Cobra Eliminator SOT owners?

I am thinking of adding a Cobra Eliminator to my “fleet”. Have two other SINKs now.

Do you have one, if so, how do you like it? Where do you use it?

I test drove one last week, and its admittedly a challenge to be stable, and w/o the rudder engaged, I couldn’t keep it straight. I had to constantly steer w/ the foot pedals. ( I was testing in a flatwater pond area. )

I plan to use this for fitness as well as larger inland lakes and hopefully Great Lakes ( just for afternoon play, not expeditions, long distances, or overnights. )

My info: 5’10", 200 lbs, recreational paddler for 4 yrs, but no expert ( I don’t know how to roll my sea kayak yet )

Let me know how you like yours! Thanks!

SOT Board

– Last Updated: Sep-19-09 12:00 PM EST –

You may want to try here for info..

I've never seen one in person and I live in SOT country, if that says anything...

what do you paddle?
Thanks for the link- I spent the last hr checking it out. What SOT(s) do you paddle ( or have paddled? )

I’ve read

– Last Updated: Sep-19-09 11:03 PM EST –

That this particular SOT performs best with a paddler under 160lb if memory serves me. I was interested in it too but I am 180-185 and according to that source it would sink too much and would not perform nearly as well as it would for a lighter person.

EDIT on the rudder: These as most other such kayaks I'm pretty sure are meant to be used with a rudder. They can be paddled without one, but require constant attention and your time/speed will suffer without it ...

I'd be interested to know something from your test paddle - did you stay dry, I mean was the cockpit dry and the drains draining it at your weight or was there water and how much, if yes? If you are carrying a lot of water at all times - you are too heavy. If it was dry, then I should give one of these a test paddle some day -;)

Tarpon 160.

– Last Updated: Sep-19-09 8:58 PM EST –

If I could have only one boat,this is it.Go anywhere ,do anything and now they have a nice seat.
I have had two.I weigh 230.

My .02 cents
I have a OK Prowler 15 and a new Tarpon 160i. I’m 6-2/215 for size. After hearing many good things about the Tarpon and needing another big SOT for family, I jumped on the T160. My experience on flat and whitecap/very windy water today as follows:

*Speed…very good speed but really not much faster than my P15. Both have excellent glide with a slight edge to the Tarpon…however, the Tarpon will pearl on big waves with it’s lower bow…did not have any problem with the P15 with it’s higher bow. But, aside from having more water come over the top, no problem and that’s what scupper holes are for and they worked well.

*stability…Tarpon is not as stable as the P15, but really not an issue except when/if loaded with gear/fishing stuff and into the big swells/waves…P15 shines…Tarpon makes you really work on balance if a big guy and loaded with extra weight.

Turns/maneuverability: both good as I use a 240 Cannon full blade paddle…Tarpon in the wind is harder to turn than my P15.

Fit/finish: flawless…except for a loose fitting hatch cover on the Tarpon that let just a little water in.

Layout: both excellent, Tarpon seat is comfy, but lots of plastic parts makes me suspect it will be a weak spot.

Weight: Tarpon is heavy…at least 15 more than the P15…probably pushing 70 lbs.

If it’s pure speed you want, yeah the Tarpon is slightly faster. If you want the fastest SOT, research the SOT made in South Africa and imported in Florida (Kazaki or ?). Club member has one about 16’ long, fiberglass, with speed of a SIK…my next dream yak. Good luck and paddle everything you can.

Another alternative . . .
I recently bought an SOT for similar reasons - a Native Watercraft Manta Ray 12 angler. I also have a touring boat as my main kayak, but felt this SOT would meet my needs for a boat where I could move around and stretch my legs, fish from and still work in terms of storage capacity for minor excursions. Also, it works well in open water and can handle up to level III whitewater - important for bony western NC rivers.

My decision was made after a lot of research to determine if it would meet these criteria and also handle well while giving a dry ride for an SOT.

It meets all these requirements very well - and handles well without the rudder; I found this out because I had to navigate a rocky NC river with the rudder up and discovered it to be the most maneuverable boat I have.

So, as you explore options, you might consider this, or a 14’, given your height (though I doubt height would matter in/on an SOT).

Good luck with your decision.

I’ve got one and I too am too heavy for it. Still works ok just not as fast as it should be. I need to lose a few pounds to speed her up :slight_smile:

Nice enough boat, fairly well made, fairly light for a poly boat. All race style boats are rudder boats, they require the use of the rudder, designed that way.

Bill H.

Once you have more time with it…
… I think you’ll begin to prefer the Tarpon for all but maybe really short/really loaded down with gear paddles. It can seem a bit to turn (compared to some) initially, but after you get some miles on it I think it may begin to surprise you. It’s a kayak that takes a bit to get the full feel for, and get the best out of. Gets better and better in many areas. What you find regarding stability now will come to make the other(s) feel like a barge over time (and if you even talk about stability on a 28" beam kayak, well, that’s another thread… :wink:

I was all wet in eliminator
The Eliminatror has a vacuum-style scupper. When you’re moving, it creates a vacuum effect preventing water from getting in cock[it. On the other hand when you’re sitting still, water gets in.

Considering this was my first ride in it, and I’ve only had a few rides in my sea kayak ( mostly used to a recreational kayak ) and I was learning the rudder system to prevent going in circles, I wasn’t moving consistently and therefore my ride was pretty wet. Didnt bother me much, I was in swim trunks and expected it.


– Last Updated: Sep-21-09 1:00 AM EST –

I do understand what you mean and agree more paddle time can change one's perception. Yesterday I had the Tarpon out on some big whitecaps and was surprised at how mcuh water comes over the bow when this yak pearls. Scuppers did a good job, but my Prowler never gets this wet with it's higher bow. In doing some research, the 2010 model Tarpon 160 (maybe their 120/140's too) have a redesigned hull with higher bow. But overall, it's a fine kayak and I have no regrets at all about choosing it.

Btw, the Cobra Eliminator is more of a cross between a sit in racing kayak and a surf ski than it is like other SOT’s. It isn’t anything like the average SOT.

There is no comparison at all to other SOT’s.

Bill H.

Manta Rays are a very dry ride and
surprisingly,since they sit so high,a dry ride.

Thanks (n/m)

Very specialized
It’s a very specialized kayak, a SOT based on Olympic racing designs. If you want to do anything other than go fast on FLATwater in CALM conditions, get another boat. There are plenty of “workout” kayaks out there. Look at Venture (by P&H).

Prowler seems to be wider up there (and of course overall), and would naturally climb more. Horses for courses. For covering distance the Tarpon’s more cutting compromise should begin to pay you back.

I got mine to fish, and never did (back on the someday list). Ended up just wanting to paddle it, and put a LOT of miles on it. Mostly 12-20 milers, and a couple 30s. Something I would not want to do on very many roto SOTs.

Then again if you’d like at some point to move up to adventure racing or Olympic racing style kayaks then the odd shape of the Eliminator is a good choice for a very reasonable price.

The only way you get used to very skinny kayaks is to paddle them.

I think it makes an excellent exercise boat for protected waters.

Bill H.