Submitted: 02-01-2011 by Tom Pogson
I am submitting this review as a paddler and an outfitter to update the reviews on paddling.net for the Valley Sea Kayak Aquanauts being built since 2009. Valley changed the seat in 2009, flared sides and an integrated back-band made the seat easier to use for wider variety of paddlers.
The Aquanaut is very lightweight for a boat of this size, Valley seems to be doing a good of minimizing dead weight by controlling the cloth/resin ratio. At 5'8" 190 lbs. I am comfortable in the cockpit, and have put a wide variety of paddlers in the Aquanaut with success. Larger paddlers will need to check out the HV Aquanaut, which since late 2009 had a totally redesigned cockpit, large enough for bigger paddlers to get in butt first - feet second.
Nicest point about the Aquanaut, it is a thing of beauty that paddles well in the rough stuff (open water, rock gardens, tidal streams and races, as well as surf). We have been using this boat in our fleet since 2004, and it is very popular among experienced kayak trippers that come to use our boats for their Alaska tours.