The Sitka ST (previously the "Samba") is a lightweight, high performing day touring kayak designed to fit the small- to medium-frame paddler. This fully outfitted seaworthy kayak has perimeter lines, bulkheads and hatches, retractable handles, deck bungees and an upgraded ergonomic Infinity Seat System with backrest (standard) or backband (optional).
Carbonlite looks and performs like fiberglass with clear advantages over other plastics: lighter weight, hard glossy finish, excellent abrasion and impact resistance, superior UV protection, dimensional stability, and increased stiffness. Tough, easy to repair, and 100% recyclable!
Yes, this is 'discontinued' (although essentially now the Eddyline Sikta ST), but I bought the Samba LV version in August from a great outfitter (Rusted Moon out of Indianapolis). I love this kayak! I cartop it alone easily. I've taken it up and down rivers and creeks in IL and IN, and onto large lakes with strong wave action. I kayaked on the west coast, alpine lakes in CO, and throughout the Midwest for several years, trying out many different kayaks, but this is my first kayak. It is responsive, easy to edge, stable, and on my fitness paddling days, I've easily gotten it past 5.3 mph without trying my hardest (and I'm not at my top fitness). I'm just sad it is too cold to kayak now!
I love my Samba. I gave it a 4 because the cockpit might be tight for a large person. I am 73 and needed a fast kayak to keep up with the group. It is 22.5" wide with a keyhole cockpit. It sits low in the water. I am 5'6 and zaftic. And yes, I am now very fast.
A great "little" boat! Quick and Agile just as designed. This is not a boat for larger people. If you are over 5'11" or a little overweight, you should get a different boat. Like some hot sports cars, smaller stature individuals fit so well enough to make the bigger folks green with envy. I've had this boat for over 2 years and purchased it as a 2nd boat for friends to paddle. With the light weight and great handling, it's now my first choice for a workout boat. 4 MPH hull speed is quick! It's a boat you wear. It loves wind and waves.
I love it. It is sleek, it is fast, it has a skeg.
I have owned an Samba for two years and had the time to get use to it and to modify the seat to fit my slightly too big body to fit. The boat is designed for small paddler. At 5'11" and 165-lbs, the seat didn't work at all, being mounted too far forward and mounted too high off the hull, the front of the seat cut into the back of my legs, cutting off circulation. The seat was modified to sit as far rearward as possible and was cut down and dropped so the seat almost touches the bottom of the boat. The front of the seat was lowered.too, letting me stretch out without cutting the circulation in my legs. Now the boat fits like glove and it joy to paddle. It is narrower kayak than I have previously owned and does take more attention to paddle but in return, it is a blast to paddle in most conditions . It carves turns quickly, the result of a lot of rocker and tracks straight in windy conditions by dropping the skeg a little. It's a fun playboat but not really much of touring boat with its limited storage. It isn't an issue for me, having have a 17' Necky for touring.
Eddyline would do well to offer a seat for us larger paddlers. The only real downside is the keyhole cockpit, it is difficult to get my legs out quickly when landing, leading to me falling over a couple times when landing on a steep launching ramp, a little embarrassing and annoying after spending a day playing in the waves without incident. Cool little boat, I have not found anything else close to it.
For starters, I'm short, 5'2" and 140 lbs so the Samba is a very good fit. I'm also 66 so need a boat that is easy to carry and launch. Fit and finish is excellent to date I have made no changes to deck rigging or seat, just a bit of additional foam on thigh pads. I am not a rudder fan so I wanted a boat that tracks well. With the adjustable skeg my Samba handles all wind and wave conditions.
Although I have a fiberglass sea kayak and several smaller rec boats, the Samba is my main ride. I also recently switched to a Greenland paddle and find that I can power the Samba like a pro in some very sloppy conditions. If you are looking for a boat that will track, edge and perform try the Samba
Fit, finish and rigging is excellent. Would give it a 10 but for two items, rear hatch too small and adjustable seat chafes the inside of hull. Definitely a great choice for smaller frame paddlers.
About the boat. Top quality boat, lives up to expectations for agility, speed and tracking. Always felt a little tender when starting out, but two or three paddle strokes and all good. Looks beautiful on and off the water and truly a fun paddle. Wonderful glide and easy to get going and keep going. That is the good.
The bad is I could never get the seat/pegs adjusted where I could paddle longer than two hours without getting squirmy in spite of a wide range of adjustability in the boat. Bought a yakpad that helped, but didn't cure the problem. I would just plain be hurting before I got out if paddled too long. The other thing is, I have a mobility issue that makes exiting a kayak difficult. Although the cockpit is 31x16 (and feels fine when in) getting out was always difficult. For some reason the shape of the cockpit and heights of the sides were really challenging for me. Notice, I said "for me". Grandson has no such issues.
I have since traded this for another brand (will review after season ends) which has the same cockpit dimensions, but I can exit this one with ease and the first trip out in it paddled 4 1/2 hours and was ready to go on. I think the placement of the thigh braces is one of the factors.
I was very reluctant to part with the Samba as I could see this as my grandson's new boat. And I really did enjoy paddling her on short trips. In a perfect world I would have kept the Samba and just get a new boat, but I was offered such an incredible trade-in that it just wasn't feasible.
I gave this boat a nine because I think its a top notch little craft, and if I had a top notch body we would have been a better match. I do think Eddyline needs to work on the seats as my son had the Journey and disliked it as well. He now has the bigass Nighthawk and different seat, no problems.
The new Samba looked perfect on paper, and it weighed only two pounds more at 43 lbs. My only concern was that, being used to the 26" width of the Skylark, the 22.5" beam of the Samba might feel tippy, but after a test paddle, I found I was comfortable right away. I had earlier test paddled a 21" Fathom LV, but unfortunately the winds were up to 25 knots that day, with white caps and a chop, and I spent a lot of paddling energy just keeping it upright. Under calmer conditions (or with more experience), I think the LV would have felt fine as well, but the additional size and weight was a concern, and I am very happy at the end of a long paddling day for a few less pounds to carry.
The Samba is a significantly faster and more playful boat than the Skylark. With the skeg up, it is less tracky and turns very easily, due to a bit more rocker in the hull, but with the skeg even partially down in windy conditions or cross currents it tracks very well. Cruising speed is nearly effortless and it sprints easily, with much less bow wake. I crossed the open Chesapeake -- 5 miles -- in about an hour and 15 minutes, i.e., 4 mph, without pushing it very hard. I haven't rolled it yet -- will be taking lessons soon. The backband, I have found, is much more comfortable than the rather hard seatback in the Skylark. (I velcroed a Seal Line back pad over that one, which was a big help.)
Any gripes? Not really. It's a wetter boat than the Skylark, as the entry is finer and the deck is lower. At 5' 10" and 155 lbs, the cockpit fits great, but if I were much taller it would be tight, as the foot pegs are nearly all the way out. Storage is not huge in a boat of this size, but I use it for day trips so that's not a concern for me. You could certainly weekend with it.
So now my wife paddles the Skylark and I have the Samba, and we're both happy. While we're relatively new to kayaking, we've been around boats all our lives. Eddyline builds a beautiful and very high quality kayak. Boats should be pretty, and this one is. I'll rate it a 10 (doesn't everybody?) because it fulfills its design brief very well and is perfect for my needs. I wouldn't change a thing.