Name: DaveTheKayaker

Most Recent Reviews

I just picked up a used West Side Boat Shop Wave Exceed and agree with all the previous reviewers. It is an absolutely wonderful boat that delivers amazing stability for a marathon racing kayak design. It is 2' shorter than the classic Thunderbolt-X to make it a little easier to fit in the garage, but it does not sacrifice much speed as a result. I can now see the clear progression of Doug Bushnell's thinking in designs: Wave Exceed -> Thunderbolt-X -> Marauder with each being incrementally faster than the previous. If you can find one grab it! Great winter trainer and I'm looking forward to placing in some races with it next year.

The West Side Boat Shop Delta kayak is the perfect entry point for those paddlers who wish to get into fitness paddling or racing. At 13'10" long and 23-5/8" wide at its widest point, it provides enough stability to allow you to progress your skills as a paddler without constantly fearing flipping over.

This boat zips along and glides much better than you ever imagined a boat this length could. In the modern, full-Kevlar build with fore and aft bulkheads, the boat still comes in at an amazingly light 23lbs.

The cockpit is a bit tight by today's standards and by the average American's expanding waistline, but it is still quite manageable and helps keeps the water out through mild rapids.

An amazingly light, fast, responsive kayak. No rudder needed. The side-mounted, adjustable SmartTrack footpegs and sliding K1-style seat allow you to adjust and trim the boat to fit just about any size paddler.

I recently had the opportunity to paddle one of these for an extended period of 2 years. I also have the Thunderbolt-X so I was very aware of what to expect. The Excel is shorter at 19' and has more volume in the bow, which is something appealing for downriver racing and going over waves or popping up from the occasional shallow hole quickly. This boat does not disappoint. In a world that has switched to skis, this boat is a great throw-back and will provide a level of protection from the elements that skis simply don't deliver (burnt shins anyone?) At 18" wide it is surprisingly stable. If you have the chance to get one of these boats grab it. Excellent combination of speed-stability. Great for flat water training or using as an ultra-marathon boat down gentle rivers.

I really wanted to hate this boat but I wound up loving it. I had one for a week as a beach rental and it was incredibly fun for playing in the waves and surf. It is very wide and stable yet somewhat nimble making it a lot of fun. Definitely a large platform that would be horrible on flat water, but it is great for noobs to get their first taste of paddling, relaxing on a bay or sound at sunset, or playing in the surf zone.

This is a good intermediate boat that will do most things well but no one thing exceptionally well.

At 14'6" it is too short to be an all-day touring kayak, but it tracks really well even without a rudder, has reasonably good speed for being 24" wide, and is very stable. It will do well on flat water, choppy conditions or even on moving rivers and streams. I like the hard hatch covers which allow for a lot of gear to be kept in the front and rear hatches. Very easy adjusting of foot pegs and seat.

It squarely fits into the category of "good all-around boat."

Excellent build quality, stable (for an elite ski,) and fast. Paddled it for the 5th time over the weekend and got it up to 7.1mph on flat water. I'm sure the top-end speed is even higher in more capable hands. Comfortable bucket and rock-solid foot plate that attaches on the side rails and a bottom rail. Bungee in front of the pedals to stow and attached a small dry bag and a water bottle holder and bungee molded into the hump between the legs. This has become my go-to workout boat and I plan to race it in flatwater and down milder-flowing rivers. An absolutely sleek and beautiful rocket. Easy to get up to speed and relatively easy to cruise along at 6mph.

First of all you must realize what this is, and that is a 16'9" plastic surfski that is 21.7" wide and ~49 pounds heavy. So it is not your typical surfski.

BUT it is an all-around awesome boat for a first surfski or anyone who is landlocked and is looking for a ski for downriver racing. It is quite easy to paddle this boat and it is remarkably stable for a surfski. If you are an ocean kayaker and want to get into something faster this is a great option for you.

Great winter training boat, downriver racer, or even a whitewater racing boat for those with balance. I plan to race it in Class II - Class III races.

My video review:

This is an excellent, entry-level kayak for younger paddlers or those who will not do much more than paddle out on a lake and splash around a bit. It is very stable with a larger cockpit so that might also appeal to some who fish from kayaks. It is short and wide so tipping is not likely, getting in and out is easy, and carrying it is also easy.

If you think you will progress through the sport and want to take longer trips on either flat or moving water, then you will outgrow this boat quickly. But I bet you'll want to keep it for those times when you want to include a non-paddling friend or when you just don't feel like hoisting a heavy boat onto your car.