Bought Rare(?) Kayak on Craigslist

Hi, I’m new to these forums but I really need some help. I recently bought a touring kayak from an older couple who were moving to Arizona and didn’t need anything paddling-related, so I got a great deal on a lot of equipment. $800 for a composite, 15.5’ boat with a rudder and some goodies thrown in.

However, I can hardly find information on this boat, the Riot Performa. The older couple bought it used themselves a year before, so they could only guess at the age (4 - 5 years) and the price (~$2000 new).

Now there’s one page on the internet from what must be an older version of the Riot Kayaks website that lists the specs and basic description of the kayak, but it has no indication of when this line was manufactured or what the price may have been. No one sells this kayak anywhere apparently, as I can’t find any ads for used Riot Performas.

I’d just like to know more about the boat I bought… was it a great deal? How much did they retail for, and why was the line discontinued? Why doesn’t Riot Kayaks make composite boats anymore (according to their website)? Is there something wrong with this model that I should be aware of? At the end of the day, it’s just hard to look at what I got this boat for and believe that the deal was that good. It’s in very good shape if the age is accurate.


– Last Updated: Oct-01-16 2:51 AM EST – owners manual dated 2007

When you say that the kayak is in good shape for its age, I have to wonder exactly what you mean. Kayaks–particularly composite kayaks don’t necessarily age if they are treated right and can easily be made good as new if they get scratched up a bit. So yes, it looks like you made a good buy.

Not used much. Riot and Seakayaks

– Last Updated: Oct-01-16 11:38 AM EST –

The original owner and the people who bought it may have discovered they did not know much about kayaks. The boat is fairly wide but from the shape of the hull may feel tippy to a newbie and it did not get much use. There is probably nothing wrong with the boat or the design.
Riot in that era was mostly known for whitewater kayaks, there was a surge of interest in composite seakayaks in the early 2000s and they probably jumped in with a sporty composite day paddler. It looks like now they have dropped out of the composite seakayak market. Composite boat models that are well known, tried and true, and in good shape will cost more used.

P.S. they should have kept the boat. There are some great places to paddle in Arizona, and the Sea of Cortez is just a few hours south. One of the best places to seakayak in North America.


– Last Updated: Oct-01-16 12:18 PM EST –

Since when is 23" a "wide" beam for a sea kayak? The dimensions are similar to a Delphin 155 (which is 15' 9" by 22.5") and it sounds like it was designed for similar use.

kayak distribution
Kayak Distribution (a kayak company) purchased Riot, Azul, Boreal Design, maybe others. Boreal made some very fine kayaks. When it went bankrupt, Kayak Distribution purchased Boreal Design. I had a kevlar Ellesmere which was an excellent kayak. I believe Kayak Distribution carries these various lines with Boreal continuing with some or all of its kayaks.

23" ~ top of range for real seakayaks
I guess I may be out of the loop but of seakayaks I have paddled the most 23" is about as wide as they get. thinking Nordkapp, Mariner clone, I have paddled a wider seakayak Prion Kodiak (24") but that is an expedition barge…

here’s a list of some seakayaks and widths

Year of manufacture
Check the last two digits of the HIN.

Look at stern of boat on the stbd side

it’s a 15 footer
15’ touring kayaks seem to be more in the 22" to 24" range, at least in the US. Even that list you linked to confirms that there are quite a few 15’ x 23". I suspect a shorter boat tends to need to be a little wider to get the volume for average to larger people. And boats scaled for women are often a little wider – we tend to be proportionally broader in the beam than men of similar height and weight.