Most Recent Reviews
When I was researching what brands of kayaks to consider for my first quality kayak, I narrowed it down to two brands; Delta and Eddyline. Both of those brands have consistently good reviews and you'd be hard pressed to find anything negative about them. Due to the inventory shortage in the industry during Covid, however, I couldn't just buy anything I wanted. I had to wait for something to arrive. For me it was a toss-up between an Eddyline Skylark and a Delta 12.10 and the Skylark became available sooner, so that's what I bought and have been paddling the past several months. I wanted something longer, slimmer and with thigh braces, however and I still lusted after the Deltas, so I recently picked up a Detla 14. Again, it was a toss-up between the Delta 14 and another Eddyline; the Sitka. This time it was the Delta that was available sooner. The main difference between a Sitka and the Delta 14 is that the Sitka has a skeg and the Delta has a rudder. I actually wasn't sure I'd like the idea of a rudder as it seemed like too much hardware but after paddling this boat a couple of times, I'm loving it. Being 14 feet long, it's 2 feet longer than my Skylark, so it takes a little more effort to turn it. But by employing the rudder, you can turn very abruptly if needed at speed, or make small micro adjustments to your course as necessary. I'm finding that I prefer the seat on the Delta more than the one on the Eddyline. The back can easily be moved up and down while you are still seated. Similarly, it has a cord that allows you to adjust how far forward the back band is. The seat itself also has 5 different fore and aft positions, so you aren't stuck with a "one size fits all" mentality. Although if you are comparing this to the Eddyline Sitka series, you are probably aware that there are 3 different sizes of Sitkas available. The quality of this boat is top notch. I love large hatches and the way they seal very well. Paint is beautiful. Oh, and it moves along quite well at speed, handling wind and choppy water as well as I can expect. I'm really appreciating the tighter cockpit with the thigh braces as it allows me to feel more at one with the kayak.
I've been curious about greenland paddles, but they aren't easy to find. Gearlab appears to be the go-to greenland paddle manufacturer for most people, and the price was right for the Malik, although I would have preferred a 230cm length. In order to get that, however, you have to go to one of their higher end paddles, and there's limited availability right now. As this was my first greenland paddle, I didn't want to invest a lot of money only to find that it wasn't for me. I'd done all the research online, but was still not sure if I'd like it. The company is based in Taiwan, and I was also skeptical of ordering online from an oversees company, but since so many others had done so and approved of their products, I figured I was safe. The paddle arrived only a week after I ordered it, so no issues there. It ships with a bar of wax, similar to ski wax, that they recommend using on the parts of the paddle that fit together. It's a very tight fit, so the was was helpful, and I don't think I'll be taking it apart for easy transport like I do with my other paddle, because the fit is so tight. It's not easy to get it apart or pressed back together. There is no option for feathering with a greenland paddle like you have with most Euro blade paddles. I expected that it would take some getting used to, but I loved it immediately. I expected that I would not be able to paddle as fast as I can with my Aqua Bound StingRay paddle, but my top speed with the greenland paddle is actually about 1 mph faster (verified with Strava). When I'm careful enough to paddle efficiently, it's very smooth... like a hot knife through butter, with minimal splashing. My only complaint is that there are no drip rings, and I'm not sure how you would do that, as the round portion of the paddle is limited to the center. So, I get a bit of water in the cockpit which previously wasn't an issue for me. That's a bit bothersome, as I usually have a high end digital DSLR camera/lens on the floor. So now I have to make sure I keep the camera covered to avoid getting too much water on it. I still feel like I could use a 230CM- the Malik is only available in 220- or get a more narrow boat than my Eddyline Skylark. So... I'll probably end up ordering the next one up in their line as soon as one is available in a 230 in something other than black. I definitely recommend that everyone at least give a greenland paddle a try.