The Delta 15s is an ideal choice for small- and medium-sized paddlers seeking a performance kayak with great cruising speed, exceptional tracking and superior edging. Quick, responsive and easy to handle, the 15s is perfect for seasoned paddlers or those seeking to take their skills to the next level. It combines sleek lines with a cockpit tailored for an intimate fit, including combings that won’t catch your elbows and a low-slung seat that delivers exceptional primary stability. With abundant storage and an optional rudder or spring-loaded skeg, the 15s is ideal for extended touring as well as ocean play.
I've been paddling, both canoe & kayak for close to 40 years. Doesn't make me an expert, but it does make me a veteran. There's a reason as to why you pay more for this kayak compared to the roto-mold tubs. I did a 10 day tour on Myrtle Lake, B.C. 3 years ago and I did fine as it was my first expedition. I chose to go with a skeg as opposed to a rudder. Now I wished I would have ordered without either. It tracks well and I would have had room for more beer!! There are two main hatches & one mini-hatch in front of you for snacks, map or phone. This kayak is narrow, light (44lbs) & fast. The shell is durable thermoform & cleans up easily. I added thermo-rest to the seating for extra comfort. The seat adjustments are easy. As a Con: the back pad seemed to move up & down too easy. I always had to readjust it. Make sure you know how to roll! It takes getting used to. My initial trips were shaky and I felt it in my shoulders and neck because of that tension. As for speed: I kept up to my buddy in his 17' mahogany kit kayak. That's a fast boat. My other buddy had a rental Necky ?? 17 foot tub. His was heavy & s-l-o-w! When i bought this kayak it was going to be my last one! I love it!
My wife and I own Delta 12.10's and we recently had the opportunity to try out 5 other boats from the Delta fleet, including the 2017 Delta 15s. My wife is 5'6" - 125lbs and I am 5'11" - 170lbs (33" waist).
The 15s was easily BOTH of our favorites - hands down. The "S" suffix indicates a smaller cockpit size and we both found it offered a superior fit. It felt like we were one with the craft and didn't feel cramped in the least. It made getting back into the "non-S" models feel like a pair of pants that were way too big. In the non-S models, my legs felt like they had to frog-leg out to brace the hull. The 15s is narrow and tighter and fits like a glove.
My wife and I are both looking at upgrading from the 12.10 so we can go on some longer, multi-day trips. At first I didn't even consider the 15s and didn't even want to try it, but I'm sure glad I did.
We'll be picking up a pair of these in the next few weeks.
I bought this 2017 Delta 15s for my "reluctant paddler" wife, who is quite petite, and also a bit shy about writing a review.
She had been using my hand-me-down Necky Manitou Sport, a short and wide (11' x 26.5") kayak built for someone much heavier than her (and lighter than me...), but she found it too difficult for her to keep in a straight line. She was easily pushed around by the wind, and with all the course corrections required, had trouble getting any more speed than 3.5 kph. Kayaking was no fun.
Her initial reaction when she saw the kayak (red) was how beautiful it looked. Her initial reaction when she got in and pushed away from the dock was that it's less maneuverable. ...which eventually became the more correct "it travels in a straight line!" My fear that being only 22" wide would make it an unstable experience for her was unfounded. The hull shape is very wide and semi flat and very stable. In less than 30 minutes, she was happily paddling across the water at the more reasonable speed of 5 kph, and having no frustrations. She's happy.
It has a rudder and a full length keel, so the rudder will eventually be used for tighter turns, but is not required to help it run straight.
The kayak looks good, is very well built, and has a real feel of quality to it.
She really likes the storage covers, especially the small one immediately in front, and has begun making plans for longer excursions, taking advantage of its greater storage capacity.
The kayak is light and very easy for her to move about on land, though she needs help putting it away on the the storage shelf that is well above her height. She has no trouble launching it and retrieving it from the dock where it is stored, and can move it around on the dock just fine.
With the addition of a bent shaft, small shaft, Werner Cyprus, she is a very happy paddler now!
I have to say that I want to love this kayak but I just don't. I have gone on at least 5 or 6 paddles with local kayak clubs in the Seattle area lasting anywhere from 1 to 4 hours and I end up always trailing behind everyone. I use a Werner Camano paddle. I have tried adjusting my paddling techniques, have had a private lesson and have had other people watch my paddling and I just don't seem to have the 'speed' I need to comfortably keep up with others. I am able to paddle at a relaxed speed but really struggle to keep up with others as soon as the water gets any chop to it.
On the good side, the storage capabilities on this kayak are HUGE. It is very lightweight and I can lift and carry it alone quite easily. It is easy to retract and deploy the rudder and to use the rudders and they work very well. This kayak turns easily. I feel very safe in it.
On the down side, I don't think it is the speediest thing out there and I am not sure yet whether I will keep it. I am going to try out a few of my friends' kayaks and see if it is just my paddling techniques or if it is, indeed, the kayak. I truly want to love this kayak but the verdict is still out... I have more need for speed.
Initial rating: 7
I would like to say that after adjusting my paddling stroke and moving up the seat to form a tighter fit in the cockpit, I seem to be able to add some speed. I am feeling like I may be able to love this boat after all!
Final rating: 8