My first time on a sit on top

Several days ago I bought a Pelican Blitz 100x.

It’s my first sit on top and I’d never paddled one before.
I paddled it for the fist time today. I hate it.
It’s tippy. I don’t mean a little tippy, I mean a lot tippy. I felt very insecure in this boat.
yes, it’s very small and a larger SOT would be more stable.
Yes, it’s been a very long time since I’ve been in a canoe or kayak, but I’ve spent, literally, hundreds, if not thousands, of hours in canoes and kayaks. It should have come back quickly, but it didn’t.
And I’m sure someone will respond, saying they have this boat and don’t think it’s tippy. Well, more power to ya.
I think the main issue for me is lack of sides. There is nothing to brace my knees or thighs against.
This is good to know. Now I know to look for another canoe or a sit in kayak with a large, open cockpit.

Have the same boat, the issue is you, not the boat.

Suggest you look for a wide kayak with a flat bottom. Good luck!

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I feel like one bad experience in a big-box store kayak shouldn’t dissuade you from SOTs completely. Wife and I have Ocean Kayaks (Malibu Two and Malibu 9.5) and they are stable to the point that you can stand up on them.

Go rent or demo some mid-tier boats. You might find something you like.

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What weight are you?

I just bought an old town trip 10 deluxe for my lady and it was a sit inside fishing kayak and I took the anchor and stuff that makes it a fishing kayak off as she wants it as more of a sit in rec kayak to do river floats. I think it would make a great fishing kayak though.

Most of the guys around here fishing out of a SOT in creeks and small lakes have added DIY pontoons. Google it you will find a million ideas from pool noodles to dock fenders and most use PVC pipe as a structure. My friend has one setup that way and then he added a higher seat back stadium seat and he is sitting just about like you would in a canoe.

The drawback to sit in rec kayaks is they don’t have much in the way of capsize flotation where the SOT’s are filled with air. That is what I liked about the OT I mentioned is it has a sealed bulkhead and hatch in the stern and I added her some flotation in the bow. If she flips it over the cockpit is huge to get out of and she wont sink now.

Fishing is supposed to be a relaxing time at least it is for me and it is hard to relax if you are worried about stability. :canoe:

That’s basically a 30 inch wide kayak. It might have some hull design issues but my 12 and 13ft boats are 24inches. Shoot my 17ft kayaks are 24 inch.

Give it some more time. It didn’t sound like you’ve been paddling much lately. Just some past canoe experience. Note my solo canoe is 24 inch beam.

Stability not only comes with width, it comes with length.
A 16 ft. 30" wide boat is going to be much more stable than a 10 ft. 30" wide boat.
I guess what I need to do is take out my Wenonah Voyageur and see if it feels stable to me.
I know that it felt stable to me last time I paddled it, if it doesn’t feel stable now, then we know the problem is me and not the SOT.

Well, that’s the million dollar question. Is it just this SOT or all SOTs.
I have no doubt that a 12 ft. Ocean Kayak would be more stable, but right now I’m feeling that I might not like any SOT.
If I could rent a better one, that might answer the question. But I’m not sure that’s possible around here. I don’t think I want to risk buying a thousand dollar boat with hopes I’ll like it.

Right now I’m about 185 lbs.

I’m thinking something like this might be an option.
Jackson Kayak Tripper 12 2021 - Jackson Adventures

Balance is in the butt of the beholder.

I thought a 32" canoe was tippy, then I thought a 27" racing canoe was tippy, then I thought a 19" surfski (SOT kayak) was tippy, now I think an 18" surfski is stable as the day is long. I can go out in short period, 4’ ocean wind-swell and drink a beer.

As others have said, its not the boat, its you.

That said, if you have no interest in improving your balance through regular paddling (like 2-3x a week until you get comfortable) you should get the widest boat possible. But if you’re already at 30" and think its tippy, nearly any boat will feel tippy and its hard to find a boat much wider than 30" (because reaching a paddle over the edge of a 30" boat is really hard anyways).

Take it out in conditions you feel comfortable tipping over in (close to shore, warm water, expecting to tip). Practice balancing. Practice bracing. Practice reboarding. Once the fear is gone the boat will seem more comfortable. Balance is like riding a bike. Its hard to do until its not. Once you learn it you can hop back on fairly quickly, even after extended breaks. But that is only once you have ingrained muscle memory which comes with a couple-few hundred hours of seat time.

As someone who climbed the balance ladder to 1 step below Elite boats, I can tell you the only thing that will help is seat time and determination. Consider an outrigger boat if you lack those.

an extra 2’ of boat is not the solution you think it will be.

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Hull shape makes a difference as well. I couldn’t find a photo of the bottom of the 100x exo but from the side it seems pretty flat.

The Malibu 9.5 is a shorty but just as stable as a 12’ due to the W-shaped hull. And it’s $600 so not a bank-breaker. Ended up ordering one without trying it first since we had such a positive experience with other OKs

Add thigh braces for control and connection to your hull. World of difference.

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Boats aren’t tippy, they are sensitive; people are tippy.


Look into the old town solo sportsman 119. It’s a canoe like in the link but you won’t lose all the space that one did. I use it for fishing, exploring small streams, and going on river day trips with the wife, so class I-II max…tho I did do a III section in it by accident once… :smiley: I may put some bags in it in case I’m given the wrong info on a river again.

BTW not a fan of a sit on top as it offers no benefits for me and a lot of detractions (that should be a word).

Never been in that particular kayak, but people have been known to fight marlin for hours on the ocean on a hobbie as well as stand and cast so it’s definitely not all sit on tops.

I think it would make a world of difference.
Not sure I want to bother with this boat.
Looking for something else.

I know a guy that rode the Triple Bipass on a Schwinn Stingray, that doesn’t mean anyone could, but I’m sure a bigger, more expensive SOT would be more stable.
If there weren’t other aspects of this boat, besides the stability, I didn’t like, I’d probably just consider an upgrade, but I see now that not having sides and thwarts and a yoke is a major drawback for me.

Did others say that?
Yes, it’s me, but it’s also the boat.
Not everyone is going to be happy with an 18" surf ski. Actually, I’m pretty sure a surf ski would be more stable than this boat. I’ve been in a lot of boats and this is the most unstable thing I’ve ever been in.
Not everyone wants to do that much paddling either.
I’m a cyclist, hiker, archer and rocketeer…
I don’t want to paddle more than once a week, at most.

Well no sit on top is a canoe and you just described a canoe so you probably won’t be happy with a sit on top.
As for not just anyone being able to do those things with a sit on top, actually pretty much anyone can be very stable or stand and cast in a quality sit on top designed for that.
The pelican is a cheap rec boat adapted to attract fishermen. That being said, as the cheaper rec boats go I believe pelican is a solid and pretty stable boat. I just don’t know how that translates to a sit on top.
You are judging all sit on tops based on a short try of an entry level boat.
That’s about like going around the block in a yugo and basing an opinion on all cars on that.

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