Zet kayaks are famous for their bomb-proof creek boats: The Raptor, The Veloc, The Director and The Toro.
The Main Creek Boat Range - The Raptor, The Veloc and The Director
Three people came together to design the new Zet creekboat series – an extreme kayaker, an international slalom paddler and a plastics expert. Each has had their influence in creating a kayak the creekboating community have been waiting a long time for. These are some of the unique features of the Zet Raptor:
Displacement hull with just enough edge
Planing/semi-planing hulls are a complete waste of time on creekboats and hard edges tend to get in the way on slides. The Zet Raptor creek boat has a displacement hull that is stable and easy to roll but has just enough edge to help you carve into tight eddies
Fast hull with a nice amount of rocker
A lot of the faster creekboats are great downhill but don't turn fast enough. The Raptor achieves both which is why it has been winning so many European creekboat races this summer. Take Note: Next time you're with a bunch of mates going down something narrow, if you're in a Raptor, make sure you're at the front.
Variable hull thickness – Zelezny Technology - Zet Kayaks
The Zet Creek Range is the only white water kayak range ever to have variable thickness plastic. Basically it is thicker in the hull and sides, to take impacts, and thinner on the front and rear decks. The result is you get the strongest kayak for the least weight. The Raptor weights 19kg but is as strong as one weighing 24kg.
303L volume but it feels like about 250L when you sit in it
The Raptor, Veloc and Director have a lot of volume which is great for keeping you afloat in big, white water but some of that volume has been shifted to the rear. This makes her stable on bouncy water but she can feel a little different to other kayaks at first. The seats are set fully to the rear at the factory, give it a paddle in this position before you move it.
No holes drilled around the cockpit
Why do kayak manufacturers insist on drilling holes around cockpits? Don't they realise all those nuts and bolts eventually work loose and start leaking and that it's a real pain in the a**e tightening them up the whole time? The Zet Kayaks have no holes drilled around the cockpit.
Front and rear buoyancy retention pillars
Serious creekers will love the fact that the front and rear buoyancy blocks are retained by a plastic pillar. So they cannot move out of position. The front also gives you somewhere to stick your drink.
We're aware that some other manufacturers' outfitting looks better than ours. But our seat is made from a solid moulded closed cell foam which has the following advantages: It does not have a spongy pad on top - so it's not like sitting in a puddle. It doesn't fall apart. And it keeps your bum warm when you're paddling.
No DVT risk
Do you ever get sore legs after a day's paddling? If you do it is a symptom of restricted blood flow caused by pressure from hard plastic seats (even with padding). The potential health risk is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). The Raptor's foam seat does not restrict bloowflow to the legs. Paddlers who typically get these leg pains in other boats do not get them in Raptors.
The plastic carries a 2 year warranty
We know the plastic on the Raptor is bomber because when we've tested it on the water against other manufacturers' boats, we notice other peoples' boats get trashed while ours stay solid. But you don't know that and there's no way for us to prove it to you. So Zet Raptors come with a two year warranty against defective plastic in the hull. That doesn't mean you are guaranteed a creekboat that will take unlimited punishment for two years. It means if you get a problem because we made it wrong - we'll repair or replace it.
The outfitting carries a 2 year warranty
The same goes for the outfitting. We know it's tough but you don't. So, for peace of mind, we give our creek boat outfitting a two year warranty.
Zet Creek Boat Paddling tips
Every new boat takes a bit of getting used to. Here's a few tips from our Team Paddlers on how to get the best out of your new Raptor.
1. Raptors have fairly large rear volume so don't be in a big hurry to move the seat forward. Try paddling her with the seat fully to the rear first.
2. Get her on edge. Raptors have an incredibly forgiving hull. You can get them to virtually 90 degrees on their sides and they still feel stable. But if you want to turn your Raptor fast, lean it over. Use positive body control to engage the front rails and carve the boat quickly into and out of eddies and create quick turns on the water.
3. She works better if you paddle aggressively. Raptors are faster than other creekboats and everything works better if you paddle aggressively.
4. Set up early and read far ahead. This, combined with an aggressive style makes the boat fly over and through everything you throw at her.
The New Kid on the Block - The Zet Toro
About the most bombproof big creekboat in existence
The Zet Toro is an extension of the Zet creekboat range but rather than simply create a Raptor XL it has been designed as a completely new boat. Having said that it does share many of the same features as the Raptor.
The Zet Toro creek boat has a displacement hull that is stable and easy to roll but has just enough edge to help you carve into tight eddies
The Bottom Line
The Zet Creekboat Range is not for everyone.
Most people buying their first creek boat are more likely to be seduced by the much prettier outfitting and finish on boats made by other brands. However the more experienced boater who has discovered the joys (not) of outfitting that falls apart, plastic that shreds and splits and heavy boats on long portages will appreciate everything that Zet has to offer.
All Zet Kayaks come with a free pair of Peak Kayak Airbags