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Reviews for Crosswind Kayak by Current Designs


Rated: 8.71/10 Based On: 14 Reviews

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03-28-2012
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Update to earlier review:
I liked the Crosswind so much I just bought a second one (used). Now I'll hand off the Sea Twin to someone to get them interested in kayaking.

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01-19-2010
Submitted by: Bob BSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I wish every tandem was a pleasant to paddle as the Current Design Crosswind. My wife and I have been solo paddling for more than thirty years. When she experienced carpel tunnel syndrome we decided to add a tandem to our fleet for times she wished to paddle but might not have the grip to do a long solo trip. We purchased a rotomolded Sea Twin used from a company that offers tours along the coast of Maine, and it was like trying to push a bathtub through the water. It was slow and heavy, but quite stable, and quite a departure from our solo boats, a fiberglass WS Sealution and a fiberglass WS Tempest 165.

We purchased the plastic Crosswind from someone who had almost completed a three person stitch and glue kit kayak - they needed space for a small child. Tandem paddling this is a pleasure. Most of our trips are in the six to twelve mile range, and with two of us paddling it is like we were both in our solo kayaks. The ride is fairly dry, though we do use spray skirts when the air is cool or we think the water will get choppy. We do use the rudder at all times, something we don't usually do with our solo boats, but I think this is a function of the design. With the rudder engaged there is no trouble tracking, and because of the contours we can turn in a shorter radius than several other tandem boats we have tried. There is very little problem with weather cocking due to the low profile.

When tandem paddling we may touch paddles once or twice on a twelve mile trip, but only if one person is turning around to check out something behind them. This has also been my experience when taking novice kayakers out in the boat- there is very good separation between the cockpits. I have a friend who is 6'4" and was comfortable in the bow cockpit on a seven mile trip. There is a great deal of storage room and the hatches are always dry. We have only day tripped but the previous owners were frequent campers and found the storage space very good.

We keep the Sea Twin for people who wish to join us but are leery of ocean kayaking, as it is impossible to tip, but for tandem kayaking it is the Crosswind for us every time. This would score 9 of 10 with us.

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01-26-2007
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My wife and I have paddled our rotomold Crosswind Kayak for two seasons now and just love its stability and ease of paddeling. It handles big water just perfectly as we had it out on Lake Superior last summer.It's a bit heavy for portages but we found that a sturdy kayak cart was the answer and that she just follows along with minimal effort. Being up there in years we have found getting it up on the car a bit trickey and have opted to get a New Current Designs Kestrel 170T which is 30 LBS lighter. Its presently in storage and we can't wait till the ice is out so we can try it out. I shall review it later in the spring .
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07-10-2006
Submitted by: VinceSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     While this boat has some good qualites, we pretty much ruled it out after renting one a couple hours for a 6.5 mile paddle. BTW, I am a very experienced kayaker but mostly in singles.

Fist I will say that it is very stable and seaworthy.... at least in terms of capsizing. However, with a total payload of about 450 lbs. we had almost zero freeboard. It was one of the wettest rides I've ever had because the deck which slopes up to the cockpit guides every wave right into the boat. I don't ejoy using a spray cover on hot days in relatively tame waters so this is a big negative.

The cockpit is also much less roomy than you might guess from the dimensions. Some would like it but I found it confining because it is shallow and it has large leg braces. Again, some would call this a plus. In the stern, there is one more surprise. There is a large foam pillar located right between your legs.... where I usually keep a small dry bag with a camera etc. The seats are OK but have low backs so not much support.

Cockpit spacing makes it unlikely that you'll bang paddles with the other person but, if you have a long stroke, it'll be close enough to make you flinch. It's probably close enough to pass items back and fourth though.

We were only able to do about 4mph (GPS) in this boat which seemed a bit slow and it tracked poorly in spite of having a rudder. I'm wondering if the hull could have been warped or something but we couldn't spot anything obvious when we took it out of the water.

I'm sure a lot of people could be happy with this boat, especially considering the price, but it certainly is not the ultimate double. Definitley try other boats (like the Kestrel 170T)and consider carefully before buying this one. ....and if you paddle in choppy waters plan on getting wet.

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03-20-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Finally got to do a weekend trip with my girlfriend in the Crosswind. We paddled and camped the upper Cape Fear/lower Deep rivers near Corinth and Moncure, NC (see my trip report on p-net). The Crosswind handles heavy loads with ease and paddles (loaded) like a dream. Tracking leaves something to be desired but with the use of the rudder, no problem. The cockpits have enough seperation that even with 230 cm paddles, we never had to worry about paddling in synch. We did a 5-6 mile trip upriver with a steady 6 mph headwind gusting often to 12 mph and minimal effort was needed to keep the boat moving along even though we had lots of gear strapped to the deck (remember the Beverly Hillbillies?). Most often we just took turns paddling while the other fished or took photos.

