Most Recent Reviews
Always enjoying trying new boats and testing them. Wesley Echols reviews have always been very interesting and informative. So I decided to do one myself. Last Fall I went up to visit Dave Thomas of Stellar Kayaks to try some boats out. It just so happened my buddy, Pete, of Erie Canal Boat Company ordered 3 boats from Dave. Since it was an easy task I brought them back to him. This spring Pete and I were talking about how we think the S14S surfski would handle rough water.
One blustery day last week I went over to the outlet of Irondequoit Bay into Lake Ontario. The wind was about 15 to 25 mph and the water was still cold. I set the boat up to fit me. Being a much more stable boat than I am used to, just hopped in when I was in the water. Immediately it felt very comfortable as I started to paddle. I noticed immediately that my leg drive, trunk rotation, and hips were moving freely. Most surfskis and racing boats I’ve used I have always had to put a lumbar pad on the seat so my tailbone would not rub raw; not the case with this boat.
So as I paddled out to the break wall, the boat moved along smoothly and very nicely. As I approached the end of the break wall water started to churn and get very rough. The wind was off my left shoulder, but the waves were at a different angle. The water was very turbulent with few good surfing waves. As I paddled the boat parallel to the waves, the boat was very stable and responsive. As I turned the boat down the waves aiming toward shore, I noticed there was little surfing to be had..
On Lake Ontario near the shoreline the wind drives the waves into each other causing them to slow down and stall. I repeated this several times just going up and down into the swells. I figured out the wave timing and I got several great surfs with great control. It was very hard to link the waves as there was not much space between them. The boat surfed the waves very nice when the waves did form. All of sudden the wind gusted to 35 to 40 mph. The waves flattened out and the water was more confused. The boat handled it very nicely. Even sideways to the wind and waves the boat was very stable paddled around the bay for another hour.
In my opinion, even a novice and intermediate paddler would really enjoy this boat in about any condition feeling safe and comfortable. They could experience and pleasant cruise or a good surf session. The build of the boat is excellent and very comfortable. The fittings all work very nicely and the rudder is very smooth in it’s action. In summary, I would recommend this boat very highly.
My son is 11 and 95# . He flies in the boat and raced it twice. Even in windy conditions he still was able to maneuver effectively.
The boat is very light and stable. Every thing is well made and easy to adjust. My wife loves the gas pedal style rudder system. As for me, the boat is very fast and can cruise easily over 6.5 mph. Sprinting is over 9 mph and sustained race pace around 7 mph. It handles rough water very well.
This boat is a slam dunk! good for all ranges of paddlers. Great touring, surfing and racing kayak. Extremely well made boat.
Last November I had surgery on both my hands and went two months with no upper body workout at all. I started using the machine about 10 minutes at a time, a couple times a week. I started to train for cross country ski racing and still used the Speedpro once or twice a week with some pretty good workouts (up to 45 minutes at a time). In February '04 I was back in CA for another kayak race. I borrowed a surf ski that I had never paddled before. After getting over the instability (not being in a boat for 4 months) I started the race and went right to the front. I was paddling like I had been in a boat all year long...no BS...I raced with several guys all the way and then out-sprinted them at the end to win. So if you are looking for the high quality training machine and can't get to the water because of daylight, cold water, distance this is for you! Call Grayson and talk to him. Listen to him very carefully. He is a world-class paddler who knows the sport inside and out. He will not steer you wrong. DO IT!
The Eft is Light and responsive. Very well made by Doug. This is My 7th boat built by him. Handles rough and quartering water very well. Stable enough to get a water bottle Out in rolling seas. Tried some time trials on 6 minute strech. It is about 10 to 15 seconds faster than my DR boat. It is probably a little slower than my ski. It has a Smart Track Rudder system. Very nice addition. Large cockpit for ease of entry. All in all a really great stable Boat.