Bruce Babb, Maine
I’ve been kayaking for about 14 years now with a heavy, but very dependable Aquaterra plastic kayak. I’m getting older and needed a lighter boat. I’m delighted with yours!!!
Jerry Tiner, Oregon
Great Boat! Makes me smile every time I look at it. Best boats out there. Keep up the good work.
This is a great kayak. I go out into Long Island all the time in it and love it. It handles great and feels very stable. I also have the Night Hawk 16 which is also a great boat. That boat can fly and is a little rocky at start. With in a few trips the rockiness goes away. Rating: 10 of 10
Rick Hoffman, Clinton, NJ
I’ve paddled this boat almost every week since last June, including the (mild) winter months. A true joy to paddle that is rather fast for the price, turns when you want, and tracks when it should. Very satisfied with this purchase.
Joe Latos, Washinton State
All I can say is WOW! I am an International Quality Assurance Manager; I measure quality of products that are produced all over the world. The Equinox is an outstanding performance Kayak. The quality is top notch and the size is perfect! Great job guys keep it up!
The Equinox is a gem of a boat for us large frame guys.I have been at this sport for four years and this is my third boat. I had it out on the lake with 1 to 2 foot waves and it handled the wind and waves without any problem. It is very stable. You can lean it until water starts coming in the cockpit without fear of tipping. The Eddyline workmanship is outstanding. I looked a long time to find my next boat. So you long legged large folks give it a try and you will be delighted that they finally built a kayak for us that has room yet is fast and stable.Rating: 10 of 10
Dave Novoselsky, Illinois
Wow, a kayak that actually performs exactly as claimed by the manufacturer and as set out in the reviews! I am a newbie, with several inherent handicaps to developing skills in a sport I am starting to love: I am 210 pounds with broad shoulders and short legs (28″ inseam.) The result is a build that makes tipping over all too-easy to do — unintentionally. I am also 58 years old with limited agility courtesy of Uncle Sugar circa 1969. My first outing in a kayak which was supposed to be “very stable” resulted in rolling over at the launch. I switched to something said to be suitable for a beginner with “great primary stability and good secondary.” I rolled that one over the first time I tried to apply a little force doing a draw stroke. Looking around a bit more, I decided that the hull design of a Tsunami 165 with its shallow V and distinct chines (easy for a newbie to feel and hold the secondary stability) would work for me. It did, but the tradeoff was a rather heavy boat at 65 pounds, one a bit hard to turn, a tad ponderous to move out, but great once you got it going. So I wanted something smaller and lighter, and more “agile” but with the same type of chined hull and stability. I did my research looking for another hull design with a shallow V and chines, and ended up speaking to Joe at Eddyline. Joe went into detail about their design objectives and, after describing my size and build, said go with their Equinox. He hooked me up with a local dealer (Great Lakes Kayak in Lake Bluff Illinois) who had a demo and several new boats in stock. The demo was the next day. I spent a minute looking at the hull design with its distinct chines, we put it in the water, and I said, “Gee, it feels a bit twitchy.” No, that turned out to be just quicker response on a lighter boat than the one I was used to (the 45 pound claim Eddyline lists is correct.) The Equinox is also superbly balanced, providing faster and more precise reactions than I was used to from my heavier, and longer Tsunami. The first paddle was all it took to feel what is indeed very good initial stability and then a quick lean and — YES, THERE IT IS– very distinct and wonderful secondary stability. This little puppy has simply marvelous secondary stability. If you want to tip over, you have to work at it. I bought the new one right on the spot. I took it out for three hours late yesterday on Lake Michigan after a storm, conditions mostly flat with gentle 2 to 3 foot swells. It handled them comfortably. You paddle, it moves out fast. Tracks dead on, and turns on a dime. I started to have a lot of fun and managed to lean over and start to ´carve´ without feeling the least bit nervous or needing to. After wringing it out and trying out all I had been taught, This kayak is a great sports car. A responsive hull that feels like it is one with its paddler and responds like my son´s Mini Cooper, you give it the input, and it leaps to respond! Speed is no doubt less than longer, narrower boats, but seems plenty fast for it length/beam. Again, if there is any trade off in this design it is