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Pax 20 Description

Pax 20 Reviews


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Chesapeake Light Craft
Pax 20 Reviews

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I'm now the proud owner of a…

Submitted by: Squrlprts on 9/2/2015
I'm now the proud owner of a factory built CLC Pax 20 demo kayak. Having purchased my first boat (and not renting/borrowing anymore) in 2005, I think I've finally attained "the" boat for me. My paddling these days is primarily in a reservoir in central Virginia where I can paddle to my hearts content distance wise. With the exception of mid-day when there is a tunnel of wind coming down the tree lined reservoir, it's usually very calm water. I'm up to about 10 miles in 2 hours and once my stamina improves to keep up with this boat that just wants to go faster, I suspect my time will decrease accordingly. I've owned previous boats and all had one thing this this boat doesn't have, space to move about. This is a racing kayak however and I wouldn't expect otherwise. That said, I was the one who had to adjust, not the boat. The boat handles superbly and has more room in it than I initially thought.

Boat handling:
Fantastic. The Pax 20 has a skeg which I like and since the boat is just shy of 20 feet, it's really a must have. My other boat (a Prijon Barracuda) has the mount for a rudder but I can't afford one at the moment. When the Barracuda comes up against any wind that is not directly in front of me, it immediately wants to weathercock and is one of the quickest ways to not enjoy that day's paddle. The skeg on the Pax 20 takes care of that issue effortlessly and I'm off on my merry way.

There is a shallow back storage compartment in which I put my wallet and car keys in (in a waterproof bag just for good measure) but otherwise storage is minimal. Again, this is a racing vessel so it is not built to carry much more than a paddler and safety gear. Front half of the kayak is airtight which will come in handy if/when I take an unexpected swim. So far, no unexpected swims.

The Pax 20 is hovering in at 40lbs, this is 20 lbs lighter than my Prijon Barracuda. The weight isn't really an issue on the water and is minimal going from car to water. The key here for me at least, is that after a thorough workout, getting any boat out of the water and back on my car (I often paddle alone. When I say often, I mean 99.9% of the time) . Rubber arms make it difficult to lift pretty much anything. I found this out the hard way once when paddling a heavier kayak in 90+ degree heat with what felt like tropical humidity. After paddling for 10 miles and taking significantly more rest breaks than usual for me, I had a hell of a time getting my kayak back on my car. I wish I had my Pax 20 then!

My initial concerns while in a racing kayak was stability. This boat is not rated for beginners. I found it very comfortable and had no concern of tipping. That makes me an intermediate-advanced paddler right? Right? From the CLC website, it explains that that long waterline and hard chines make the boat surprisingly stable considering it is only 17" wide at the water line. I'm going to conveniently ignore that I saw this and continue to see myself as an advanced paddler....

The only thing holding back this kayak from longer endurance speeds is me. I've been paddling for 10 years and started getting into the idea racing about 2 years ago. As I continue to build up my stamina, I have no doubt my Pax 20 will be glad that it's not stuck in 2nd gear anymore.

It's a Chesapeake Light Craft boat, so right from the start it has great lines. Mine has a painted white bottom with a clear varnish top. It "looks" like what a wood racing kayak should look like. Long, sleek and elegant. All of the above mentioned information about the handling and appearance of the Pax 20 makes me inclined to rate it at a 10 in the racing kayak category.

Some day when the planets align and I find time to get away, I would love to do a multi-day (week long) kayak camping trip somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. I've done my share of camping during my 21 years in the Marine Corps. Traveling by kayak should feel like a luxury cruise. My Pax 20 won't be the boat for that trip and I'll probably have to buy a rudder and take my Barracuda for it's storage capacity. Until then however, it will be my "go-to" boat in Central VA.