Choosing A Kayak

While they all share the broadly familiar shape of a kayak, the range of Current Designs kayaks are designed to fill different roles, and depending on the kind of paddling you’d like to do, as well as your size, the perfect boat for me might not be the perfect boat for you. We’re going to broadly break down the types of kayaking you might do, and what kayak will best meet your needs.


Day Paddling

Many paddlers aren’t necessarily in search of something they can take on a two month expedition, nor are they paddling in conditions where they’re going to be playing in big waves and bad weather. If you only want something to take out on lakes, rivers, or even the great lakes or ocean in calm conditions, you’ll probably want one of the Vision series of kayaks. They come in three sizes: the Vision 120 (12’ long), Vision 130 (13’) and Vision 140 (you guessed it- 14’ long). While the Vision 120 offers a spacious cockpit, its smaller size will normally only be preferred for paddlers under ~160 pounds. The Vision 130 allows paddlers a bit larger, but importantly offers more space for extra gear, making it more suitable for longer days of paddling or even overnights or weekend trips if needed. The Vision 140 allows for larger paddlers (over 220 lbs) and has even more space for gear. 

 All of the models from the Vision 120 to 140 are primarily designed for stability and comfort, making them great for beginners. Despite their stability, they still providing responsive handling to build kayaking skills, and offer multiple bulkheads for safety if conditions turn on you. These models also feature a retractable skeg to help compensate for windy conditions with less drag and fuss than a rudder, encouraging paddle stroke and edging skills.

 For bigger water, you can also step up to the Karla 15’3” or Sisu 16’ Danish-style kayaks, or the Equinox GT or GTS 16’ kayak. While these higher-end models are designed for other uses primarily, they still fall within a manageable length for paddlers who either want a more rugged, sporty kayak (the Karla) or who want something more durable and quicker with the addition of a rudder as well (the Equinox). 


Solstice GT Touring Kayaks On A Shoreline


Touring kayaks are typically recognizable by their sleek longer waterlines, and abundant space for extra gear if needed. Current Designs began with touring in mind, building kayaks for extended trips on the waters around Vancouver Island, so we offer a handful of kayaks that meet these needs really well. 

 The mainstay of the CD fleet is the Solstice line. Available in 3 sizes (GTS for small to medium paddlers, GT for medium to large paddlers, and Titan for Large and XL paddlers). At 17’9” long, the Solstice line offers great speed and tracking through the water, great for covering lots of ground. A rudder system helps compensate for wind and improves maneuverability when loaded. The cockpit is quite spacious and includes a seat back, giving you options to adjust your position for a longer day of paddling. Large hatches fore and aft provide abundant storage, and the deep hull means you can add quite a bit of weight without turning your kayak into a submarine. The Solstice is also quite stable, which combined with the rudder makes it a nice option for photography on the water.

The Equinox line (GTS and GT, following the same sizing recommendations as the Solstice) is a shorter 16’ in length. Still long enough to provide a smooth glide through the water, it gives up some extra space for gear. This is perfect for paddlers who want to spend several days on a trip. It’s also great for day paddlers wanting more speed in a day touring boat. The stability and rudder also make it handy for photography. 

 Prana on a circumnavigation of Denmark

More recently CD has added the Danish family of kayaks. These designs blend features from Greenland-style kayaks, as well as British and North American-style boats. Of these, 2 models make excellent options for touring, the 16’ Sisu and 17’ Prana

The Prana, at 17’ in length, offers a very refined paddling experience. It is slimmer and sleeker than the Solstice or Equinox models, offering excellent speed in the water, while its lines make great maneuverability on edge. It is noticeably more playful, and can be rolled easily. The Prana is great for paddlers seeking a more active experience. Added hatches (day hatch behind, whiskey hatch in front), give you convenient dry storage space when the weather really takes a turn for the worse. It’s available in both a Standard volume and Low-Volume options, the latter perfect for smaller paddlers and those looking for a tighter Greenland-style experience. 

 The 16’ Sisu is one of the best all-round kayaks in the fleet. While shorter than the Prana, it has abundant space for gear and a slightly wider hull. Larger paddlers will much prefer the fit of the Sisu to the Prana. The added stability makes it much more comfortable for new paddlers, but the hull shape also responds excellently to edging and maneuvering, making it a kayak you won’t grow out of. It has lots of space for gear, convenient day and whiskey hatches, and extremely predictable handling in rougher conditions. Versatile handling makes this as good a choice for playing in the surf as it is for touring in weather fair or foul. It has tons of leg room and is available in Standard and Low volume options. 


Karla 15'3

Surf and Play

The Danish family of kayaks were designed to excel in rough conditions. A well-designed kayak for playing in waves will typically prioritize maneuverability and predictability in rough conditions. The above-mentioned Prana is the least playful of the 3 Danish models, but on longer interval waves you can still take it for a nice ride. The Sisu is going to be noticeably more playful than that, but the most maneuverable and playful of all will be the 15’3” Karla. Shorter than the Sisu and still a bit wider, it is built for maximum maneuverability, and the hull shape makes it very predictable regardless of which direction the waves are taking you. It still features the added hatches of the other Danish models, making it a great day paddling kayak as well. Like the others, the Karla is available in a Standard Volume for medium and larger paddlers, as well as a Low volume version, for small and medium paddlers.



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