With the contest giving a way a Little Wing I looked up the specs and thought the 12’ fiberglass would make a good light travel boat for my wife. I have not found any reviews other than their site. Has anyone paddled one or have one? I live on the west coast and there are no dealers here. I wont order blind, especially with a radical design and would really like to try one out.
I have paddled a longer one
It is a unique concept who’s time has yet to arrive.
It IS a very light kayak and it does feel stable (mostly on flat water), but it doesn’t handle like a dream. At least not for me using the same techniques I use on other kayaks.
Not that great in rough water.
I liked the size, weight and cockpit size but was leary of the hull design. I also heard they are skeg dependent. Now if Epic would bring out their GP with a normal size cockpit (30"x16") they would have a nice little kayak for smaller paddlers.
Warren Light Craft Little Wing
This past weekend I was able to paddle the Warren Light Craft Little Wing 14 and 18 foot kayaks. (East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival in Charleston, SC) I had read about them and there is no question, when I am able to purchase a new kayak, it will be a Little Wing (not sure what size yet).
Very fast, turns very well. The EPIC 16 is now my second favorite kayak (My g/f paddles one and I spent much of the weekend going between the Little Wings and the Epics. She thinks the Epic is a little faster – I thought the Wings were faster. We didnt’ have the opportunity to race them against each other this weekend. (The new rudder system on the Epic is awesome if you like rudders. I don’t.
The Warren’s are designed to handle rough water and although I didn’t have the opportunity to paddle in chop (alhtough there was wind), I suspect it handles very, very true.
For the Warren to become my number one kayak over the Epic speaks volumns. I had wanted to pick up an Epic when my g/f did, but it didn’t work out for me.
I would consider myself a low intermediate paddler. Edging is not quite my thing yet, but I am working on it, so I use a lot of sweep strokes and low and high brace turning maneuvers.
Flip a coin between and Epic and Warren Light Craft. Both are innovative companies and don’t rely on “because we’ve always built kayaks that way”.
I am also convinced that being comfortable with the way your kayak works with your skill set is as important as anything.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Little Wing 12.5
The Warren Little Wing 12.5 would make a fantastic lightweight traveling kayak for your wife. My wife, who is a a very petite beginner paddler, describes paddling our LW 12.5 as ‘intuitive’; she can make it go where she wants in any condition that she has encountered so far. It is relatively efficient and fast, it is pretty much unaffected by wind and waves, and it is a joy to paddle and (at 22-24 Lbs)to transport to the water. It has a built-in skeg, so that you do not need to deploy a skeg or rudder in following seas. It just handles them.
You do not need the same skill set necessary to paddle traditional kayaks in fairly rough water (2-3-foot waves). Much like a Necky Chatham, the LW helps you get through the rough spots. We have not paddled in beam waves over 2-3-ft, so I do not know how it would handle larger waves. But, as an extremely lightweight,stable, efficient and user-freindly kayak for calm to semi-rough waters it cannot beat.