Kirton Rift K1 side image Kirton Rift K1 top image

Key spec
Paddler weight (Optimum): 50-88kg
Boat length: 5.2M
Beam: 40cm
Seamless constructions: 8X, 14X, 12X
Stability: 1 (very unstable)



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Kirton Rift Logo

Our most technologically advanced K1 ever

Quite simply, our most technologically advanced K1 to date. Designed from first principles, quite literally from a blank sheet of paper, the Rift is a K1 that has been reimagined in it's entirety from the hull shape right through to the footrest. Every element of the Rift has been CAD modelled, simulated and accurately CNC machined at our UK factory in Devon. And yes, we are proud to say that almost every part of the Rift is made here in the UK!

Designed and built for uncompromised racing performance, the Rift's hull works at its best when being driven hard. The harder you work, the harder the radical sliced stern will work for you, and this is where things get really interesting.

The Rift's bow


The highlights...

The list of innovations and tweaks is enormous but these are our favourites.

  • Radical cut-away stern for improved hull efficiency
  • Markedly solid longitudinal stability for rapid acceleration
  • Improved lateral stability (less wobble)
  • Seamless external construction and beautiful designs
  • New carbon footrest mounting board and full footplate (option)

Francis Huntongford in Kirton RiftThe Rift's bow

What's with the stern?

With its tip just lying beneath the waterline, this sharp tail edge has the joint purpose of cutting turbulent water clean from the hull (reducing drag) while also providing grip to improve directional tracking, both on and off the wash. Dynamically the boat behaves like a much longer boat, and with conventional full-round sections through the majority of the hull, we’ve kept wetted surface to a minimum to give the Rift a familiar efficient K1 feel – there are no wacky chines or flats here.

On paddling, you’ll notice we’ve made big advances in improving the longitudinal stability. By reducing the pitching movements (most noticeable on big sprint and marathon starts) the Rift stays level in the water so is able to pick up speed quickly, cleanly and efficiently. There is also a welcome increase in the side-to-side lateral stability, making the boat feel less twitchy overall, enabling you to put down maximum power with confidence. Both aid in keeping the boat balanced and true in the water for the best hull performance.

The radical sliced Rift stern

Beautiful seamless construction 

But it’s not just boat shape we’ve been working on. Every aspect has been overhauled. We’re proud to announce all new constructions, finishes, designs and fittings, and there’s even more in the pipeline. The standard Rift comes with a fully seamless external finish as standard, blending the deck and hull into one continuous surface, providing a marginal improvement to performance while adding significantly to the style - this might be our prettiest boat to date.

To complement the finish, we have three new seamless constructions: the 12X for elite marathon performance; the 14X with a little more flex and lower price point; and the 8X which is an affordable carbon sprint construction. If you want something extra special, all X constructions can benefit from our new range of customisable house designs using our boat designer app, allowing you to apply striking colours and shapes to both the deck and hull of your Rift. If you want to go all out, you can even consult with us for a special one-off bespoke paint design.

Launch the Boat Designer

Special custom designs available

All new fittings

Inside the boat, you’ll find a carbon compartment beneath the rudder hatch, which allows the rudder stem some vertical movement, helping protect the rudder assembly from impact. In the footwell a new light-weight carbon footrest mounting plate allows for easier adjustment, excellent wear and saltwater resistance and a more rigid footrest feel.

Kirton carbon rudder compartment

Advanced carbon foot plate

Complementing the heel plate option (positioned below the footrest), we have a new super-stiff hinged carbon full plate, which anchors to the boat in three places and is completely angle and length adjustable for comfort. It takes more setting up than a basic footrest but is a must for performance paddling. The required tool is provided and stowed behind the cockpit.

You’ll notice that all footrest fittings are positioned behind the foot plate which gives you a wider footplate for full tiller movement and the best steering possible. Our latest pullbar is angle, depth and hight adjustable and is both stronger, lighter and wider than our previous system, accommodating more tiller movement and both larger and smaller feet.

Kirton hinged full foot plate

Three seat shapes

The platform seat is now even more comfortable, smoother running and lighter with more height settings and options. The rapid sliding adjustment requires just two thumbscrews to length-adjust and the runners are both height and angle adjustable. Higher runners can be provided on request. The seat top is CNC trimmed in house and can be modified if required to the athlete's requirement.


Due the way the volume is distributed in the Rift, each size has the capacity to handle much larger weight range than some other models. 

Rift M : Centred around a 60kg paddler with a designed range between 50-70kg (absolute recommended minimum 43kg). Designed with slightly more space at the seat, to allow for a lower seat position.

Rift L : Centred around a 75kg paddler with a carrying range between 65-85kg (63-88kg absolute recommended range depending on construction). With heavier paddlers it is recommended that the boat be trimmed aft for optimal trimming.

Rift XL: Centred around a 90kg paddler with a wide weight range of 80-100kg. The XL was designed and built from scratch. It features a slightly wider hull at the seat, and thinned-down bow sections to allow the same paddle entry as the L despite the increase in volume.

We’re really excited about the Rift so please get in touch if you’d like to try it or talk about it. We're also looking for team paddlers so if you think you have got what it takes, or know someone that does, contact us now.

Prices & Ordering

Ziggy Chmiel testing the prototype Kirton Rift

Tom Sharpe testing the prototype Kirton Rift