CD Storm GT

I found a used CD Storm kayak for sale. Looks to be in very good condition. I’m a pretty new paddler and have not had much experience with the larger kayaks. I currently have a Dagger crossover and have been looking to move up. When I sat in it the thigh braces hit me just above the knees. I’m 5’7". The price is really good 750.00. My question is, is there a way to adjust the thigh braces or is it just to large of a kayak. And is it really a good deal and is their anything I need to know about, such as negitives.

I had read in some of the reviews that there was a problem with them going to the left when paddling.

Any information would be appreciated. Thanks…

CD Storm
good questions: yes, thigh braces can be padded out -typically minicell padding under or alongside the thigh braces bring you in closer contact w. the boat. Some folks use a final thin layer of neoprene to make the surface “grippier.” I do this, a personal pref not a rule.

Ideally you want the thigh braces starting well off your knee cap, generally ~4-5" up the thigh is good, personal prefs vary, & close enough to the underside that you can be in full contact in a fraction of a second.

Thigh braces can be built up and enlarged w. minicell to maximize the contact area. Some boats have thigh braces totally built from scratch by the owner. Google Brian Nystrom and look at his fine Webshots series to see some very nice mods.

Minicell can also pad out the sides of the seat. If you are slim-hipped you’ll probably want to do this.

Padding out the bottom of the seat will raise your center of gravity slightly (tippier) but can also adjust the angle of the thighs to your greater comfort and liking.

You didn’t state your weight. The CD Storm is a fairly capacious cockpit designed for larger folks. Depending on your build and where the weight is, padding can only go so far. It won’t really address a cockpit if it is overall too deep for you. If you like the boat design otherwise CD makes a smaller paddler version called the Squall.

“Paddling to the left” is a pretty common occurrence esp. w. paddlers on a learning curve… we all have a dominant side, and until we learn to balance the placement and power of each stroke, the kayak will move overmuch to one side or another.

Either that or, esp. w. a roto-hull, the hull is warped. You can flip the boat belly up and eyeball down its length. It’s more likely to be the other reason tho '-)

a few more questions to help you evaluate the deal:

How old is the boat? The last four digits of the serial number scratched into the stern tell the month and year of manufacture…how was it stored? Good dry storage off the ground and out of the sun is better.

Assuming you’ll have more questions I won’t be running on here about other things to check. You can email me direct or ask away in this thread. Lots of knowledgeable people here know how to evaluate a used boat.

Good luck! CD builds very good kayaks. I am biased tho, I have one '-) Seriously do have a handful of friends w. CD Storms, Squalls and Squamish from their rotomoulded series.


– Last Updated: Apr-22-10 2:07 PM EST –

If you're 5'7" with proportional weight, the Storm is probably too big for you. The Squall would be a much better fit if you like that type of boat.

I'm 5'9", 160lbs, and the Squall is a better fit for me than the Storm.

I didn’t assume proportional weight. We just don’t know.

There are so many diff body types. Where the weight is matters as much as the total weight.

And some people just like a (much) looser fit than others. Individual preferences.

OP, generally folks can do more to help you if you provide (in addition to height) your weight, inseam and shoe size. If you are at a kayak shop or renting a boat, they ask the same things. Only we are not trying to sell you anything '-)

be patient
$750 for a rotomolded seakayak doesn’t strike me as a particularly good deal. Certainly fair if it’s the right boat for you, but not such a steal that you should compromise fit and suitability.

There are plenty of used boats around this time of year. Just keep watching the classifieds, and do as much trying out as you can, so you know what you want when it comes up.

try it first
Can you paddle this boat before you purchase it?

My comments

– Last Updated: Apr-23-10 9:17 AM EST –

First, the Storm GT per the current info on CD's web site comes in with a 14" deck height. If you are hitting that close to your knees on it, it is as overly tall as some here have said. You can pad those things down, but even once you do that you'll still have a boat that will be overly tall on you to make handling it easy.

The tendency to turn to the left is either a paddler problem or boat that got warped... while I'd not suggest this as your best choice, I'd ignore that.

The discount from new is decent, but I agree with others above that in plastic you can do as well and get into a boat that is better for you.

You don't mention your goals, and as above this boat may not be the best for some things you may have in mind. I'd suggest that you indicate where you are from, at least your region, and what environments you want to paddle. That'll make it easier for people to be helpful here.

BTW, I have many good things to say about these older Solstice designs from CD for the right purpose. My first sea kayak was a Squall, and that boat got me home many days when the boat was more talented than me and was the basis for wanting to move up in my skills. However, once I wanted to do that I really also wanted to go to a different boat.

CD Storm
Thank you all for your very helpful comments and suggestions. I’m beginning to think that the boat may be too big for me, and it might be best to wait.

I’m a female paddler 5’7" and 175lbs. The weight of the boat is not an issue as I live on the water and don’t have to worry about transporting it.

I live in Northern Alabama on a 15,000 acre lake. It’s actually the TN. river. It is 15 miles dam to dam. We get alot of barge traffic. Also there are many creeks and coves, it is a wonderful area for paddling. So I’ll keep looking. Thank you again.

for sure it’s too big for you
in the CD family look for the Squall or the Squamish.

