Name: abraxas

Most Recent Reviews

It took me 6 tries to get it right, but I finally have the perfect ski for me. It is stable enough to handle the roughest conditions, but fast enough to be fun. In the really rough stuff you might even find yourself moving ahead of some of those longer skinner boats.

This is a great little ski/kayak. It may not be as fast as the 20 footers, but it is not short on fun. It can run down the river with the over stern rudder, or play in the surf with the understern.

The Eze is as stable as an intermediate kayak, and as light as many high performance surfskis. The finish is a little less than perfect, but this boat is well worth a look

This is one great boat. I guess there is not a perfect kayak, but this one has to be close. It can turn on a dime, but drop the skeg, and it tracks like an arrow. If playing in the waves is your thing the Petrel will run with the best. It will easily keep up with the leaders on most any group paddle, and it will even allow you a good showing in a race with the 18 footers. The Petrel is not a freight hauler, but there is plenty of storage room for a 3 or 4 day outing. If all this is not enough, the Petrel will turn heads in any fleet. If you build it they will come.

This boat will turn heads weather in the water or on the top of your car. It was designed by Jay Babina to be a very good all around kayak, and I believe he has succeeded. The Outer Island has a Greenland flavor, and although Impex makes it in fiberglass, the vast majority are cedar strip construction. The 2 foot overhangs give an appearance of speed even when standing still, and the 16' waterline is nice for making way, and can be driven by a paddler with average strength an technique. It rolls with ease, but has enough stability to make a paddler feel comfortable after only a few paddles.

This is a very hard tracking boat, but a good lean will bring it around in a few boat lengths. Weather cocking is minimal, and she can surf with the best. Low volume gives the OI that racy look, but it also limits the storage space, and a size 12 foot will be snug.

If you like to go fast and look good doing it, this is the boat for you.

The Pygmy Arctic Tern 14 is perhaps the best kit boat on the market today for a person under 160 pounds. It is fast enough to cruise with much longer boat while allowing the paddler to expend much less energy, because of the low wetted surface. Surfing this little boat is a joy, because of the ease of saying on a wave headed in the right direction. Rock solid stability, and tipping the scales at 32 pounds, are my two favorite features. You might call this a boat for all reasons, and it is a 10 in my book.

There are faster boats, there are prettier boats, and certainly boats that hold more gear, but if you are looking for a kayak to get you started learning the basics of kayaking, this would be a good choice. It is plastic and almost unbreakable. I have bought and sold 26 boats since I purchased the Swifty 20 years ago, but I will never sell this one.

I have had a dozen wooden kayaks and nearly as many designs, and the Arctic Tern 14 rates very near the top on all the things you would want in a kayak. I am not a builder, so I can't speak to the construction side of this boat, but paddling it is a dream. As others have mentioned, the top end speed is about 5mph, but you can cruise all day at 4 mph, and still have something left to party.

I have been using the Bobcat Wing off and on for about two years, and I am always pleasantly surprised at how easy and forgiving it is. It will not dive under the boat as quickly as the more twisted wings. It is perfect for someone just getting into using a wing. The Bobcat is a little heavier than the composite paddles, but it is far more durable

This boat lives up to its name as it dances across the waves. It is fun in quite water as well as rough stuff. The 20" beam feels as stable as boats much wider, but affords a very vertical stroke. It is not a racer, but a 5.5 mph mile is very possible. Not only is this kayak good at catching waves, but will also catch the eye of anyone who appreciates real beauty in a boat.

The Cirrus LT is a handsome boat with a lot of personality. It has a slight Greenland flavor, but the rear deck is not quite as low as some. It is pretty fast for a 16 footer, and tracks very well. Weather cocking is minimal and can be corrected with a slight lean. Turning is quick and stability is good right up 80 degrees. Give this one a try.