Scorpio or Scorpio LV?

-- Last Updated: Feb-22-11 3:25 PM EST --

I just bought a P&H Scorpio. I went to buy with the intentions on buying the Scorpio LV. Once I got there and sat in the LV it seemed too tight. The regular Scorpio fit but seemed slightly big. I figured I could mess with the thigh pads and stuff to make it fit better.
After coming home and adjusting the thigh braces I was looking over the Scorpio real good I reailized I could move the seat ahead. Now it fits me good but I have the seat all the way ahead and the foot pegs about all the way back.....

After thinking and re-reading reviews and everything else I could find on the internet I think the LV is made for my size. I'm 5'7" about 168lbs, my weight usually goes up and down and have been known to get as high as 180ish and as low as 160ish.

The place I bought it from said I could bring it back and swap for the LV if I wanted so I made the 2 hour trip back down to sit in the LV again. I did notice that the seat in the LV was all the way forward and the scorpio I sat in (and bought) was all the way back. This time I wore thin hiking pants and got in with just my socks and it is a little tighter getting in but it does seem to fit good to. I did not swap but came back home to think it over some more.

I'm really not sure if I should keep the Scorpio or swap for the LV. From what I was told I'm "at the upper end" for the LV and "the lower end" for the scorpio.

They both fit me but I like a few things about each.

Things I like about the scorpio:
1) Holds more gear for overnight trips.
2) I could wear water shoes/sandles if I want.

Things I like about the scorpio LV:
1) 8 pounds lighter
2) 4 inches shorter
3) the color, silly I know.

I'm really leaning toward the LV and I guess the only thing holding me back is the 1" lower deck height and the 5.5 gal lower volume. It looks really tight for packing gear, and I'm a backpacker!. But then again my overnight kayaking trips would be limited to 1 or 2 weekend a year though so I guess I could make it work.

Any help, info or advise would be appreciated.

Edit: I paddle flat water lakes, ponds and slow moving rivers and streams. I would like to paddle big waters and coastal but not sure if/when I will.

tough choice
Since the shop is willing to deal - have you tried Capella 166 RM? It is not the latest offering, but the hull is really fun.

The hull would be quite a bit loser than Scorpios, has more volume than Scorpio LV, definitely higher front deck.

No 166’s

He does not have any Capella 166’s, he does have Capella RM 160’s. My dad just bought one from him in late fall. I took my scorpio up to his house and we put them side by side. Not sure what the deck height is on the Capella 160 but sitting in it felt close to sitting in the Scorpio LV.

I did also try a Venture Easky 17 LV but it seemed bigger than the regular Scorpio.

He does have a Capella 160 (also in lava) that I thought about swapping for but its very close to the Scorpio LV in size and weight and I really like the 4th day hatch in front of the cockpit on the scorpio’s.

Longer term goals…

– Last Updated: Feb-22-11 6:55 PM EST –

You can probably go either way. The question is really where do you want to go with your paddling. If all you'll ever do is go out and paddle straight somewhere, the regular size that you can load up would do. If you want to go for things like rolling and playing in surf though, you'll appreciate the tighter contact and lower volume to throw around.

Having been in the Scorpio LV for a bit, it's pretty hard to figure out how you'd have inadequate space for a weekend camping trip. You'll find that you end up using lots of smaller bags for kayak camping anyway.

If the length on the footpegs bothers you, lose them and put in some foam against the bulkhead for your feet instead. It's a whole lot more comfortable anyway.

Regular vs LV

– Last Updated: Feb-22-11 7:56 PM EST –

I used to own a regular Scorpio for a few months. The Regular Scorpio lacked the "it" factor for me. I have a short torso and the larger volume Scorpio was a chore to paddle.I struggled to get it up to and maintain a good crusing speed. I just felt sluggish in it. Thus I sold it.

I went to the East Coast Kayak Festival last spring looking for a replacement plastic crusier. The Scorpio LV was not on my list. During the weekend while hopping in/out of various yaks, I took a Scorpio LV for a spin. I was surprised at how quick and nibble it was. I was able to get the LV up to speed and cruised much quicker than the regular version. It was all around a better fit and more enjoyable kayak for me. I ended up buying a LV from my regular dealer upon returning home.

Both are fine kayaks. It comes down to what fits you the best. For me it was the Scorpio LV.

