The wife is interested in a WW SOT for mostly class II, occasional class III water. She is a beginnner and likes the idea of a SOT vs. SINK to develop her skills and comfort level, while she learns to roll her SINK. Looking for something reasonably light and short(10ft) for someone 5’5", 135#. Are there any in production out there? Any recommendations or sources for used? Any info/advice is appreciated.
Not in production now
But still available as new in the market is the Perception Torrent. It is the exact boat you described.
- Big D
There are alot of Inflatable Kayaks for WW, but not many WW SOTs. There might be a reason for that. I am a die hard SOT guy, but I always used IKs for WW.
But IKs for WW is more of a West Coast thing because many WW rivers here are too shallow to roll.
Torrent is good choice
Especially for a beginner. Pegasus or Yahoo would also work. If you’re not bent upon hitting microeddys, etc., the Ocean Kayak Scrambler or Scrambler XT works good. You might also run across the Buzz (a bit squirrelly) or the Twister (very squirrelly and a back breaker). Some surf boats are adequate, if they have adequate displacement (not the boards) and you can detach the fins, but their CG is usually too far astern. You need the displacement because whitewater is very frothy and provides less buoyancy and resistance (reason why ww paddles have larger blade area). By the way, you don’t roll a sit-on-top to recover. You simply flop yourself over it and then sit up.
She has a Scrambler XT, now but wants something lighter and more manueverable. Looked online at the Wilderness Ripper and the OK Yak Board. Anyone have experience with these in mild white water? Also like the look of the Torrent/Pegasus, but they seem to be on the wide side.
RE: Rolling - She is learning for her 17’ sea kayak, and hopefully SINK whitewater down the line.
Re: Prijon Twister ergonomic problems
The Prijon Twister is light (33 lbs) and very, very maneuverable. Exactly the length you stated as desired (10’), with a 25" or 26" beam. It was discontinued a few years ago but I’ve seen ads for used ones now and then. I bought mine used for $100.
However, I’m thinking it might not be a great WW kayak, because the thigh straps don’t provide anywhere near as secure a grip as thigh braces on a hardshell decked kayak do. It’s not just a matter of rolling, but of edging also.
I already had a (calm water) roll in my sea kayak before getting the Twister. Took it to a pool and found that I could roll it but it was incredibly awkward and iffy.A guy watching me said my butt was sliding sideways out of the seat depression because it was so loose a fit, and the lack of solid thigh braces and backband meant there was nothing to make up for that. To make things even worse, the thigh strap front bolts attach right next to the foot indent that’s right for me, taking up half of the foot indent’s width. My feet tend to pop out of the indents even in flatwater paddling. Later on, I rolled a SINK WW in the pool and found it was easier to roll than my sea kayak, and waaaaaaaaay easier than rolling the Twister.
I decided not to use the Twister for WW due to the thigh strap “squishiness” and foot indent slippage. If I pursue WW kayaking, I will buy a used SINK for that purpose–if it’s the rolling question that has your wife concerned, she should try rolling a WW SINK, because she’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is.
Another thing to consider is paddler weight. I thought I read that the Twister is for paddlers up to 180 lbs, but I find that an incredible overrating. This boat is for light-weight paddlers.
No on the yak board in WW
It’s OK for surfing but I think would be a dog in WW. A surf SOT is designed to ride waves not deal with chaotic aerated waves and water, no secondary stability.
Definitely an inflatable.
There are some excellent inflatables that handle very well in WW. They will also be at least as stable as a SOT and many will be more stable. You can learn just as many skills in an inflatable. They can catch eddies, ferry, and surf waves.
WW SOTs and IKs
I think they’re more than just a way to break in someone. They’re another way to enjoy ww, just as a kayak is different from a canoe. Neither the ww SOTs nor IKs were designed with class I creeks (non-ww) in mind, or playboating for that matter, so I’d measure performance against your intended use and water. Pegasus has got more speed, but less spin than some of the others. There was a Buzz on ebay a few months ago (Chicago location), but don’t know if it’s still around. Looked like he was shooting to get $300. A guy in SW OH was selling a Twister after his daughter moved out of town. Don’t know if he’s still selling it, but I believe it was cheap. I agree that you should avoid the board boats for ww, per the reasons cited (low buoyancy, no secondary stability and stern-skewed center of gravity). I’d also avoid the boats that kind of look like they’d do okay in ww, but don’t have the wall thickness/strength.
You’re welcome to try out my Torrent some time, although from what you’ve said I don’t think she’ll find it suitable, especially for local streams. Email me if you’re interested.
Torrents For Sale
I moved my rental business from Salmon, Id to Meadview, Az and have no need for my Torrents. I’d be glad to sell one cheap. BTW I use a 14’ Illusion in WW up to class IV. You have to lean sharply to turn. Lots of fun.
The4 torrent by perception sounds about right for your needs, no longer made but worth looking around for. i think my local kayak shop has one in stock but not sure,
the pegasus by dagger is another option.both are out of production but worth looking for.