Hi everyone I am hoping that can get some advice and feedback on the possible purchase of a Kayak Trek Baja x. I am a day paddler only that never paddles anything except quite small lakes in our area. I never carry any gear with me and just love to paddle aimlessly around the lake. Currently I have a CD vision 12’ that works fine but I am bored with and a Valley Aquanaut LV 17’ that I love but is way more boat that I need and much to heavy to cartop by myself. Does anyone have any experience with Kayak Trek? The weight and length are what I am shooting for and I am not too worried about the built in skeg as I can J lean carved turns and I don’t need to have a manuverable boat for my paddling. I also love the looks of the Walrus Griffin LT and the West Side Boat Shop Delta. However these boat cost 4 times as much as a $575 new Kayak Trek. Any thoughts? Thanks
A Couple of Suggestions
If you want really light weight build a skin on frame boat; or pay someone to build it for you. Those things are sooooo light.
Or… keep the boat you like and move it smarter. Use a trailer or car top it just lifting one end at a time.
If you can adjust your storage requirements slightly it may be worth checking out a used carbon surfski - They will range from 25-30 lbs. I’ve got friends in their 60s-70s paddling them both in flat water and the sloppy stuff. They are simple, fast, light, and fun - and ideal for fitness paddling. I’ve seen used beginner/intermediate skis (Mako XT, Honcho, Think fit/evo) go for less than $1000. Give one a shot if you can find local ski paddler.
I would like to thank everyone for the great ideas. Finding an activity like kayaking has really helped me handle life with a disability. I used to emerse myself in bicycle racing but can no longer even ride because of the bumps and vibration but paddling along quietly without any inpact whatsoever feels so good. I would do a trailer except I have trouble even now backing up in a car with my bad neck. Currently I do have a Yakima extension bar that lets me load one end of my kayak at a time. I’d love to try some of the suggestions and may in the future. That is one of the cool things about kayaking, everyone seems to be very helpful and kind, not so niche centered as cycle racing can be.
Check out the Wave Witch …
It’s a bit more money, but a quality boat, that is fast for the size with a rudder.
The Trek Kayaks look extremely cheap and flimsy in the photographs, more like CHildrens Playmobile Kayaks. Are they made in China? Be careful you get what you pay for, and very low end composite usually comes from China with many issues. Buy American when you can.
A friend of mine has a Kayak Trek
She says the following about it:
It’s reasonably fast and tracks well. The fixed skeg easily hangs up on things in shallow water. It lacks deck rigging. She added it. The hatch covers it came with were terrible. They leaked and were impossible to put on straight. She replaced them with different ones from West Marine. She had to cut the deck slightly to fit them but they work very well.
The boat is deep, has a big cockpit and no thigh braces. It’s made of epoxy with no gel coat which is why it’s so light. It’s also rather…shall we say…flexible. Paddle float re-entry would be … Interesting. She knocked a chunk out of the bow a while ago but it should be easy to repair.
I don’t know where they’re made. Is it a high-quality boat? I would say no. Is it light and fun? I get a resounding yes answer.
I notice that the Kayak Trek Flite and Baja boats have exactly the same hull, except they are flipped end for end, i.e. one is done Swede-form, the other fish-form. In light of that, I can't believe a lot of design thought went into the boats. They are definitely marketed as Rec boats, so I wouldn't think they would be a good choice for a fitness boat.
Staying light is definitely a good idea in your situation. I have two boats that are quite light: a 17' mahogany flatwater boat at 31 lbs and a 14' Cape Falcon SOF at 33 lbs. The SOF is much easier to maneuver, both because it catches less wind, and also because SOF is so resistant to damage - you really don't have to be careful with it. I strongly recommend looking at the Cape Falcon F-1: see the website, read the reviews, etc. It really is a great all-around boat that tracks and edge-turns beautifully and has very low drag. While it does surf well (there are lots of pictures of that) it is a fantastic flat-water paddler.
PS I coveted a WSBS Delta that was for sale here on the lounge for a while, but it turns out I am too big for it at 200. If you will fit in it, I think that would be a great boat to try.
The price is right
for a 35lb 15 footer (especially the one you mention on sale). But I don't particularly like the shape for fitness paddling on flat water (looks like fish-form from the photo). I would prefer a shape like this one (swede form): http://hurricaneaquasports.com/kayaks/category5.html that allows a more ergonomical paddle placement. Just a few lb heavier at about 45lb but I think will take abuse much better.
There are also other options in the 15 foot range: the Pyranha Speeder: http://www.pyranha.com/kayaks.php?kayak=Speeder that can be had used for $600 or a little more.
I had for several years a Perception Sonoma 13.6 Airalight (about 40lb) and that was a great workout boat as long as you don't want to go too fast (but it is about as fast as most bulkier 15 footers out there).
Recently I constructed my own skin on frame using a modern swede form shape. All materials cost me about $300. It took some time to build it since it was my first and I did not work of a plan (I made the plan and being a first build had to adjust along the way and redo things). But that boat turned out very well and achieved most of the design goals I had for it - fast, ergonomic, just stable enough to not require constant attention. It is a 17+ footer and weights about 40lb but the skin is overbuild - with lighter weight skin and at 15 feet it can be both cheaper and likely weigh around or under 30lb and be just as strong.
Cobra makes a nice fitness kayak, the Eliminator. It is 16 feet or so and you need to be under about 160lb to use it well: http://www.cobrakayaks.com/kayaks/cobracat6.html . I think worth a look if a sit on top is something you would consider.
Similarly,, if the weather temps work for you to use a sit on top, consider the Futura Spear or similar small surf ski. The "witch" mentioned previously I believe is an attempt at a surf boat; it is not really meant for flat water and is rather wide if I recall from the specs. The Spear is 19" or so wide so it paddles nice on flat water.
EDIT: forgot to mention that Perception used to make two more fitness kayaks: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/perception-cadence-140-airalite-fitness-touring-kayak~p~1040k
and the Rythm (14', not the short 11/12 footers that have nothing to do with the original Rythm!): http://www.sierratradingpost.com/perception-rhythm-140-airalite-fitness-touring-kayak~p~1040j
Forgot what the difference b/w the two was though ... There are a couple for sale - if I was in the market and close to them I'd snap one-up since at the asking price they are a real bargain for a workout boat on mainly flat water: http://paddle24seven.com/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=82&func=view&catid=6&id=14947 ; even with shipping the price might be still a bargain ...