Bought a Delta 14.5 as a gift am I wrong

-- Last Updated: Dec-05-12 4:26 PM EST --

My wife loves Kayaking she doesn't get out much, actually she's just been out for a bunch of training courses and a few local short 1 hour trips.

This year we have chosen to due a low budget xmas but I just had to do something special for her, she has put up a lot with me this year due to me breaking my heal and needing surgeries and being off my feet.

So I decided to get her a Kayak and gear, something that would not be happening anytime soon according to her.

I was on a tight budget so I had to check around, find what deals I could come up with, look at new and used etc...

I ended up getting her a Delta 14.5 I really like the shop I bought it from, the price point was good and was able to get a slightly cheaper price. However fear has now set in, I know the fitting of a kayak can be extremely personal. I'm worried I might have made a mistake on picking it out for her.

Any opinions? She is 5'4" 145lbs, we live in British Columbia and will be used for ocean, knowing my wife it will probably be used for some distance... This seemed like a very good first Kayak that could be sold and upgraded later if she wants. I just don't want her to be upset xmas morning...

My intentions were good.

Thanks for any input.

any options
Is the sale done, or do you have the option to back out?

If the sale is done, then go with it. You likely will be Ok. The Delta kayaks generally seem to have good all around fit.

If not done, and you have options, then find a way to get her or someone her size into the boat and see how it fits.

I would try and return it
Your wife might have some specific ideas on what kind of boat she would like. If she’s been doing a bunch of classes her skill is probably high enough she will be looking for something higher performance.

Paddling gear in general is all pretty personal either because of fit or preference so it’s hard buy much.

Can you work a deal?
I am your wife’s height and a bit less in weight, about 10 pounds. I am not sure if you got the Sport (cockpit depth 11.5") or the Expedition (12.5"), but if those are interior to interior height measures it’d be a little tall for my tastes. The cockpit dimensions look big to me in width, at 18’‘x 32.5’’. It is hard to gauge that without knowing where your wife carries her weight though. Personally I prefer a 16 inch wide cockpit, but maybe it’d fit your wife well enough for good control. It is hard to say unless someone sits in a boat.

My bigger concerns are that the Delta boats are ruddered. Rudder or skeg can be a strong preference and it is unclear whether you know what your wife’s is - and the 24.5" width. The narrower Delta 16 is more of a full out sea kayak, and likely faster.

I guess my biggest concern is that you may not be much ahead of the folks on this board in terms of knowing her preferences for a kayak. It might be safer if you can get back to the store and work a deal to trade that boat up for something longer and narrower if need be. Just don’t get it wet in the meantime.

I would have played it safe and gave her a gift certificate for the paddling shop.

Boats are like pants- they all fit differently and we each have to find what suits us the best.

She’ll be thrilled
to have a new kayak, I’m sure. What she wants in a kayak will evolve over time, but I’m sure she’ll love having a kayak now to get out and enjoy and get some experience. The kayak can be fitted using foam padding.

If she’s moderately athletic and confident with good balance she may prefer the Delta 16. If she’s a bit nervous on the water, the Delta14 will be reassuring.

its not a house or diamond
It’s a kayak. She will enjoy it, and eventually want another. Getting out and paddling is the only way to know. You did good.

Ryan L.

But it is a great gift too
There are thoughts I had above which did not make it into that post.

The Delta 14.5 is a perfectly respectable boat for a number of purposes and can be nice to have around for a casual day of poking around on the water. The sub-16 ft length is easier for doing things like marshes and similar places that are a lot of fun to explore.

The Delta 14.5 is a good entry boat for many people. It should be quite “saleable” should the time come.

But most importantly, getting a whole new kayak for your wife is a darned nice idea. It would be most surprising if she did not appreciate your effort.

I agree

– Last Updated: Dec-06-12 9:29 AM EST –

I takes more than several outings and a few classes to really get a feel for boats. This boat you chose is SO much better than the basic rec boats that most people start out with. In fact, look at all the people who paddle dozens of times per year, even for many years, without ever "specializing" in their boat choices. I bet that this moderately good boat that can do a number of things fairly well will turn out to be a fine way to start out for her. I could be wrong, since I don't know her, but playing the odds, I say she'll love it.

Thanks Everyone!
Thanks for the input everyone, much appreciated!

The deal is pretty much done so I can’t really return it. However if my wife totally hated it I’m sure the shop would help me out, the manager was very great. However that would probably involve and upgrade and more $. I wasn’t supposed to do this so I hope this works out even just for a season or two. I know the kayak she wanted and it was way out of my price range, however I would love to help her work towards that. My intentions with this is she would have a decent boat until that time. She deserves to be in the water, I am just hoping I have given her the opportunity.

Yes she took about 4 workshops or courses for skill development but her actual in water time on her own is maybe 4 -5 hours. So she has theory but relatively no practice.

Luckily I know she was more interested in rudders then skeg, but once again she is new so her preference might change.

I’m just gonna have to cross my fingers and pray this works for her, if not I’m sure there is a good solution, I’m going to be very anxious till xmas.

I’m hoping she will want to go for a paddle rather then look for an out…

Thanks again everyone!!!

The point is, you cared enough to get
it for her.Doesn’t really matter that much what the ‘it’ is in my experience.

She’ll have a nice kayak,
and she already has a prince of a husband. What a sweetie!

Don’t sweat it
You done good. As to the ideal kayak, as your wife gets more time on the water she’ll realize that used is a nice option. Of the 11 boats under and on the porch or in our basement, only 3 were purchased new. The fourth that is new is only so because it replaced a demo model that had a much more troublesome history than we first realized, and the head of Valley did a fantastic job of remedying the mess.

The rest were acquired the way most people increase their fleet - used, demos and even one that came with a repair in it from the hole in the side it got from shipping.

Guess which ones had the most time on the water the last few years? It is the used boat with scratches from many other paddlers on the deck, and the one with the repaired hole in the side.

Heck - you may even find that over time you are a fit for the Delta and can join her on easy jaunts.

Well I upgraded a bit
Went in a spoke with the manager again today. I opted to get her the 16.

I think she will be happy, if she isn’t the shop will help make her happy!

I think I will have to go out and have a paddle with her when she gets it. I haven’t been in a kayak since I was 15.

Thanks again…

Merry Christmas all!!!

Let us know…
if you guys ever break up. I think you’ll have a waiting line here! :slight_smile:

She’ll like it
MY wife is about the same size and has the Delta 16. She likes it a lot. I’ve paddled it and find it to be pretty fast and a good handling boat. It feels comfortable on edge and carves a nice turn.

Delta 16 and 14.5 fit differently.

I agree
The Delta 14.5 & the 16 are totally different. I had a 14.5 for a while & upgraded to the 17 which is very different also. KK