Your #1 source for kayaking and canoeing information.               FREE Newsletter!
my Profile

Advice, Suggestions and General Help New Topic Printer Friendly Version

  Viper 10.4
  Posted by: capndan77 on Apr-01-13 12:11 AM (EST)
   Category: Kayaks 

Has anyone tried this poly kayak? Looking for something inexpensive for grandsons but don't want to by junk just because it is inexpensive! Advertised as 10'4" in choice of three colors at Menards. I know nothing about this one.

 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:


Dual Rack

Touring Kayak Paddles

Portage Carts/Carriers

Kayak/Canoe Ergometer

Table of Contents

Messages in this Topic


  Posted by: JimMcC on Apr-01-13 12:24 AM (EST)
My wife and I just bought one tonight at Menards. The price was too good to pass up. If she doesn't like it, we have 90 days to return it. It also includes a paddle and foot pegs. This is going to be an extra kayak for when one of our kids or a friend wants to go with her. We cant try it out until the lakes thaw. Sorry.
  Large width - Very high sides
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Apr-01-13 1:07 AM (EST)
Little kid in a short, very wide kayak.....hmmmmm
Width: 31.75 inches - Height: 13 inches

How does the paddle blade get in the water
without a lot of knuckle banging by a little kid ?
Long paddle is usually heavier to boot.

Each kid is unique in torso, arm length, etc.

  Posted by: JimMcC on Apr-01-13 3:26 AM (EST)
How do you know it's a "little kid"? All the OP said was grandsons. For all we know, they could be in their teens.
  Just purchased
  Posted by: free_spirit_ohio on Apr-04-13 10:22 AM (EST)
We just purchased one from Menard's earlier this week and couldn't resist the price for the kayak with paddle included. We're planning on putting it on the lake at my property later today for the initial outing. First impression is that the seat & foot pegs feel comfortable, cup holders are convenient, paddle seems to be good (adjustable in length and offset) and overall I'm satisfied with the quality and design. Primarily bought it to allow additional paddlers to join along while we're kayaking. In addition to the Viper 10.4, we have a Wilderness Systems Pungo 120, Tarpon 120, and a 15' Coleman Ram-X canoe.
  On-water review
  Posted by: free_spirit_ohio on Apr-04-13 11:31 PM (EST)
My son (6'1", 250 lbs) and I (5'8", 175 lbs) had the Viper 10.4 out this afternoon and we're both impressed with the bang for the buck. The water was a 5 acre private lake and the wind varied from still to moderate. I had over 2 hours of seat time and my son spent 4 or so hours afloat and we both alternated between fishing and paddling around to different areas.

The seat is comfortable and although it is adjustable, the range of positions is somewhat limited. We both noticed that while in the kayak that we essentially didn't really notice where we were, simply that we were in the water, and I think that speaks for the kayak feeling very much just like an extension of ourselves.

The paddle works well and while there is a little bit of give at the connection, it isn't noticeable. We both used the paddle in the long position with both blades parallel (it also has an offset setting but it felt so good as is, that we never changed it). The rubber shaft rings keep the water from running down the paddle and out of the kayak.

The bungee cords work well and the front one works quite well for holding the paddle in place with one end slid under if you want to free up your hands. The back compartment is quite spacious, though it is open into the cockpit, so is not waterproof (a dry bag would be recommended if in splashing water or if you think you might take as spill). The cover is easy to put on and take off, and the rear bungee provides a bit of extra security. The adjustable foot rests work well, though just a bit more difficult to adjust then my Wilderness Systems are, and they stay in position well when placed.

The front cup holder is relatively deep and works well. I also used it to hold my rod, which it seemed to do securely as well as being a handy spot to toss a few things. There is also another cup holder in the front of the seat. The front and rear carry handles are quite comfy and the kayak is easy to lift and move (easily loaded in the back of the pick-up by just one person).

Stability was great and we both felt quite comfy & safe, without even a thought of tipping. My first impression was that the kayak felt like a speedster and moved along very well in the water. I'm well satisfied with the tracking and while it may sway a little (depending on how you paddle), keeping a straight bearing isn't bad at all. The kayak can also turn on a dime. The stern sits a little lower in the water then the bow but felt and handled quite well. The beaver have been busy at the property and we went over several slightly covered beaver dams with ease. A two hour stretch of continuous kayaking is fine, though it can be nice to take a stretch at some point after that.

The kayak worked quite well for fishing and between the two of us, we caught 18 bass & two crappie (catch & release), including one just under 20" and one well over 20", without a problem.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one (especially at the $150 price for kayak and paddle) but already have a Pungo 120 & Tarpon 120 and don't really need another (the main reason I bought the Viper was to allow friends & family to join in kayaking).

