SOT suggestions

If my wife knew I was doing this she would dhoot me but here goes anyway. She is not that healthy or athletic but enjoys kayaking lakes and slow rivers, problem is she tires easily. I think part of the problem is the barge she paddles a Loon 138 but she does not want to feel closed in so I cannot get here in anything narrower that might paddle easier. Anybody got any suggestions for a sit on top that is a little narrower and paddles better.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Look at Heritage.

The Tarpons
are nice kayaks, but a bit heavy. You may think about the Feathercraft Airline SOTs.

Ditto what string and chuck said
Look at the Heritage Osprey and Seadart and check out the Tarpon 120 and 140.

It would be nice if you could get her to test drive some of the potential canidates and pick the one she likes best.

Lack of technique? No barge here…
My wife does not go out very much at all but when she does it’s in our Loon 138 and this 5 year old boat is in no way a “barge”. Fast, manuverable, load adjusting (sliding seat) spray skirt for colder weather etc. and just a great boat. If I am leisurely paddling my canoe, she can paddle circles around me without breaking a sweat (we play “bumper cars” when the water gets warm)…

I am wondering if your wife has the right paddle and arm/torso/shoulder strength for paddling? A little practice and she should find this a great small boat. We have a 230 cm elliptical paddle from Harmony. She feathers it paddling upwind but otherwise never feathered.

I’m not saying you should not buy more boats though! The bigger the fleet the better! Just sharing my experience and observations of my wife, whom does not excercise regularly or paddle regularly either.

I don’t think you will find her a SOT that has significantly enough improved efficiency at cruising speed compared to your loon to make a big difference… Might try to improve her technique and conditioning…


– Last Updated: Apr-27-04 12:26 PM EST –

Light, performance SOTs are hard to come by and expensive. I don't really know any in the 13-14' range.

Sometimes a good paddle makes more difference than a new boat.........

A really light paddle like an Onno would make it easier, or a paddle with narrower blades like a Wind Swift.

Lighter Paddle
I don’t think most of the SOTs will gain much from a Loon 138. Most are probably heavier. A lighter paddle may work. I use a 230 length. If hers is longer that may also tire her out too. I would go with better technique and a lighter paddle.

Epic announced a while back that they would be producing a SOT version of their little Recreational GP (roughly 13’x25", IIRC). I don’t know if that’s happened yet, but if it has, it might be worth checking out.

she also
uses a harmony 230 eliptical but she never has it feathered,she rebels when I try to teach says she is just out to relax…Hard to fight with that

Heritige does make
a nice sot/sink blend style to get awaty from that closed in feeling and still have a lower center and closer to the water to paddle. As suggested above maybe a lighter and smaller blade paddle?

Maybe you should get a slower boat
Sounds like she doesn’t really appreciate the help. So either you go slower, or get someone else to teach her, or spend your time practicing different strokes when you are out with her. Maybe you can convince her that you need practice towing on some longer trips. You could try a tandem, although that has plenty of issues, too. Maybe a Passat that you can essentially paddle solo with her getting as much exercise as she wants, dipping up front.

Maybe Epic will make a SOT of the Endurance model!! now that would be cool!!

question re: tires easily…
You mention that your wife tires easily when paddling in calm water situations, that she otherwise enjoys. Is it overall fatigue, or specific to arms/upper body? If it is her upper body, ditto what others have said re: lightweight touring paddles and improving technique. Feeling better while doing something you enjoy should be motivation enough if that is the source of her fatigue.

I would also tend to agree with what others have said re: SOT’s not offering an improvment, at least in terms of paddling ease, when compared to her loon, unless discomfort in the cockpit and legs/feet falling asleep is contributing to her fatigue on the water. I find my pungo easier to move through the water than the scupper pro I used to paddle. However on longer paddles I do find my shearwater considerably more comfortable to sit in than my sink.