Hey all, looking to pickup up my first kayak -it’ll be for fun day trips in the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay area, including Elkhorn slough. Tidal/coastal areas, playing around in small surf and just generally cruising/having fun on nice days. I also plan on taking it to some lakes in the future.
From my research, it seems like the Stratos fits the bill (literally, it’s at the top of my budget).
I’m 5’11, 165-170lbs with a size 11 foot so I’m looking for suggestions as to which variation is most likely to fit me and my use case?
Since you are talking about open ocean as well, I would recommend the 14s (I have this boat). Really good boat for ocean play, but can track well if you drop the skeg. I am 5’3" and 150 lbs. But, @Peter-CA who is bigger than me paddles the 14s. He is out your way.
Best thing is try before buying, if you have a chance. There are quite number of rental outfits in your area.
Thanks for the advice everyone! I’m leaning towards the 14.5s and I will hit of kayak connection to see if they have any available.
I might as well ask here since I’ve already given context for my use case, size and boat choice. I used to surf daily years ago, and as such I have some intermittent issues with my shoulder. Is there any reason to not start with a Greenland paddle right off the bat, despite being a newb?
I had the same thought about the 12.5, it’s the difference between storing at my house vs a family members house. It sounds like the extra length is worth it, but I’m just going off of the general advise I’ve read.
I agree with @pbailey that a GP would be easier to learn and use, and likely easier on your shoulder. I used to be more of a GP user but got back into using a bigger blade Euro paddle from doing white water. If you use a GP for surfing, it’s a matter of using a slightly faster cadence to make up for less upfront blade space.
Yes, what @LowTech said, the wiffle golf balls make it easier to slide a spare paddle under the faraway bungee deck line, then if I were to leave the bungee lying flat on the deck. The bungee lines behind me are in reach. I leave them flat on deck and can be easily lifted as needed.
Agreed with everyone else - get the 14. I have a 12.5S and it is a great boat but I only have the shorter boat due to a storage constraint where I keep it. If I had room I would have gotten the 14 (which I have paddled, and is a great boat).
Also as others have said, just because the Stratos seems to be ideal, it isn’t if it isn’t comfortable for you. Try to find a dealer that lets you demo the boat, or at least sit in it in the shop for a while.
And lastly, sign up for some lessons. You’re not too far from Cal Canoe and Kayak, who likely have the boat for sale, and can set you up with some high quality instruction.
I’ve been talking with a buddy a new challenger has entered my mind. I’m now kind of back tracking on a sit in and looking at SOTs that can surf little point break waves (think pleasure point area on small summer days). The more that I think about it, the more I want an easy play around boat that can surf little waves, but can also traverse up and down the point out near the kelp beds. Has anyone paddled a Cobra Strike+ (the 13ft revision)? It’s a longboard sit on top, which looks like it might cruise at a decent speed and also capable of going down the line on some 1-3fters. It’s also on sale for $600, I kind of want to pull the trigger on it.
Yeah, I just picked up a Cobra ReVision after looking for a preowned one for over 6 years. I got it out last weekend to check out a point break possibility. It paddles faster than my waveskis or Perception Five O SOT, but not as fast as the Stratos (which is not even the fastest day tour boat). I didn’t get a sense of the Revision’s surf ability because the waves were sloppy and disorganized. So, I didn’t get any good rides. I have high hopes though…
If you are more about surfing rather than paddling around, then some of the shorter surfing SOTs are certainly able to get you out on the point breaks (albeit on a slower paddle out). @SeaDart rides a Cobra Strike and gets around with that.
I have a Perception Five O and think it is a decent surfing SOT and it paddles a little faster than my waveskis.
I’ve also tried a WS/Dagger Kaos which actually paddles pretty fast because of it’s 10’ plus length. I thought it surfed ok but could rate it higher if I had more riding on it to learn the Kaos’ quirks.
Again, the ReVision paddles faster than most “surf oriented” rides. It’s not as fast as the “play oriented” day touring boats. So, if you go out in a paddling group, you may have to work harder to keep up. The Revision is more of a planing hull, rather than displacement. So when you paddling choppy stuff, it’ll float over and slap back down, rather than cut through more like SINK. That can be irritating to some. But If you are/were a board surfer, than you are used to that sensation, especially with a longboard.
Awesome response @sing I really appreciate. With that in mind, do you think the revision would be a wise choice if my goals are to cruise around the kelp beds up the point ane pick off an occasional wave or 5 if there happens to be some around in the process?
I would say I’m equally interested in paddling around as I am surfing, but I will likely be doing more paddling than surfing to start. I’m not really sure where my interests will take me in the future, but I do know I will likely get bored without the option of going down the line!