Why are there no starter boats for the petite paddler? All the plastic boats seem to be built for someone 140lbs and up. Of course there are fiberglass models petite paddler specific but for someone starting out $4000 is a crazy amount of money to spend on a kayak. Would a plastic boat no longer than 15 feet and 19.5 to 20 inches wide not sell? Has this portion of the market failed before or something? Are there not plenty of paddlers in the 90-125lb range? Do they all just buy a camping boat and pad it out?
And so ends my rant for the day after trying so suggest an inexpensive boat for my petite niece.
Touring Kayak Paddles
PFD's (Life Jackets)
Kayak & Canoe Covers
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
|Table of Contents|
|Messages in this Topic|
Dagger Alchemy S|
Posted by: acadia on Mar-24-13 12:12 PM (EST)
Great boat for a small beginner (and fun for an advanced paddler too). Very nice price.
Posted by: edzep on Mar-24-13 3:54 PM (EST)
They tend to be women|
Posted by: Celia on Mar-24-13 12:20 PM (EST)
Who spent years being jammed into guy's boats with padding because it was guys making the boats. Apparently women didn't have any money to buy boats....
Thanks for the suggestion|
Posted by: BigandSmall on Mar-24-13 1:09 PM (EST)
The price of an Alchemy is attractive but I was talking about a model designed for a paddler 1/3 less in weight. The closest I have seen (on the net) is a Tahe Solo PE at 12.5 feet and 21.1 inches wide. The dream model would be 15 feet, no more than 20 inches wide and a 10 inch deck. Basically a plastic Pilgrim without the knee bumps. After renting a bunch of the petite paddler boats I built my wife a scaled Yost design so she could have a day boat. We are debating ordering a Pilgrim for her next. However the price is not realistic for my still in school niece that wants to get started. At 5'2 and 110lbs she is at a size that is without a model unless she wants a big camping boat or has money to spend.
Perception, Dagger, Necky, P&H ...|
Posted by: wetzool on Mar-24-13 1:18 PM (EST)
Tribute 14.0 and Expression 14.5 are both smaller persons boats as is the Dagger Alchemy S previously mentioned. Also, Necky Eliza, P&H Delphin 150, North Shore Aspect LV RM.
Eliza too big for 110 lb paddler.|
Posted by: Yanoer on Mar-24-13 2:17 PM (EST)
I fit it just fine at 5'6" and 165 lbs.
The market does not exist ....|
Posted by: seadart on Mar-24-13 1:41 PM (EST)
From a large manufacturers standpoint they would sell so few kayaks in that size it does not make sense to produce a lot of models. There are three or four models you can buy in that size. The market is tending towards large overweight middle age males who want rec boats and that is what gets produced the most.
Posted by: slushpaddler on Mar-25-13 11:29 AM (EST)
the truth hurts.
Look for a used WS Piccolo|
Posted by: pikabike on Mar-24-13 3:13 PM (EST)
Discontinued model but some show up on classifieds here and there.
Pretty close ...|
Posted by: wetzool on Mar-24-13 3:29 PM (EST)
in specifications to the Picolo is the Walrus Griffin:
Weird seat front edges|
Posted by: pikabike on Mar-24-13 3:36 PM (EST)
Just looking at the sharp points makes me wince. Might snag clothing or skin in a sudden unexpected move. Rest of the boat looks pretty nice.
Look around for a used QCC-10x|
Posted by: jackl on Mar-24-13 3:51 PM (EST)
If you can go 1" wider.
couple more options|
Posted by: jesse59 on Mar-24-13 3:53 PM (EST)
Current Designs Squamish
Just saw a CD Raven on Craigslist|
Posted by: brawleytj on Mar-24-13 5:30 PM (EST)
on the east coast of Florida. A plastic or composite Impex Mystic would work well too. Just got a used glass Mystic in Titusville, Fl. There's a Widerness Systems Tschaika in Sarasota (Economy Tackle) as well.
Posted by: BigandSmall on Mar-24-13 7:43 PM (EST)
The raven would be a great boat if it were 14.5-15 feet long. I considered buying one for my wife when we were starting out.
