Kayak buying advice

Hi, I have my eye on the Zegul Greenland 17/7. I’ve paddled a polymer Necky Eliza for many years and although it works quite well for me I am getting restless for something lighter and faster. I am 5’ 2" and 108 lb and it seems most boats are designed for bigger people. I don’t have any particular preference for a Greenland boat, but got interested in the 17/7 because it is narrow and low volume so I thought it would be comfortable for a smaller paddler like me. Also easy to handle off the water. Unfortunately there isn’t one available near me to try and I would have to travel to get it.
Does anyone have any comments on my choice.

Hmm, gorgeous looking kayaks. At your weight, you sit closer to a sweet spot with the Arrow Play LV. You are under the optimal low weight for the Greenland 17/7, though not too badly so and that is also a fairly low cockpit to fit you.

The Arrow Play will be less tracky than the other, but unless you are trying to go terribly fast I doubt enough to be an issue. As I have gotten older I have come to appreciate easy manuevering over speed.

Don’t suppose you could try sitting in them?

No day hatches, which are a deal breaker for me. But you may not care.

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Thanks. I’ll look up that boat. It seems there are not many boats rated for my weight. I think a few extra pounds might have sneaked up on me since the Covid lock down, but not too many! I’ve never had a day hatch although I suppose I might like it if I had one.

I know nothing about that boat, but there are a number of threads on here (mostly on the Advice forum) that discuss boats appropriately sized for smaller paddlers. Do a search and they’ll come up - lots of interesting info which greatly helped me in looking for a boat.

Thank you. I’ll search. I am now wondering how manufacturers come up with their paddler size recommendations. I’d be interested to know. I also have an old R7 and have to sit on the back deck to slide in but once I am in it is really comfortable and fun to mess around with.

The manufacturers adjust cockpit dimensions and hull capacity for the paddler size stuff. For ex the old NDK Explorer LV was adjusted by dropping the deck height, making the cockpit smaller and shortening the distance to the foot pegs. A really tall guy could not get his legs into mine.

Now they adjust for the weight capacity as well, not sure how they do it but if you are the right size you will sink to a point where the best control surfaces in the hull are near the waterline. If too small the boat will be sitting above that, if too heavy the boat may sink to below that.

They have done this in canoes forever, hasn’t really translated to specs in kayaks so well.

Since the Zegul and Arrow Play were not available locally and it would have meant a couple of days drive each way with quarantine when I got back. I bought a slightly used Seaward Quantum locally. I got first place in the women’s solo kayak category of the Red River Paddle Challenge last Saturday. All touring kayaks in my category although there was every type of paddle craft in this event. I like the skeg rather than a rudder. It’s nice to have foot pegs that are fixed. It tracks well. I haven’t tried it out in anything other than flat water yet. It might not be the ideal boat for me but I’ll see how it goes. Having got it used in almost new condition I should be able to trade if I decide to change it later.

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It’s okay to have more than one kayak. :slight_smile:

Take a look at the Current Design Solstice GTS. It’s the smallest of the Solstice line, but it might be too big for you. Fits me perfectly at 5’6" and 150 lbs…

I have three kayaks now! I will use one of the old plastic ones when I know I am going to hit rocks. The only complaint about the Quantum so far is the unnecessarily large and cumbersome two piece seat back. A simple back band would do.

Advice: DON’T DO IT! As evidenced by this discussion, it’s an addiction!

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Too late. Already addicted.

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It was a warning for new paddlers who might read these discussions.

Hey String,

It’s like that thing I heard some years back: “Get your kids interested in bicycling. They won’t have any money for drugs.”

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I resemble that remark.

(insert photo of multiple Italian racing bikes, custom 'cross bike, Ti 'cross bike…)