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Zet Toro – Review

The Toro came hot on the heels of the successful Raptor and Director kayaks. Aimed at a wide cross section of paddlers and water conditions the Toro promised stability with a racing pedigree. The boat I have on loan was kindly supplied by North East Kayaks and Paddles.

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I have had a Zet Toro in for review for the last few months.

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If you have read any of my other reviews you’ll know my feelings on the basic outfitting so I won’t go into detail here. If you don’t wish to read the other reviews the summary is – it’s simple and works.

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On this particular boat a previous user must have knocked one of the foam pillar retainer watcha-cha-me-bobs out of place. A couple of zip ties took care of it.

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What I have found with the Toro is that the rails used to adjust the reach of the footrest is quite short. I’m 6ft 2 with not the longest of legs (32″ inseam) but found myself with the footrest rails set almost at the end of their reach. I had one bolt hole spare. If I were much taller/had a longer inseam then the footrest system as it is would not accommodate me. A couple of guys I know who are much taller are relying solely on some foam for a footrest.

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On the water the hull felt really stable. Probably one of the best hulls I have tried for some time. I can understand why so many people like them. It has a good amount rocker, edges in all the right places and none in the wrong places. Resulting in a fast boat that loves to be driven.

Despite being 200lbs (near the top end of the suggested weight range) geared up the boat sat nicely in the water. The “from the factory” fore/aft seating position was spot on. The Toro has much more rocker than the other kayaks in the Zet range, but not too much. As a result the Toro does boof pretty well.

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Speed is pretty good, enough to give the slalom boys and girls a run for their money. I am sure that we’ll see plenty of Toros gracing the podium of a number of boater cross events this year.

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Overall I’m pretty impressed with the Zet Toro. However after spending many hours in the boat and the outfitting being simple/effective I couldn’t get my seating position the way I wanted. I prefer my knees to be raised slightly higher, which is not possible due to the thickness of the seat or the profile of the deck depending on the way you look at it. This is a personal preference and would be the only thing stopping me from getting a Toro.

13 Comments

  1. Take the seat out and shave a bit off the bottom to get your knees higher?

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      May 7, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      I reckon I’d need to shave off around half of the depth to get the level right.

  2. Alexander Weir

    May 7, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    I have a Toro and been thinking about doing a review, would you be interested?

  3. I have a Perception Super sport you could borrow for the day and then the Toro would seem like it had plenty of leg length and knee height, Looks like a good all rounder. My Sonic might wear out one day if it ever rains again in northern NSW.

  4. ZET provides, on demand, all their kayaks with a foam footrest. I love this option as it makes the boats lighter. So relying just on foam as a footrest is a great option for which I am very thankfull to ZET

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      May 9, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      That’s a great idea for weight saving. However in a heavy impact a foam only footrest can move significantly.

      • Michael Supple (Cat in the Hat)

        May 10, 2016 at 5:15 pm

        In a heavy impact wouldn’t that be a good thing.Better the foam to give than your ankle bones.

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          May 10, 2016 at 7:19 pm

          Foam on a full plate footrest is perfect for impact protection. But the foams movement is limited by the footrest system. It isn’t going to pushed out of the way or to one side. If just a foam plug was being used (no full plate) then it will move unless is completed fills the front end of the boat. Even such systems in playboat shift and move.

      • The Zet system does not move, due to the fact that it goes all the way to the end of the bow, also it is a purpose built section of foam which is a perfect fit for the boat.

        • The full foam footrest on zet boats is bomber. I have broken multiple adjustable footrests on different boats. A full foam footrest does not move. Absorbs impact, provides enormous floatation. And no chance of shoelaces getting caught on the nuts. Or of the hardware coming loose. Also it is true zet boats don’t have a high knee position. It takes a short time to get used to it. But once you do you will love it. It is easy to engage and use your torso with a slightly lower knee position. Also it results in a much more streamlined boat that you don’t have to reach around. Encouraging more vertical power and boof strokes. Making it easier to set up for rolling. Enough said. Zet boats are awesome!

  5. How easy is it to roll a Toro compared to the Raptor or a Pyranha Karnali?

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