No surf

I would like to learn to roll just to know how but I don’t see myself playing in the surf. Maybe if I lived closer to the beach…

I have camped out of canoes before but never out of a kayak. I put a few things in the scorpio to see how stuff fits. Just the bigger bulkier stuff, one of my sleeping pads (my short one), sleeping bag, tent (even though I normally use a tarp or my hammock) and just after those couple things it was looking “full”. There was still room but I sat there scratching my head thinking about how I would pack clothes, food, cooking items, water and other little odds & ends…maybe I just need to learn the proper way to pack a yak…and more dry bags.

Looking in the LV hatches just looks sooo shallow.

Cetus …
I tried out the glass cousins last fall. I’m 5’ 9" and around 165, more or less. I found the LV too tight as far as deck height around my feet. Fine barefoot, but with Teva’s it was too tight. The regular size seemed too big. Boat weight was also an issue.

These are nice boats, and being P&H you can’t beat the quality or performance. IMHO, the swede form is the issue with these boats: the widest part is behind your hips, so your feet are more forward than in a fist form boat. Add in that deck hatch, and there’s not as much room where your feet go.

You may want to try Valley’s Avocet or Aquanaut LV. Or as mentioned above a Capella.

not 160 RM
You will fit in it, but boat doesn’t suit your stated goals.

Packing a kayak

– Last Updated: Feb-23-11 9:16 AM EST –

As above, lots of smaller bags and use the nooks and crannies. Also things like separating the tent poles from the tent, and maybe a few equipment changes. One of my boats will only take the inner part of our cook set thru the hatches.

You need to put things like water bags and heavier items down low along the keel anyway, so it works.

The space is there, but it requires more planning for how to use it than in a canoe.

But that really isn't your biggest concern. If you are on the cusp in size between these boats, the LV may force your legs into a pretty flat position or the regular size Scorpio into one where your knees are fairly high up. Depending on how your body and joints and tendons are, one of these positions may be a real problem for your back after a couple of hours of paddling. Is there a way you could hold off and do a long enough demo, or rental, to get a feel for that?

If by seemed to tight
you mean there was pressure on your thighs or hips just sitting in the kayak, even the lightest pressure, you were right. It’s too tight. Sometimes when people new to sea kayaks get in one of mine for the first time, they think it’s tight until I help them situate themselves. But I have a feeling you’re beyond that level of newness, and you took the time to situate yourself properly. If it felt snug in places just trying it out, that snugness usually turns into discomfort after paddling for a while. I don’t suggest doing that to yourself.

Find the kayaks with a comfortable cockpit that you fit into properly. A little extra room is not uncomfortable, a little too little room is. Some feel they need a snug fit to be able to manage more advanced maneuvers in a kayak. Some, like myself, are comfortable getting pushed around and rolled in breaking waves in a roomy cockpit. Everyone would be more comfortable in a cockpit without areas of snugness paddling calm to moderate waters, even if they believe the snugness offers them an advantage in rougher stuff.

If the Scorpio with the cockpit that fits isn’t quite the kayak for you, you jump to a different model with a good fit that you like better. But I don’t recommend buying a kayak that you love the performance of, even though it may become a bit uncomfortable after paddling for some time. If the Scorpio isn’t snug, and you like the performance, forget about the lv. If you don’t like the performance of the Scorpio, forget about the Scorpio altogether.

I know it’s hard to know what you like before experiencing it. But if you already experienced a fit that felt too snug in the Scorpio LV, you’ve experienced enough in that model. Whatever likely small differences overall in performance that you would experience between the two will not make up for discomfort.

Agree with the concern
I added to my post above. I tend to do best with a pretty flat angle for my back etc, but I know I am not in the majority.

good info

Thanks for the info so far.

My only real fit problem with the LV was the first time I sat in it. My legs were pretty much straight and the thigh braces felt like they were pushing down on my legs. I had on BDU’s (military issue camo pants) and light hikers (sneaker like soles), I had only adjusted the foot braces AND that was my first sit in an ocean style cockpit. I paddled a WS Pungo 140 for the past two years, plus other shorter rec kayaks, also have a OT Dirago plus that my wife and I paddle together.

It was much better the second time I drove down to try it, I wore light hiking pants and took off my shoes. My knees were still straighter then in the scorpio but not uncomfortable like the first time. Plus the seat was all the way forward, thigh braces were midway, so I could still make adjustments too.

