Walden Vista questions

i’m looking to buy a kayak in the spring. not for white water, not for extended touring. just a boat that will be good at making its way around protected water ares, lakes (i’m in New England, not Michigan) , and rivers big and small. i dont want to spend more than $600 on a boat, give or take.

i’m 20, 6’0, 180lbs. i have experience kayaking, albeit limited. i’d like a kayak that i wont want to get rid of after a season because my skills have progressed beyond it. from what the salesman said, the Vista would well accomodate someone who’s improving.

i was at EMS earlier today, and after relaying all the above information to him, he suggested the Walden Vista. i go to college, and live in a dorm area, so its not practical for me to have a boat longer than 12 or 13 ft. the Vista checks out there. i like that its a bit narrower (24") than boats in the same price range and general useage that i’ve looked at (boats by Wilderness and Perception).

also, being from New England i like the idea that they’re handbuilt in MASS. recycled and environment friendly materials are a plus too.

i read through quite a few of the reviews on this website, but does anyone here have any comments on the Vista? are Walden’s known for good quality?


I got one…
and love it. I am 6’235lbs and fit in it fine. I use mine for exploring rocky rivers,and streams. It is fairly fast too,for a short kayak. Very light 38 lbs,and durable. Tracks reasonably well,and easy to turn. Only problem ,hard to keep on a spray skirt. If you get a skirt,get one with rubber around the coming edges of the skirt. I have a Walden skirt with rubber edge,and it stays on fairly well. Had nylon skirt,and it would not stay on ,I use that one on another boat. For a starter kayak it is great. Good Luck

Happy Paddling billinpa

I like the Vista
IMO it’s one of the best rec yaks out there.

Decent speed, good secondary stability, if you can get a skirt that stay’s on you ought to be able to roll it if you want to.

The best advice though is to try before you buy.

The Vista is likely…
…the best performing kayak in it’s size range, due to it’s relatively narrow beam and long waterline.

Recently, I heard a rumor that Walden has gone belly up. I haven’t confirmed it, but it’s something to look into before buying a Walden boat. Then again, it’s not likely that you’d have a warranty issue with a Vista.

that sounds like it could be a blessing… assuming these boats are as good as you guys say.

sounds like the potential for a big sale, right?

i found Vistas for sale up in Plymouth NH for around $490. the EMS down the road from my school has’m for $600.

what do they cost where you guys are? i’d rather not pay upwards of $600,when i could take that extra hunderd and change and put it towards a decent paddle and PFD

right after I checked these responses, i checked my email. a Walden rep must have seen my post and responded to me. he said that the company has indeed flopped, folded, etc etc.

that’s funny ,my local outfitter has sold quite a few of Waldens since I started kayaking 5 years ago. BTW I bought my Vista Expedition for $469 at an end of season sale at my local outfitters. Sorry to hear they didn’t make it,because they make great boats.

Happy Paddling billinpa

I just e-mailed the factory…
to see if it is true,if they answer,I will post the reply here.

Happy Paddling billinpa

watch that plastic
it is extremely suseptible to warping and denting though, especially in the heat.

i was in NC this past july and saw kayaks on roof racks that had softened to the point of touching the roof of the car both in front of, and behind, the rack - i do know that my daughter’s and her husband’s waldens both dent on the bottom, from their rack, quite easily - - having said that, the ones i’ve paddled were nice handling boats - i particularily liked being able to adjust the foot rests with a line attached near the seat -

sorry to hear walden’s gone
I heard they made a great boat. I like dealing with EMS for some stuff, but if you can get that boat from a dealer in NH for under $500, DO IT. Suncook in center barnstead may have some used boats that would work for you as well.

I started with a loon 111, nice boat for hunting & fishing, & general knockin’ around. I think the Vista is a bit more hi-tech, sort of a pocket touring boat rather than a run of the mill rec boat.

I wonder if I can make a good deal on the last remaining Walden Cuda in the state.

Sad to hear that Walden has given up. I particularly like the thick material they’re constructed from cuz I have frequent encounters with oyster shells. The bottom of my boat looks like it got in a fight with a pride of lions.

No experience with the Vista but I’ve been pleased with my Scout.

It comes right back out…
…if you leave the boat in the sun for a few hours, off the rack, that is.

That’s a shame
It was kinda cool that they made boats from recycled plastic and most of their products were pretty good. I wonder what drove them under?

I e-mailed the company,and all of my e-mails bounced back. I have e-mailed them before,and they answered the next day. Can’t find any news on the web relating to their closing.Anybody from the town they are located in ,or nearby,verify? I never had any problems with my boats deforming in the heat. How tight are you tieing them ?

Happy Paddling billinpa

good info
i thought it might cause permanent damage

Walden goes out of business
Walden had their note called in by their bank around Thanksgiving is what I heard. They could not come up with the money quick enough to appease the banks since most of the kayak companies lost money in 2003/2004-it spooked the financial guys. The Walden boats were the BEST but two years ago they built a new factory and made a series of really soft hulls that were way thinner than spec. They could not figure out why but when the new guys bought Walden, they changed the process and the boats became stiff and light again. Bill Hearn had Walden on track for serious growth-Walden will really be missed!!