Venture Easky 15

-- Last Updated: Sep-22-14 12:32 AM EST --

I have somewhat been shopping for a sit in touring kayak but haven't really gone beyond sitting in kayaks at stores or shows. I have a short and stocky build (plus big size 13 Flintstone feet) so need something with a wider cockpit. All my extra weight is in my belly so losing weight isn't going to change the fact I have big hip bones to get in a cockpit.

Looking for something solely for the lakes near me, which are my closest paddling location and also want something I can grow into -- my Axis 12 is my current flat water kayak and I know that I have pushed that kayak as far as I can.

I had a very short list of kayaks that I felt sort of fit:
Dagger Alchemy 14L -- A bit snug but not bad -- for moving water I would probably stick to my XP10.
WS Focus 15.5 -- Great fit for me but the negative reviews have really turned me off. Also trying to find a used kayak so the wife doesn't throw me out of the house.
Perception Carolina 14 -- I liked the fit better than the Tsunami 145.

There are a few others on my list but never seen, such as Deltas.

Tried all the Current Designs kayaks, the cockpits are just to narrow for me.

I have been looking for a Venture Easky 15 to try out but they are really not available in my area. From their specs it seems I should fit. I now have a lead on an Easky 15 for a good price but will have to drive a while to check it out.

Trying to get some insight on the kayak before I make the long drive and maybe just take a chance and buy it.

I was a bit surprised that Seals says it takes a 2.2 skirt. That would be nice as that would save me money having to buy a new skirt and cover.

Anyone paddle or own one that can provide some insight? How is the deck height and what size skirt are you using? How is the build quality -- the one I am looking at was made in the last few years maybe 2012 or 2013. Also, how well do they lift the thighs at the seat (I like a bit more support there)?

Easky 15
I purchased an Easky 15lv in the spring. The main reason it departed my fleet was because of the two channels that run down the length of the hull. They interfered with a comfortable foot placement. The skeg is a simple drop skeg which I found very useful to stabilize the boat. I and others have found the 15lv to be kind of twitchy but it’s a different boat than the one your looking at. As I say its always best to try before you buy to see if it works for you.

A couple of thoughts
First, what do you mean by a boat you can “grow into”. Does that mean a boat that can go faster, or handle rougher conditions or a little of both?

I am wondering if you should be looking a bit longer than these boats, like in the 16 plus ft range. That would expand your options.

As to thigh support, you can glue shaped minicell either in or just in front of the seat, or you can find the right size inflatable thing and have it under your thighs. Some paddlers find they have to extend the thigh support beyond the edge of the seat depending on the specifics of paddler and boat.

some Easky comments

– Last Updated: Sep-22-14 10:53 AM EST –

I've had a 2010 Easky 15LV for 4 years and really like it. My ex boyfriend (5' 8", 190-200 lbs, 36 to 38 waist, size 10 shoe) paddled it a couple of times and liked it so much that we found a used 2011 Easky 15 for him. The seat design was one of the things he really liked, and it does give good thigh support.

Even in my lower volume boat I find it has comfortably spacious foot room -- though I have smaller feet (woman's size 8, equal to man's 7), they turn out quite a ways (duck-footed) so I need more room under the deck than most people would or my toes hit the hull and force my knees out of the thigh hooks. I have not found the hull grooves to be an issue, but then my foot position is kind of abnormal.

I have "seat time" in a range of mid-range touring kayak models, owned, borrowed or rented, including Tsunami 140, Perception Carolina 14, Necky Eskia, Looksha and Eliza and a number of vintage Perception and Dagger models. I prefer the Easky to any of them.

Yes, as one person mentioned above, it does feel a little "twitchy" at first, but it does not take long to trust the boat (it has excellent secondary stability) and learn to appreciate its speed, handling and responsiveness. In fact, of all of the kayaks I have owned (12 to date) it is the one that people I loan it to always comment on most favorably as being both comfortable and fun to paddle. So I don't think it is just my bias.

Honestly, I think it's a shame Venture discontinued the Easky 15 models last year. The replacement Islays look nice, but they are heavier and strike me as more similar to other common boats, like the Tsunamis (which have always felt sort of bargelike in comparision, at least to me.)

easky 15
I also found the speed to be average and turning to be difficult as I was about to purchase a Feathercraft rudder before I decided to sell it.

Good luck

Probably just go faster.

The largest body of water near me is just over 1400 acres of water. There is some chop in the middle from wind but that is about it.

Everything else nearby is narrow rivers and creeks with easy white water, canals, or much smaller lakes. That is mostly what I kayak and my current kayaks are fine for all that.

Any bigger water is a long drive for me (2+ hours to the Jersey shore). Maybe once a year I can get to Long Island (Sag Harbor area) could paddle the Shelter Island area. Now I just stick to the protect bays.

While I would love to do multi-day trips and more big water the reality of work, wife, and child, keep the majority of my trips close to home. I enjoy whitewater more, so the reality is any extra paddling time I could get I would spend on whitewater. The wife forces me to go to Long Island to see her family so I might as well do some kayaking during that time…

So looking more for a kayak mainly for the one lake near me. I usually can find once a week to sneak out and get a few hours of paddling in, would like to get something that goes faster and has about a 35x18 cockpit. Of course I also want to buy used and save money as well and kayaks that fit me rarely show up used, except for Pungos, Carolinas, or Tsunamis.

Loved mine

– Last Updated: Sep-26-14 2:29 AM EST –

Had mine for 3 years and regretted selling it to upgrade. I'm 6-2/218 and the fit was great, seat was very comfortable, mine had rudder (of which I prefer), build quality is excellent with stiff poly (like the p&h Capella), and a overall great combination of speed, stability, and found it pretty easy to turn. Hatches never leaked a drop after numerous outings in big waves. If I find a used one in very good condition, I'll likely grab it.
Watch one being made: