Eddyline's best selling Skylark doesn't stray far from the company's touring kayak roots. The 12 foot Skylark has abundant stability and a roomy fit, yet retains the efficiency to keep up with longer boats. Hatches and bulkheads bow and stern for safety and storage convenience. This versatile boat fits many paddlers and is easy to move both in and out of the water.
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!
The Eddyline Skylark is a terrific “little” kayak. I qualify little because this twelve foot craft is packed with features that rival longer boats— even full-fledged sea kayaks. It has bulkheads and hatches, both bow and stern, well thought-out deck rigging, and a hull design that tracks well and is fast for its length. A feature I really appreciate is the Skylark’s stability—with a 26” beam, it is very solid. It is my kayak of choice for trips in cold weather when I really want to stay dry! I call it my WINTERBOAT. Another feature I value is its light weight—at 40 pounds, it is a breeze to cartop. I have heard a few complains from other kayakers about the seat of the Skylark, but I find it comfortable, especially when equipped with the Eddyline BackFloat. The seat and footrests are east to adjust. While not a “speed demon” the Skylark will keep up with longer kayaks at a relaxed pace. All in all, this is a good choice for day-touring, fishing, and photography. You can’t go wrong with this versatile “little” boat!
Owed two years As my first kayak it has been an excellent starting point to build confidence and technique towards my goal of getting out into the ocean with a more appropriate sized yak. Now that I’ve had the time to try others designs I understand the similarities to its larger and more capable versions. Although it is recreational sized it has the potential for more advanced play and is quick to respond due to its lighter weight. It’s a forever boat that I’ll enjoy paddling with the less than adventurous and only leave it at home if the conditions (ocean) dictate. Graceful lines, light weight, shiny and just plain fun.
I also own the shorter Eddyline Sky 10. You would assume that the Skylark, being 2 feet longer, would be a swifter boat. It isn't. It's also about 8 pounds heavier. Look at the Sky 10 before buying and don't be fooled by size.
Extremely stable ans fast. At only 41 lbs the Carbonite hull is easy to move both in and out of the water. Hatches and bulkheads in both the bow and stern provide for safety and storage. Great Kayak for all around use.
I've used the Skylark for almost a year. I purchased the boat primarily for maneuverability. Paddled the boat in the Mangrove trails of south west Florida every week. Crossing wide open waters like a much longer sea kayak. Paddling Charleston, S.C. harbour to the battery at night in ship wakes turned into a pleasant journey
My wife and I bought a couple Eddylines (me a Skylark, her a Rio) last year as we wanted kayaks that were stable, lightweight and would glide through the lakes we paddle in Central Oregon. We have also used them on the calmer streams and love the ride. The Skylark turned out to be an excellent choice for me and the sleeker and lighter Rio was the perfect fit for her! We love the storage hatches which hold all our gear, food, clothes, camera & more that we need for our daily adventures. We look forward to our first overnight camping paddle trip! I would recommend either of these for someone who wants to step up to a better flat water kayak.
My only complaint was the seat; the Tsunami seats are exceptionally comfortable. I called customer service at Eddyline to determine seat options; very limited, none with adequate back support. However, they did explain I could remove the stock seat and relocate it and/or possibly replace it. There are six rivets holding the seat on each side with a small amount of epoxy holding the seat to the hull. After removing the rivets I was able to apply a prying pressure by hand and the seat broke loose. I moved it back approximately one inch, drilled three new holes in the support brace in the hull sides and secured it in place with nuts/bolts. I then ordered a seat insert which provides better back support.
Although I'm pleased with the overall quality and handling, the seat is disappointing. Possibly Eddyline will improve on their seats in the future. Frankly I would have been just as well off with the Tsunami which is much less costly, a bit heavier but with an exceptionally comfortable adjustable seat! Sadly it's difficult to know how a kayak will suit you until you've paddled it for several hours; this is not possible unless you find a rental kayak which you are interested in buying.
In conclusion, if back support and comfort is a factor in selecting a kayak, look at sit on tops or a Tsunami. Of course, our age is also a factor.
One of the main features I love about the boat is foot room. I hate being jammed in and it has a bumped up forward section that gives more foot room then any boat I have tried. It also has a great quality of both tracking well and turning easily. It also looks great.
