My local shop just got in the new Valley Sea Kayak Sirona
They have all three glass sizes and the one poly
There are Demos of each model to try out.
The Kayak Centre of Rhode Island - http://www.kayakcentre.com/
My local shop just got in the new Valley Sea Kayak Sirona
The Kayak Centre in Wickford, RI…
was once one of my favorite places to visit, but they've lost my business for several reasons:
(1) I ordered a custom Valley boat from them several years ago and put 50% down and waited 4-5 months. When kayak was initially delivered the custom options were not installed as specified. It was never completely expanded who was at fault, Valley or the shop. The Kayak Centre's offer: "You can either take this boat or we will order you another with the correct options." I inquired: any discount on the current boat? Their response: "No". OK, I told them I will wait for the boat I originally ordered. When the correct kayak was finally delivered Kayak Centre staff attempted to charge me an additional $360, "because the price of the kayak had since increased since I initially order". Huh!? I simply pointed to my original, detailed sales invoice and said I'll pay our agreed upon price, and the actual balance due. We had a stare-down contest for about 10 minutes before they finally relented.
(2) Two years ago I went to Wickford, RI to demo two composite kayaks. At that time there was no listed cost for demos on their website (only that: "every day was a demo day!"). I had also called the KC in advance to confirm both boats were in stock. After all it's a 5+ hour drive for me. When I got there they wanted $50/boat for that privilege. I had never had to pay to demo a kayak from them before. More importantly it was never mentioned in our phone conversation. They didn't drop that detail on me until I was signing their waiver. "Oh, by the way..."
(3) I found they did not always honor their stated discounts for RICKA members. "Oh, that boat or accessory is excluded." ...but that is not stated anywhere. They seem to make it up as they go along.
(4) Many, but not all, of shop's staff members can be rather full of themselves and a bit rude. The "so you can waste people's time" comment below, from a KC staff member, only reinforces my opinion on this. (Note: the author, BREI, has since revised their comment)
In fairness the gentleman that helped me launch the demo boat was quite polite, so is the shop's owner, who I have met on several different occasions. On the other hand, another staff member who was present that day was quite an @ss.
(5) This last reason sort of goes with the thread on the disappearance of 16-17' sea kayaks. The Kayak Centre once had the largest inventories of composite kayaks on-hand in the Northeast.
Marshall Seddon's shop, The River-Connection, in Hyde Park, NY, which is a bit smaller than the KC, has more composite boats to try/buy and he is a heck of a lot nicer and easier to deal with.
Just my 2 cents, of course YMMV.
A kayak I’d like to try,
now that Valley is dropping the Avocet.
Just hoping a Sirona LV is available at a scheduled Michigan demo in late June.
if this is change for change’s sake. The dimensions look almost identical to the Avocet & Avocet LV. Can’t really tell from photos if the rocker or hull contours are substantially different. The 16-4 looks like they added an “Avocet HV”. I would like to think the Sirona is a substantially different boat, but this reminds me of the Gemini SP I tried. I could do anything in an Avocet I could with the Gemini with equal ease and the Avocet carried a bit better speed. Valley (I thought) should have made the Gemini shorter still & more playful, but no.
Checked out the specs and it
states for the LV (15’10")
“Recommended Paddler Weight: 143-220 lbs.”
I’d have to gain 35 pounds to meet the minimum weight.
If that’s truly the case, scratching Valley off my list.
I suggest you try it
The Avocet LV was designed for the smaller paddler and has quite a following in that range, I think deservedly so. The Sirona 15-10 looks like it’s made for the same target audience, despite the (possibly misleading) weight range figures they claim.
There droping Avocet (:
Too bad the Avocet RM is my favorite play kayak. Only difference I see is new sirona has small round hatch up front rather than much better oval. So for me it looks like they made if worse. I will try one when I get a chance but I doubt it will be much different than Avocet.
A bit off Base:
If you are a serious buyer, you should have no problem with the Demo Policy: it is plan and simple: http://www.kayakcentre.com/demo-day.htm
If you are just "Kicking Tires" they offer a DEMO Weekend.
As to the RICKA Discount:
The Kayak Centre: 10% off Composite Kayaks 15% off Plastic Kayaks 20% off Accessories with boat or SUP purchase 20% off Accessories without boat purchase. Your RICKA membership card must be presented at point of purchase for the discount to be valid.
As to a special order - How long ago was it ordered? Year?
