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Osprey Description

The Osprey is a kayak brought to you by Heritage Kayaks. Read Osprey reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other kayak recommendations below or explore all kayaks to find the perfect one for you!

Heritage Kayaks
Osprey Reviews

Read reviews for the Osprey by Heritage Kayaks as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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The Heritage Osprey is…

Submitted by: paddler903557 on 12/2/2020
The Heritage Osprey is awesome! I bought one brand new, pretty sure it was in early 2000. So, around 20 years ago, the first time I put it in a lake, I had to straddle over it to sit down into it. Once I put the end of the paddle onto the sandy bottom and pushed off, it seemed a bit tippy as I was paddling. But, I got to the point where I started feeling more confident paddling it, being the greenhorn I was, on my first kayak ride! About a half hour into my first paddling episode, I figured out that the kayak just seemed to maybe be riding a bit too high in the water. So, I pulled it out of the water and on to a sandbar. I got out and looked for a couple good sized rocks about the same size and set one in the front and one in the back holes and put lids back on. After adding some weight, it tracked great, turned great, was fast and most importantly, very stable! I have used the kayak on huge lakes to small rivers. I have loaded it up with 7 to 8 days worth of clothes, food, water, sleep mat, a tent and some goodies, to travel down rivers and sleep overnight on sandbars. This kayak can hold more inside and on top than any other kayak, its same size. I found it could hold more weight than the original weight that the Heritage company said it should! I added some extra cordage, going across the top of the front to hold some extra lighter things. The shell is very thick and very durable. I'll bet you cannot find an all around better, brand new tripper type of kayak, for less than $1,200 that would be any better than my 20 yr old Osprey! Seriously. I am now in my mid 60's and will keep this Osprey until I get to where I cannot physically take it out any more! I have not replaced anything on it, so far. I own a couple canoes and I am buying a new Cresent Crew tandem kayak tomorrow! Another product I am sure, I will also be totally happy to own! If you see a Heritage Osprey for cheap, jump on it! ✌

excellent kayak. very well…

Submitted by: fatguyfromjrz on 11/13/2020
excellent kayak. very well made, seems almost overbuilt, but still quite fast in open water. handles waves and chop easily no real complaints

Still have two of these…

Submitted by: paddler237102 on 9/10/2016
Still have two of these plastic rec boats for friends - after all these years. My first boat when I got into kayaking and I believe its versatility is the reason that I continued with the sport. Certainly a sea worthy SOT. I go into detail in order to fully acknowledge this boat.

Great for a day boat on lake, slow river, close to shore ocean; more than enough room for camping or filling a compartment with ice and fresh sea food for a killer BBQ, First surf boat (side surfing). Strongly suggest you get knee supports and a small back band and "clamp: yourself into this boat to get the most out of this boat.

This is not your typical barge-like sit on top.
With the back band and knee supports, combined with the rectangular well that you sit inside, you can practice all of the classic sea kayak skills. Edging on turns, sweep strokes, draw sweeps, backwards paddling (aggressively if you like; up and over incoming waves). It's really a sit-in, sit-on-top and feels more like a traditional kayak because you are not up on top of the water line.

This SOT boat is a bit tippy (initially) for beginners but the tri-hedral hull creates mini-outriggers up and out from the main section of the kayak hull. This boat therefore is extremely stable (secondary stability) in bumpy water. The secondary stability is so good you can tilt the boat at a 75% angle and sit in it sideways. (This is a good skill to play with to fully understand how stable this boat is in bumpy water, especially once you learn the value and safety of loose hips. I believe my confidence in paddling over or through waves is due to this hull shape.

I had a great time once in a Pacific Ocean bay during a storm when the only things on the water was sea foam and gnarly sail boarders. And I felt very comfy bobbing around and keeping out of the way of the sail boarders.

When paddling on flat water, with a minimum of balance consciousness you can keep the mini-outriggers out of the water, thus reducing the hull width which in turn increases speed. This has got to be the fastest SOT for the length. Don't think you will keep up with friends in sea kayaks but you can keep them in sight. The hull is shaped with a permanent skeg which makes paddling straight a breeze and the bow is shaped to slice through the water.

Cons: The tippy initial stability makes it difficult to get in from the water from the side so the "cowboy straddle" from the stern is the only practical way to climb back in. (However, now that I think of it, I've never tried to tilt the yak and haul myself in from the side with my back to the kayak. I and gymnasts should try this.)