Disagree on the Squamish|
Posted by: Celia on Mar-24-13 9:34 PM (EST)
I am a bigger than the OPer's niece and it feels like a wide lard barge on me.
Posted by: BigandSmall on Mar-24-13 7:29 PM (EST)
I understand there not being a market for a boat as small as the one I built my wife. She's 4'11 and 90lbs so her selection is even smaller. It does surprise me though that there is not a market for the 110lb'ers since there are so many of them. I suppose if the Piccolo got discontinued there may not be. I've been casually keeping an eye out for one for a while now. We already have 2 Tsunami SP's in our fleet and if they were a little longer and had a decent thigh brace they'd be fine. At 21 inches they are very stable. My wife and daughter stand in them and paddle them like paddle boards but they are the on the petite side of petite.
Current Designs Suka for very small|
Posted by: Yanoer on Mar-24-13 9:41 PM (EST)
Posted by: capphuff on Mar-24-13 9:14 PM (EST)
I love my Eddyline Samba! I am 5.6, and 105 pounds. I ran the Adirondack Canoe Classic with it and my only major problem...the carries...she is 43 pounds! I think she is $2300 for it, new...A major plus, my son and husband can not "barrow" her!
Yes, Eddyline Samba|
Posted by: Waterbird on Mar-24-13 10:43 PM (EST)
I haven't paddled it myself (not petite), but I have the Samba's big brother and love it---same hull shape. Is it out of your price range? Even if it's out of your range try to demo one to get a sense of how beautifully a well-designed hull in thermoformed plastic paddles---like a dream. Try it with a light carbon paddle and you'll be in heaven.
Posted by: blackboat on Mar-24-13 10:05 PM (EST)
Posted by: medawgone on Mar-24-13 10:25 PM (EST)
Posted by: BigandSmall on Mar-25-13 10:53 AM (EST)
Is the right size, just missing bulkheads and deck lines. I've looked at a few times, not sure how to get one in Canada. They don't answer email when I tried last year.
Starter or price?|
Posted by: Marshall on Mar-24-13 11:17 PM (EST)
.Some good suggestions have been made already.
Tried the Venture LV|
Posted by: BigandSmall on Mar-25-13 10:29 AM (EST)
Last summer, way too big on my wife. As for the Scorpio LV we are picking one up in a few days for an occasional big camping boat for my wife and for friends to use.
That was a standard volume|
Posted by: Marshall on Mar-25-13 11:00 AM (EST)
The Venture Islay LV only hit US shores two weeks ago.
Posted by: BigandSmall on Mar-25-13 12:35 PM (EST)
It was a Easky LV, not an Islay at MEC in Victoria last summer. Sorry about that.
More like a pinhole|
Posted by: suiram on Mar-25-13 7:54 AM (EST)
There is not enough volume for manufacturers to invest in a new mold ( ~20-30K USD ). As to the recommended boats - note that if someone is specifying paddler weight from 100lb to 220lb, they are involved in BS marketing. Also note that expedition class boats are meant to be paddled loaded.
Posted by: Celia on Mar-25-13 11:34 AM (EST)
I believe Alison Sigethy paddles that when she is not full greenland, at least she was when I saw her at the last Downeast Symposium. Alison is tall but is a weed, and fond of tight fits. I spent a day in that boat myself, and would put it strongly on the list for a sub-120 lb paddler. At 130-135 I felt that this boat could actually take less than me and still get a good waterline. Cockpit fit/ thigh length always needs to be confirmed by an in-person sit-in of course. The only reason I didn't go for the boat was that I already had one which I felt fit the bill as well. But if I didn't have a smaller person's boat that I had grown comfy with, I'd have been looking to buy the Avocet LV.