I guess I’m used to the rec style open cockpit. I could jump in my pungo wearing whatever and it didn’t matter. I did buy NRS rodeo socks and plan on wearing them when I paddle it so it shouldn’t be an issue I guess.

My other concern was the hatch depth looked so much shallower than the reg scorpio. The LV deck is only an inch lower but the difference looks huge…

After reading Celia’s posts about packing and doing some more thinking I believe I can make it work. I’d rather not but I could always strap a drybag on the deck if need be.

I guess it doesn’t help that I am indecisive person.

Not sure if I can post pic’s here or not but I’ll try…

The LV

Regular Scorpio

another try


Cold Weather Paddling?

– Last Updated: Feb-23-11 12:22 PM EST –

Looking at the snow in the pictures,are you planning cold water paddling with the kayak? If yes, how will you fit with your cold gear? My LV fits quite abit snugger with cold gear on.I can get comfy in my LV, but do not have as much wiggle room.

A little

I do a little cold weather paddling but I’m into survival and am very aware of the effects of water. When I’m paddling here in the spring and late fall/early winter I stay in the shallows (waist deep or so) or follow close to the shore line.

With all that said I did also just buy a wetsuit (3mm farmer john), NRS rodeo socks, neoprene spray skirt/deck, Stohlquist Rocker PFD and I have a Kokatat paddlers jacket. I put everthing on and still fit fine in the scorpio. Didn’t try it in the LV though.

I would love a drysuit but can’t afford it right now. He does have an awsome deal (i think?) on a Stohlquist drysuit, $500 w/liner. I’m saving my pennies and hope that he’ll still have one left when I have enough. If not I will probably get a seperate drytop and pants.

I do have a paddle float and bilge pump and have practiced on land but have not practiced in the water yet. I wanted to practice in our pool last summer but my wife didn’t like the idea. She doesn’t know it yet but I will be this summer. lol

Keep some margin for wiggle room

– Last Updated: Feb-23-11 3:07 PM EST –

If you decide to paddle in winter with drysuit and underlayers (or even a full wetsuit), you'll be a tighter fit than in your thin warm-weather gear.

If you tend to dive up and down in body fat rather than remaining at a fairly constant level, that's another thing to consider.

If you're tight in the LV and sloppy-loose in the regular version, it's time to add a few more candidates to your list of boats. You can pad out the regular Scorpio but if you have to add a lot of padding, it's worth trying out other boats.

What feels tight on the shop floor WILL feel painful during a real paddle. I sat in a Liquid Logic Remix 47 (kid's WW kayak) and thought it was snug but OK. After only a few minutes on the water, the pressure points on my hips told me it was too small. At least I was able to rent it before deciding. Boats don't break in like stiff leather hiking boats.

Good points

pikabike makes some good points.


Thanks for the packing info and tips.

Both scorpios seem to fit the same with the exceptions being that my kness are less bent in the LV and when sitting in the LV it feels like most of my body is above the boat. I feel like I’m IN the scorpio and more less sitting ON the LV, if that makes any sence…

I’ve read that the LV deck height is 1" lower…its hard to believe the 1" can make that big of a difference but I guess it does.

I’m more into flat water paddling than rolling and playing in the waves/surf so I’m thinking I’ll just hang on to the Scorpio. If I ever get into “playing” I’ll just have to buy another kayak I guess. lol I hear the new Delphin is a great boat for that.

Majority of your paddling.
It’s not unusual for folks to buy the boat for the once-a-year-trip they dream of, even if the vast majority of their paddling will be a couple of hours on the lake after work. Many of those people get frustrated because their expedition boat is difficult to paddle empty – too big, too much windage, too heavy, too hard to carry and maneuver.

Buy the boat that makes sense for the majority of your time on the water.

Absolutely true

Yes very true

and I do have many dreams, and one of them is kayak camping. The problem with doing it right now is having 5 kids ranging from 3 to 13 years old. I do manage to sneak away a few weekend each year to pursue my dreams though. As the kids get older my trips will become more and more.

Staying with P&H and in your opinion I should prabably swap for a Capella 160 then?? Use it for my day trips and just pack light or use one of my canoes for the occasional camping trip(s)??

Or, are you thinking something even shorter yet…Like a 14’ WS Tsunami?? or 15’ Easky??

My original thinking was to get a Tsunami 140 to get away from the large cockpit rec (my Pungo 140) boats.

I wouldn’t want go any shorter than a 14 footer.