Eddyline Raven - Test in VA?

I am looking for an Eddyline Raven to test paddle. Based on specs and reviews this may well be my dream boat, but no way am I in a position to spend over $2K on a boat I’ve never even seen in person. Since it is a new model nobody seems to have one in stock…

Does anyone even semi-near Williamsburg VA have one I could test? There’s post-paddle beer (or coffee) in it for you :slight_smile:



Eddyline Raven demo
have you tried contacting Eddyline and asking who their Eastern Region rep is? They might even have a name on their website.

Eddyline reps bring trailers of demo boats to both dealerships and to private parties w. a serious interest in purchasing (like you).

That’s how I got to try an Eddyline Samba a few seasons ago when it was introduced. It was the first one in the Midwest.

Since Eddyline originates in the PNW there are fewer dealers carrying them as you go further and further east. That’s why the rep is so important to getting ppl into the boats.

Good luck and let us know all the details if you demo one.

Appomattox River Company
Next Saturday, June 8, Appomattox River Company is having a demo day in Farmville, VA, about 2 hours from Williamsburg. They’re an Eddyline dealer. I don’t see a Raven in their current inventory, but call them – they may have one on the way, and if not, they could probably arrange it.


I’m curious about the Raven myself. Like the previous poster, I bought my Samba through the Eddyline East Coast rep.

Demo Day
Thanks - I just emailed them to see if/when they’ll have one!

Raven @ Demo Day
…and they already replied that yes, a Raven will be there! Just figured out what I’m doing next Saturday!

By all means
I have paddled more kayaks than I can remember and the newly renewed Eddyline Raven is a very impressive boat. I sort of compared it to the Rockpool Alaw Bach that Eddyline produced for Rockpool. If I am correct, the Raven is a bit shorter, but for me it felt faster, it didn’t hit the wall like the Alaw Bach. Also, if I am correct, the Raven, like the Alaw Bach is also built a bit thicker than most of the other Eddyline boats.

As I stated in another post, the Raven is tied with the Valley Nordkapp for the second best “feeling” boat that I can remember paddling. I didn’t get the chance to paddle the Raven in rough conditions, but I did see a video where a paddler put it through its paces in some very sloppy stuff and the boat really excelled.

The Demo Day
So, Chief, how did you like the Raven? I paddled several Eddylines, and here’s my take in the order I paddled them, allowing for fact that this was flat water, not exactly the ideal conditions to test the Raven.

Fathom: Definitely felt a lot bigger than my Samba, like I was pushing a lot of weight and a lot of water away in comparison. Certainly faster on the top end, but takes more effort at lower speeds. Tracks very straight, even when you stop paddling. What I didn’t care for was the high deck, which I kept hitting with the paddle. I want to try the slightly smaller LV version. I suspect I would like that one a lot. I’m medium-sized and felt a little lost in the big Fathom.

Raven: Loved it, and it fit me very well. Possibly not quite as fast as the Fathom, but you’re not giving up much. And, skeg up, it’s a much more easily maneuvered boat. Even though it is slightly longer and slightly heavier than the Fathom, it didn’t feel that way to me. Only two gripes, one minor, one not so minor. Minor: The toggles flop in the water. I don’t know why they didn’t go with the retractable toggles as on other Eddylines. Not so minor: The revised backband locator sucks. It slips down under your butt unless you’re hard against it. The backband system Eddyline uses on the Fathom and Samba is great, again, I don’t know why they felt compelled to do something different with this one unless they felt it was somehow “more British.” If I could order a Raven with Fathom-style backband, I would (wife permitting).

Samba: I did hop into their demo Samba just to recalibrate my senses to my own boat, and it reminded me how much I love this thing. Very light, very low water resistance so it’s very easy to maintain good speed. Easily carved when the skeg is up, tracks well when the skeg is down, and fits me like a glove. It’s not necessarily a boat for big water, which is why the Raven interests me, but for the majority of the paddling I do, it’s perfect.

Also paddled a Cetus MV. While the boat felt the heaviest of all, I loved the hull form. Lays over beautifully, very well controlled either straight or turning, just felt real nice. I probably wouldn’t buy one due to the weight, but I can see why people love this boat.

ARC Demo

– Last Updated: Jun-09-13 2:18 PM EST –

I also tested paddled the Raven at the demo day.I was the dude with the white GP.

Thought the boat was a fun and lively hull. Boat was a tad deep for my torso length. But kayak edged easily and turned on a dime. Tracked very well for a rockered boat even without the skeg. Did some sculling and bracing drills. She responded very well to all. It will be a fun lumpy water boat.

The Rep also said there are plans to add a HV & LV version of the Raven. Current offering will be the MV. Looking forward to the LV.

And that is very interesting
I would like to try out the Raven but at 5’6" @ 145lb, I’d bet that I’m too small. A LV Raven would be very interesting. I’m on my second thermoformed kayak (Fathom LV to RockPool Alaw Bach) and the stuff can sure take a beating.

Raven Vs Fathom LV
The cockpit of the current Raven is a tad bit smaller than the Fathom LV, I demoed in the past. I much preferred the Raven’s playfulness over the Fathom LV.

Perhaps I would fit…
…the current Raven. The foredeck on my previous Fathom LV was too high and I tended to whack my knuckles on it. No such issues with my Eddyline RockPool. Also the RP is great in the rough stuff… much easier to handle than my Fathom. Added bonus is the nice low rear deck. Hope to get a chance to see how the Raven measures up:)

I paddled the Raven. It is quite responsive and a very nice boat. If all I ever did was play in rock gardens or significant chop I might consider it. I could coast and steer back & forth with edging alone.


I am 5’11" / 235lbs with size 10EEE feet. My feet were too cocked no matter how I adjusted the pegs & seat. The cockpit was a tight fit and I completely agree that the backband is awful. I was sitting on it right away and it was no small effort to get it up to my back given my girth.

Then, I paddled the Fathom. This was at the top of my list prior to the Raven’s re-release. Now I know why. The higher deck you dislike works nicely to add wiggle room and to allow my feet to be much more comfortable. I tend to paddle with a fairly high angle so no troubles hitting the deck (though I can see where a water bottle on it might get in the way).

The Fathom was faster, easier to get up to speed, and almost as responsive to leaned turns. My first boat was a Prijon SeaYak (1993) and the Fathom paddled very much like that, just faster and better (and a better fit after 20 years). It likes to be leaned hard to turn, but rewards the effort well.

I could do everything in the Fathom that I could in the Raven, just with less effort and more comfort. This includes entry and exit. I’m almost 100% certain this is due to a combination of size and paddling style. The Raven is probably more rewarding to those who use more finesse and who have less accumulated baggage.

If they come out with a high-volume Raven I might have to re-test it. I probably won’t buy it though because I’m quite certain a Fathom will be joining my fleet before then. :slight_smile:

Regardless, the demo day was well worth the trip and anyone within a half-day drive should go to the next one!

love it
I own a Fathom and just ordered my Raven. I was able to test paddle on this past weekend in Aurora Ill, at a paddle fest. Loved it. I will keep my Fathom but look forward to growing as a paddler wtih a more playful kayak. The Fathom will still my tripping kayak as it will carry more gear for sure. I am 5ft9 and about 200 lbs.