would only be ´top end´ speed, which I am quite willing to give up for its sports car handling and agility. Comfort? The cockpit is a perfect fit for me, despite my large size and the boat´s relatively short length. The footbraces are a snap to adjust, and the thigh and hip braces fit me fine, even with my large upper body build. The seat looks hard, but after three hours without a break, it proved to be very comfortable. I did see the other review which has some reservation about the seatback comfort, but even with a wired-together and fragile back, I was fine once I picked one of the three easily-adjustable seat back heights. (Adjustment is a ten second, one screw process, with no need for tools.) The build quality and detailing is outstanding. I would recommend this boat for anyone like myself, new to the sport and with any issues at all about stability. I can also see that it would be a great boat for those who need something lighter than a full-on touring kayak or want a boat to go out and just have fun for a day. I plan on keeping the Equinox for a long time, since even if I can get to a level where I am a ´pro´ I cannot imagine getting rid of something this responsive and this much fun. Rating: 10 of 107/28/2006 Dave Novoselsky, Illinois
Tim Prentice, Fort Wayne, IN
I have recently, actually within the past few days, purchased my first kayak ! I absolutely love it ! I have been going to demos for the past 5 yrs. trying different kayaks , I can honestly say that i have always come back to the eddy line . any how you came out with the perfect boat for me, the equinox. thank-you thank-you , thank-you. I love it. I have paddled everyday since. Anyhow I just wanted to say hello and thanks.
Herb Glick, Alberta, Canada
Love your boat!My wife and I discovered kayaking less than two months ago. We took lessons, rented and shopped like mad for our own. After trying a dozen or so, we settled on the Equinox. We rate them 99 out of 100
Meg and Gus Goncalves, Palm Coast, Florida
We love the Equinox! I have been paddling the NightHawk 16 for years. My husband paddles the NightHwak 17.5 We needed another kayak for my brother who has just moved to Florida. We ordered an Equinox for him. It arrived this weekend. With remnants of hurricane Wilma still lingering, I took the Equinox out for a paddle in 15 to 20 knot winds. The Equinox was light, responsive, tracks beautifully, and a breeze to maneuver. The winds were not an issue at all with white caps churning up the waters. I am very happy with its design and ease of paddling in the winds. It was not a wet ride at all! Great job to Eddyline for designing a perfect 14 foot kayak! The Equinox is now one of my favorite all around kayak for short or long trips. 5 Star rating on the Equinox , the value and performance is superb! ps… I am 51 and have tried many kayaks out there! I rarely will give such a review, but this kayak deserves it! Eddyline Kayaks have proven to be a superior design with high performance for our family, and we recommend them highly to all our friends and guests!
Robert P. Schwenoha, Los Osos, CA
My wife loves it. She found it easier to paddle than the Loon 120 she was used to and found the seat to be more comfortable. She liked the foot pegs and adjustment device. She can glide longer and farther (no big surprise – 2 feet longer and about 5 inches narrower). We were out about 2 1/2 hours and she didn’t get tired like she used to in the Loon 120. I went out today in moderately heavy winds and heavy chop (just a few whitecaps). I took my GPS with me. Paddling into the wind I was paddling fairly hard and could sustain 3 MPH. Your no-rudder design was right on track and took me straight to where I pointed. When I reached the sand dunes and got out of the wind I could leisurely paddle the shoreline at 3.4 MPH (light paddling) and the tracking was great. The return trip had the wind to my back and slightly over my left shoulder. Paddling moderately I could sustain 4.2 MPH but had to paddle harder on the left side and adjust my paddle off center to keep going straight. I was using a mini-spray skirt instead of a full one and one wave caught up to me from behind hard enough to put a little bit of water into the cockpit from the side (won’t do that again in high wind). The following waves were coming from the back left and some of them were just washing over the front 1/3 of the boat or were giving me a mild surf! . The boat was still very stable and stayed on course (still heavier left paddle than right though). I weigh 230 lb and felt pretty low in the water (but the Equinox has less height than the Solstice I usually paddle). My top speed in a sprint was 5.2 MPH. The Equinox is probably the best fit for my wife’s current skills and desires. Thank you for designing a 14-footer. It will serve her well.
