River Kayak Thoughts Please

-- Last Updated: Feb-08-08 8:32 PM EST --

I am thinking of getting another boat. (Aren't we all?)

I want something just for paddling on creeks and rivers. No real whitewater. Maybe a class 1 or 2 every now and again.

The boats I have now are kind of long for creek exploration.

I'm thinking about a 12-13.5' boat, not too wide, 24" maybe.

My real question is - what about a fish form like the Current Designs Breeze?

Will the fish form help keep me pointed down current when running downstream?
Will it make the upstream paddle too difficult?
Is the turning too slow for mild rapids?

Fish form
will probably have a minimal effect compared to rocker, volume, fineness of ends, flatness of hull, etc.

FYI, This is a downriver racing boat:


For educational purposes, I’d suggest trying a whitewater boat on flatwater for a couple of hours. Your standards of tracking and maneuverability will be somewhat altered…:wink:

my husband loves his Breeze
I don’t usually post but since I’ve seen the Breeze in action I decided to respond to your question.

My =husband has paddled his Breeze on rivers almost exclusively. Some rivers we did with him in the Breeze were Buffalo in Arkansas (Ponca to Kyle). In Missouri on the Current we have paddled from Tan Vat to Round Spring and on the Jacks Fork from Prongs to Rymer. I mention these because they are well now Rivers. These rivers have had fairly swift moving water when we were there. We have also paddled the Etowah in GA from Etowah River Campground to Hwy 136 (including a trip through the 1/4 mile mine tunnel). Lots of shoals in the early part of the Etowah run mentioned above.

He has no trouble making tight turns or paddling upstream

I paddle these same rivers in a Dagger Blackwater 11.5 (bought it when it was the only Blackwater model)

For the record - we usually use nylon spray skirts and have float bags in the bow of the boat.

Thanx for the reply, mghendrix.
I also looked at your profile and it seems that your husband and yourself paddle the same kind of experience that I am aiming for.

Greatly appreciate the spot on response!

Anyone with technical aspects, please still do reply. I have not settled decisively on the Breeze, but it somehow just looks right to me for how I want to paddle on the creeks.

Maybe old school ww boat?

– Last Updated: Feb-11-08 12:00 PM EST –

Maybe an old school river runner - something like a Pirouette, Piedra or Animas would work well for the uses and environments you mention?

What sort of river?
I mostly paddle my Tempest 165 on rivers - the lower Yakima, the lower Snake, and the Columbia. Ok, the Columbia is over a mile wide in places. I also bought a Pyranha H2 WW kayak for bony sections. For me, I don’t see any strong advantage to having something between those two. I personally wouldn’t go with an old school WW kayak because the rounded hull isn’t really pleasant for drifting along IMO. I know a guy who paddles a Stikine for duck hunting, though.

My class 1-2 river boat
Walden Vista. 12.5 feet. 24 inch beam. 39 pounds. It has been my lazy river/creek boat for seven years or so. I found one for $425 at an end of season sale.


My gift to me for the same purpose
when I get re-employed will probably be a CD Kestral 120 HV.After all, GK paddles one.

Current Design’s Kestrel 120HV

– Last Updated: Feb-11-08 10:16 PM EST –

I have put over 8,000 river miles on this roto-molded kayak since 2005 and I absolutely love it. It may be wider than your choice but it has plenty of growing room to move around and relax.

The Kestrel tracks well, has been used on class I, II and III rivers, made numerous drops up to and including 8 feet and been used on many lakes. It also has ample dry storage and plenty of deck rigging. The grey thing (bow foam) was removed for extra storage.

Now if you wanna get wild, shorten the foot brace distance a couple of notches, wedge your legs under the sides then side slide your feet onto foot braces so you are wedged in and roll it. I didn't know you are supposed to have thigh braces or pads until I learned to roll.

Rudders are impractical, an unnecessary expense and make kayaks difficult to carry.

CD deleted the red Kestrel so I'm going to yhe Wilderness System Tsunami 125.

Fish form? That is completely and utterly irrelevant.

Thanx GK,
Tsunami 125 looks about right. A little wider than I want, but thigh braces and front bulkhead help sell it. I also like the look of that duralight.

Really need something that short for exploring those narrow little creeks. We have little creeks called “Drains” all over here in SE Michigan.

Tsunami 125 vs Kestrel 120

– Last Updated: Feb-12-08 10:42 AM EST –

The Kestrel's advantage over the Tsunami is the width when it comes to exploring. You'll find times when you can get under and around strainers much safer in the Kestrel and that even helping others do the same is much easier and stable in the wider kayak. Paddling in ww is more fun in the Tsunami and I expect it would paddle faster but speed isn't important.

Both are good boats and I like the rotomolded because of the abuse the boat gets.

Got my Tsunami 120
for just that kind of thing; class I-II Love it:)