Advice on the following please...

-- Last Updated: Sep-18-16 10:25 AM EST --

Any experience to compare/contrast the following kayaks: Stellar s14, Kayak Pro Namu, Cape Falcon F1 and the Delta from WSBS.
I'm looking for a short, efficient, (fast?) fairly straight tracking, kayak with rough water (wind/chop, small waves) capabilities. Mostly for an exercise paddle (point a to point b) for an hour or two and then play with skill building...rolling, bracing, etc.especially when the conditions get a bit rougher. (Inland lakes mostly).

Thanks in advance for your comments.

My question is, are all of these boats available to you to try them out? Except for the Stellar 14, these boats are kind of specialized and might be fairly rare and pricey.

If you happen to live near Vancouver, Wa., for some reason there are a bunch of Kayak Pro kayaks for sale there.

If it’s speed you’re looking for, you might want to look at something about three feet longer.

Southern Michigan,
according to previous posts by the OP.

Looking for 14’ - ish long kayak
I’m looking for a 14-ish foot kayak. None are available for me to try.

Well then
It might be prudent to talk about your personal specs–height, weight, etc. Your paddling experience might also be relevant.

In any case, if you cannot try these boats out, you’re taking a pretty big gamble as to suitability for you. You can’t just look at dimensions and make a meaningful determination. All of this might not count for much if you were looking at a cheapy that you could dump if it doesn’t work out.

road trip?
Sounds like you need to plan a test paddling road trip.

First contact Kayak Pro dealer, Bay Creek Paddling Center in Rochester NY, whether they might have a demo model of the Namu. Then plan to drive across Ontario to WSBS (just East of Buffalo) to check out the Delta, proceed west to Bay Creek then swing south via scenic route 219 to Brookville, PA, on Interstate 80 to test the Stellar at Performance Kayak’s new shop there, then head home to Michigan via 80 through Ohio.

As for testing an F-1 – good luck with that, though you might try signing up to participate in the forums over at the Greenland and skin on frame afficionado site:

You could start a thread to see if there are any F-1 owners in the region who would be willing to offer you a test paddle. And since F-1’s are built to the paddler’s metrics, you would need to find an owner close to your size.

Kayak performance is so subjective, you can read dozens of conflicting reviews and hear countless opinions and still not find the boat that’s exactly right for you. There is really no substitute for personal seat time.

Then again, you could probably be happy with any of the boats listed and another dozen different ones beside. Sometimes trying to give yourself too many choices becomes a self-defeating exercise.

14 footers around
Riverside Kayak Connection in Wyandotte has a few:

Also Bill and Paul’s Sporthaus in Grand Rapids.

Bill and Paul’s are very accommodating and don’t charge for demos as Riverside does. I had contacted them earlier this year about a particular kayak and they told me to give them the date and time, and they’d have it available at a nearby lake. As it turned out, I found the kayak privately owned locally to demo and didn’t need to make the trip.

TCSurfSki up here has a Stellar S14 for sale and I’m sure would let you demo it.

What are you paddling now?

Some feedback
I’ve considered all the boats mentioned, I think 14’ is a very versatile length.

The F-1 should be very capable in rough water, it’s part of the design. I have the precursor, and it is great in that respect, plus it feels efficient compared to my other boats, although I have no proof.

I have no info re Stellar, but it’s billed as a newbie-friendly kayak with a long waterline, so would probably be fine.

The Namu and Delta are both designed by racers, I would expect them to be less stable and focused on speed. I tried a different Kayakpro hull billed as stable, but it definitely was not, racers are judging on a different scale. I called WSBS re the Delta and got some feedback that persuaded me it would be too small, you might make the same call.

You may have to just make a leap, you’re never going to get enough unbiased info to make a rational decision.