Because of the initial "tippy' stability, this is not a great boat to fish out of but you can if you are cautious when turning around for gear. My supervisor/friend kept the boats for years for fishing exclusively. Also not great for hauling up crab nets. He is quoted in saying, "Those boats! They're fast. I couldn't get my wife off the lake on our vacation."

Has one hole for drainage which means it takes time for the water to drain. If a venturi type system like those on surf skis was added it would help with the speed of drainage. If you're paddling a SOT and don't want your butt wet, stay in the harbor when the wind doesn't blow.

Don't ever try to eskimo roll this thing. But SOT paddlers never want to do this anyway.

If you find a Heritage Osprey on Craig's List, you've been educated.


I just purchased my first…

Submitted by: paddler236468 on 8/27/2015
I just purchased my first kayak, Osprey 12' 9", 95 lbs, swivel seat, and wider than most. I've never used a kayak before and being almost 69 years old, and not as agile as I used to be, although I am in good physical shape, I have friends who kayak on the lake, but was scared to try when they offered. About a week ago my thoughts were on the kayak, I decided to buy and try! I absolutely love it! Put one foot in, sat down, and paddled away! I was amazed how stable the kayak was! It gave me confidence that I had been lacking lately! Texas lady, almost 69, and feeling alive in my new Osprey!

I've had my Osprey for 3…

Submitted by: paddler231510 on 4/10/2006
I've had my Osprey for 3 years now and I think it is a great boat. People who are not used to a sit on top or are just trying the boat out for the first time tend to label it "tippy". I find this to be untrue once you've been inside it for a good paddle. I have never capsized my Osprey and I can comfortably fish and move around in the boat. My only complaints would be the seat is not terribly comfortable but I think most of that problem lies in my choice of PFD and not the seat itself. Also, the track that secures the foot pegs has sharp edges, watch your calves. If you are looking into one of these boats I highly reccomend it. My only suggestion would be to spend the extra money on a good PFD designed for kayaking and also pick up a set of the Ocean Kayak paddle clips (they cost $12 and give you a very convenient place to stick your paddle).

I have used my Osprey…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/16/2004
I have used my Osprey extensively and consider it a sturdy and well constructed kayak. It is fast, however while I have very good balance, its stability was very hard to get used to. Based on these two factors I would rate it higher except I do not like the lack of maneuverability. It is no more agile than my 17 foot canoe. Other than that it is a fine buy.

I have had this kayak for the…

Submitted by: paddler230667 on 7/6/2004
I have had this kayak for the longest of any of the 6 that we own right now, and paddle it the most of any of them. I am 6'2" and have to pull outht e footpegs, but it is just right then, tracks good, stable enough to fish, easy to paddle moderate (4-5 miles) distances. Love it for the salt ponds in Rhode island that we paddle in.

My wife and I just finished…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/3/2003
My wife and I just finished our third season paddling a pair of Osprey kayaks. While they felt a slight bit tippy the first time we paddled them, we became very comfortable very quickly. We have paddled a variety of small ponds, lakes, and rivers in the Adirondacks and on Tug Hill and are very pleased with their all around performance. They are also a great boat for the money. We looked at a variety of boats and felt the Osprey performed much better than most all "entry-level" kayaks. It has even handled 4-5 foot waves on Oneida Lake with no problem at all. The newer version of the Osprey includes some features like side carry handles etc. that I wish ours had, but we still love our boats.

Nicely designed for an "all…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/16/2002
Nicely designed for an "all round " rec kayak. However, a short test paddle convinced me that this was not the boat for my needs. Initial stability was lacking due to it's 24" waterline beam. 29" overall beam did stop the boat once it leaned. Still, it felt very "tippy" for this WS Pungo and Loon 138 owner. The Osprey is not idealy suited to a novice wanting it primarily as a fishing yak IMHO. I'd give it an 8 as an allround boat ( hatches leaked a bit and it did catch some wind)but a 6 as a fishing yak for the initial stability issue. Not sure I could ever get "comfortable" enough to concentrate on fishing out of it for long.

My osprey has proven to be an…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 2/26/2001
My osprey has proven to be an excellent all around kayak.Despite heavy use it has held up well and handles very good in most water conditions. The osprey gets up to speed quickly and handles whitecaps with ease it is a joy to paddle my only complaints are that my hatch gaskets are tired and leaky and slight sideslipping in high wind. It is definetly a great boat and an outstanding value in a modest priced watercraft.I have already planned my vacation next summer,and which one of my boats do you think I am loading up?