Choosing a new FG kayak - need advice

-- Last Updated: Feb-06-08 3:07 PM EST --

I am looking at buying a new kayak. I'm 5,5, 160 lbs and I'd say at an intermediate skill level. I mainly kayak in lakes and protected bays but do head out in open water occasionally. I go for weekend trips fairly often but also want the storage capacity to go for up to a week. I've been paddling for about 12 years now and am looking to upgrade.
The following boats have been recommended to me according to the above information but I wanted to hear from other paddlers and your experience with any of the boats I've listed. Any advice would be appreciated.

Current Designs - Oracle or Slipstream
Impex - Montauk or Venture
Boreal - Ellesmere

Also I'm going to get a new paddle so any advice there would also be appreciated. Someone recomended to me the Vision2 paddle but I haven't read many good reviews.

Thanks :)

I’m About Your Size
A little taller but nearly the same weight.

I’d put the Tempest 165 on your list to demo. Paired with a Greenland paddle it’s a great combination for me.

Go Montauk
the VCP hatches seal better than the hard hatch/compression gaskets of the Venture.

Paddles - Mitchell Black Magic, Nigel Foster Sport Pro, Werner Ikelos. List kinda goes on.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

A couple more
Eddyline Falcon16 if you can find one and a

Kajaksport Viking. I like the Montauk and the Ellesmere too.

What do you like in your present boat?
And what is it? It may help people to recommend another one.

do you know how to roll
or intend on learning? There’s a division in some choices according to the stability you desire. I was surprised by the Oracle. It’s a nicer handling kayak, not as stiff tracking than the Solstice it’s supposedly related to.

If you had no desire to learn how to roll I’d suggest a QCC300 for ultimate light weight and stability. Fine for meandering around.

Too many choices without feedback on what you’ve paddled and like.

Week long trips?
You may find the Ellesmere does not have enough space. Depends on how you pack and what you intend to bring. When my wife was paddling an Ellesmere she could always count on using the space in my Eddyline Falcon 18 for things she could not get in. It is a good paddling boat, however.

Nobody has mentioned
My favorite (well second favorite) an NDK Explorer. Great boat, watch the “This is the Sea” series if you don’t believe me :slight_smile:

Week long trips

– Last Updated: Feb-06-08 6:49 PM EST –

Are you (the original poster) planning on doing the week-long trips by yourself or with other people?

The real variable for longer trips is food and water (if you have to carry everything for the entire trip). Other than that, you are carrying the same stuff for a 2 night trip as you would for a 7+ night trip.

Unless you really plan on doing week long trips frequently, buy a boat that you will want to paddle for your typical use.

Anyway, there is no reason the Ellsmere can't be used for a week-long trip if you pack like a backpacker (I'm taller and a bit heavier and I use a Romany for 5 day trips.)

The Ellsemere has a good reputation.

R5 Excel River Runner
This is my present boat. It’s all I could afford right out of high school and couldn’t spring for a proper skirt either I just use the one it came with which only good to keep the drips off my legs and even then after more than 30 mins in the kayak it starts leaking. So I haven’t done a lot of rolls but am perfectly willing to learn as I’d like to start going out into open water and farther than I have previously gone. I suppose I could have sprung for a proper skirt so I could have at least practiced but always thought each summer would be the summer I would upgrade. So this is definately now the summer!

Week long with friends

– Last Updated: Feb-06-08 7:04 PM EST –

Any trips I take are with at least one other friend/paddler so you're right we can share the load. It's only day trips that I'm out on my own and don't need all the gear in that case.

This one.
The top picture.

What boats do your friends have?

– Last Updated: Feb-06-08 7:35 PM EST –

What boats do your friends have?

All of the boats you mentioned are decent boats. All of them would work for you.

The problem is that there are too many good boats!

You should at the least try sitting in them.

Actually paddling a few of these kinds of boats might give you enough information to narrow the selection down.

That’s the one.
If I didn’t know better I’d say that was me in shot. Same kayak, colour, paddle the lot.

Looks OK

It looks like an OK boat. If it got you kayaking, it’s a GREAT boat.

You might find it easier to learn to roll in a boat with less volume in the cockpit.

Friends and boats
The friend I paddle with most has a Riot Brittany.

I did try sitting in the CD-Slipstream and the Impex-Venture. The Venture fit me like a glove and the Slipstream was pretty darn close too. I listed the Montauk because I was concerned about hard hatch vs. VCP as Marshall mentioned. I didn’t get a chance to sit in the others I mentioned yet. I’m going to go to another location this weekend and try out a few more.

Riot Brittany

– Last Updated: Feb-06-08 7:48 PM EST –

Riot Brittany. Looks like a decent boat. Your friend probably won't have much room for your crap, though!

I like the VCP/Kayak Sport rubber hatches. Simple and reliable.

This looks like a decent boat too. The Slipstream is also about the right size for you.

Note that you can tune fit with cheap foam.

If money is no option, you should get some time in some more boats.

If money is a bit tight, then you might concider a used boat (though, the selection would be narrow).


One problem with getting too big a boat is that they can blow around if they aren't loaded with a lot of weight.

Where U at?
I’ve got 2 Slipstremes in stock going cheap,1 glass & 1 kevlar. Both smoke deck/smoke hull

Ontario, Canada
Which is why I am somewhat limited in my selection of boats

lots of choices
it looks like you’re coming from a maneuverable kayak with a wide range of stability. My $.02 is to retain some of that in the next boat. I’m guessing you’re on the edge of needing a roll for a Slipstream, for taller people boats like the Slipstream and Rumor require having a roll.

Are you relying on show room demos, sitting in the kayak, before buying or holding out for demos on the water?

The glass Necky Eliza is another consideration as is CDs Willow.

The Impex Montauk would feel stable and forgiving in choppy water.