Posted by: angstrom on Mar-25-13 10:57 AM (EST)
Thank you all for the suggestions|
Posted by: BigandSmall on Mar-25-13 11:50 AM (EST)
Last summer my wife and I drove a few thousand kilometers and rented: Pilgrim, Avocet LV, Ice Cap, Reval Mini, Tempest 165 and a Venture LV. We also tried to find a Rumour and a Mystic without success. In the end I built her a skin boat. I scaled down a Yost Sea Rider to fit. Her boat is 18 inches wide and 15'9 long. Building is a realistic option for the truly petite. I am debating investing the time into a scaled stripper (Siskiwit LV) or buying a Pilgrim.
I am with you|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Mar-25-13 1:18 PM (EST)
Part of the problem is that people have been convinced that they need a kayak that can carry two weeks' of expedition gear in order to do day paddles. I see medium to large capacity sea kayaks on the water (and on cartops leaving kayak shops) all summer long, but very few of them are carrying anything but the paddler.
Posted by: Andy_Szymczak on Mar-25-13 1:39 PM (EST)
I had a long talk with Steve Scherer (Flatpick) at Paddlesports in NJ this past weekend and I said to him at one point that I thought it a shame that the Picollo isn't made anymore. I have one for my grand kids and looked long and hard to find it. Steve agreed as did his wife Cindy. I hope they pass that along to the powers that be at Wilderness Systems.
Posted by: LeeG on Mar-26-13 3:02 PM (EST)
I had one for my daughters
Posted by: angstrom on Mar-26-13 9:04 AM (EST)
The old WS Tchaika could be a good option if you can find one. My 5'0" wife loves hers.
90 -110 pound Sea kayaker|
Posted by: FrankNC on Mar-26-13 9:18 AM (EST)
OK I have to admit that I have never seen one, but I've seen a few small white water paddlers. I think they get bigger with age, so that once they are in their 40's and beginnning to be interested in sea paddling they usually weigh more.
It isn't just the weight|
Posted by: Celia on Mar-26-13 9:33 AM (EST)
Someone who is 90 to 110 pounds to start with is also highly likely to be small in height, leg length, torso and arm length. So hitting a good fit for thighs, or a good reach to the water, does not get better as someone ages up and gains weight. What makes a boat fit well moves a lot less with even 20 more pounds than with an extra inch or two in these length dimensions.
Posted by: slushpaddler on Mar-26-13 9:47 AM (EST)
I'll say it again: most small to average-size people I see on the water are in kayaks that are too big for them.
Posted by: magooch on Mar-26-13 9:26 AM (EST)
Novus Composites (NC) builds some of the finest sea kayaks on the market. They are all American made and their 15'-8" models are very light, fast, stable and extremely comfortable. These are boats that one will never outgrow in any way. They are a lifetime boat and the price for brand new built to order is often competitive with poly boats. Take a look at nckayaks.com
Posted by: old_user on Mar-26-13 3:37 PM (EST)
My girlfriend is 4' 10" and 100 lbs and she fit like a glove in the Tsumani SP. The issue with that was nobody else but her would have fit into it, so I could never bring anyone else with me. We ended up buying two Perception Expression 14.5's and she was just as comfortable in that as well. I fit very nicely also and I'm 5' 8" 220lbs. Granted they are not really a start price but they did fit her.
Tchaika - notice about inseam length |
Posted by: kayak_bob on Mar-26-13 4:09 PM (EST)
Tsunami SP |
Posted by: kathleen on Mar-26-13 5:41 PM (EST)
Posted by: mandylee3 on Mar-27-13 10:25 PM (EST)
I ran into similar issues last fall while searching for a boat. I'm 5'8", 115lbs. After a ton of research and some test paddling I went with the Boreal Design Baffin p1. It's 16'6' long and 21.5"wide. They also make the Epsilon in a p1, which I believe has similar dimensions. I was looking for a longer touring boat so didn't look at the WS Tsunami SP, but with how petite she is it might be worth checking out.
Posted by: ppine on Mar-30-13 11:31 AM (EST)
People carry things when they paddle like dogs, lunch, clothes, etc. The market for a small boats with no dunnage is to small to worry about.
Posted by: Celia on Mar-30-13 1:21 PM (EST)
I have a smaller person's sea kayak, sub 16 ft, and have spent a day here and there in ones for smaller paddlers than my boat.