Current Designs Cypress - anyone ?

I find myself without a kayak for the first time in over 15 years, having just sold my Dagger Cortez and Magellan & ready to move up for better performance and lighter weight (meaning fiberglass).

I’m reasonably large-muscled athletic 53 y.o. male, 5’9", 188 lbs, size 10 feet, so I fit easily in a lot of boats. I’m looking more maneuverable & fun, with reasonable speed. I’m looking for lower volume, glass, day-tripping. Tending to be a minimalist, I rarely pack much of anything - a canteen and a VHF. Light weight would make it easier to go on a moment’s notice (tidal Chesapeake Bay & tribs).

I recently paddled the new CD Cypress, and it seemed to fit all my criteria and has beautiful lines to boot. My concern is the CD catalog states the boat is best for up to 160 lb paddlers - same as the Willow. Now I’ve paddled both and think this must be a catalog error - the Willow is, IMO, for lighter paddlers. So I’m looking for comments from anyone about my size who has paddled this boat and comparisons with other similar boats. Thanks all!

I liked it
Had an opportunity to try out the cypress at a paddlefest, but didnt have much time as it was my daughters prom day and I was split between both. It fit me similar to my tempest 165 (160 lbs or so…) but I still prefer my tempest. It felt a little odd to me in that it was roly poly with no initial stability to me. It wasnt tippy either if you were sitting properly just roly poly. Hard to explain. I felt I was up around its max weight though but I dont know its numbers. CD has messed up some numbers in its new catalogue but I forget which ones or maybe the pics - anyway best way to find out the answer is from the horses mouth, so call Current Designs. Very nice looking kayak!

Is this you Rick ?

I paddled the Cypress briefly
at paddlefest in dead calm, flatwater conditions. It’s a nice boat, but really didn’t excite me. I’m 160-165lbs. and the boat will definitely handle larger paddlers, in fact, it’s designed as a scaled up Willow. It had too much volume for my liking, but that’s just a personal preference and maybe I’m a little to small for its intended purpose.


sized up to…
with an extra 75lbs or so of gear. Reduce your payload and you’re still within it’s carrying capacity.

I was looking for a Dagger Cortez!!!

scout ?
yup, its me. Hmmm, Scout? my fishing boat is a Scout185…curious and curiouser…do you also own a Scout & live in same zip?

bohemia - only 3000 miles away
from Puget Sound - if your profile is up to date. Funny story is that an archaeologist bought the boat for history & archaeology tours. He invited me on a dig last week at a site from the 1600’s and I had a lot of fun.

Thanks for the reviews - must be more
Thanks guys for the objective reviews. Every boat is a trade-off & I’m looking for that mix of characteristics that suits my needs or preferences - reasonable speed & tracking, maneuverability, light weight. I paddled the Cypress and Solstice GTS(not the HV)- a boat I love for long point-to-point paddles. But the Cypress seemed so much better for the little tribs/creeks that I like to explore as its more maneuverable.

I also wonder about the value of demo’ing a boat when it may take a long time to develop the skills needed to get it to perform at its best - in this case, turning the Solstice GTS. Its almost as though its unfair to demo a boat for a short time & judge it on that basis. Perhaps a demo is best for fit and comfort and then trust that the boat will lead you to better skills? Life must be so much simpler for those of us who do not make fine distinctions and are happy or make-do with what we have…(et tu? Matt?).

Update after calling Current Designs
I spoke to Jessie in Customer Service today about the Cypress and what I thought must be wrong info in the CD catalog about recommended paddler weight range for this boat. Its listed same as the Willow - 100 to 160 and having paddled both, I know that is not right. She said it was a mistake & was being corrected to 140-200 range for the 2009 catalog.

Jessie also told me she named the boat the Cypress because its basically a stretched out Willow.

So your advice to get the info straight from the horse’s mouth was right on!

Demoing boats
Have you considered finding a place that has the boat(s) you may want and taking a lesson in that boat? Granted it’s more expensive than the demo fee, but it’d be a good way to get a better sense of how much of the equation is your paddling and how much is the tendencies of the boat. You could get feedback on that from someone who was right there, and more skills never hurt anyway.

For example, the Solstice GTS isn’t a particularly turny boat anyway. For that matter, neither is the Cortez, and the Magellan is still pretty borderline compared to some of the boats that are really tuned for manuverability. What you may end up wanting for this purpose could be a boat that is very different in handle from your prior boats.

Great advice Celia
So often we think we can do it all & it doesn’t occur to us to take lessons. This boat appears to be so new that there appear to be few people out there with enough experience yet with it, at least judging from the few responses here. I took it out (not timidly either) and thought it was a lot of fun. I also like the straight trackers as you noticed, like the Solstice GTS and really just used it for comparison because I’m familiar with that boat and really want more maneuverability. Anyway, after getting confirmation from CD that the recommended paddler weights were in error in the 2008 catalog, I’ll get the Cypress. I know that I fall in love with boats easily but this one makes me smile more when paddling it and just looking at it.

I think it would be a lot of fun to take lessons from a real pro while on vacation. I would be happy to bring home a new or improved skill. Perhaps reviews of lessons/instructors would be useful on the reviews ?

Y’r welcome

– Last Updated: Jun-18-08 9:38 AM EST –

Glad to hear that you were able to settle on a boat. I have a fond place in my heart for CD - my first sea kayak was their Squall and they are the only North American company that has always tried to accommodate smaller paddlers. Quality too - if CD has ever made a boat that isn't seaworthy as hell, I've never seen it.

As to reviewing lessons - if you poke around you'll find that people do seek sources for lessons on Advice and often post back how it went. That seems to be a good way to do it to me. Personally, I'd hesitate to turn it all into a more formal review in the other location. Even the best instructor can have a day where they and the student just aren't meshing well, and I'd hate to see one bad day live forever in a review.

Where do you vacation? Someone here may know of a place you should contact. BTW, we've scheduled a day or two of training for during vacation each year for the last three years, and have found it to be a great way to learn something and have fun at the same time.