Walrus Kayaks

Have no experience with these kayaks, but liked the designs and concept. Clean looking boats. Like their choice of infusion and use of soric as well as epoxy. Not a kevlar fan, but wouldn’t dismiss a well made kayak that had kevlar as part of the matrix.

Not in the market, just like what I see there and wonder who’s played with them?

Andy Singer
Him being involved in the design is enough for me to take a very close look at them. This guy knows what he is doing.

looks like Andy Singers
Shenai, Tchaika and Echo. I don’t get the utility of kevlar on the outside for the expedition layup.

Griffin LT
I sure like the idea of a light weight mid length fitness kayak. The clean deck shape sure does speak to me. I too would like to hear from someone that has paddled a Griffin LT

Who’s Andy Singer

the guy who designed
Wilderness Systems kayaks before Confluence bought Watermark

hope he makes an Alto equivalent
with skeg.

test the boat yourself!
Hey marcoyoga, where are you located? I might be able to figure out a way for you to check out a boat in person and get it out for a test paddle yourself. Let me know if you’d be interested in trying it and hopefully I can work out something near by…


Mark Berenblum

Walrus Kayaks

Hey LeeG, although we won’t be making the Alto again, Andy’s currently finishing a design for a new boat of a very similar size to the Alto. The new boat (Asrai) is 15’6" and 22" wide. Check out our website in the coming weeks for more info and photos of the first Asrais.

Reply about Kevlar on the outside
Hey guys, thanks for taking a look at our products. If any of you are in the Burlington, Vermont area you should stop by the shop and check out the construction process in person.

As far as explaining why the kevlar is on the outside, it’s not exactly a short explanation but I’ll try my best… In the expedition laminate, we use fiberglass and kevlar outside skin and a carbon fiber inside skin separated by a full-coverage “Soric” polyester core. If you’re scratching into the boat from the outside, the first layer you hit is fiberglass. The second layer would be the kevlar layer. The initial fiberglass layer is primarily there to aid in the case of future repairs. I’m sure many of you have had experience trying to sand into Kevlar and know that it doesn’t yield itself to good repairs. It’s such a tough material that the sand paper just cuts it up but doesn’t remove it. This makes a quality repair significantly more difficult. To solve this problem, we’ve covered the kevlar skin with a glass veil that makes future repairs come out much better.

Moving the kevlar skin to the inside of the kayak (where it won’t need to be sanded much in the event of a repair) may seem like an easier solution, but we think having the kevlar on the outside is worth the added difficulty. The advantage of the kevlar being on the outside is that it provides excellent protection to the carbon fiber. Although the carbon fiber makes for an insanely strong and stiff kayak, it’s not as durable as the kevlar. A rock bashing on the carbon side of the laminate will negatively affect the properties of the material to a significantly greater degree than the same rock bashing carried out on the kevlar side. Plus, having the kevlar on the outside means it’s getting used in its strongest way (in tension) the greatest amount of the time, and the carbon is getting used in its strongest way (in compression) most of the time.

Anyway, thanks again for checking our boats out and I look forward to hearing all of your feedback when/if you ever get the chance to try paddling any of them.


Mark Berenblum

Walrus Kayaks

Do you have a demo setup in Vermont?

Would you put the Jaeger a tad to the tracking side or the maneuverability side?

Hi Mark, thx for the feedback

– Last Updated: Sep-20-11 6:33 PM EST –

I'd be content with a layer of s-glass the same thickness as the glass/kevlar exterior. The stuff is tough and easy to repair.

re. compression and tension, my sense is that when it comes to impact the inside is under tension and the outside is under compression although this can change with major mangling.

good to hear
The Alto was one of the better boats available back then.

Setting up a demo in Vermont would be no problem at all. If you or anyone else is in the area and able to stop by the shop, I’d be happy to set you up with a boat to borrow and try out for a while. Otherwise, the Outdoor Sports Center in Williston, Connecticut would be the closest dealer with demo boats. That said, we’re traveling throughout the northeast all the time, so chances are a demo can be set up for just about anywhere. Let us know where and we’ll try and make it happen.

As far as tracking of the Jaeger goes, it’s hard to say which way it leans more… I’d describe the boat as very agile when edged over, but it is still a long boat and does track very well. With the skeg deployed to its maximum, I’d describe the tracking as not unlike an arrow. The idea is that the combination of the hull form and skeg give you the greatest usable range without significant trade offs on either end of the spectrum (other than the negligibly higher drag when the skeg is at max deployment).

I couldn’t agree with you more but some individuals seem to prefer Kevlar… Since we build all our boats to order, we’ll gladly develop a custom laminate at no added cost if one the three standard laminates doesn’t do the trick.

Outdoor Sports Center
Quick correction: Is in Wilton, CT. They carry some nice lines of boats, and Mark Bodian, grand kayak poobah, is quite knowledgeable about what works. I’m intrigued also about the Walrus line, and will take a cruise down there to check them out; a big fan of small builders. Good luck in your endeavors.

Another discussion
I’m not surprised you agree with LeeG, as do I. Kevlar 49 has almost cult status with kayakers and at least you’re doing it right, and given your process and application I’m sure it ends up a very nice matrix.

Mark Bodian definitely knows his stuff and should have no problem answering whatever questions you might have. Let me know if he’s hesitant to send out his boats for demos and I’ll see if I can bring some boats down to your area for you to try.

Salty, you’re absolutely right.
I would not recommend Kevlar just because customers want it. I back its use only in boats where experience shows it is working properly, and even there, one should use only as many Kevlar layers as are needed to do the job.

Wenonah uses only Kevlar for its upscale layups, but I think their Tufweave boats, made with a glass/polyester co-weave, are actually a better choice, if one can tolerate just a very few extra pounds.

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