It looks like it might be another good option for a smaller paddler.
There are only two p.net reviews and I didn’t find any discussion threads regarding it.
for the smaller paddler?
Paddled w. an Eddyline rep in September. He was paddling this kayak. Not a small guy in height or weight ~ 5'11" and 175, very muscular, very athletic in multiple sports. The boat fit him well and he was paddling and carving it very well. It certainly was finished nicely from the deckside.
He offered to let me try it but I declined. having tried many boats of lower deck and cockpit dimensions I am a pretty good judge of what is "small" and the FLV already looked oversized for me. I'm 5'3" and 115# with long arms and legs for my size, and a short torso.
Not many kayaks fit me out of the box, I'll say that upfront. Nor do I expect them to - just get somewhere close so I don't need huge slabs of minicell to make it work.
Usually "small paddler" means "small male paddler" though this situation is improving with makers like Current Designs, Impex and lately VCP.
So no, I didn't paddle it. Didn't want to struggle with a big boat and have to make up polite things to say. Plus the rep couldn't have fit in my kayak so it would just leave him waiting ashore while I paddled around.
For contrast: I paddle a North Shore Fuego with a 20" beam, (13" in the customized seat) and a front cockpit height of 10.5". Built my own thigh braces and arrived at real nice fit.
So how would FLV fit a smaller male paddler? We found out that afternoon.
While on the water we met up w. my friend Mark who's about 5'7 160#, athletic, paddles 3-5 times per week. Mark was looking for his first FG seakayak. The rep offered to let Mark try the Fathom LV and told him how the Eddyline material compared in strength to fiberglass.
After a 20 minute paddle Mark said polite but noncommital things. He just didn't seem that excited, and I wondered what he really thought. He told me later.
He said "I didn't like that boat at all." He thought the FLV pushed too much water at the bow (a slug, he called it) and felt too indefinite ("mushy")as far as secondary stability.
Mark likes to edge, carve and do stationary sculling. He felt the boat wasn't as fine tuned or responsive as he would like.
He also said the deck was too high and would catch wind. He's already experiencing that with the Tsunami 140 (which he otherwise very much likes as a fishing boat) He wanted a different body style and design in a sea kayak.
So FWIW there are some early impressions.
Thanks for the feedback, friendlyfire.
have you paddled any of Current Designs new smaller boats? Specifically the Suka.
As above, I’ve gotten up close to the boat on dry land and the small is a smaller male, not a really low volume person in kayaks like an average sized reasonably fit female. But you may fit it.
Back deck was a bit high - it isn’t flat but rounded a bit, and the front is rounded up and continues in that vein consistently forward rather than dropping lower and flatter shortly in front of the cockpit like some Brit boats do.
It was a nice looking boat in its finish, but honestly I was hard-pressed to see the Brit or Greenland lineage in it compared to Romany/Explorer boats that we have under the porch.
Can’t comment on its handle, except that it seemed much easier to get on and off the rack than at least one of our Brit boats.
Suka - yes
paddled it several times on two different occasions.
Loved it. If I didn’t have my Fuego I’d buy that boat.
See the pnet review done by me for details
the choices for a “big” small persons boat are usually “smaller” big boats so it’s great to see the Suka work out.
good catch on the back deck
it is higher than many low volume afficionistas might like.
That day I got a really good look at this kayak from every direction but underneath
Not British looking at all. Not said as a condemnation, just an observation. If it’s working for somebody, then the pedigree is irrelevant.
Suka is …
described by CD as the small person’s Caribou…
but in this case it was the CD design team that put the Suka on the water with a fresh design, on its own merits, instead of a simple downsized version of the Caribou, which came from a single designer (IIRC last name is Henry??)
It’s an extremely fun, lively, fast kayak (at least it was for me) so get into one if you get the chance…
2008 will be the second year in production so maybe they’ll be showing up more. As it was, there was only 1 demo Suka in the entire Lower Peninsula or Michigan and 1 demo in the UP(which was sold in August) so I was very lucky to get some seat time in the former.
Versus My Night Hawk
Someone placed one next to mine and it seems to me like Eddyline was aiming at higher volume, higher deck with the Fathom. If you like Eddyline, take a look at the Night Hawk for the smaller paddler.
CD designer Barry Buchanan
Brian Henry did many of the original CD designs. The Caribou started as a plywood construction before CD started making them.
for giving credit where credit’s due.
Fathom LV is 1" narrower & .5" deeper
than Nighthawk 16 according to their spec sheets and has slightly higher volume and slightly lower weight capacity. Same size cockpit.
I like room for my feet under the fore deck like to be able to wear my mukluks or over shoes when paddling rather than having to wear thin booties or socks. I hate it when my foot postition is limited by deck height.
Edit: I did test paddle a Nighthawk 16 in calm conditions in the summer of 2006 and liked it. It was the best fitting kayak I'd tried to that point and I liked it's handling characteristics. It's a nice boat.
Yanoer- contact Great Lakes Kayaks
in Lake Bluff IL (about 35-40 miles north of downtown):
Ask for Glenna and tell her you know me. She can tell you everything you want to know about it.
I’m not actively seeking now, but saw this model on the Eddyline web site yesterday and was surprised that it hadn’t been discussed yet on p.net.
I may connect with Great Lakes Kayak next summer if I decide to pursue this model further. They may be the closest Eddyline dealer to central IL.
Eddyline rep for Midwest
has contact info on their site. He travels thru
Chicago and environs in the spring/summer. Betcha he can get you a demo to try and then you can decide for yourself
P.S. Yanoer- Glenna and her staff
have demos of all Eddyline models nearly every Saturday between 10:00 AM and noon at the Skokie Lagoons during the warm season.
If you decide to pursue it further next year, you could demo and then we could paddle. The Lagoons are only 1 1/2 miles from my house.
Thanks friendlyfire & bruce for that
I’ll follow up on those leads if I’m still intersted in trying Eddyline’s next summer.
Anyone else paddled one?
Sea Kayaker Magazine Review
For what its worth, Sea Kayaker magazine reviewed it a few months ago. I recall it being a positive review overall and they thought it was no slouch in the “speed” department by any means. You might want to look it up. While Eddyline tends to design boats that are essentially unique so they do not look like what many think a kayak should look like, in my experience their sea kayaks perform very well and are well built.