Kayak Recommendations Needed

I am 60 years old, will retire in two days and have not purchased a never purchased a new flat-water kayak. I have purchased a couple used ones. My retirement gift to myself will be a new recreation/touring kayak. I am looking for something in the 12-14 foot range that weighs less than 50 pounds (closer to 40 lbs if possible) and has a price tag under $1300. I would like a boat that glides swiftly through the water and would be comfortable on a 6-8 hour paddling day. I am about 5’10" and tip the scales at about 180 lbs. After studying brands, models, lengths, weights, widths etc. for a couple weeks, I am more confused than ever. I have looked at numerous sit-in kayaks. The only sit-on-top I have considered is the Epic V5 Rotomold. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

As weight decreases, $$$ increase. For your budget , look at used.

New, light weight kayaks generally aren’t sold for under $1,300, although you might be able to find an end-of-season sale where an outfitter wants to move out old stock.

Delta 14 (thermoform) weighs 45#. $2,000 new
Eddyline Samba (14 ft) thermoform, weighs 43#. $2,300 new
CD Kestral, (14ft) weighs 43# and is composite hybrid. $2,000 new

Hurricane makes the Sourjourn 146 which retails for $1,500 new. Thermoform, but Hurricane uses a thinner material than Delta and Eddyline.

The Epic V5 is a nice surfski.

Your best bet is to find outfitters who sell these boats and arrange a demo paddle for at least 30 minutes. Fit is crucial.

Edited to add congratulations on your retirement!

Buy used with 1300 you can get a real nice kayak in near new condition.

Where do you live? If you’re in Wisconsin this place sells older models and they have a CD Kestrel 14 hybrid for $1500. You could try going with $1300 cash in hand and make them an offer… But I’m guessing you’re not in WI. :slight_smile:

So, I agree with the others: look for a used one that the original owner has used very little. I see kayaks often on Craigslist that look almost new – especially the more expensive models. Then, to satisfy your understandable desire to get a brand new gift for yourself, buy a nice new paddle!

Congrats on your retirement!

@string said:
As weight decreases, $$$ increase. For your budget , look at used.

Surf skis are not intended for 6-8 hour trips.

The WS Pungo 120 weighs 49 lbs, has a very comfortable all day seat and sells for about $900.
It is a quick boat for a rec kayak. My grandsons and friends, many beginners, love it.
I paddle a 140 because I’m too heavy for the 120.
IMO, it is a great boat to start in.

Are there -any- boats that are comfortable after 8 hours? I haven’t found one yet. Is your car, couch, or office chair? No. You’ll need to vary your day, get out and stretch and walk around often as you make your way.

RodneyH says he wants to buy a new kayak as a retirement gift for himself as he has already purchased used kayaks. A reward for a job well done is always nice, whether gifted or not.

My last two kayaks were purchased new because I never found a used kayak under 50# that fit me.

You didn’t mention how you plan to use your new kayak.

Under 50 lbs probably means thermoformed plastic. The top contenders in the 12-14’ category are the Delta 14, Delta 12.5, and the Hurricane Sojourn 135 or 146. Deltas are quite a bit more expensive than Hurricanes because yes, the bottom plastic may be a bit thicker and probably also because they’re made in Canada. But most thermoformed kayaks, including Eddylines, have a surprisingly thin bottom. I’m told that rigidity (and hence speed) is provided by the water pushing up against the bottom. The deck of the Sojourn is as thick and rigid as the Deltas and Eddylines.

All four of these kayaks are extremely stable and suitable for ponds, lakes, and mild to moderate ocean conditions. None of them is suitable for white water or running into rocks in cold water. My recommendation would be the Hurricane 135. It meets all of your criteria. Mine weighs 43 lbs—less than the published weight… I recommend buying new because this is an affordable kayak and you can take advantage of the warranty if any problems arise. Hurricane has excellent customer service.

The Current Designs Kestrel suffers from excessive width and a humongous cockpit that would not fit your trim shape.

If you can, I would suggest you look at a Stellar S-14. It is probably a bit out of your budget, but at least it is a boat that should keep you happy for a long time.

@RodneyH said:
After studying brands, models, lengths, weights, widths etc. for a couple weeks, I am more confused than ever.

I think the place to start is to study MATERIALS, because the material is what will get you close to your desired weight. At your price point I think thermoformed plastic is the way to go unless you plan on doing whitewater paddling. Yes, you can get a better material and less weight for more money----Stellar, for example. Thermoformed plastic is a good compromise—quite a bit lighter than rotomolded, and quite a bit cheaper than composite, with good durability in all but the toughest conditions.

Your criteria pertain to length, weight, price, glide, and comfort. Put those in order of priority. Are any of your criteria nonnegotiable? The right length won’t be hard to find. Regarding comfort, there are ways to make a seat more comfortable. Glide is a factor of length, width, hull shape, and material. Most (but not all) kayaks in the 12-14’ range that are 24.5" wide or less should have decent glide. Stiff materials have better glide.

Thinking about those things, it seems that weight and price might be the most important factors since the others are less troublesome. And those two factors point directly to the material as a main consideration.

If you’re willing to increase your budget to $2000 and up, you can find a kayak that ticks all your boxes. I actually recommend against this for your first “good” kayak. There’s a learning curve to understanding kayaks and figuring out exactly what works for you. You might go through several kayaks before you get to the one you really want. I think your ceiling of $1300 is very smart. It takes you out of heavy rotomolded kayaks and into thermoformed, with less financial risk.

It’s a bit of a no-brainer when you can pay $900 for a 13’ rotomolded kayak, or $1300 for thermoformed. For just $400 more you will save significant weight and gain better glide (=less effort).