place to demo kayaks in Virginia?

Yeah, I know - this may be a stretch. I live in central Virginia, and while there is a great dealer local to me, demoing the boats on my list is not a possibility. I’m most interested in comparing the WS Tempest 165 and P&H Capella 166 RM.

Is there anyone out there from the mid-Atlantic region that can point me in the right direction? Anyone want to loan their kayak out for an hour or so? :wink:

Thanks in advance.

In VA Beach
I sent you an e-mail also, but posting here for everyone else.

You might want to check out Wild River Outfitters in Virginia Beach - great selection and they will set up private demos.

In Virginia
Good Morning, I’ve demoed a few boats at Appomattox River Company in Farmville. They have an outlet in Richmond and another in Yorkville where you might find the sea kayaks to demo. They also have a demo day coming up June 9, if that’s not too long to wait. Now’s a good time to buy at end of season sales. Another place you can check for Tempest and Capella owners is at Coastal Canoe Club (they have kayakers, too) and the Cheasapeake Paddlers Association

Good luck with your search,


Buena Vista

Atlantic Kayaks in Alexandria

I heard they closed that one.

Appomatox River Company

– Last Updated: Jan-15-07 11:24 AM EST –

I also live in Central Virginia and got into kayaking (flat water) a couple of years ago. I ditto the comments re: Appomatox River Company which is where I ultimately purchased my yak.

Check with Appomatox, with Blue Ridge Sports and with the local county Parks and Recreation Departments. There was a demo day held at Pocohontas State Park (this is where I normally go yakking and fishing) the year before last and had good representation from all the major vendors. I don't know whether this was a one-time thing or is done regularly.

By the way, I would also check directly with the vendors you're interested in and ask them if they have any demos scheduled or could suggest a way for you to check out their boats. Since they want to sell boats, I figure they would try to assist you.

thanks much!
Thanks to all who replied.

Yes, Appomattox is my vendor of choice, great folks, but I wasn’t aware they allowed demos. I really want to paddle each of the two final contenders on my list (ok maybe the Prijon Kodiak as well) before buying, and they sell all three models.

Great! I’m much more optimistic now than when I woke up this morning! :wink:

Happy spring! oh, wait… hehe

If anyone in central Virginia, particularly the Charlottesville area, wants to go paddling sometime, drop me an email - there’s lots of great lakes in the area.


We paddle around C’ville a lot
Mostly on the Rivanna, Beaver Creek, James, Lower Tye, Rockfish, Slate, Hardware, and a friend (jbead)just opened up a trip on Mechum Creek, a trib of the Rivanna. Says its a real pretty little stream.

I’m in the Lexington area and always looking to team up with paddlers in Central VA so keep me in mind next time you go out give me a shout. Not this weekend though, predicting 35 degrees, winter has finally arrived…maybe. I paddle solo canoes mostly, but do have a Liquid Logic Pisgah and a WS Pamlico 145T which I paddle solo and intend to use for camping trips this summer.

If you wind up demoing boats at ARC let us know what your impressions are. I loved the Tempest 170 but too dang heavy in poly and I don’t paddle sea kayak enough to go for the composite version.

Not Yorkville.

Bay Trails, Matthews VA
Suggest looking or driving over to Bay Trails, Oneo (Matthews) Virginia. Shawn and Jan carry a wide variety of kayaks, they encourage try before you buy. They provided me 4 hours of free instruction when I picked up my kayak. they up graded my foot pegs to the adjustable standard at no cost. They stand behind their products. Where in Central Virgina are you driving from? Good Luck,


Falcon S18

I’m in Cville
I’m also in Charlottesville and must say for kayaking I really miss the Jersey Shore where I started. It’s hard to explain to people around here what exactly SEA kayaking is. Everyone is into rivers. It doesn’t help that I used to live right on a bay in NJ… I am definitely spoiled.

We’re planning on checking out Lake Moomaw tomorrow, but the end goal would be to find a lake of 200-900 acres that we could have a camp on some day. All I ever hear about is Lake Anna and Smith Mountain Lake.