With all of the Valley Sea Kayaks disscusion I am wondering if anyone has paddled the Skerray EX and can share the differances in handling compared to the standard glass Skerray. I believe the Skerray is the only fishform design that Valley produces. It seems the Skerray is commonly refered to as a “beginners kayak” After spending many hours in a Skerray this season I find it to be fairly fast, very manuverable with great primary and secondary. In addition the Skerray is very solid in a following sea and with a little skeg it tracks great. At 5ft 10inchs 220 lbs it is a comfortable fit and as good as most kayaks in the wind. For folks in my size range it is a performance kayak in my opinion. Very curious what others have to say, Thanks in advance.
what’s an EX?
I’ve never heard of that version. I paddle the plastic Skerray (RMX) and I really do enjoy it. Although it’s way too big for me (I’m 5’8", 145 lbs), I got a good deal on it that I couldn’t refuse. Over time, I’ve really become quite fond of that kayak. It is incredibly confidence inspiring in bigger water, it’s playful, it roll beautifully, it cruises at a respectable speed, and it carries a ton of gear. One drawback is that it absolutely needs a little skeg in order to track in flat conditions although in waves it is just fine. Although it’s a great boat to put beginners in due to it’s stability, I think it is appropriate for all skill levels. For a reference point in regards to my preference in kayaks, my other sea kayak is a 17.5 feet long, 18 inches wide, ultra low volume, tippy SOF rolling qajaq. I would never think a big barge like the Skerray could win me over but it really has. Heck, I can almost do my full repetoire of Greenland rolls in it because it rolls so well. Awesome boat.
(tell me more about the EX if you find out)
if you mean the XL? I have both, The Skerry you know already, and the RMX, (plastic) similar but
notably more rocker. The XL is 17' 7" x 24" and similar in proportions, but not identical by any means. Valley claims it to be faster than the reg. glass Skerry that is in turn faster than the plastic Skerry. The XL is a neat boat in my opinion. It's not slow, holds a TON of stuff & is just as easy to roll as other Valley boats (also very easy to stand in). As the factory seat is wider than other Valley boats, I just cut it out and replaced with one I made. It's a good boat
when friends want to try out kayaking, or when just going out overnight with a need for lots of fire wood, the day hatch alone is huge. Because of the 24" width, it comes off as the unwanted step child of the Valley line. I traded a
plastic perception Corona thing for it. It may have been big for me, but finally a boat with
hatches that didn't leak like a sive. That was my first Valley boat, now have an Avo, reg skerry & aquanaut. While it's not the fastest boat out there, it's no slug. Just a neat, well made boat. I took it last weekend on a camp out in order to haul fire wood, dry ice & pies. Here is a link to a friends pics and below it, a link to my pics. Both links have lots of pics of the XL at play, I don't use it much, but it's always fun to bring out. Aj
Skerray versus Tempest 170
Nice pictures of your Skerray XL. It does look like it has much more volume than the Skerray. How would you (or anyone else) compare the regular Skerray versus the Tempest 170. I am going to rent a Tempest for a day or two to see for myself next weekend. I currently paddle a Skerray with the ocean cockpit and want to sell it for the keyhole version. The fabulous reviews of the Tempest 170 make me think I might find all of the same things I like about my Skerray with better tracking. Not sure if the Tempest is any faster. I have tried a lot of kayaks and like the Skerray best so far.
Skerray vs. Tempest 170
To preface, if you are looking at the composite versions, I don't have much experience with them. However, I do own a plastic Skerray and have spent a good deal of time in a plastinc Tempest 170. With that said, both are great boats. Regarding comfort, I would give the nod to the Tempest due to the fantastic outfitting that Wilderness Systems puts into their boats. The Skerray is much more skeg dependent than the Tempest but it does track well with a little bit of skeg deployed. What that also means is that the Skerray is much more responsive, playful, and it edges turns better. The Tempest has far less rocker so it tracks straighter. However, in regards to speed, I would say its a wash. Both aren't very quick but can hold their own in an average group. I've raced the boats with paddlers of equal ability and neither boat stood out in regards to speed. The Skerray is a bit more fun in surf and both kayaks do well in bigger conditions (3-4 foot swells). For rolling, although the Tempest rolls well, the Skerray is better. I can hand roll both boats but the Skerray is significantly easier and balance braces much better as well. For standard paddle rolls, both boats roll well. You can't go wrong with either boat and basically it comes down to what feels good to you.
Thanks for the info
I have a newly found and very shaky roll… so that info is very helpfull. I was thinking that the Tempest would be easier to roll. Glad to hear you found the opposite to be true. Thanks alot for your opinion and information. I do like the Skerray very much just not my ocean cockpit. Tuff to get in and out of and was no fun at all when I capsized in surf and couldn`t roll back up.
too bad you’re not closer.
I would happily trade my plastic Skerray with a keyhole cockpit for one with an ocean cockpit.
I haven’t posted for a while as I have been busy with a new hobby - carving wood spirits. I got interested after carving some Greenland paddles.
I own a Skerray with an ocean sized cockpit and the old fashion skeg system. Loved it from the start. Edge turns very well…great in a rough sea…very maneuverable…and tracks surprisingly well.
If the wind picks up, the skeg works wonders. Yes the fit is tight but you get used to it and find other cockpits quite large after a while. Not the best for trips more than a couple of days as mine is very low volume and you have to prioritize your gear. My next choice would be more of a touring kayak with a higher volume. Never had a problem with it - very well built.