Read reviews for the Shenai Pro by Wilderness Systems as submitted by your fellow paddlers.
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My fiberglass 1999 Shenai is…
My fiberglass 1999 Shenai is still being paddled. The Shenai is my go to choice for trips and camping. It is stable but has the ability to edge a turn well. It tracks great and performs even better when loaded. Into the waves it rides over and sometimes through but keeps moving well. I wear it and had only minor accommodations to achieve a comfortable fit. The American made craft is well made & fitted out and after twenty years looks markedly better than the 2010 WS Tempest 170 hanging next to it.
However, it doesn't have any rocker - an almost dead flat keel - maneuverability is dampened and it will edge but does not want to hold it.
It's mine and you can't have it!
Shenai - an under appreciated jewel
I wonder why they stopped making this boat. I bought mine around 2001 and I love it, its now 17 years old. I got a good deal since it fell off a truck and had some minimal damage. Looking at the other reviews everyone agrees.
I use it in the Gulf of Mexico, in breakers miles off shore, going around barrier islands, and I have enough confidence that I just take some flares and a marine radio that I fortunately have never used. In fact I have rescued power boats three times over the years (engine problems or ran out of gas). They did not bring radios.
I'm now a little old guy and I can still lift it onto my Subaru. It has fallen off the car a few times over the years, and sustained only minimal damage that was easily repaired. It still looks great. The skeg design is perfect during the few times that it is needed, and I have never needed a rudder even in 20 to 25 mile an hour winds. I wish they made a surfski version.
This is by far my favorite…
This is by far my favorite boat. I have about 12. I got it in 2000 and it has about 2000 mi on it now. It is fast, has only a few cracked areas (and lots of scratches) on the surface over years of abusive treatment. It tolerates beginners in bad waves with ease. Good for large and smaller people.
I recently demo'd a…
I recently demo'd a fiberglass Shenai and loved it! I am a 5'7", 150 lb female who has been paddling for about a year. The fit and feel of this boat, including the secondary stability, were perfect!! The boat is fast, accelerates well, and responds to leaned turns very very well. I had it out in 15 knot wind, 1 1/2 -2 ft chop, and considerable following swells, and the boat took very good care of me. I did notice, however that the bow seems to ride fairly high above the water when empty. It seemed to smack down on top of big waves when going into the wind, not cut through them. (Is this a desireable trait? Has anyone else experienced this? I would be interested in feedback from others who have paddled this boat.) All in all, a beautiful boat- glorious, in fact - and definitely on my short list to buy as my second (upgrade) boat.
What a surprise to find an…
What a surprise to find an "American" sea kayak that you wear and makes you feel at one with the boat, fit and paddling position I find ideal. It seems that the paddler is at the control center of this boat, making carved leaning turns extremely easy and predictable. It rolls very easily, no effort. Low rear deck makes paddle float re-entry practice a cinch. This boat has an incredible feel in waves, it seems to come alive, and it actually feels faster in wind and waves. Extremely secure and sea kindly. What little weathercocking this boat is prone to do is easily handled with the retractable skeg, and the skeg mechanism is an improvement over other boats in its class. Probably the best thing about it is the feel when moving through the water, and the balance and the way it handles the waves, a very exciting boat to paddle. A well thought out and executed sea kayak, if it had recessed deck fittings and full deck lines this boat would be ideal. Nothing touches its performance, and it does reward the paddlers' skills, you can feel the difference.