Native Inuit Kayaks

Has anybody paddled/purchased an Inuit? I can’t find much info. The Native site has limited info and specs. Outfitter I usually go to is getting some in March and I put a deposit down (refundable) to get a discounted price. He (the outfitter) paddled one and said I would probably like it better that a tsunami which is the boat I am leaning towards. Looking at a 12.5 in either boat. Thanks for the input.

No, but
I’d hope the boat is better than the the marketing material…


The Tru Track Hull employs a uniquely layered design that creates several chines in the hull. The additional chines allow the hull to track as well as longer kayaks but turn and maneuver as well as, or better than, other kayaks of their length.

The hull is also stronger and more stable because of the extra chines. The chines provide rigidity to the hull to reduce depressions without requiring a lot of extra plastic to help keep the boat light.

Looked at specs on both

– Last Updated: Nov-22-09 9:55 AM EST –

The Native site doesn't have full specs for the Inuit, but judging from the others in its group the cockpit could be long enough that you can forget learning to really edge or roll this boat very easily. The Tsunami 12.5 isn't exactly tight, but depending on your size there's a chance you'll find a thigh brace. Not sure that's in the cards with the Inuit. The high seat back in the Inuit isn't exactly screaming skirt or big water skills either. That's a very rec boat thing.

Your profile lists Michigan and lakes. Do you plan on trying out the big one, or stay in smaller ponds? It's hard to figure out where the outfitter was going without knowing what communicated to them about your paddling goals.

As to the boat's material, it's hard to tell whether the chines actually stiffen the hull nicely to prevent oil canning, or have been added so they could make the hull a good bit thinner. Seems it'd be best to look at one of these before plopping down money.

The Tsunami line, for better or worse, is a well-established line of boats that come from a long lineage of sit inside kayak designs. Native is not that background - their strength has primarily been SOT's and barely covered decks for fishing. Between the two, WS has the longer track record for SINKs.

If you are thinking placid stuff near shore, quiet flat rivers or ponds and no waves, no Lake Michigan, the boats are probably similar. If you are thinking bigger water down the road, you want to pay good att4ention to things like cockpit fit.

Native Inuit Kayaks
For now, just planning on inland lakes and rivers. Just started kayaking a couple of months ago and need to learn and develop the proper skills before going on the great lakes.

I’m 6’3", 265 lbs so finding a comfortable fitting cockpit has been a challenge. I tried a 125 and 145 Tsunami and liked the fit. Thinking of the 125 because my wife has a Mad River 12’ Synergy so I don’t want to be way ahead of her when we are paddling, handling for rivers, and storage. Just thinking the Inuit could be an alternative. I bought a used LL Sapphire to start but already want something with a better fit cockpit and faster.

Looks like I will have to hang it up until spring unless we get drysuits.

This sport is way too addictive!


– Last Updated: Nov-22-09 2:29 PM EST –

Hi ..i've only sat in the boat during a demo day ...comfortable as heck..not sure I'd call this a big man's boat.... seem to remember the cockpit access was a tad tight for me...i'm 5'7" and 200 #'s ...plenty of room once inside though. maybe you should look @ venture kayak Flex model..seen one of those ..large cockpit opening. also check Craigslist in your area , maybe someone has a used boat 4sale that you may like.

Using names like “Native” and “Inuit”…

– Last Updated: Nov-22-09 12:05 PM EST –

...for the company and its products is an insult to true "native" people and the Inuit. They should be ashamed of themselves. These things bear no resemblance to anything "native" or "Inuit".

Go longer
If you are already thinking you want to advance to bigger water eventually, add a couple of feet to the length you are considering. You’ll be glad you did. As to keeping pace with your wife, glide more and paddle slower when you are with her. At your size it’s more than likely you’ll be faster than her over time no matter what the boat. You’ll just have to take it slow and see if her paddling interst goes where yours does. It might not - evenly matched couples are rare. If it doesn’t, you want a boat that you can enjoy on trips with other paddlers than your spouse.

From further info it does sound like the cockpit in the Inuit would work for you, but IMO you should first reconsider staying with a 12 ft boat for your next one. There is just not that much difference between the boats in this group when it comes to speed and basic handling - that gets more so a little longer. In the 12 ft length the cockpit fit is probably more variable between boats.

One advantage of the Tsunami line is that they are going to be easier to find used than a new model. I suspect that you want to consider that option - it sounds like you are in the early stage where you’ll be cycling thru boats for a while. You can always make your local outfitter happy by buying a really high end paddle or something like a dry suit.

here here
I second that.

