The Ace of Spades is the first kayak designed and built by Spade Kayaks, although this is a new company the people behind it definitely are not new to the sport. Headed up by German legend Olli Grau, for their first kayak Spade have tapped into what they, as paddlers, love to do more than anything else, run rivers and have a lot of the fun on the way down!
The Ace is perfect for this, stable and forgiving are the main things that pop to mind when you hop into this kayak. The design is safe and dependable rather than revolutionary, but it does everything that you would hope it would do, and does it in Spades! Boom Boom….
The Ace accelerates well with only a few strokes and tracks incredibly well, the soft chines in the stern of the kayak still allow for crisp sharp turns however, when the Ace is sat on it’s edge. The rocker in the bow allow you to keep the nose up easily, this makes driving through holes and waves very easy and very confidence inspiring, the bow rocker also allows the Spade to surface easily and predictably when running steeper drops too. This really is a kayak that is happy to be paddled off pretty steep and technical drops and never feels unwieldy.
The outfitting is solid and robust and not too heavy, the fully adjustable foot plate is easy to move and the angled foot plate allows your feet to sit at a very comfortable position. The seat is easy to adjust as are the thigh braces and back band. The Ace also has a good solid front step out pillar that provides excellent strength and keeps the boat feeling very solid. The Ace is also blow moulded, this allows Spade Kayaks to produce their kayaks from a higher density plastic thats last better than anything else out there!
In all, this is a very competent little kayak that performs very well on the water and whether you're a total novice or a seasoned pro you'll enjoy how this kayak feels and handles.