Recently I have decided to get back into kayaking after years without it. I grew up kayaking various types of kayaks, beginning from recreational to K1 racing kayaks.
I have not been kayaking actively in years, but on a recent camping trip I fell in love with it again. I live in Houston, Texas now and would like to get a kayak that would have somewhat good performance both on nearby lakes, gulf of mexico, and occasional trips to Guadalupe river near San Antonio (max class III water - mainly class II). I am well aware of the fact that getting a touring kayak will not be all that great on the river and vice versa with WW kayak on the oceanside. In your experience, what is the best hybrid that would offer enjoyable performance on both types of water? I have read a lot of reviews on Dagger Crossover and it seems to fit the profile. I am not too concerned with the ‘tippiness’ of the kayak, as I still have some skills left from the past - but would like a decent kayak that is manouvarable enough on fast moving waters as well as tracking able on still waters… if any of you have some suggestions, please let me know. Thank you very much,
I own a Crossover, it’s great for running rivers but if you are going to be in the Gulf and out on Lake Conroe with all the boat traffic you will also need a touring/sea kayak. The Crossover is to short to efficiently handle the kind of water you will face in the gulf. If you can’t get two at this time (even used ones) then you may want to start with the touring kayak because you will get more use out of it in the Houston area. Remember - you said OCCASSIONAL trips to the Guadalupe.
Paddle Safe - Louis
What Kayak can be used on lakes/rivers +
That’s the thing. I have been considering buying two kayaks - unfortunatelly that is not feasible at this point … I may take your advice and get one first, and another one at a later time.
Is touring kayak quite suitable for lakes and inlets? As I mentioned before, my experience consists of K1 racing and recreational class III kayaking.
I guess it would be usefull for me to know how the crossover really performs in oceanwaters (not necessarily big waves, but rather on the bayside)
Thanks for your reply Louis !
here are a couple
Riot Voyager - I think it used to be called the sun velocity
You need something better than a crossover design for real class III. You want a boat that maneuvers well and that you can roll. Save your money and later get one of the newer designs that target river running like the Booster, Diesel, Hoss, Jackson Fun, etc. In the meantime get something that is fun to paddle on flatwater.
2nd the Crossover & Yukon Expedition
Go just about anywhere you want to go, but you’ll have to go at your own pace. Sea yaks will outstrip you on open water and WW boats on the rivers.
just looked at that riot voyager…
I just took a look at the riot voyager specs. Seems to be a neat kayak. It says it has a rudder, but to me it looks more like a skeg. I don’t see how you would use it as a rudder - it just drops down straight …
Lakes and inlets
Not sure what your concern is here – manuverability of a long touring boat? If you’ve paddled class 3 and are comfortable with leans and edging it’s not a problem getting most touring boats to turn. Also, some touring boats are a lot “looser” than others – something like a VCP Avocet is much easier to turn than an Eddyline Falcon 18.
I agree, buy a touring kayak now and take your time finding a good deal on a used whitewater boat.
You will find a great deal on a WW boat quick enough. There are not nearly as expensive as touring boats to begin with, and so many people do whitewater for a summer or two and give it up. I did.
One big reason for that is that you can talk a new girlfriend into touring much easier than whitewater. I don’t know your situtation, but this could also happen to you, so maybe you do not want to invest too much in the WW boat…
To begin with I’d go with a more stable
kayak, then progress up to a seakayak for more open water paddling.
Drops down straight
then turns port or starboard with foot pedals.
The voyager does have a rudder, which, of course, you would not use in a river. So, you are cruising along and come to this class III drop. Your rudder is up (high on top of the stern) and you paddle on. But you miss your line a bit, or lean upsteam, or a dozen different things and there you are upside down amongst rocks in strong current. How long do you think your rudder is going to last? And it is not IF but WHEN you flip. The same is true for the Stealth which has a top mounted skeg. Consider, in addition, what your real skills are. I don’t know you and so can’t answer. But unless you are really comfortable with class III whitewater you shouldn’t take a clumsy boat down any class III rapid. By comfortable, I mean you can boat scout any class III rapid. One option for you is to get a used whitewater boat (Wavesport X would be a good choice) in the $300 range. You can then get, say a 16 ft. used plastic touring boat. There is lots of very acceptable stuff available. Later on you can emulate most of the rest of us and fill your garage with boats.
Ot sport X-Wave
This boat is 12.3’ I have used mine in class II river running, and it is a good touring boat too. It eats up high seas,(Thats 5’for me) but still make it around most turns in rivers. The rudder for about 150.00 was a nice add on.
If you paddled K-1’s than most touring kayaks once you get used to paddling again are going to seem heavy and slow. there is no good middle of the road river/touring kayak. but one I was considering at one point was the Nelo Razor, which is a modified training K1, that has excellent speed on lakes (6-8 mph), and could be used in a river because of its 17’ length,especially class 2, which is not that squirrley. The nelo has more volume in the bow than most trainer k1’s so it can handle a few waves. The downside is it has little or no rocker, so it will not handle 2-3 waves so well. the upside is its fast, weighs 30 lbs, and is easy to cartop.
the voyager can come with a rudder OR a skeg. I bought mine with a skeg and I’ve never used it. It is easily removed. The voyager handles class 1 and 2 very nicely. The lower end of class 3 might be the upper limit (i wouldn’t know yet). It is perfect for a nice class 1-2 camping trip. Tons of storage for gear. Stable as heck, but yet it sports enough rocker to manuever too. No crossover can do it all great, but in this case - it can do both good enough for me. If i ever get serious about whitewater, I wouldn’t hesitate to get a real white water boat.