Help with Kayak purchase

Hello everyone - new to kayaking, I have done some canoeing in the past though. My wife and I are looking to get beginner boats. I wanted the flexibility of a crossover so that I could do a bit of everything. I narrowed it down to the Rogue, the XP10 or the Dagger 12. The problem is we test rode some boats and my wife likes the sleeker light touring boats like the Delta 12.10 or the 12s. Will I be able to keep up with her if I get a crossover? Any other suggestions?

best not to mix styles

– Last Updated: Jul-05-13 8:59 AM EST –

You might be able to keep with her, if you're a strong paddler. The lines of those Deltas don't make them particularly fast, but, the slick and stiff hulls do help.

You might consider Dagger Alchemy, 1 small, 1 large. It's a "moving water" / touring style hybrid. I've got a Wavesport Ethos (same class as the Rogue, XP10). I recently had it on a class II+ with a bit of III, and, I kept thinking my Alchemy would have been fine, there, if a bit less manuverable. Some II/III whitewater, though, would definitely leave the Ethos with the advantage. On flat water or lazy rivers, the Alchemy would smoke the crossovers, as well as the Deltas you listed. Alchemy would allow for good skill building, as well.

nailed it

what’s “a bit of everything”?
Elaborate a bit. What do you want to do with these boats?

The hybrid

– Last Updated: Jul-05-13 2:02 PM EST –

Proud owner of a Dagger Crossover the past 10 years.
I've kept up with most sea kayaks on a day trip,
but I muscled it quite a bit in the choppy waves of open water.
That effort leaves little in reserve, in case of crisis.
Have had dicey situations where I felt like a "bobber"
getting tossed about instead of slicing thru waves.
I've done 30 to 40 miles in one day a few times in it,
with a bit of river current to help me along.

Hybrid boats have limitations in efficiency, quickness,
and handling that must be addressed in certain situations.

Delta 12 is different
I find the Delta 14 and 15 slower than expected, but the 12 is faster than many kayaks of that length.

for ww the xp10 does great
but its slow on the flats. The seat is pretty comfy which counts for a lot. For straight up flatwater its a bit of dog. The nose just plows through. The Rogue is definitely quicker on the flats and has a real old school kayak feel to it. But I’m an xp man, 80% whitewater, 20% flatwater. Works good for that. xxx cockpit lets me slide in with my arthritic knees. I push my knees up in ww to lock in otherwise I’m just hangin’ loose.

I thought I was in love with a crossover
I have a Pyrahna Fusion S (in my opinion a very capable crossover) that I used on WW and surf conditions. I added a Dagger Alchemy to the fleet and now, the fusion only comes out in 3+ WW. I have both the Alchemy S and L, originally they were meant as his/her boats but I find myself using both depending on the days water being paddled in.

In my opinion the Alchemy is a good all around boat, and a great boat to learn skills on. Is it really fast? no, Is it a full time WW boat? no. It is a boat you can safely learn a lot of skills in a wide variety of water, and not break the bank doing it.

mostly flat
I guess a bit of everything should have been mostly flat water lakes but I don’t want to be limited to that. There is no white water around me, I’d have to drive 4 hours at least.

I’ll look into the alchemy
The numbers look pretty good width wise on the S version for my wife. Thanks.

Necky Manitou 13
Atmosphere near me has the Necky Manitou 13 priced at 804 CDN right now. Seems like an OK deal for a boat that could suit my needs. What do you guys think of the manitou 13?

Short list
For me I’ve narrowed it down to:

Delta 12.10

Necky Manitou 13

Daggar Axis 12.0

Alchemy 14.0L

For Wifey:

Delta !2s

Necky Manitou 13

Alchemy 14.0s

Or both of us going with one of the shorter crossovers like the Rogue or the XP10.


not XP10

– Last Updated: Jul-08-13 2:08 PM EST –

Based on your recent clarification of mostly flat, I would definitely NOT recommend the XP10. I have one and love it, but NOT for mostly flat. (I think this has been noted earlier in this thread.)
My (our) first kayaks were in the 14' x 24" class (Manitou/Tsunami), very versitle; flat water lakes and pretty fast river up to maybe class II. However we both now have more dedicated lake boats in the 16' x 22" range; more efficient, faster. I prefer my XP10 on the river because it is super maneuverable -- 1 stroke to turn upstream.

My Manitou is for guests; my wife still takes her Tsunami on the river.

Manitou then?
So from the boats listed above, the Manitou 13 would not be a bad boat for us?