One “practical” perspective
All the Native-brand kayaks that I have seen have lots of “ridges and valleys” across the profile of the hull. When I look at those boats, I imagine that the designer was looking for a way to create the greatest possible amount of wetted surface area relative to the displacement. The higher the wetted surface area, the greater the drag when the boat is being paddled. I wouldn’t expect these boats to be very efficient, though most people who buy them probably aren’t looking for efficiency.

On the other hand, some degree of unnecessary surface area probably won’t be noticed. My little packboat (a rowboat) his a small band of reverse curvature on each side of the hull, which certainly increases wetted surface area but it’s very easy to make that boat move through the water. How much funky hull curvature is “too much” is a question I can’t answer, and it would probably be of greater consequence on a much longer boat.

As they claim…
…the numerous ridges and such do stiffen the plastic hull considerably, which should help to reduce the flexing and “oil canning” that’s common in a lot of plastic rec boats. They’re hardly the only company to do that, though they seem to have embraced the idea with much more “enthusiasm” than most others.

I have only seen photos
but was hoping to get a chance to demo one. It looks like it may be just what I am looking to find for my daughter. As for it being an insult…Really? Are you kidding? Inuit perhaps,but I think it is an attempt to pay homage to them rather than insult them. “Native” is too general to associate with any single race or culture.

I agree - what a travesty
It’s sheer profiteering exploitation. As bad as New Age “sweat lodges”.

the hull shape
Reminds me a whole lot of the Old Town Adventure XL however much smaller. It has a low deck in comparison to its beam. The seat and thigh braces are comfy and the hatches are recycled shapes from when Liquid Logic was doing touring boats. The Inuit 12.5 is the only one out and is too small for my frame. The 13.5 1nd 14.5 are yet to come, so may be better fits. I’d call the Inuit a true rec boat and wouldn’t look at it for rolling or serious rough water performance. It does round out Native’s offerings nicely and looks well built.

Apologies to Native

– Last Updated: Nov-26-09 1:00 PM EST –

I have been apprised by someone off line that the Native Kayak bunch includes people who were critical to the early WS line of boats, so have decent sea kayaking background. So - whatever I said to diss their experience with long boats, please ignore it. Any kayaking company deserves more support than they usually get, particularly the little guys.

I also spent more time looking at photos on the Inuit, and it appears that the cockpit fit is an entirely different animal than the rest of their long boats. Measurements would still help, but it looks like it narrows a good bit. And belles experience with the boat suggests that it'd have good contact for moving up in skills.

It might be worth seeing how easy it'd be to switch out the seat back for a back band down the road - that back is still a little high to my eyes - but that is usually doable.

I still think that the 12.5 length is a boat that the OPer will be selling all too quickly. I agree with nermal that it might be worth finding out when the longer versions of this boat are likely to be in a dealer's show room. A longer version may have a longer hold time, so the new price tag could be less frustrating.

As to the chining and its contribution to maneuverability, it never occurred to me that would be a question mark. We have an original drop skeg Elaho with the diamond chining, and there is no question that the boat can be all too manevuerable at times even for my size, which is a bit under volume for the boat. But at 135 pounds I am much more likely to find a little help useful than someone the size of the OPer. So it'd be hard to say that the chining alters its performance for a 6'3" heavier person to the degree that it matters for someone like me.

I now get to say one more thing that I refrained from earlier because I didn't want to start a sub-thread of arguments. But maybe now it's safe - personally I am not bothered by these guys using names like Native and Inuit. Yup - these boats are hardly related to the skin-tight SOF's, nor are they likely to show up in a seal hunt. But it's just a name and if I wanted to I could probably come up with a bunch of kayak model names that had some aptness problems.

Thanks for the responses, but
I found a pretty good deal on a new WS Tsunami 125 ($650) and Adventure Technologies bent shaft all carbon paddle ($180).

Third … what a joke.

Disagree completely
I actually happened upon this thread in researching the ‘Inuit’ kayak by Native Watercraft/Liquid Logic. I find the notion that naming a modern kayak after a historical namesake is much more of a compliment than anything else. Are they trying to make money? Of course, and so is every boat maker, if they dont make money they dont exist. Bringing some history into a subculture via names is not a bad thing. It certainly may inspire many young people to look it up and develop a new respect or inspiration. I think the political correctness is really more disrespectful than anything. Have you ever asked an Inuit person how they feel? Likely not…should the native ‘Vikings’ be offended by the Minn. Vikings football team? Should the original 49er gold miners be offended by the S.F. 49ers? Should Ireland be offended by the Notre Dame ‘fightin Irish’