Your Favorite 8-foot SOT ?

My wife needs a sit-on-top kayak for putting around on calm lakes. She is 5’6” and athletic, so weight limit and fit should not be an issue. It needs to be 8’ or less to fit inside her vehicle so she won’t have to climb on the roof. The lighter the better, the more stable the better. Anybody have one they like?

too short for me

– Last Updated: Jul-11-14 10:30 PM EST –

The SOT, not your wife. I can't think of any good ones even under 10'.

if you have a Point 65 dealer near you, maybe take a look at the Tequila? it is a 2-piece take-apart SOT. Each piece is about 5' long.

LOL - hmmmm
I surf wave skis that are 8’ long and I paddle them a bit up and down the coast. Not the best for just paddling in a lake, very slow and very tippy for a beginner paddler and no point to it for lake paddling. A model like this would work for a beginner.

You might look into a white water boat. Maybe an old style becky jive or similar . I think my Jive is 8’ long or slightly longer . Not a sit on top but paddles fine for just puttering around . One of my favorite kayaks. Not going to win any speed records in it for sure

An alternative would be a Hunt Johnson wave witch on the roof … just thirty pounds.

Maybe she should look into an inflatable. Or an inflatable SUP

Innova Sunny. Great for paddling around and good for class 3 rivers. No rack required, Inflates in less than 10min

what has she tried?
Has she paddled such boats before? I don’t think it’s a great idea to pick a kayak based on how it will fit in your car. More attention should be paid to how it feels in the water. And I tend to think an athletic person might be frustrated by the limitations of an 8’ SOT kayak. All the ones I’ve been acquainted with are barely a step above pool toys (and nothing I would call a “favorite” for any kind of paddling.) At that length, a boat has to be wide to get the displacement to support an adult and that will make it slow and a poor tracker. Shorty flat bottomed SOT’s are slugs.

What do you mean by “climb on the roof” anyway? What is she driving? A semi? A HumVee? I’m only 5’ 5" and I have always been able to solo load my 15’ to 18’ kayaks onto the roof racks of my cars (Volvo or Subaru wagons and a Hyundai Santa Fe). I carry a small fold up step stool for some rigging but rarely need it. I just set the straps up over the bars and then slide the boat(s) up from the rear, grab the straps and lash ‘em down. I just turned 64, by the way, and am an average sized woman (pretty fit 140 lbs).

What about a 25 lb folding/inflatable hybrid, the 12’ Pakboat Puffin? Can be used as an open kayak or with a removable deck and folds down into a duffel bag. I’ve got an older version of that boat and it’s a nice little kayak. For flat water, I personally dislike anything under 12’.

Ocean Kayak "Yak board"
We have had one for years and that should fit the bill for her.

She won’t keep up with the long skinny yaks, but she should enjoy it.

Jack L

Thanks all!
Great suggestions, I want them all. Did some googling, found REI has an Emotion Spitfire 8 that might work. Also browsed their Point 65 modular SOTs which really have me curious because they can be solo or tandem. Any experience with these? We need to find a demo day.

An athletic anyone is going
To HATE an 8’ anything SOT.Like paddling a floating anchor. Plastic SOT are monstrously heavy.I have owned several. One possibility is a Hurricane Aquasport Skimmer. Thermoformed so lighter per same length.

The Dagger Arachnid. 8 legs and stable.

OK, maybe a 10’ sit in…
After reading the advice here and a few dozen reviews, looks like short SOTs are a wet ride and do not track well. We’re now looking at 10’ sit in boats. We can live with it hanging out the back window of the Highlander. Thanks for keeping us on track!

It’s easier to load longer boats
One thing you might think about is that it’s actually easier to put a 14 ft boat on the roof of a SUV than it is to put a 9ft . You can leave the bow or stern on the ground, load from the rear and only lift 50% of the weight of the boat then slide it up onto the rack. I would look into what other paddlers are using in your area before you get stuck on a 10 ft boat, if size to transport is your biggest criteria. IF you wife is athletic and likes to paddle she likely will start looking into sleek longer boats that are fast and responsive to paddle on flat water. I like short boats that I can throw in my car and just go, but I am surfing them 85% of the time.

ORU Kayak?

– Last Updated: Jul-14-14 10:28 PM EST –

How about an ORU Kayak? Google ORU Kayak for their site. They've gotten good reviews in the review section here.

Beginners and Investors
Most of the reviews seem to be written by folks who have never owned a kayak and paddle on absolute flat water.

This company also participated in questionable fundraising activities so Buyer Beware.

"This company also participated in questionable fundraising activities so Buyer Beware. "

Such as… ?

RE: Oru Kayak
I got my Oru right before winter came here in the DC area, so I am finally beginning to log some serious time in the cockpit. Overall it’s great for being a 12’ foldable kayak. It handles well and since it’s so light (26 pounds), it’s easy to get up to speed.

Things I’ve noticed:

It has hard chines, so you really have to be conscious of how you are leaning to make sure it tracks straight.

Without going for pure speed, I’ve been able to assemble it in about 7-8 mins. Down from about 15-20 the first time.

I’m 6’4" with long legs, so I have to put my legs down the bow before I sit down. Not terrible, but it would certainly make entering the boat from a high dock difficult.

My long legs also forced me to cut the foot brace to be more narrow so that it could fit further down the bow for a more comfortable fit. Definitely not a hard modification, but something to consider if you have long legs.

Overall, it’s a really great boat. I’ve taken it on road trips and it’s great to be able to go on trips with a bike and a kayak and not have to worry about specific racks and getting terrible gas mileage because there’s a boat on your roof.

They are having demos fairly frequently, so you may get a chance to try one out before you buy. If there isn’t going to be a demo near you soon, I’d check on their site or this forum to see if anyone near you has one and would be willing to let you paddle around in it.

Screw The Oru, get this instead

…it’s a vulvar kayak, though I suppose the paddler within the cockpit (aptly named) could be considered to be invaginated. Perhaps the proper anatomical term was lost in translation.

The ultimate “recreational” boat?

??? Speechless
Only in Japan.

i’ve heard of kayaking porn…
but had no idea. Hilarious!!!

Why a SOT?
For stability, performance and especially weight (most SOT are comparatively heavy) something like an Eddyline Sky 10 would be much more versatile.