Not a chance!
You will not keep up in the crossovers! I often hear that is what folks want and they get talked into them at the store as a do everything boat. I’d much rather run class 2/3 whitewater in an Alchemy than go for a Lake/Ocean paddle in a Fusion.

The short boats are only good for white water or surfing. There is no chance they can keep up on the weekday night easy 6 to 10 miles paddles and they are not suited for paddling to a surf zone from a long way unless you plan to get there with other boats the same length.

Don’t be fooled by the marketing. These may be great boats for camping and whitewater and short surf trips, but I have never seen anyone do an easy 10 miles of flatwater in one.

That said, I did see someone do 8 miles in a 12 foot Axiom, but they worked pretty hard to keep up and many of us worked very hard to go slow to keep the group together.

I don’t know

– Last Updated: Jul-09-13 9:59 AM EST –

about those other boats -- for me, I just know about the XP10 from your list; others have given some general advice w/o knowing much about your size. From reviewing the thread, I don't think anyone has said yet what is most typically said, that is, try out boats before commiting with a purchase if at all possible (especially a brand new boat). Rent if you can, or go somewhere with an outfitter/guide or an event where you can try out a bunch. (From your post, it seems like you may have already done some of that.)

the Manitou…outstanding performer in just about any water conditions, including whitecaps. One of the all time best 13-14’ yaks ever made.

What about Seaward kayaks?
I don’t see much as far as reviews on the 12 foot Pura from Seaward. Mec in Canada sells this boat for a reasonable price and it could work for me. I missed out on those Manitou 13’s right as I decided to get them. They have one 14 left.

which ones have you actually paddled
lists upon lists of 12-14 foot kayaks for flatwater lakes and easy rivers can be compiled. Nearly every kayak maker has something to offer in this range with the exception of ww companies and seakayak-centric Brit mfgrs.

what matters is how they fit and handle for you and wifey. Demo some, which will also allow you to try on different pfds if you need them as well as different lengths and shapes of kayak paddles.

If you are still fired up to buy without trying, a 14 ft. Manitou is low risk. Proven design and very good for your venues. If they fit in it, just about anyone can paddle a Manitou 14. They are very user friendly esp. for new kayakers.

The Man 14 has two bulkheads, btw, while the 13 has one. You can stuff floatbags in the bow of a 13, but in deep water rescues it will still take on more water and be heavier to dump.

If you buy it the 14 can be for you. Go on separate safari for hers. Get 'er done and get on the water.

You are not required to buy two boats simultaneously in order to get suitable boats. And if you play it smart, wifey’s boat can be a different fit for you and become a change of pace day/play boat for you when she wants to stay home.

Dagger 12
I think you mean the Dagger Axis 12, which is one of my kayaks.

Every kayak style has a purpose, water type and paddler body type it works well for. In general the crossover kayaks are more beginner to intermediate kayaks that are a big step above recreational kayaks but a step down from dedicated white water or touring kayaks.

I like my Axis for what I bought it for – I prefer moving water and narrow twisty streams/creeks with a small amount of easy rapids to keep it interesting. It handles flat water better than the XP10 and Fusion and is fairly maneuverable but as the rapids get more difficult (3-3+) you will get more performance out of the XP10 or Fusion, which are closer to whitewater kayaks. For the record, I have modified my Axis with thigh pads and hip pads. The Axis is more a touring kayak than the XP10 and Fusion which are closer to white water.

Most of the crossovers are nice boats for a larger person. If your wife is average woman sized or smaller I doubt she would like any of the crossovers.

I occasionally do canals or lakes – mostly calm but some are large enough to get waves and chop in the center from winds. I never had a problem doing 10+ mile paddles in the Axis but if I did more flat open water I would probably want a 14-15’ kayak. The Axis is nice enough on a lake and haven’t had any problems keeping up with 12-14’ touring kayaks, if we doing a normal pace. You might struggle more with a XP10 or Fusion.

But over the years I have seen many people run small twisty streams in 16-18 kayaks – if canoes can do that why not a kayak… I have also been on many trips where people ran class 3+ whitewater in 14-15’ touring kayaks without any problems – they usually just go straight with minor turns to avoid rocks. They don’t seem to have problems but it also doesn’t look as much fun.

I have also seen little squirt kayaks on big lakes and no movement canals – they do seem to struggle and not have much fun.

Honestly a 14’ touring kayak is probably more versatile overall. They can do easy whitewater but won’t be as much fun as a crossover or whitewater kayak. They are fine on moving water or rivers with limited whitewater and great on flat.

The crossovers will be a bit more enjoyable on rivers where you have lots of flat sections mixed in with 1-3+ rapids. But the more rapids and less flats you probably want to think about getting a whitewater kayak.