I am looking at the elie strait 140 xe for paddling flatwater around the southeast texas area. I am 5’10" and about 160 lbs. I have an avocet and I love the way it handles, but it feels restrictive after any more than about 4 hours on the water since it doesn’t give me much room to move my legs around. The dimensions on the elie looks like it might provide a little more comfort without feeling like a barge and still be somewhat maneuverable. I know that pelican has a horrible reputation for quality, but the few reviews I have found on this boat suggest that they might have turned over a new leaf with this one. Given the area that I live in, testing touring kayaks is not a luxury that I have so please spare me the “no one can tell you what kayak is right for you” speech. Anyone have any personal experience with this boat? Thank you in advance…
The only thing I can tell you about this kayak just from sitting in it in a store is that the seat was unusually comfortable.
Happy with boat
I have been paddling a Strait 140Xe for a year now and have been very happy with the boat. I have heard “stories” about boat quality, but have NO complaints at this point. It is easy to load on a roof rack and a pleasure to paddle. I also enjoy sailing it since it has a rudder, leaving your hands free for sail handling. This is one of five kayaks that I own.
Fit in Avocet
I am in your heigh/weight range, paddle Avocet RM with foam seat, FG Avocet with ABS seat is in the fleet as well.
Some generalities, not necessarily pertaining to you-
I noticed that recent paddlers like to have very tight fit in their boats usually due to the desire to control the boat immediately and completely. Basically, foot pegs are too close. As a result knees are bumping against the deck all the time, people experience a lot of straining both in lower back and legs. It also impedes efficient paddling. The ideal positioning - you should be able to fully straighten out both your legs, feet on foot pegs, very moderate stretch in calves, around 90deg angle between your feet and ankles, not a whole lot of pressure against the back band. From this position, you should lift one knee and touch the deck while maintaining contact with the foot peg.
This probably will not feel either secure or convenient at the very beginning, but trust me - it will be easier on your body.
If you experiment with body movement, you’ll probably notice that range of motion has increased, especially if you lift one knee and keep the opposite leg flat. Edging in this setup can be done by transferring weight from one b-cheek to other, of course your knees can still reach the deck.
So, I find that VCP foam seat is one of the best. The ABS mold with pads, is not that comfortable - the leading edge of seat pad rises too high cuts into my legs. The new seat is also a bit higher, which makes the boat a bit more responsive, but reduces amount of space in the cockpit - especially a problem for RM boats since they are a bit smaller.
Anyways, unless you are really set about getting a new boat ( nothing wrong with that ), try playing with the fit, it might save you a few buck. Swapping the seat out for DIY minicell isn’t that hard either.
Thanks for the replies guys. The boat is on its way! I figured if nothing else I have a spare in case a boatless friend wants to tag along. And thank you for the suggestion suiram, I will definitely try those adjustments.