WWR or SCS construction.

SCS Construction – Solid Composite Systems – $4,395.  “This system was conceived by MAR Kayaks. It allows us to produce boats as solid as composites can be using the latest technologies. It has an extreme performance level due to its extreme stiffness.” This is Nelo’s stiffest construction, aimed at those paddlers who typically sprint, or want the stiffest boat possible. Weights varying from 10-12kg (22-26.5lbs).  12kg is the min ICF K1 competition weight for official sprint races.  Additional weight may need to be added to the boat.  This is the construction elite athletes use for sprint races: 200m, 500m and 1000m.

WWR Construction – Carbon/Kevlar Epoxy Vacuum – $2,995.  “This construction is thought for river descent, marathon training and sea kayaking. Its main characteristics are stiffness and impact resistance.” This is Nelo’s most popular overall construction, offering a great value for the weight, durability and stiffness.   If you may encounter logs, rocks or other obstructions in your paddling environment, this construction will handle any impact the best.   Weights vary from 9-12kg (19.8-26.5lbs), for the range of a Cinco M to the larger Viper 60.  Our personal “go-to” overall construction.

F Construction – Carbon Foam Epoxy Vacuum Heat Cured – $2,995. “This construction has proved it’s potential before and has become one of the most popular. It’s extremely resistant and stiff, so it’s excellent both for sprint training and competition.”  Another very good value construction, aimed more at the sprinter due to its stiffness. Weights vary from 10-12kg (22-26.5lbs), depending on the boat size.

G Construction – Extra Carbon Foam Epoxy Vacuum Heat Cured – $3,695.  “High quality construction, prepared for high performance.”  Very similar to the F Construction, just extra carbon to provide more stiffness.  Weights vary from 10-12kg (22-26.5lbs), depending on the boat size.

A1 Construction – Fiberglass Epoxy – $1,995.  “This is the basic construction that is thought to be an economic option for touring and learning boats.”  Available only on the Viper class K1s.   Weights vary from 14-15kg (30-33lbs), depending on the boat size.

Note: Pricing includes delivery from Nelo Portugal to Elite Ocean Sports – St Matthews, SC.  Contact FastPaddler for our next scheduled trip to SC for boat delivery to the NorthEast US.

Nelo ICK K1 Information:

Nelo K1 Cinco Family

k1 Cinco XXL

Length: 520cm (17′)
Width: 41cm (16.1″)
M:  Up to 70kg (155lbs)
ML:  70 – 80kg (155 – 176lbs)
L:  75 – 85kg (165 – 187lbs)
XXL:   over 85kg (187lbs)
XXXL:  over 95kg (209lbs)

Stability 1.  Summary:  The Cinco is the highest performing K1 in the Nelo line.  While a “stability 1” K1, from our paddling of the Cinco, it is more stable then the earlier generations of the Nelo K1s (Vanquish and Quattro).  Side to side stability has improved, as well as reduction of front to back “porpoising”.   The reverse bow allows it to smoothly cut through waves, and the catch is the narrowest in the industry.
Click to check out the entire Nelo “Racing” family
Click to download the Cinco Design Ordering Form

Nelo K1 Vintage Quattro Family

k1 Vintage Quattro

Length: 520cm (17′)
Width: 41cm (16.1″)
M:  Up to 75kg (165lbs)
L:  Over 70kg  (155lbs)

Stability 2.  Summary:  The Vintage offers slightly more stability then the Cinco due to its slightly flatter bottom in the mid section, while still offering near Cinco speed.

Click to check out the entire Nelo “Fitness” family

Nelo K1 Quattro Classic

k1 Quattro Classic

Length: 520cm (17′)
Width: 44cm (17.3″)
One Size:
Approx: 70 – 90kg (155 – 200lbs)

Stability 2 to 3.  Summary: The Quattro Classic offers even slighter more stability to the Vintage family, and more offers more volume to accommodate heavier paddlers up to 90kg (200lbs).   As you approach the high end of the weight range, you should also look at the Viper 48 which will offer more volume and buoyancy.

Click to check out the entire Nelo “Fitness” family

Nelo K1 Viper Family:
48, 51, 55 & 60

Length: 520cm (17′)
Width: 41cm (16.1″)
48:  Width 48cm (18.9″)  Stability 3
51:  Width 51cm (20″) Stability 3.5
55:  Width 55cm (21.7″) Stability 4
60:  Width 60cm (23.6″) Stability 5

Stability 3 to 5.  Summary:  The Viper Family offers a broad range of stability for any paddler.  Often referred to as “touring” or “marathon” boats, the Viper retains all the features and feel of a high end K1 while providing additional stability.

Click to check out the entire Nelo “Fitness” family