If given a choice of a new Falcon S18 or a new Current Designs Infinity, which would you choose and why?
It’s like trying a new pair of shoes…
…just wait until you’ve had a chance to get out and mess around in the water with both boats. In fact try a few others as well. Don’t rush into a purchase. Heck, even if you don’t rush into a purchase, in a couple of years you will likely end up switching anyways
I paddled an Eddyline Phoenix for a few miles Saturday to let someone try my P&H Quest LV. While the Phoenix & Falcon S18 likely have some significant differences, there appears to be a similarity with what I found a very distinct feature of the Phoenix. The seated position is significantly aft of center, and the bow width and volume is carried a long way forward. My experience, which could probably be predicted, was that the Phoenix was easy to maneuver with stern rudder strokes. Bow rudders more difficult, but hey, kind of an expected give and take I figured. It didn’t weathercock much at all, but even small directional control tweaks seemed to demand a more stern oriented correction, which meant a bigger deviation from my cadence, and seemed less efficient than usual. The Phoenix felt a bit like paddling a tandem kayak solo from the rear position, just not nearly as extreme. Very easy to steer the stern, but the bow felt a little out of my control. I wasn’t in waves, so again conjecture, but it almost seemed that it would be more subject to the bow being swung around by a wave, leaving me to correct from the stern once it let go? So looking at the picture of the Falcon S18, without trying it, I would expect some of the same feeling, but give it every opportunity to prove itself as a good design. The bow might be better behaved than I would expect? The Phoenix just didn’t seem to respond to my normal little directional control things that all of my other kayaks respond to, and maybe that’s just a matter of getting used to a hull that has a bit different personality and demands.
The Current Designs Infinity I have demoed once on flat water. It was a nice feeling kayak, but I didn’t have the time or opportunity to give it a real good run. But if I had to just choose one right now, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the Infinity. It felt familiar, quick enough, maneuverable enough, like something I would be excited to own, and wouldn’t hesitate to paddle right out into the ocean. With that same significantly aft of center look and bow profile of the Eddyline, I would be a little nervous about what to expect.
Hopefully someone has some experience in the Eddyline and can put some real experience behind their observations.
Falcon or Infinity
I did test them both, the Falcon seemed faster. I am relatively new to the sport, only been kayaking about a year and a half. I have been getting the feeling the Falcon is better for flat water.
I am unsure about Carbonlite. So I was leaning towards the Infinity. I can pick up a barely used one for $2300 or a new Falcon for $2300. Would you think that fiberglass is better quality? I am think it would handle better if rough water, but I dont know.
I owned a fiberglass Falcon. It was a great boat to paddle except in following seas. In order to control the boat in those circumstances you had to edge it more than seemed comfortable to me at the time. But it now has a skeg, which should eliminate that problem. It is a fast boat, as fast or nearly as fast as a QCC700. It tracks very well. Compared to the Infinity, which I have not paddled, it is 1" narrower and 3" longer. I would expect, other things being equal, that the Infinity would have more primary stability and be somewhat slower. The Infinity also has a day hatch, which would be a deal breaker for me (I hate day hatches) but may be a deal maker for you. From my present perspective I would like to try the Falcon again. The lack of primary stability but rock solid secondary stability was not something I appreciated at the time (It was my first boat). My present boat, a QCC700, has similar edging characteristics but I have no problem with it now. In fact I prefer it. Current Designs makes good boats. You are probably splitting hairs trying to choose. Just get one of them and don’t worry.
I am neutral to the day hatch, but please tell my why it is a deal breaker for you? Just curious.
If you want fiberglass and an S18
Why not just get a fiberglass S18? At half the price I’d say it’s worth the drive.
Be sure it has a skeg
Earlier fiberglass models of the Falcon (including the one I had) were touted as having a “skegless” design. They added a skeg option for the later fiberglass models and then switched to thermoform.
only the 16
had no skeg.
The original fiberglass falcons (both the 16 and 18) were skegless. They changed the hull on the 18 and added the skeg when they changed over to carbonlite (the 16 was glass only). Both boats respond exceptionally well to bow rudders and go where you point them - very neutral in most conditions. Due to the aft of center cockpit postion and the built in skeg, the glass falcons have to be edged pretty far over to get their sterns to release. The stern releases better on the plastic 18. I paddled a 16 for years, very quick and very fun, it did a lot of things well. It was the best boat they ever made in my opinion. The 18 is faster, but not as playful. Eddyline is exceptionally pleasant company to deal with if you have a problem or need parts.