They are both in that barely sub 16 foot class. There will be many many others in a 16-17 foot range in plastic seakayaks that will fit you.

You don’t absolutely need a seakayak to do inland lakes like the one you mention.

Necky makes the Manitou 14 & Looksha 14.

There is a very recently discontinued Necky Zoar LV that you might fit & like.

Down south there is a good choice of Hurricane Kayaks

Try out a used Tampico 135L or Tampico 140S/140L.

I recently tried a Dagger Alchemy 140S & really liked it. It does everything. The man who owns it is 5’8" and your weight. They just came out last year.

There are others. These are just some that come first to mind in a 14 foot range. They will all handle big inland lakes w. a competent paddler aboard.


– Last Updated: Apr-23-10 10:35 AM EST –

Boat fit has many dimensions, which can be confusing.

One is paddler weight. Ideally, the boat should be near its designed waterline with the paddler and normal gear. If the paddler is too light, the boat will be harder to control in wind and waves. If the paddler is too heavy, the boat will be sluggish and possibly unstable.

Another aspect is beam and depth. A boat that's too wide for the paddler will force a wide or flat stoke that is inefficient. It will also be difficult to edge. A boat that's too deep(high decks) will force the paddler to keep their hands high, which is uncomfortable. Women tend to have shorter torsos and arms than men, so these issues are especially important for them.

Wide beams and high decks help initial stability and entry/exit ease, which tend to be the focus of beginners. The importance of both usually diminishes with time on the water.

Women tend to have a lower center of gravity than men, and so are more stable in the same boat, or just as stable in a narrower boat.

Cockpit fit is vital for good boat control. Whitewater paddlers like to feel "locked in", while touring paddlers tend to like a bit of wiggle room, but you shouldn't feel like you're sliding around in the cockpit. Being able to lean and edge the boat is important if you want to develop skills.

Demo/borrow/rent as many different kayaks as you can to help you figure out what works best for you.

NE or NW Alabama?
You gotta be towards Guntersburg or the other side - if you are in the NE corner I’d suggest that you look up general kayaking outfitters, clubs etc out of Chatanooga in Tennessee. There is lots of activity there, likely a good resource for used boats. Just stay away from whitewater boats, there’ll be lots out there.

Re what boat… I’m torn here. While I’d suggest that you figure 16 ft and some inches for a maximum, after looking at the map I am not sure how much under that you want to go. If the wind is coming from the right direction there is a hell of a lot of fetch on either of the long lakes/wide rivers in the NE and NW corners of Alabama. The 14 ft length would get you into a less expensive boat, much around used, and would be good for exploring the byways. Much better than the Solstice hulls like the Storm, which are pretty hard trackers. But it you want to go straight more out in the middle, you might want something a little stiffer and in a 16 ft length.

You’d be a nice fit for the Wilderness Systems Tempest 165, generally available used at this point. The Alchemy is turnier, again great for exploring the sides but you might not love it if you plan to be more out from shore.

By the way - whatever you do get some help and/or a video and practice basic self-recovery. It sounds like you’ll be paddling alone, so you really want to be able to get back into the boat from a capsize.

Guntersville is not to far from me. Chattanooga is about two hours NE from me. I will check craigslist in that area. WS Tempest sounds like a good boat I have considered that in the past.

I have two friends that I paddle with, but when I am alone I stay very close to shore. I did take a seakayaking class in Jaunuary in the SF Bay area, I was there for the winter and they were offering classes. Believe me I know how important it is to be able to get back in your boat after being in that cold water.

I will be practacing self rescue when the water warms up here at home.

Thank you again everyone for all you information. I appreciate all of your suggestions. What a great site.

Fit first
When considering a used kayak, first it has to fit you. You can outfit a boat some to make it fit better, but you really want to start with a boat that is pretty close to your size. If the boat was designed for a quite different sized person than you, keep looking.

After fit, consider value, what type of shape the boat is in, how the characteristics of that boat match what you want to use it for. Try it on the water.

When I am in the market, I put together a little list of boats I have tried or seen or heard about that might be good for me. Then, when I see one of these models on Craigslist, if the price seems in the ballpark, I give it a tryout. If I feel love for the boat, I make an offer.

test for fit
Either the Squamish or the Squall is a good fit for you, and the other the seat is way too high and good for someone 4’10 and 80 lb.

The Tempest 165 is the right size hull but females can start running out of room real fast with the thigh braces .

You may want to find someone (not a sales person) who fits people in and out of these kayaks all the time.

?Haven’t seen that

– Last Updated: Apr-25-10 12:03 PM EST –

The Tempest 165 seems to work nicely for women bigger than me in both dimensions, including the OPer's size, at least ones I've met. I've paddled with a lot of women who have it now or have had one.
So I'm not disputing what you said, but am curious lest I am missing something. What are the dimensions at which you've found the Tempest 165 stops being a fit for wimmenfolk re the thigh braces? (the seat is I think self-explanatory...)