SOT for daytime sea kayaking

Hi all,

I’m looking for a second kayak which is gonna be used mostly for daytime paddling in Mediterranean (2-5 feet waves, wind up to 10-14 knots). It’s quite hot here and I’m often paddling alone - so I figured a SOT would be a better option.

Should I get a Tarpon 140? 160? prowler? a Trident Ultra 4.7?

I want it to be reasonably stable, seaworthy and able to keep up with sea kayaks. By seaworthy I also mean that when paddling against 3 feet waves I won’t get slowed down too much and be able to break through 3 feet surf.

going to be hard

– Last Updated: Jun-12-15 5:58 PM EST –

Going to be hard to exactly match the performance of a sea kayak, as SOTs are generally wide with flat bottoms. You can get close by choosing one that is as long as possible (at least 14 feet) and narrower than standard. Tarpon 140 or 160 would be a good start. If you can find a Necky Dolphin (no longer made - but supposed to be similar hull shape to the Necky Looksha Sport), that would be one to consider.

If the person using is used to SOTs, then these would be good. if the person using is used to sea kayaks they may find thee barges. In this case, at least get thigh straps for the SOT so they can feel more connected to the boat (as they would in a sea kayak). And perhaps look at one of the recreational level surf skis.

Surf ski
Sounds like you want a surf ski… Epic makes the V7 at a pretty good price point, for that sort of boat.

another vote for the Epic v7.
or if you want to spend more on a lighter boat, a v8.

Either one is as fast as a Fast sea kayak. Stable and easy to remount should you want to go swimming.

Tarpons are seaworthy … other choices
Sit on tops work well for warm temperature and warm water. Both can handle the paddling you want to do. The longer Tarpons are quite seaworthy. I had a friend who did open water crossings (21 miles) to Catalina in one and always came in first when paddling with seakayaks (he was a very good paddler.)

In Europe it might be easier to find an RTM (Rotomod)dealer. I have paddled this one, tempo, and it was pretty decent:

I have sit in and sit on top kayaks so I’m not too biased. For paddling alone on open water in warm climate I would go wit ha SOT.

What is your height/weight? If under 175, consider a older (but can be found) Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro at 14’9" and a excellent performer. Next would be either a Tarpon 16 (heavy though) or a Ocean Kayak Trident 13 or Prowler 15, all regardless of weight. These all paddle at about the same speed (I’ve them all) and you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Or spend about $2000. and get a Kaskazi Dorado and paddle like a dream. I paddled it last year and it’s easily as fast as my sea kayak.

why not the Stellar rec Surfski?

A bit more stability.

I like the looks of that one, something to think about…

Regarding my height and weight- I’m tall and very skinny.

Kaskazi look nice but way out of my price range.

Also I’d put 70 cm as a minimum width requirement, since I want a kayak which is more of a “boat” where I can sit without constantly having to balance, and also have some storage room. I also have a 1.6m Kayaksailor kit which requires quite a lof of stability.

Currently my mind is locked on the tarpon 160 (weight is not an issue). How tarpon 160 compares to 140 in terms of stability, speed and ability to pierce through choppy waves? and how it compares to prowler 15 or a trident ultra 4.7?

I think I’d also be looking at the Current Designs “Ignite” surfski…

From their website…“New for 2014, the Ignite leads the new wave of surf skis in its marriage of efficiency, speed and stability. The Ignite is not an elite-level, hyper-sensitive surf ski requiring a lifetime of skills, rather it is a surf ski for all paddlers. It appeals to those who find sit-in kayaks too hot in warmer weather but find conventional alternative sit-on-top kayaks lacking true performance. The Ignite is a wonderful go-fast, fitness and fun-to-paddle craft that encourages exploration of the surf ski realm…”

Tarpon 16’ vs OK Prowler or Trident
If straight ahead speed is all you care about, the Tarpon 16’ has a slight edge in speed. That said, my Trident outperforms the Tarpon 16 in that it turns easier (1’ shorter), lighter by 15-18 lbs, no hull slap (but minimal with Tarpon), more stable than the Tarpon (but not a problem with the Tarpon), better seating position with the Trident, but the newer Tarpon seats look very comfortable. Both are great kayaks. The Prowler 15’ (and 13")is a straight up joy to paddle as it’s very responsive. It does not have the adjustable foot pegs (built in) or the rod pod storage of my rident, but it’s handling is very responsive due to a slightly different hull formation. Any of these are great SOT’s. Find a blem and save $$. Keep a eye on Sierra Trading Post for them and save a bundle. Test paddle to feel the difference in each if possible