kayak for small female

The boats you listed
Re the Coaster, it is longer than the 12 ft specified. I am used to seeing lengths as approximations, so for example 16 ft is usually 16 ft plus some inches, so it is in my mind among the group I mentioned. I don’t know about the cockpit length though - for someone who is quite small it may be too long to give good thigh contact. I believe it was sized with more average paddlers in mind.

I simply keep forgetting how short the Tsunami SP is. But yes, aside from my concerns about the deck height for someone who is truly tiny, it’d do and I missed one there.

is small 85lbs or 130lbs?

Coaster really isn’t a small persons
kayak in that it’s perfectly happy with a 6’ 200lb person.

R5 or marathon master
The R% is a fairly light plastic boat. Most boats are so ridiculously wide and heavy. I also paddled a 25# marathon master that is fast. I would add rear bulkheads and get the overstern version or remove understern and paddle with no rudder.

You have a 12.10 you say?
Just a heads up, when talking via email to the folks at Delta they mentioned they are planning to bring a low volume boat in the fall of 2012 ready for the 2013 season.

Direct quote from the email “We will be working on a new smaller fitting boat in the range of what 13 or 14 ft. It will be similar to the 16 in design.”

My wife is very petite so we ended up getting her a Tsunami SP which we might pass to our kids depending on the specs of the new Delta. I sure hope they range it from 85lbs to 135lbs, everything else seems to be well covered.

I can’t believe that someone didn’t already suggest it. I am a petite paddler. I did a lot of internet research and several visits to a local outfitter before buying my first kayak. There are a lot of helpful people out there but had I actually demoed the boat before buying it, I would have kept looking. Recently went to a demo days and paddled several boats that look good on paper and was surprised at how they felt on the water. Thought that as a 5’2" - 118# paddler that the Suka or Fathom LV would rock. Guess what. Of several Eddyline, Necky, and Current Designs boats offered to demo, the Current Designs Rumor was my favorite. I wanted to go back and paddle it again and again. Not sure what type of water you intend to paddle. I wouldn’t suggest anything less than 13.5 - 14 ft. and no wider than 22".

Rumour is cool boat
That said… it may not be someone’s best first boat unless they are a fairly aggressive paddler. Even those who love it and use it a lot tend to agree that it doesn’t have much head room in terms of stability once you get into rougher water. It’s a very different character from the usual CD fare, including the newer Suka, in that aspect. Though it is fast, as are all Nigel Foster designs.

The other issue is fit. Unless CD has modified the cockpit from the one I demo’d, there is no actual thigh brace. And the cockpit is sized such that for someone even a tiny bit shorter than me (about 5’4"), you’d have to build thigh braces well into the cockpit from the coaming. There are none, and at least in the one I demo’d there wasn’t even padding. I did roll the boat in the pond near the outfitter, but I put a good dent into my kneecap doing so because I no padding and very little thigh contact.

Again, very neat boat and if I had time to paddle more boats I’d be looking for a cheap one and outfit some thigh braces. But probably not the best first boat for most paddlers.

Swift Kiwassa LV
The Swift Kiwass is 12.5’, outfitted like a sea kayak (fixed bulkheads front & rear), I use them as teaching boats. My sister, who had only paddled an inflatable on a pond, surprised all of us (including herself) when she caught a nice wave in her Kiwassa!

They are extremely stable, maneuverable, and I enjoy paddling them as a change from my Pilgim Expedition. The regular volume is fine for a wide range of body sizes, but the LV’s deck is about an inch lower and is great for smaller folks.

Thanks for replies
Thanks for all the suggestions. I have several kayaks and wanted to replace my 12’ Patriot with a smaller, sleeker boat that would “fit” me and allow me to increase my skills. DGF surprised me a week ago with a 12’ Perception Tribute Aerolite. I have had it out 4 times so far in lake and small river water with various weather conditions. With a little extra thigh/knee padding the boat and I are one. The deck is low enough for my height. This is one awesome boat! It takes whitecapping water with ease and turns quickly in sharp river bends. On flat water I can easily sustain 5 MPH and went as fast as 6.9 surfing the lake waves. The seat adjusts nicely and there is adequate dry storage in the back hatch.

I’m glad that you got a boat to meet
your current desires. It’s nice to have the right boat for the job.