Royalex vs Kevlar vs graphite....

…I love my Royalex We-no-nah Vagabond, but even at

42-44 lbs, it’s more than the old bod prefers, and I’m thinking of giving myself a Kevlar or grahpite version for my 70th birthday. 1-5 hour outings on Class I, rarely any rocky shores. Any comparison comments? Thanks.

You have named them in the order…
…of durability.

I have a Wenonah kevlar 17 foot Jensen ultralight layup, (no geloat) and at 39 pounds, I love it.

I don’t hesitate to take it in class I rivers as long as the water is high enough so that I am not scraping rocks.

I don’t know much about the carbon, but when we recently purchased new QCC kayaks we were advised by Phil, (QCC expert) that the kevlar was quite a bit more durable than the carbon-kevlar, and for our all around use he recommended the kevlar.

I didn’t know that there was any else on the forum older than this old fart.

I think we should get all the old timers together and challenge the kids to a “who has the most aches and pains contest”

Cheers, happy 70th, and remember we don’t get older, we get better !


Go for the Kevlar.
Just be careful that you don’t leave it anywhere that people(especially kids)can climb in or on it.

If you paddle in a place with no rocky shores, and you want to reduce weight, go for the lightest layout without gelcoat.

At your 70th birthday, do you want to carry a lot of weight? L

Happy 70th…


It depends…
all very good responses and all pretty accurate. I have had a Jensen in tuff-weave, then went to a Jensen in kevlar, and now have three solos, a prism, an advantage and a grasse river classic XL, all carbon, and all have incredibly different personalities. Personally I would not even think about going back to kevlar, but, and that’s a big but, I don’t do anything except flatwater. All my paddling is recreational racing, and trips throughout the Adirondacks. The boats are more durable than one would think and they fly! Remember kevlar cracks pretty easily to, I know first hand.

Anyway, good luck with your decision and have a great 70th b-day.

of the three materials graphite has the best abrasion resistance, so I would go that route. I love abs…have had a bunch of them, but the material is slow & soft. You just can’t get a sharply molded bow/stern on abs. Kevlar is wonderful, especially for strength, but it abraids fuzzy and fairly easily once you’re through the gel/skin coat. So, go graphite reinforced with kevlar. Did I just say Black/Gold? L

Thanks, all…
…for the advice. I’m thinking I’d like to try a Kevlar Vagabond, but they’re hard to find. And thanks for the birthday wishes-if I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of the body. With the ankle wrap, elastic stocking, trifocals, 2 hearing aids, tennis elbow strap, and thumb brace, my canoe’s almost overloaded! And the mind’s not much better.