Current Designs Suka

CD says this yak, similar to the Caribou S, is for smaller people, but it looks like it’s trying to compete with, say, the Romany.

It is 16’6" and 21" wide with hard chines. Anyone paddle one. What is the max height, weight for one of these critters.

I miss my Caribou S, but would rather go buy a Romany. I own the NDK Romany Explorer, which I love.

Too much ice and wind ;(


it’s for small folks
it’s shaped like a Caribou, nothing like a Romany. Cockpit is a lot more snug than a Romany. Seat/thigh brace clearance is very close.

I can’t fit in it,5’9" 195lbs.

Low volume boat
At 5’11",167#, I fit my Caribou very well but the Suka, which is a scaled-down verson of the 'Bou, is way tight. John

Nice things to say about CD

– Last Updated: Feb-16-08 2:55 PM EST –

I haven't gotten into their boats for smaller paddlers and heck only knows when I'll be able to. The nearest place that is officially a CD dealer has had pretty low representation on their racks the last couple of years, and it's been several years since they've stocked demos of anyone's boats for the smaller paddler including boats with a ton of interest like the Force 3. (The place is north of Albany - no hit on the places south of us.)

But - I wanted to just mention that, among the north american manufacturers, CD has long seemed to have an eye on the needs of the smaller paddler. In my first contact with a direct CD rep at a paddlefest several years ago, when the Slipstream was fairly new, I was talking to the guy about my Squall and he said that they really needed a serious RM sea kayak smaller than that. I took the Slipstream out and had some concerns for my own use, but liked a lot about the boat.

And now I see more than one boat in their lineup for the smaller paddler, as well as a return to the glass bulkheads that for better or worse a lot of paddlers preferred.

Anyway, no particular point to this post except to say that CD has been making an effort for the smaller paddler for a goodly time.

Quality Always is Good
The decks seemed to scrape up fast on the ones I had; maybe they corrected this “problem”.

Had a Solstice ST (early 24" wide yak w/needle-sharp entry. NICE yak but pearled badly.

They went to the Solstice GTS, which I had for a long while. While fun in the open water, and hellishly fast, it hated surf and wouldn’t turn worth beans.

Sold that to get a Caribou S, which I loved, but sold to buy my NDK Explorer.

I’m going to start a post: “Caribou S v. NDK Explorer”.


I paddled a Suka last May at the WMCka symposium did not have much time in it. But I can tell you it is for the small paddler

I am 5 6 and 150 and it fit really well,pretty fast I could edge quite well and secondary was stable.

I think Friendly Fire spent more time in it than I did. She could tell you more.

Just my .002 worth.



– Last Updated: Feb-18-08 10:36 AM EST –

I paddled it at a demo day. At 5'1" and 112 it was a nice snug fit, good thigh braces. However, there is less width at the knees and thus the splay is not as great--felt odd. Even SOF boats I've paddled don't have such a narrow feel. It's not bad, just odd. I was told it was "faster" than the Rumour though I was not convinced. I think that is an engine issue. Romany is a much bigger boat, in width, overall size, and heft.

From a sprint anyway, my sub-16’ Vela is much much faster than my Explorer LV with the same engine (me). Even acounting for diff’s in hull design, the narrowness and allover smaller footprint make for a quicker boat. The advantage held by the Explorer starts to show up at higher cruising speeds, where the Explorer sets of less of a bow wake than the Vela does. But frankly that happens at speeds faster than I can maintain over distance.

Better forward stroke too, combination of the less froggy postion for my legs, higher braces even with my having padded them down, altogether more vertical seated postion from head to toe. Ben Lawry prefers that kind of position for a good forward stroke, as do may racers. He’s right that it makes the pumping easier. I tend to be more comfy over a long paddle, back and legs and all, with a flatter position so I am still mulling over the applicability for myself.

I have been paddling the Suka for 7 months and one comment I want to make is its rough water handling characteristics. The Suka is not the most forgiving boat in conditions. Unlike some other boats that “take care of you”, you need to take care of the Suka and use proper techniques. It will give you instant feedback if you are doing something right and reward you tremendously. The Suka can handle the roughest stuff with perfect aplomb if you keep your hip loose and paddle aggressively; however, if you get nervous/attentive and start leaning with your body (instead of you hip) to overcompensate, you will be in trouble. I was amazed how well my Suka surfed the wind waves in following sea. As soon as you feel the rn is lifted, all you have to do is lean forward with a few quick forward strokes, the Suka just zoomed ahead and blew past other hardworking paddlers on the way. Broaching is minimal and can be easily corrected with stern rudder.

To roll the Suka, you also need proper techniques. You need good follow-through and maintain contact with your rolling knee throughout the sweep in order to roll this boat smoothly. Despite the relatively low deck (12"), I found it impossible to lay back on the back deck. In fact the range is quite limited and you have to finish your roll pretty much in an upright position. If you can only hand-roll by laying flat on the backdeck like me, you probably to learn different technqiues and develop stronger hip-snap to be able to hand-roll this Suka. I have not been able to accomplish this, but I’d like to know if anyone has successfully hand-rolled the Suka and what type of roll you use.


How big are you?
For me 12 inches is a pretty high rear deck, not a particularly low forward deck either. I am 5’4".

Front deck is 12"
and rear more like 8"-9". I’ve sat in one but

haven’t paddled one since last spring.

I’m 5’7" and 140lb, with relatively long torso for my height. Perhaps someone much taller than me can do a layback roll, but I suspect he/she will have trouble with legroom. I think the issue is not the height of the back deck, but the space between the backband and the cumming (there is almost none in the Suka). I have no trouble doing butterfly rolls and layback hand-rolls in a Elaho DS or a Avatar 16 which has similar deck height.

I actually noticed this issue when I demoed the Suka, but the salesperson convinced me that only a very small percentage of the paddling population will ever do Greenland rolls.