08-06-2009Submitted by: Stewart
Reviews for Expedition Kayak by Current Designs
Based On: 9 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 I got this kayak few years ago. It is great kayak. For heavier person for sure but it is manageable. If you put tent or other things in it. I would buy it again if current design makes it. The beginning was little harder but once you tweak your skills it's it unbelievable boat. This boat can go up to 10 mph even in rough water. It's that fast. There is almost no resistance.
08-05-2009Submitted by: Stewart
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had this boat for a while and I have to say this is not for newbies. However I don't feel it's that bad and unstable as everyone is writing about. If you sit in recreation kayak that is 30+ inches wide then yes any kayak around 22 inches is not stable. It takes time to get used to it, but any touring kayak and any fast kayak is going to be this way.
I've paddled this boat for nearly 5 years now and if they would still make this boat I would buy the same one. Maybe Current Design is going to make this boat again, I just hope with Smartrack rudder. I love that.
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have had this 18'10" Kevlar boat that weighs 48 lbs.
I will attest to the fact that without cargo or ballast other than my slightly overweight 210 lbs. this baby really does require me to maintain a pretty good speed with following seas of three feet in a wild 30 mph blow. I mainly go to a 3 mile fetch in town lake that can only produce a 3ft wave at max. I have never used any ballast but figured since Current Designs is there in Victoria BC that this boat which handles Pacific swells so nicely should somehow allow me to negotiate three foot chop quite well.
Well maybe I need to play with some ballast.
I am a Sunfish, Laser, C-15 sailor and the ride this boat gives is almost like a rodeo bull ridin' event. There is an awesome awareness of calm control and she climbs nicely across the waves but directly off wind or directly down wind the difference between involuntary planing or surfing and not doing that create a challenge that feels real good but is scary and I guess that's why I love it so much.
All my wave playing from sailing in my blood makes me do some turns that this boat does so well from the wildly tipsy bull ride downwind to a perfectly controlled rapid turn back to windward and the awesome feeling of perfect control again. I think in my mind that I'm planing at speed in my sailing boat and come close to the rock-riprap bank then at the last moment I shoot up into the waves that I've been hurling around down wind and all terror ceases.
I really should add ballast on those real windy days after reading the posts of you guys.
And I have never been in an ocean with this boat.
But when most people think its way too windy to paddle that's when this boat shines....I mean I only play in three foot waves but wow how exciting.
Lots of room for storage if you want a multiple night camper. I know that for what this boat is designed for I am not even using it for,
The reason why I bought it about three years ago was it is extreme and it was made to catch and surf Pacific swells that similar boats might miss because its fast enough to catch more swells.
So I reasoned that if the burly Pacific was its playground by design then I should be able to surf in on some smaller inland lakes and I do.
It is wild because in three foot waves and a wind gusting to 25 or 30 mph it lifts up off the water and does its own surfing. Obligatory paddling is a must. You turn downwind and bam you are already surfing. I do not know what this would mean to me in some taller waves but it is thrilling enough in the 3ft chargers I've paddled it any numerous days.
It is not boring.
07-01-2008Submitted by: Sandy Jack
It may be frightening to some because off wind it feels like the boat is on the very brink or edge of being out of control but it sails along dry cockpit even in 2-3 foot waves even with no sprayskirt.
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have always been a great fan of the Current Design Expedition model and in fact I own the second one out of the mold which I have put several 1,000 kilometers in up and down the west coast.
But what has to be understood is this boat was built to meet a specific need as a fast, large capacity single for month long unsupported trips and for professional guides that need to keep up with customers in a double kayak.
In its element (fully loaded off-shore in open ocean swells) it's a rocket giving the paddler an e-ticket ride surfing down the swells with ease. In these conditions I have personally covered 100 kilometers in a Dawn to Dusk day. The other great advantage with the boat is in rough chop how dry the ride is if one removed the front toggle.
The downside of this boat though is trying to use this boat unloaded. On flat water the boat can be handled with ease and easily waterlines any other kayak of similar dimensions. In rough following seas though this boat is a real handful and requires the paddler to stay at pace with the swell and chop.
The other big issue is this is a big person boat and will easily overwhelm an average to small paddler's attempt to control it.
07-24-2006Submitted by: R.Anderson
- Rating: 8 of 10 I've had my CD "Expedition" for going on four years. It is an absolutely topnotch piece of fiberglass construction...beautiful to look at, and wonderfully well finished.