The Avocet is still available. All sizes and layups
So, you got some seat time in the new Valley to tell us a bit about the performance difference vs. the Avocet series?
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
Did demo it last summer,
the Avocet LV. When I got into in the cockpit I felt like I was in a rec kayak. I had no contact with the boat. None.
It blew my mind because I had heard how great it was for a smaller paddler and I really wanted to like the boat.
My own boat’s cockpit has great knee, thigh and hip contact (that’s the way it came). I expected a similar good fit, but it wasn’t there. I did notice the seat was comfortable and the difference in length, but there wasn’t much I could do with the boat other than go forward and sweep strokes.
It was disappointing, but sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs…
Hoping Valley has added some basic outfitting to the Sirona.
They can get boats but…
my husband had an experience with them, and unfortunately another guy did with the same boat that left us uncomfortable with them. It was just happenstance that we ended up at a symposium with the guy who had purchased the defective boat after we returned it.
We advised him of the situation and apparently he left RICKA's lot with a different boat on his way home from the symposium.
That said, I can't say enough about how great Peter Orton was when my husband got a hold of him. He/ Valley ended up honoring replacements for two boats that seemed to have had the same kind of bad day at the shop. No gripe about Valley, mistakes happen and they don't make many.
Valley should have ate the 360 being the delay was their fault. If I was the dealer I would have ate it in any case and fought with Valley. The internet can make and break dealers and manufactures fast as everyone can talk easily. OK I don’t sink a dealer or manufacturer if I see one bad post from someone I don’t know. If you see more it’s a bad sign and he deserve or scrutiny.
what is the lead time for a custom ordered bought from Britain or EU?
Might be different on the east coast, hope not, but I've demo'ed a lot of different kayaks from a lot of different dealers and never once had to pay for it. That alone would make me find another dealer who actually wanted to sell boats. I currently own 7 kayaks and a canoe, so I'm not a tire kicker. I just like friendly dealers that want to make sure you buy the kayak that fits you and your paddling needs best. How you can do that paying $50 for each boat is beyond me.
I also don’t like them, but they have become more common in the northeast than they used to be. Unless you hit a designated demo day, where there are a lot of vendors paying booth fees to boost the income.
A fee does change my habits. If there is one, I won’t demo unless I can spend a good portion of the day trying out everything that might be even vaguely interesting. Or I will go prepared to get wet and spend a lot of time on the full ride in a given boat - rolls, sculling, unassisted self-rescue etc. With no fee, I am more likely to jump into a single boat that seems interesting and not push it as hard.
Not sure which is a better deal for the outfitter.
I have been able to recommend or intelligently comment on a boat’s fit for a small paddler from times that I could get into just one or two boats for fun and at least edge them in a pond. And it is interesting how easily you can see that someone is fundamentally comfortable in a given boat from a 5 minute spin.
My fit in the Avocet LV
I have a bit of weight on Rookie and more importantly seem to have it in a more filled out way. At several pounds under the listed weight, I fit the Avocet LV fine. But if someone is a truly small, not a smaller, paddler there will be an issue with thigh length on hitting the braces as well as possible width to not be knocking around in the seat.
The seat width issue is easily managed with minicell foam, though the latest concept is to keep that looser so the paddler can do some useful sliding into the bilge. The length issue is huge though.
Without talking to Valley…
hard to know if the right person was contacted about waiving the fee. Valley can be more difficult or as easy as the old days to get resolution with depending on who you get to.
In a case like this, hard to judge without knowing more about the back end. As above, our experience with Peter Orton was fantastic. So I would be loathe to judge Valley without the full story.
can you compare with the avocet?
in terms of paddling characteristics? How does the Sirona distinguish itself from the Avocet? Maybe I’m being obtuse here but I think the question has been asked repeatedly but not answered satisfactorily.
Is the avocet still readily available or do I have to special order?
Fifty bucks for 15 minutes?
At first I thought that was a typo. Apparently not.
I wasn’t charged for the Avocet LV demo but there was a one hour time limit on it, which was fine. I purchased some gear from their store because they were so nice.
The guys at the shop where I purchased my Eddyline moved the kayak off the showroom rack, took it to the launch site and told me to have a good time on the bay. No charge. No time limit.
Maybe regional differences? I fully understand charging a reasonable demo fee since the outfitter is incurring costs, but $50 for 15 minutes isn’t reasonable.