The cockpits are huge and primary stability is such that one could probably stand up. I'll try when the water warms.

The stretch of river we paddled had few places to get out but the Crosswind is quite comfortable for long periods in the seat.

I have quite a few kayaks and was considering getting a canoe for river camping but since the Crosswind is akin to a Chevy Suburban and still paddles and glides like a kayak, I'm very happy with my decision.

This boat will also be used for a 2 mile open water crossing of Core Sound in NC for some serious beach camping.

If you've read my review of the CD Whistler, you already know my rating scale- 10 being perfect and doesn't exist, 9 can't be improved upon and 8 is haven't found anything better considering my needs. Based on that, the Crosswind is an 8.5!

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10-03-2005
Submitted by: Andrew and NatalieSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I took out our new mango colored, rotomolded, Current Designs Crosswind today (10/01/2005) for the first time at a local lake and loved it! We got many compliments from fellow paddlers and fishermen. We received our Crosswind a couple of days ago and ordered it about six weeks ago. The first thing we noticed once in the water was how stable the boat was. It did not have a lot of wobble while paddling or entering/exiting the boat. We got our Crosswind with a rudder which we highly recommend due to the length of the boat (18'6"). The boat tracked great without the rudder, however it was nice to coast and let the rudder direct the boat.

The cockpits are very roomy. I am 6'3" and I did not have any problem sitting in the rear and using the rudder. The crosswind comes with plenty of storage for whatever trip you may want to take. The only thing that I would advise to a potential buyer is that the Crosswind takes two people to move it around out of the water since it weights almost 100 lbs. But don't worry it is a piece of cake with two people. We have a Ford Sportrac with a Yakima rack (hully rollers and saddles) that was easy to load and unload the Crosswind; it fit nice and secure. The Crosswind was a little longer than our Sportrac on both ends and looked great! It is safe to say that the Crosswind draws a lot of attention on and off the water! We highly recommend the Crosswind to any level of paddler. See you out on the water!

