Wobble Factor

No this is not an indication of excess weight carried around the midriff.

Wobble factor (WF) is a very useful indicator of boat stability, used in the United Kingdom to give paddlers and prospective purchasers an idea of the stability of different boat models.

A sample of the scale can be seen here

It shows that racing K1’s with the least stability are given a WF of 1, whereas the most stable singles will have a WF of 10.

A search through manufacturer’s websites in the UK shows that nearly all have a WF indicator, which I have personally found most useful when searching for a boat for an upcoming race in the UK next year.

To create a similar scale of WF for locally produced or marketed craft here, we can use craft available in both markets as a starting point.

Some narrow K1’s such as the Vajda Accelero have been given WF1, whereas some of the slightly more stable boats such as the Nelo Vanquish/Quattro and the Vajda Supersonic are given a WF of 2.

However, differences in these boats often relate more to handling ability and paddler weight than to basic overall stability. It’s fairly subjective.

The earlier popular Struer-based copies available here, such as the Cleaver and Lancer, are also grouped in the WF2 category, though they would be at the higher end, while the larger volume Cleaver X has a WF3.

The main purpose of creating a WF scale in Australia is to effectively grade locally available craft, especially racing skis, recreational, unrestricted and multisport boats, for the benefit of paddlers moving either up or down the scale of stability.

Most astute distributors and manufacturers will try to have boats fill as many of the WF numbers as possible, to cater for the widest market. It will be in their interests to ensure that a WF rating applied to their craft is as close to realistic as possible. Check out http://www.marsport.co.uk/K2.aspx to see how it works.

The same classification applies to doubles craft as it does to singles.

The Vajda Civet Cat, being a veterans racing K2, is WF8, whereas the Epic Legacy K2 is WF2. The older-shaped Struer Regina-based copies popular here have a WF3, while the even earlier model Struer Makker copies  are WF4.

So now this is where you can help.
You all paddle a boat or several. We need a broad range of paddlers to give their own personal WF ratings to as many boats as they can remember paddling, including sea kayaks and touring craft. The scale will not include any models with a WF of more than 10, as these are all likely to provide more than enough stability for the average to beginner paddler.  They won’t wobble, so there is no point giving them a WF.

Some boat’s WF will also be governed by seat height, layup, weight etc, so this scale is purely based on feel rather than science.

Surf skis will be included, though with a stability rating based only on flat water rather than on the bump, where another different range of factors comes into play.

Once we have enough input, the results will be collated and published so that final adjustments can be made to the ratings.

Please complete the survey below, giving your rating to as many craft as possible that you feel you can justifiably rate with a degree of accuracy.

Your confidential information will be collated and published as a GUIDELINE for other paddlers, and available on the PNSW website amongst other publications. Your personal details will not appear, as this is a statistical exercise only.

Once completed, just send the information to:tonyatpaddleNSW [dot] org [dot] au (tonyatpaddleNSW [dot] org [dot] au)

Many thanks for your assistance.

Craft Type (Single, Double)

Boat type (Ski, Sea Kayak, Rec, Comp etc)

Boat Model Name


Your WF


Comp K1

Legacy XXL





Civet Cat