I'd recommend the kayak and if you are interested in getting on the water at an affordable price, this would be a great way to do so.

Happy Kayaking!
  Posted by: JimMcC on Apr-05-13 2:10 PM (EST)
You guys with the Viper, do you see any way to tie this down on the roof of a car? The only thing available are the front and rear pad eyes/handles, and I don't know if they are held by screws only, or a bolt and a nut. Thanks.
  Posted by: suiram on Apr-05-13 2:25 PM (EST)
  Posted by: JimMcC on Apr-05-13 2:42 PM (EST)
I know HOW to tie it down, what I'm asking is will the pad eyes with the handles be strong enough? I don't know if they are held by screws only or with bolts and nuts. Thanks.
  Two straps and less reliance on handles
  Posted by: Celia on Apr-11-13 2:40 PM (EST)
Two straps, foam blocks and if it is a bare naked roof just run the staps around the boat and thru the doors to clamp inside the car. I am assuming you have tripped over cam straps, if not go find them.

Use the handles on the ends to restrict the boat from going side to side via bow line to under the car's bumper, or you can put loops onto the hod bumpers and create a V-shape with a long rope. Stern rope if you can find something to tie to. but with a good bow line you'll see soon enough if it is starting to move.

I completely agree with the concept of not relying entirely on the handles - for any boat no matter how well installed. You may need those to aid in an on-water situation, as in a capsize, so it'd be silly to wear them out just getting the boat to the water.
  securing Viper 10.4
  Posted by: CarlaA on Nov-12-14 5:04 PM (EST)
We installed eye bolts and U-bolts to the front and back for securing and security (theft.)
  Viper Transport
  Posted by: free_spirit_ohio on Apr-07-13 10:10 PM (EST)
Sorry for the delay and I went back to the property and spent the weekend (no internet). I've only hauled the Viper (Pungo & Tarpon also) in the back of my pickup, so don't know the best car-topping recommendation. If using the front and rear tie downs, along with a center strap (or two) from side to side, I'd think it would be relatively secure. The fasteners don't appear to be super sturdy though. I did use the handle to pull the kayak partially onto shore with my wife aboard today (the water is chilly and didn't want to get her feet wet) and it seemed to be okay, but I tried not to put too much stress on it.

