F1 Modern Skin-on-Frame Kayak

Built under license from Brian Schultz of Cape Falcon Kayaks

Equally at home on quiet estuary back channels, extreme surf and howling winds, glassy high mountain lakes, or long trips down big water rivers with occasional rapids, you’ll be hard pressed to find another kayak that can do so many things so well as the F1.

The F1 excels for comfort, light weight, manoeuvrability, speed, cargo capacity, handling in surf and wind, and most importantly, is customized to your body proportions. It is a kayak designed by paddlers. Brain Schultz has refined the design over hundreds of copies and the result is that Cape Falcon Kayaks, and Valkyrie Craft build more of these than any other kayak. The design omits overhanging ends that are a hindrance in caves, tight channels, the wind, and your garage, but leaves the waterline long enough that it can cruise up to 5 mph when you need to give it some power.

Optimized for the normal cruising speeds, the combination of lower weight, a flared hull, and a slightly shorter waterline reduces wetted surface resulting in noticeably less paddling effort. This combination of playfulness and touring capability means not only can you get where you are going, but you’ll have more fun along the way.

Additional details and description available here.


The F1 can be built in various sizes to suit a paddler weighing from 45kg to 110kg. Sizing is confirmed through discussion with John.

The Standard F1 can be modified to make it lighter, to have a flatter foredeck or to optimise its surfing characteristics. Again, choosing either or both of these variations is determined through discussion.


Timber: The entire frame is constructed from a combination of timbers chosen for specific attributes. The choice of timber can be adjusted if required. To achieve the light weight the ribs and cockpit combing are green oak, chosen for its ability to be bent and cure to a strong rigid shape. Most of the rest of the hull is Western Red Cedar to minimise weight, with some small key elements in selected hardwood, where strength is a priority.

Fixings:  The frame is held together with a combination of artificial sinew lashing and the use of dowel pegs. This system has a series of benefits. Standard metal fixings can both rot and work loose over time, becoming weak and destroying the timber they are fixed into, and are therefore not used in our kayaks. Lashings and dowels are able to flex with the boat without loosening and this ability to flex is an additional benefit since the natural suppleness of the kayak provides it with a key element of its strength and responsiveness. Bronze ring nails are used only to secure deck line fittings. All of these are chosen for strength and longevity in wet environments.

Skin: The skin is a high performance heat reactive nylon. Its man-made nature ensure it is able to cope with the trials of frequent exposure to water and temperature changes and its strength ensures it is able to stand up to impact, wear and sharp edges. The skin is stretched and hand sewn, then treated with heat and steam to shrink it a little more to produce a taut wrinkle free finish.

Stitching: The skin is stitched using high grade nylon thread which ensures both strong seams and resistance to degrading through exposure to the elements, which is further enhanced by the waterproofing system. Seams are double stitched using an initial running stitch followed by a whipping stitch.

Waterproofing: The skin is sealed with the application of modern flexible polyurethane. it has excellent adherence to the nylon skin, assisting in its protection, and most significantly, it remains flexible and therefore maintains its integrity.

Colour: The nylon used for the boat is a white material. This can be coloured with acid dyes, making it possible to have the boat in a wide range of colours. Due to the nature of acid dyes and their application, the finished product is semi opaque and colours can vary slightly in depth and hue across the skin.

Video Material

This is a detailed video on the F1 produced by Cape Falcon Kayaks to provide a full discussion of the F1. Valkyrie Craft produce this boat on license from Cape Falcon. Our boat is this boat!

Paddling Skin on Frame on white water? Yep . . . this is not the F1 but it’s the same build structure.