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01-14-2005
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought my Crosswind a little over a year ago. I have been very pleased with it, it is a very stable and durable boat. Steering is very easy with the rudder. I usually take it out in large inland lakes for exercise, the boat moves swiftly and is very easy to handle. I have even taken it on a few small river trips, if the water, got too shallow, I would just flip the rudder up. Although, the boat is not designed for this activity, I found it to be fairly versatile.
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01-06-2005
Submitted by: Chris CookSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     We purchased our Crosswind just over 12 months ago. We have been extremely pleased with it. We find it very stable & comfortable to paddle. It is well constructed & we have had no problems with breakages. As some of the other reviews state it is a little on the heavy side, but hey, it's a tandem, so there is always two of use to get it up on the car! I think a little extra weight is worth the extra toughness, so no complaints here. Overall we love our Crosswind & would probably make the same decision if we were to buy another.
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07-11-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I purchased a Current Designs Crosswind Tandem Sea Kayak last August through the Mountain Shop in Fort Collins, CO. They recommended Current Designs because of the plastic used on this boat (better design and more rigid than some other brands) and for customer service. They were able to place the order for our specific color and told us that it would take 3 or 4 weeks for delivery. To our surprise it only took 2 weeks and the boat arrived in perfect shape. We own two other plastic boats (Perception Chinooks) and added this boat to allow our 5 year old son to join us paddling. After some small lake paddles we took the boat out for it's first major test on a 4 day trip to Lake Powell, Utah. The hatches are easy to operate, and sucked up a ton of camping gear and were big enough to store large and bulky gear without deformity. The boat was also easy to balance out with weight in the fore and aft compartment since the front storage area is nearly as roomy as the rear. We had no problems with water leaking into the compartments or through the hatches even with filling the cockpits with a significant amount of water from jumping out into the lake. Fully loaded the Crosswind handled excellently regardless of water or wind conditions. The Crosswind also surfed quite nicely in the wakes produced by powerboats and the nose didn't want to dive down into the water. The rudder also worked flawlessly and stayed in placed when retracted in a groove on the rear of the boat. Like most any tandem plastic sea kayak, the problem with this boat is weight. It tops out at nearly 100 pounds, and with that weight distributed over 18.5 feet, it is cumbersome and awkward to move by yourself. On the flipside, the boat had very minimal deformity when strapped tightly down on the roof rack, and most importantly is a very sound design and sturdy when handled roughly. And, one of the greatest aspects of this boat is the retail price of around $1600. For the price of a lighter weight fiberglass tandem I could buy two of the Crosswinds and I don't think that my paddling enjoyment would be any greater. Overall: Highly recommended Tandem plastic Sea Kayak.
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06-06-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My wife and I borrowed a coworker's Crosswind for a weekend at a small NY state lake, and we loved it. We are as-novice-as-novice-gets paddlers, and we had an easy time with the Crosswind. We used the rudder extensively, of course, and it tracked great, although it took me a while to get used to the counter-intuitive pedal-work (if I want to go right, I want to press the left pedal!). The weight was not much of an issue, because it was still manageable to manoeuver it onto and off of the car. It stayed securely on the car using just a simple foam-block car-top carrier for 90+ miles on the highway, at up to 75 mph. Plenty of storage room, too (with the two bulkheads), although we only carried a dry bag with a towel and camera in the storage compartment. A special note: I was impressed by the fact that I was able to get up, turn around, and kneel on my seat to fish that dry-bag out of the rear hatch while we were on the water... that's a V-E-R-Y stable hull!
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01-21-2002
Submitted by: GCASend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My wife and I have been paddling our plastic crosswinds for two seasons in Casco Bay on the coast of Maine, also in the Flordia Keys and the same boat with an outfitter in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It is an excellent boat, we are not small people and appreciate the roomy cockpits. Storage is fine for day tripping (we do not camp, roughing it is the Holiday Inn, we used a chase boat in Alaska). Perhaps it is the weight to paddler ratio inherent with tandems but we have no trouble keeping pace with our athlete sons and future daughter-in-law in their Perception Eclipses. The crosswind is a very stable platform; we paddled in six foot seas and 20+ knot winds in Alaska without difficulty and have not had problems with wakes from commerical vessels here in Maine or the intracoastal in Florida. It is however heavy and takes some cordination of effort to car top and haul up our rocky Maine shores but also rugged enough to take a pounding when we beach in surf. It tracks very well although I tend to use the rudder more than necessary. The hull does distort from the tie downs when car topping but not excessively. While I often think about a kevlar composite boat, the plasic Crosswind is a more pracitical, affordable boat for hard use.
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07-16-2001
Submitted by: billinpaSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Up till now my review of the Crosswind would not have very positive. That all changed three weeks ago. While ckecking out the CD web site to learn about a new boat they introduced,I found out they made several improvements to the Crosswind. I E-mailed the company to see if any of the improvements could be retrofitted to ours.

Our main complaint about the boat was transporting it.The poly material material it was made of was soft, easily scratched,and could not support it's own weight when carried on our cars roof rack.The boat would compress and require retightening of rack strap every several miles to prevent loss of the boat.Along with that problem were others like ,the mishapened top deck a rear carry handle that torn twice,and rudder when in the park position,and when the foot braces were even touched would send the rudder flipping off to one side or the other.

We recieved a return E-mail from the company and stated that they would REPLACE our boat FREE of charge!!. HOWS THAT FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE!!.

Now for the review on the improved model. The Crosswind has always been a very stable,rough water capable tandem boat that carries a good amount of gear without affecting it's handling.The improvements have made this boat even far better than the orignal.

The hull is made of stiffer, harder poly ,along with new internal bulkheads. The compressabilty of the boat is gone ,the oilcanning effect is gone.The performance has greatly improved,it is now faster and seems to turn faster.

All of the improvements have changed a good boat into a GREAT boat,which now deserves my # 10 rating.

As for the previous poster complaining about the run around they got from CD,we have had nothing but positive results from customer service. They admitted they have had problems,they have helped us with our boat, and had the guts to replace their mistakes.So up to this point, both the boat and the company deserve a #10

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05-24-2001
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     We ordered a Crosswind and were given the run-around by Current Desings for three months. We were promised the boat in March, 2000, April, then May. We were never given any explantion of the delays. We cancelled the order and are very happy with Northwest Kayak's Seascape explorar RM.
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05-16-2000
Submitted by: RTBSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Crosswind is Current Designs new rotomolded tandem touring kayak. Our family has four touring kayaks (2 Perception Acadias, 1 Carolina, and 1 Chinook)and we added the Crosswind to our fleet so my seven year old daughter could paddle with us. We are very impressed with the Crosswind. It is very stable and manuvers well. My seven year old loves paddling and just sitting back and enjoying the ride. We plan on paddling in the Gulf of Mexico next month.
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