Viper kayaks website does have a contact form on their website and they may be able to provide the best recommendations.
  Posted by: JimMcC on Apr-07-13 11:15 PM (EST)
  Cockpit cover
  Posted by: old_user on Apr-16-13 6:26 PM (EST)
I want to purchase a cockpit cover for mine but they ask for the deck size and the range is like (1-7.5). anyone know what deck size this is?
  Viper 10.4
  Posted by: capndan77 on Apr-11-13 11:17 AM (EST)
After reading your reply, Free Spirit, I went to Menards and bought two of the yaks. They seem like just what we wanted. I may put side handles on them to make carrying a little easier. I visited the Viper website and was a little surprised to see a $399 price plus $49.95 for the paddle! Looks like I saved $300 on each yak. That helps. Thanks for all the input. Now I need to just wait for the ice to melt on the lakes around us here in northern Michigan!
  Posted by: JimMcC on Apr-11-13 2:32 PM (EST)
capndan77, we bought one also for friends, but can't use it yet here either. What type of handle would work well on the sides? The plastic seems kind of thin to me for a handle. Thanks.
  No handles on sides of kayaks
  Posted by: Celia on Apr-11-13 5:23 PM (EST)
Kayaks don't have handles on the sides, except maybe sit-on-tops because there isn't much to grab. These Vipers weigh very little and have a plenty big cockpit to hoist over your shoulder. No earthly reason to put handles on the sides.
  What lakes in northern MI?
  Posted by: Celia on Apr-11-13 3:38 PM (EST)
You are surrounded by a couple of very big ones that rec boats like these should not be on. Are you talking smaller inland stuff?
  Inland lakes
  Posted by: capndan77 on Apr-18-13 11:49 AM (EST)
Yes, we are in the middle of an area with numerous small to medium size lakes. Will not be heading to the Great Lakes even though two are within short driving distance. Still ice on these smaller lakes and the two nearby rivers are at near flood stage and moving fast. Patience is the keyword right now. It's tough though, we want to get into the water. As far as handles, I realize that they may not be necessary but they are handy when carrying if you find that the person on the front bumps their calf when carrying front and rear ropes. A website "" has strap handles for sides around $10 a set with a hardware package extra. Key here would be sure they were mounted center for balance and do not interfere with paddling.
  Viper 10.4
  Posted by: old_user on May-08-13 4:22 PM (EST)
I just tried my new Viper from Menards on the Kickapoo. Fast and twisty river, Moderate downfall obstacles and heavy hydraulics. The Viper actually outperformed my Dirigo 120 for stability. It's a flatter hull design so you loose some steering stability but you're not gonna fall out or roll unless you try hard. If the deal comes around again I'm gonna dump my Pelican for another Viper. Plenty of cargo space for weekend minimalist. Only question is how it will work as a gear hauling tow for the longer trips.
  Gear-hauling tow?
  Posted by: Guideboatguy on Jun-10-13 9:56 PM (EST)
You plan to tow a boat to bring along extra gear? I think you might want to do a trial run before actually going on a trip that way, and see if you still think it's a reasonable idea. Towing another boat is no fun, though if it's completely empty and you make the effort to rig a non-wandering harness (which still won't be perfect), it's tolerable.
  Viper 10.4
  Posted by: old_user on Jun-10-13 8:43 PM (EST)
I just purchased a Viper 10.4. I have never owned a kayak before. I love it! I have gone out every night since I bought it, and it is light and easy to use. I plan to use it with my seven grand children, and I think it will be perfect for them.
  Viper kayak
  Posted by: old_user on Jul-08-13 7:27 PM (EST)
We purchased 2 of them this spring when they were n sale .
They are a great kayak for kids, they are wider and not tippy at all
Not too heavy either.
They dont have a skeg for faster or windy conditions but they are a geat value. We caught the 169 deal with the 11% rebate
A steal for 150!
  Posted by: JimMcC on Jul-08-13 9:09 PM (EST)
We got the same great deal, $149 after rebate, and it included a paddle!! My wife likes it better than her Old Town Otter. She says it's more stable, and the seat is more comfy. But it's not only for kids.
  Posted by: thegoose on Jul-09-13 8:25 AM (EST)
Just wanted to chime in since the one term that appears to be absent from this thread is "PFD".
Not judging, but seems like at least some of the new viper owners may be relatively new to paddling.
For you new folks. Please wear it.
  Viper 10.4
  Posted by: capndan77 on Feb-20-14 12:39 AM (EST)
Here it is, nearly a year since I posted with questions about the Viper kayak. Can say that I have been well satisfied after purchasing the first one and then a second and then a third! They have been everywhere, rivers, small lakes and some larger ones, too. They are stable, light and easy to paddle. I feel very safe with grandsons paddling their own (ages 7 and 10). These were bargain priced but turned into good investments. Have used for camp trips as well. Found that t-handles are NOT strong enough to tie down so use roof pads and cross straps. PDF is mandatory but find ones comfortable for kayak use. Happy yaking!
  Viper 10.4 kayak
  Posted by: dmplizard02 on May-12-14 7:06 PM (EST)
We have three of them from Menards and we love them. They are not for white water rafting that is for sure but to go down a nice river or lake they are perfect.
  Viper10.4 experience
  Posted by: Milyakee on Jul-13-14 9:58 PM (EST)
I have been kayaking for about three years. I have a 14' Pelican as my main boat. I am not an elitist - I just want something that I don't have to freak out over if it gets dropped or if I drag it across a rocky bottom. I am 6'4 and 1/2" tall and weigh close to 290 pounds. I bought the Viper 10.4 Pelican and of course, more maneuverable. The foot rests are a better design and the seat is more comfortable. At no time did it feel like I was overloading the boat - it was very stable. Based on my first impression of using it for bout an hour, it seems like a great kayak for someone who is looking to kayak for a half day trip. The boat lacks a skeg, but didn't fishtail as much as I expected. The bottom of the boat is fairly wide and has sort of a shallow double hull sort of design.
  viper 10.4 sprayskirt
  Posted by: happy2bahick on Aug-18-14 1:29 PM (EST)
Has anyone had any luck buying a sprayskirt for the Viper 10.4?
  Viper 10.4
  Posted by: jimhopp on Nov-23-14 12:10 AM (EST)
This was my first kayak and I have to say for the price, it's a winner, wouldn't hesitate to recommend it! I've had some eyelets break fairly quickly but bought some replacements from Bass Pro that were sturdier and I've had nothing but fun with it! Just bought a 16' sea kayak and will be trying different waters but this little baby has been in both rivers, coastal great lakes in 1-2 waves (don't recommend unless close to shore, it could swamp with 1 wave and put float bags etc in front & back just in case) and many smaller inland lakes. Love it! Had it for 2 years and have about 125 miles on it.


Follow us on:
Free Newsletter | About Us | Site Map | Advertising Info | Contact Us


©2015 Inc.