I have been paddling for almost 20 years, and used to frequent these boards as santacruzmidwife. I started with a Scupper Pro SOT, fell in love with sea kayaking and paddled an Valley Canoe Avocet for many years, mostly out of the harbor in Santa Cruz, Ca. I also have a 19 year old Pungo I’ve used for paddling on lakes, and with my dogs over the years.
Fast forward to 2021- I am retired, living in Arizona, and only paddling lakes and slow moving rivers these days in either my Pungo 120 or an old composite Current Designs Kestrel 140 I picked up used.
I prefer the Pungo to the Kestrel but as an aging kayaker (63) with arthritis, I would like something lighter. I have also experienced the Pungo’s hull being temporarily damaged in the Arizona heat while car topping.
I’m thinking a composite sit inside rec boat might be both lighter for me, and sturdier during travel.
The reviews of Eddyline’s Rio are impressive. As a 5’5” woman weighing 138-143#, it seems to have a lot of features that would make it a good fit for me as this stage in my paddling life.
Thanks in advance and happy paddling!
Even if considered a rec kayak, it does have watertight hatches fore and aft - to me that would be important. It’s wide at 24", but not a real chubster like many rec barges. It would be one I’d consider later in life. But I’m only an 80 year old arthritic puny old guy.
I have significant arthritis in my wrist/hands and am looking to stay out on the water as long as possible.
I have rented an Eddyline kayak from their store in Anacortes, WA and paddled it in the salt water. One of my favorite companies.
Maybe a Greenland paddle would be easier on your hands and wrists.
They are beautiful! I actually have a lightweight paddle with long skinny blades and paddle unfeathereed wearing a neoprene thing splint, so I am not sure it would make a difference?
I don’t know but I have a carbon Gearlab Greenland paddle that I lucked into used, it weighs only 23 ounces and is very gentle on my arms.
Mine is a custom Swift carbon paddle I’ve used for years. It’s pretty lightweight- likely just a few ounces more than your Greenland paddle.
That sounds good. If you ever get the chance give the GP a try, it’s very smooth and nice-feeling, to me at least.
Some of my old paddling buddies in California paddled with Greenland paddles so I have tried them. They are elegant.
Definitely give the Rio a try if you can demo it. Another consideration might be the Eddyline Sitka ST, which is a touring kayak. It was previously called the Samba and is one of the kayaks I own. It would fit you well and is fun to paddle.
I am a new Rio owner, and I love it, although full disclosure my experience with other rec kayaks is relatively limited. I am just under 5’ and about 118 lbs. I definitely prefer the ‘wearing your boat’ kind of feeling and I get that with the Rio, which I think is relatively rare with rec kayaks, especially for smaller folks.
You may have difficulty finding one - REI is supposed to be a dealer but they don’t currently have them listed on their website. Eddyline has said they are trying to ramp up production to meet demand. I decided last summer that I wanted one, and stalked a dealer about 3.5 hours away from me, and drove down there in January after they got a shipment.
For lakes and slow moving rivers, have you considered an ultralight canoe? My Hornbeck New Trick 11 weighs 15 lbs. My PBW SpitFire weighs 18 lbs.
I had not considered that, as I’ve been kayaking for so long and that’s what I know, but if I need to replace my boats, I may look into that option.
I’m not actively looking just yet, but it seems kayaks are in short supply right now!