Kayak Options

-- Last Updated: Nov-11-14 2:55 PM EST --

I posted a reply a few minutes ago to my own thread started back in September. But, unlike other forums, my reply did not bump the thread up out of the archives!

OK, rant over... here's my post, copied over in a new message:

Compare and contrast:

1. 2011 CD Willow (kevlar), used but in great condition. I would be allowed to demo it, but haven't yet. Seller is asking $2400.

2. Two new (2014) EDL kayaks: Journey and Samba. Each is 20% off regular retail price, so that would be $1895 for the Journey and $1815 for the Samba. I would not be allowed to demo either one.

Thoughts? Thanks!

which fits you better?
Which boat fits you better? And fits the type of paddling you want to do? And fits within your budget? That is what I would get if I was you.

The lack of being able to demo the Eddylines would be an issue for me. If I couldn’t find someone who had one I could paddle or get permission to paddle one the ones at the shop, I would likely take them off my list of boats to consider.

Or my used Fathom LV for $1500
with nylon skirt. I also have two other fine kayaks for sale for the same crazy low price.

Refresh us again on your height, weight & experience level, etc.

Where are you located.

I haven’t paddled any of the three boats you mention, but have tried the Samba and Willow on for size and they fit pretty well. I’m 5’6 and 160 lbs.

Good luck.

my vitals
Height: 5’9"

Weight: 145 #

Health: came in third in a local 5K run last month (in my age dvision).

Experience: I’ve rented lots of kayaks over the years, but never owned one. No formal lessons, but if I buy a kayak I will take lessons with it. I have a good feel for the water; when I was a kid (before kayaks, internal combustion engines, etc. even existed), I canoed all the time, including a few multi-day canoe/camping trips.

Where I kayak: We live in the DC burbs, although so far, most of my kayaking has been out of state when on vacation. But Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay are close by, so that’s where I would like to expolore.

What I like: I don’t see doing many overnight excursions – mostly I’ve done day trips, and will likely continue that pattern. I like playing around and exploring – finding a small back cove and spotting a blue heron, exploring a forgotten shoreline, etc.

Hope this helps.

Eddyline fit
Are you able to at least sit in the cockpits of the Journey and Samba? I’m a 5’5", 127# female. The Journey cockpit was too large for me. The Samba was a perfect fit. That, and the fact my outfitter pulled the Samba off the display rack, loaded it in my car, and told me to go out on the bay and play, led me to buy the Samba a few weeks ago.

What little seat time the weather has allowed has been fun.

Why those particular boats?
Sea kayaking is popular enough in this area there’s a pretty robust market in used boats. So I’m curious why you’ve narrowed your search to those particular boats.

Have you rented/paddled these or similar boats before?

No demo no buy for that kind of money

– Last Updated: Nov-12-14 5:09 PM EST –

As far as I am concerned. I have never gotten a real kayak of this scale without demoing it.

Go used.

Rest of the first reply deleted and replaced here. It appears that you have plenty of time in kayaks - question, do you have any time trying to learn how to brace and roll in them? I am asking because that is where people find out the most about what they need in a kayak fit. Nothing like sliding around not being able to hold an edge to let you know whether a boat will work for you.

Since you’re in the D.C. area
Contact the Appomattox River Co.


They have both the Samba and Journey in stock, and they will arrange for a demo. Worth the drive (and you can visit the famous Appomattox Civil War site while you’re there).

I have a Samba and I am about your size, just an inch taller. Fits great. Fast, fun boat. I suspect you will find the Journey cockpit too large. The other Eddyline to consider is the Fathom LV (low volume).

Have not paddled the CD Willow.

I would turn this around
I would turn your process around - take the classes before you get the kayaks. Even a kayak at a good discount off of MSRP is a bad deal if it doesn’t fit. Better to take the class and learn more about kayaking, kayak fit, etc. before buying. If you buy an Eddyline for $1900 and find it doesn’t work after a handful of paddles, you now have a boat that would sell for a bit over $1000. Boats depreciate, and that is a big potential loss. Many of us have learned this the hard way…

The exception would be buying a used boat at a fair price (as mentioned by others here). These boats have depreciated, and likely you could sell a boat that doesn’t work for you for about what you bought it.

Apparently not a rank beginner
Here’s the OP’s original thread:


no demo?
not a chance. Every hull shape is different. Every seat configuration is different. There is no way to know if a boat is going to be comfortable for you over time without demoing the boat. Not just a 10 minute paddle either. After about 45 you will feel little twinges that will translate into agony over a longer stretch which will tell you if that boat/seat combination will work for you in the long run.

I dont care how good a deal it is. no demo no buy (unless you plan on flipping it of course) :slight_smile:


Or …

– Last Updated: Nov-15-14 8:26 AM EST –

In the DC area, go to the Gear Swap forum at http://www.cpakayaker.com/forums and see what's available locally to you. Better yet, join the Georgetown Pirates and try their boats when it warms up. Or, go to one of the pool rolling sessions.

$2,400 for a used kayak like the Willow (even in Kevlar) seems too much to pay this time of year.

If you are looking at the REI deals on Eddylines, they have a good return policy, so no need to worry. Since they don't offer demos, they risk customers returning the kayak if it does not turn out to be as expected...

Go to Annapolis Canoe and Kayak (ACK) in Annapolis for friendly service, large selection, and good prices.

Lastly, from your description of your intended paddling, just about any kayak would do! So, go for a comfortable fit, light weight, not too long (16' max), fairly maneuverable for you to "explore" but also with a good turn of speed to get to where you will be exploring... If money-conscious, buy used as your kayaking tastes will change. And factor-in a nice lightweight paddle (like Werner Kalliste, Epic Relaxed Tour - its adjustable length is very nice, or the AT Xception or whatever they are calling it nowadays, or even try a Greenland paddle - Dave in ACK will have all these at hand!), a life jacket, spray deck (it gets bumpy on the Bay), paddle float and pump for self rescue, and paddling clothes adequate for the water temperatures you plan to go out in.

I currently have 7 kayaks
all but 1 I purchased without a demo.If the price is right and I could turn around and sell it for what I paid and it was bargain,I jumped on it. Did sell a couple kayaks that I purchased right away. Figured that was my demo…

three boats
So Rookie you are up to three 'yaks for the season each more advanced than the last, right? Good for you; you’ve come a long way in more ways than one! You’re hardly a rookie anymore.

I’ve been out of pocket for the past couple weeks. Thanks to all for your thoughts and leads.