But, as has been alluded to in other reviews...it is not for a beginner. I was just that when I purchased mine. The salesman really didn't know anything about the boat (which I was unfortunately unaware of at the time) and he steered me in decidedly the wrong direction. I had so much initial difficulty staying upright that I called the factory for help. They clued me in that I had really gotten the wrong boat, but by that time I was in a practical sense stuck with it. Their advice to install about 50# of lead-shot ballast (two standard glass fiber bags of the stuff) in the very front of the rear cargo hold made the boat tolerable for my beginning skills...but still it could be a bit of a handfull. I have subsequently paddled it about 1000 miles give or take, and in the process become much more adept at "bracing" and leaning into turns, and all the rest of it. The one time I packed it with camping gear, the load made the handling much better. But even so, I have left the ballast in the boat (it is easily removeable should the need for maximum carrying capacity arise) because I still don't really trust it without it.
I love paddling, but I must say that my inital experience with this boat came close to souring me on the whole idea forever. I have spent much of my life on the water, having grown up on a lake, and I thought I knew all about boats, but the Expedition taught me to be a little more humble. I think any beginner would be well advised to stay away from this boat. It is true that it has a high degree of secondary stability (something that I have now learned enough to be able to take some advantage of), and that fact can save one's "bacon" given the right crucial circumstance; but generally speaking it usually takes an expert paddler to venture into the kind of situation where this characteristic can be taken proper advantage of in the first place.
There are kayaks, and there are kayaks, and I now know that there are kayaks that are even "tippier" than my Expedition, but not too many.
10-24-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have a '95 glass Expedition that I bought used in '96. While we were researching a larger boat for my daughter this summer I did a little bit of the "what will I replace my Expedition with when I have to?" game. I couldn't come up with anything that I would like better so the Expedition is for me. We mostly do day paddles but also do trips up to a week. The Expedition is fast empty or full, but does bounce in the chop when empty. The cockpit is huge; there is room for the barbeque between the pegs and the bulkhead. When empty in a cross-wind I need to put the rudder down to get it out of the wind; I should probably just remove it because I never really use it. There are other boats that are more fun in the big waves, but while I can only have one kayak, it will be an Expedition.
09-16-2004Submitted by: Tom Oiestad
- Rating: 10 of 10 Bought my CD Expedition in April 2004 after a year of reading product reviews on the net and in magazines, testing and getting advices from experienced paddlers. I wanted a kayak capable of rough seas and being 190cm tall I was looking for a roomy cockpit that suited me well. The Expedition did comply to all my demands. So far I have tested it in 1-1,2m waves which it handles great. The seat is perfectly sculptured in the way that my legs do not wear out during 6-7 hours of continuous paddling. The finish of all details is top of class, especially the rudder! Improvement? Maybe thicker padding in the backrest? I love my boat. Tall? Go for the Expedition!
01-28-2002Submitted by: heineman
- Rating: 8 of 10 I've had my fiberglass Expedition for 3 years... I started out as a beginner (this was my first boat!) and it was way too tipsy for a beginner. However, after I took a rolling class and began to learn how to lean and brace and the rest, I became a happy camper (actually a happy kayaker). It has a huge amount of storage and is fast even when loaded. You do need the rudder when windy since it is a rather high volume boat and will catch the wind. It is a comfortable boat for long trips. You will need to add padding to the knee braces unless you are very large. I am 5' 11" and weigh 190. I added about a 5/8" pad to the knee braces. It has a round hull which makes it fast and easy to lean and roll for such a large boat.
Not designed for playing in the surf... not that maneuverable... if you want to play, buy a British Boat like the Valley Avocet or the Current Designs Slipstream... I am waiting to try the new Current Designs British style Andromeda... large enough for expeditions and perhaps good in the surf. If I were going to go on a true expedition and cover lots of miles with lots of gear, the Expedition would be my choice. I repeat, this is not a beginner boat. Know how to roll and brace and lean before buying this boat.
05-22-2001Submitted by: Mike Simpson
- Rating: 8 of 10 As a Sea Kayak guide, I am lucky enough to have access to a variety of Sea Kayaks to experiment with. Based on those experiences I am the contented owner of a Current Designs Kevlar Expedition. For the advanced paddler, it is an excellent boat with fair-good initial and great secondary stability. Tracking is excellent and it will turn on a dime if you lean it over. In rough weather it will keep you dry unlike many other boats I've used. It also can carry huge amounts of gear so survival camping is not required. At 50lbs its light enough to be carried easily. It comes standard with a rudder but not really needed unless towing.
Some things that can be improved are as follows: The cockpit is too large and if you can't roll it (it is easy to roll) or dump the water, it will take a while to pump out. Note- CD will move bulkheads for you on request though there is added cost. For the less experienced, an empty Expedition feels kind of unstable and tippy and is much less so when loaded. While not the perfect boat yet, bar none its the best Sea Kayak for me at present.
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