First kayak - Dagger Stratos 14.5 or 12.5?

Playing in small waves with my Stratos 14s:



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?

Please let us know if Kayak Connection (or any other place!) rents the Stratos. I’m interested in trying one. But definitely only a 12.5…the 14.5 exceeds my transport/storage limits.

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Noob question…what are the wiffle balls on the deck bungees for?

They are probably there to make it easier to slide the “extra” paddle under the shock cord.

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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.

Greenland paddle is easier to learn/use, in my opinion.

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.

Another session with a GP:


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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.


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The one equipped for open water, the longer one. Go to the other one and you be flipping boats by the end of this summer

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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.


Kayak connection moss landing has both the 14.5 versions, no 12.5.


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.

@sing it looks like you have a revision! What are your thoughts on it? Looks like I can pick it up for $900 shipped

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.


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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!

So, with your interest in “paddling around”, are you thinking mostly by yourself or with a group? If by yourself and you going at your own pace, the ReVision is fine for that. Since recently getting it, I’ve gone out in the ReVision only once to check out a point. I paddled out the mile plus to the point and then to the other side and back. Sloppy waves and may be a 10 knot onshore wind. Felt the ReVision was fine (stable and easily controllable) and a bit faster than my waveskis. As comparision, during warmer months, to keep myself waveski ready (meaning maintaining relaxed balance and rolling) and to cool off, I’ll paddle down 2-3 miles down the beach a back. Not breaking any speed records but perfectly fine. The ReVision is faster than my waveski.

The ReVision is also probably safer for a solo paddle because if you capsize, you hang onto the boat, flip it over and climb back on. Self rescue with a SINK is a bit more complicated then with a SOT. If you are doing surfing with the ReVision, you are going to have thigh straps to give you more control with leans/edging. Those thigh straps are great to hang onto when you capsize and also to help climb back on. The thigh straps will also allow you to roll the boat when you have developed that skill. But, you may want to develop the skill in lessons with a white water and/or seakayak first.

Now, if you are paddling with a group that likes to go a bit faster and cover more distance, then may have to work harder to stay with the group with ReVision. If the group wants to go faster and you like paddling with said group, then you have to break down and get SINK like the Stratos. As you can see, I also like to surf with my SINKs. But these don’t perform like my waveskis and/or surfing specific SOTs (ReVision is in this category). The latter is designed to perform closer to surfboards. A SINK won’t be able to perform at that level on a waveface. So, if surfing is big part of your interest with paddling a kayak, a ReVision may fit the bill better.



PS. Once I get some surf, I’ll go out again with the ReVision. I’ll take video as this helps me see how I am interacting with the boat and how well I am riding the waves with it. I usually make adjustments in outfitting and/or technique based on my video review.

We got some 3’ plus medium period swell in the 10 second range from yesterday’s passing front! Hitting a reef break later with the ReVision. Will report back later. :sunglasses:

Beach break is too crowded, thus perfect to test at reef break:


Something to keep in mind, Pleasure Point has a bit of a reputation of being crowded and not welcoming of non-locals. A person on a butt surfer would stand out and be at more risk of trouble.

SINKs may not surf like a surf board, but they also do well on waves that are different than what the stand up surfers like, so we are in different areas. You could have whole areas to yourself that the boardies won’t want.

So, I got out today. Had fun learning and surfing the Cobra ReVision. It has its quirks and may challenge a beginner, specifically related to coping with a shallow nose rocker. It WILL PEARL if you take a straight run down into the trough. The flat nose then shovels in. At that point it takes edging, bracing and corrective strokes to get nose back out and regain control. In comparison, the full volume bow of the Stratos usually pops back out on its own if you lean back.

I have video and will start a separate review thread for the Cobra ReVision later.