Romany Sport

NDK Romany Sport hybrid plastic composite sea kayak robust tough fun

  • Best for: playfulness, guiding, coaching and day trips
  • Sizing: up to 2.0m/6’6″ tall. Medium or large frame
  • Max shoe size: UK11/EU46
My take on the Romany Sport…

Sport by name – sport by nature! Take it into the biggest tidal races, visit your favourite rough water play spot or put on some style in the surf. Developed from the peerless Romany Surf, what sets it apart from every other roto-moulded sea kayak is the glass-fibre cockpit rim and glass-fibre seat.

NDK Romany Sport rockhopping play British Sea Kayaks Sea Kayaking UK It provides a rigid environment for the sporty paddler when “playing the sea”. You get greater connectivity with the boat. This makes it feel more like paddling a paddling composite kayak. But if you mess it up, contact with rocks is going to be absorbed by a tough plastic hull and deck. This is a proper hybrid sea kayak – just what we’ve all been waiting for.

The seat is height and reach adjustable too, making the boat suitable for paddlers in a wide range of sizes. A backband is fitted to the latest version. Foam bulkheads provide additional buoyancy and it’s fully fitted out with all the usual refinements you need. This includes a proper day hatch with a composite rim – so much easier to get the hatch back on than a plastic hatch rim.  A great option if you’re looking for a sea kayak that is a cut above the rest, and ideal if you’re taking British Canoeing awards and don’t want to scratch your gel coat during the assessments. Get one of these and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bar!

British Sea Kayaks Romany Sport NDK kayak rotomoulded
a light day at the Bitches, Pembrokeshire
My personal experience of paddling the Romany Sport

This kayak has taken me by surprise. I thought that I was an absolute convert to composite and would never paddle a plastic kayak again. However, it really doesn’t feel like a normal plastic kayak. That slightly vague, slightly bendy feeling just doesn’t exist. It’s stiff, tough and the connectivity is amazingly good. The stability is even better than the Romany Surf, which up until recently was my “daily drive”. Now I take the Sport more often than any other kayak.

Is there a downside? Well, it is heavier than a comparable composite kayak. And it makes me a bit lazy skills-wise – when I’m paddling this kayak I can get a bit complacent about the rocks so a helmet is essential!

Available in a range of colours, all with contrasting cockpit rim and seat, it would also make an ideal boat for centres, clubs and organisations that are looking for a great all-round sea kayak. No other manufacturer in the world offers a hybrid construction sea kayak.

It’s important to be aware that there was a plastic sea kayak built by NDK in 2004-6. Superficially it looks similar, but the shell was of triple layer construction and the cockpit rim/seat was attached in a totally different way.  A few of these are still in use at training centres. As you would expect, they have been used and abused to the full. To be confident you have seen a genuine Romany Sport I recommend you check with me. I can advise you of the exact current specification and how to recognise the most recent model.

Here’s how Sea Kayaking UK describes the Romany Sport

A responsive kayak that surfs well for the medium to large sized paddler. The hull design offers high stability and the shaped foredeck allows for large feet up to size 11/12 (Europe 46,5). Designed for rough water and ease of handling in conditions. It has more volume in the rear compartments than the Romany Classic. It offers extra leg room due to a raised area either side of the cockpit. The seat can be set higher for a smaller paddler and the raised area in the front deck can be padded if needed.

  • Length: 489 cm
  • Width: 54 cm
  • Depth: 33 cm
  • overall volume: 282.5 litres
  • front hatch volume: 55 litres
  • cockpit volume: 160 litres
  • day hatch volume: 27.5 litres
  • rear hatch volume: 40 litres