Due to knee and hip issues I need to transition to a sit on top, but don’t want to give up on speed. I currently use a 13 ft Venture Easky. it is quick, responsive to turns and everything I ever wanted in a kayak. I live in S Florida and have done a lot of kayaking in the everglades, 10000 islands and in and around the intra coastal areas on the east coast. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Epic V6 or V8
What’s your budget?
13’ Venture Easky
Given a 13’ Venture Easky is everything you ever wanted in a kayak, it would be quite a transition to even an Epic V6.
Information on the Easky 13:
Length: 13’7" Width: 26.5" Volume: 78 gallons Weight: 46 lbs Paddler Weight Range: 121-286 lbs
We have to remember that the turn of speed demanded thus far is very casual. The initial stability has been extra high. The ease of turning is based upon a 13’7" kayak. And knee and hip issues are leading to the need for a transition.
So, for the OP, are you looking to transition from a recreational kayak paddler at recreational kayak performance levels, into a more performance oriented kayaker who will appreciate a more performance oriented kayak? Are you in a position to, and are you wanting to increase your athletic performance? Or are you hoping to stay at the same level, and just want ease of entry and exit from a kayak that will give you similar performance to the Easky 13?
If the latter, I’m not very familiar with the kayak choices, but I would guess more in line with a Hurricane Skimmer or some such style.
Sit on Top
I have a Spirit Paddle PRS Surf ski and I love it. I have paddled in 2 races so far this year and am training for 2 more. I like the PRS because it is fast and is easy to get in and out, especially if the boat flips or you have to go around obstacles. I hear the Epic kayaks are good too.
You might find a dealer that has several SOT and see if you can try a few out and see which one would fit better for your needs.
Eddyline has a SOT
that is probably less barge-like than most.
It’s still 29" wide though.
I have the Skimmer 128, and they make a 140, too.
Beautiful boat, handles very well, dry ride---and the hull is very quiet, which the Eddyline SOT is not.
Less pricey than the Epic or the Eddyline, too
What benefit are you seeking?
It would help with recommendations if you could clarify why switching to a SOT would help with your hip and knee issues. I have SINKS and SOTS (surf ski), and while a SOT is often easier to mount/dismount, I find that it’s no easier on hips and knees while paddling. Entry level skis such as a V6, V8 are stable as compared to performance skis, but still require more core strength to maintain stability than a rec boat.
The V6 is very stable.
My seldom paddling wife with stiff back & hips and fear of falling in paddles in in calm conditions with no problem. The trick is to be standing in water about 1’ deep when you sit down on it or get out of it, so you don’t have to drop down or raise up much.
I have no idea how maneuverability compares to the OP’s current boat.
The V6 may not work for larger paddlers with longer legs.
Current Designs Kestrel
I find my V6 easier to mount and dismount than my sit ins, but I find it less comfortable to paddle as long as my other kayaks.
My wife paddles the V6 more than I do. I like to mess around with edging, balance etc. and prefer going zig zag, rather than straight and she like staying level and steering with the rudder. I like having the thigh braces to facilitate controlling the attitude of the boat. I haven’t looked into installing thigh straps on the V6 - maybe some day, but I still prefer the Touring Cruiser 16.
hah hah, chuckle !
Had to laugh when I saw that.
My eddy sit-on is only 3" wider than that Easky. It does not handle like a barge, it just looks like one The seat is very good for bad hips. Still, I would find one and sit in it a long time to see how it feels.
The hull shape handles wave action well, as is found in bays/wind chop/power boat wash, and the length- 14’- gives a bit more speed than you’d expect from its appearance. I can pass some shorter plastic kayaks, even the sit- ins, in slower river current water situations. Of course, it is not as fast at all as a surfski, but, on the other hand, I can haul picnic or fishing gear, and they can’t easily. I had a person really eyeballing it last month, because he wanted one that could carry a small child with him, that would possibly work, too, for short hops.
The advantages of the SOT in warmer weather/climates are that you CAN get wet to cool off, and not have to worry about pumping the water out.
Ocean Kayak makes a 13.5 foot fishing sit on top that also handles pretty well, is very comfortable, and it is nearly as fast, but that is much, much, much heavier. But it is better in some situations, (aka strong cross or headwinds, or nasty rocks) depending on what you’re doing, and how you plan to haul it.
too bad we’re so far apart – I have an RTM Midway SOT for sale, would trade you for the Easky.
in the 13 to 14 range
An RTM Disco 14 or an RTM Tempo might work just great for you.
couple from RTM the Midway and Abaco.The Midway would be the faster but the Abaco would be great for fishing.
Stellar S14S, Epic V6, CD Ignite…
What you paddle now is hardly “fast”, so perhaps you are more looking for “easy to paddle”? If easy to paddle, easy to handle, and light and fast-ish is on your mind, then check out the new Stellar S14S - one of the few 14’ sit on tops that looks like it will be enjoyable to paddle and not a barge.
The Epic V6 is 16 feet. It will probably feel unstable to someone coming from a wide recreational kayak - it is lively and wobbles side to side easy, but quickly gains quite good stability when it begins to tip sideways. Most people will quickly become comfortable with it. Large hatches for storage, good clean rudder system that does not get in the way.
Then the 18’ Current Designs Ignite might be worth a look too, or some of the Stellar 18 footers with hatches. The Epic V8 is a great choice if you really want to cover some distance and begin to go fast (compared to shorter kayaks).
Depends on what your needs are - long distance and speed, go with longer and narrower; easy handling off the water and leisurely pace on the water, go shorter. Paddling a boat that is too long actually requires more effort at slow speeds, though you can paddle it faster if you put in the effort.
If it's just the deck and cockpit you don't want, then a pack canoe like the Placid Spitfire would be great, assuming you have a lot of money to throw around. It's really an undecked kayak, in a way. There are other pack canoe that don't cost as much, but they're not as pretty...
There's also the Delta 12.5 Catfish, a tunnel hull SOT that is very wacky looking, might be fun...
You mis- characterize the V6 stability.
It’s no 30" wide barge, but is never scary unstable in calm water or my wife wouldn’t paddle it.
The OP would have to try it for themselves to see if it works for them.