Down sides are first, the seat. The bottom is ok but the back is bad and uncomfortable. It needs some redesign but I can modify that myself. My wifes Hurricane Santee (a direct competitor) has a much better seat. Also not really liking the carry handles. They are an interesting gizmo but serve no improved purpose that I can see. They snap out of your hand sometimes and are not strong enough to use as a rope tie point. Also after only about 5 trips my front compartment is leaking. So the lid ring has a leak where it mounts to the hull or the handle screws are leaking. Come on guys, quality control here.
So, love the hull shape and don't regret my purchase at all but they would have had a 10 rating if it weren't for the weird handles, cheap seat and leak.
This kayak is a dream to paddle, excellent tracking and stability, it cuts through the water like butter, and at 41 lbs. is so lightweight to carry and to load. The cockpit is roomy (I don't travel light, love my gear), and the padded foam seat and back very comfy. I paddled for about 5 hrs with only one walk around stop and could still walk at my takeout with minimal back/ rear fatigue. The Red Pearl deck finish and white hull are beautiful, and tough -
I inadvertently tested the strength of the hull by paddling up onto a submerged piece of giant old concrete pipe, with such force that after working the boat off, I immediately headed to shore with tears, to see what surely would be a hole somewhere in the hull. To my amazement it was only barely scraped, and the Carbonite ABS had lived up to as advertised!!
Love love love this kayak !!
The Skylark is very much a recreational boat - stubborn stability, gaping cockpit and just enough cargo space for a lunch and a change of clothes.
However, one look at the hull will tell you this is not your average milk jug. The sharp bow and deep V made short work of the light chop we tackled on our third outing this year. And the Skylark has no business having as much glide as it does.
Eddyline uses ABS plastic for its boats, rather than polyethylene. The result is a lighter, prettier craft that shows its wear and tear more than a poly boat. However, they take a beating better than glass boats.
The seat is terrible. No way around this. The models that went on sale in the last couple years have improved seats, but the old one murders your sciatic nerves. There are a few aftermarket fixes that I'm planning to try.
Otherwise, this boat lives up to the hype.
My only real complaint in my previous review [07-25-2013] was about the seat and for the 2014 Skylark Eddyline has made some modifications that, for me, are an improvement.
If you are looking for a small, nimble, light boat for day paddles, you owe it to yourself to give the Skylark a test-drive.
The cockpit is just a bit longer than many models which makes it easy enter and exit both on shore and in the water for a little swimming or snorkeling. It's wide enough to be stable yet trim enough to paddle efficiently. While only 12 feet in length, it tracks extremely well plus the hull design has a bit of chine which makes it very maneuverable on edge.
All in all, this is a great boat for a beginning paddler but one that will also enable them to practice more advanced skills when ready. And it's a great boat for intermediate to advanced paddlers looking for a little boat in which to relax. At 41 lbs it is easy to load, store, carry, and launch.
I got my Skylark without thigh braces so I could enter and exit more easily on the water, but I have no trouble jamming my knees & thighs up under the nicely padded hull in front of the seat for carving turns.
Based solely on performance and on providing a nicely designed boat for the day paddler who wants a lot more than a floating barge, I would give this boat a 10. However, I have to mark it down because the seat is fixed and therefore is not adjustable (or replaceable) and many will find the hard plastic seat uncomfortable for more than an hour of paddling. While you can always add a little bit of cushioning to the seat, the fact that you cannot adjust the seat bottom at all for trim is disappointing and should be considered before purchase. I also sliced my thumb open the first time I picked it up to carry on my shoulder due to a sharp edge on the cockpit coaming that should have been smoothed out before shipping. The Sandpiper is a great boat that bridges the gap between "recreational" and "touring" classifications, but a little more attention to finish and an adjustable seat are needed to get a 10.
Demo this one and prepare to buy it. I'm 6'0 200 and it fits me like a glove. One of my complaints with the Tempest was that the cockpit was too small. I couldn't get in and out of that sucker! No worries with the Skylark!
However I do want to do some real sea kayaking expeditions in the southern gulf islands, and was advised that this boat should not be taken there as it will be too difficult to control in big seas, and to do self rescue in. I'm definitely eyeing one of the skylarks bigger siblings for next year. But I think I'll keep it because it is just too much fun.