Tammy Rothwell, New York
I did it!!! I took the plunge and bought my first kayak and I am so happy I did. Sheer childlike exhuberance coursed through my veins as I drove home proudly screaming, “IT’S MINE!” Atop my car rested my blue and white Eddyline Equinox, oh what adventures to come! I feel Evergreen Outfitters did a marvelous job at helping me to decide which vessel was for me. I tried out a few others until I found the perfect one. Purchasing a kayak is a big decision, one not made in haste. I found it was best to rent, read and ask many questions. By doing so I met a good group of people, aka paddlers. I eagerly await my next adventure with the boat I nicknamed, FREEDOM.
Submitted by SDK, paddling.net
Sweet boat. Best boat I’ve owned by far. Good initial and excellent secondary stability. Good speed for a 14′ boat, but I wouldn’t call it a speedster. It will give you a taste of riding smaller swells and wind driven lake waves, but the rides will be rather short. You’ll have to work hard for longer rides. Tracks straight and true on windless days. Can be pushed around a bit by stronger winds, but correctable. Excellent fit and finish. A pride to own. My rating of 10 is relative to other boats of similar length. Rating: 10 of 10
Chuck Wills Nashville, IN
The Equinox is the perfect kayak for my needs. For a 14″ boat the speed and tracking and comfort are fantastic. I am extremely happy with Eddyline, the Equinox and Rusted Moon Outfitters (Indianapolis, IN).
Michele Sullivan, Clermont, FL
Susan and Matt at Aardvarks were very helpful. They let me demo several different kinds and told me the pros & cons of different models. They didn’t try to “sell” me anything but assisted me in my buying decision. Very helpful to a novice like me. Glad to see that it is also made in the USA. It was important to me that this kayak last me a very long time and was not one that I would immediately grow out of. I’d recommend them to all I know. Definitely worth the drive.
Mary Lou Loyd, Annandale, NJ
My husband and I recently purchased your Equinox kayaks and just wanted you to know how much we LOVE them! I can paddle twice the distance with 1/2 the power. It also makes me very happy to know we own eco-friendly boats. Keep up the good work and please don’t sell out to a huge corporation – we love the quality and would upgrade again with your company when the need arises.
Barry Shea, Sunapee, NH
Looked at many different boats. My Wife has a Skylark – also your boat is made in the USA. I would not consider one made foreign. Thanks for making it here.
Kenneth Patrician, Deep River, CT
I have used the Equinox for the past 5 months. Each time I take it out I am impressed with the performance. It is fast, stable, beautiful, and easy to carry. I have recommended Eddyline to several friends. Thank you for making such a quality product.
Let me start off by saying that I am new to kayaking. I will not be able to offer any expert advice, however, I can share my reasons for picking the 14′ Eddyline Equinox. I am either at the top of the middle age bracket or at the beginning of the senior bracket; in any case I am no longer at my peak strength ability. So knowing that I would be carrying these on top of my vehicle and wherever we would put in, weight become a major issue. All of the boats that we had used so far had been polyethylene boats and most were 50+ pounds. The qualities of a thermoformed boat were generally less weight, extremely durable, no hull distortion or warping from heat/storage/transportation, etc.. Fiberglass and Kevlar provided the lightest boats and are strong but appeared not as forgiving as a thermoformed boat. With a budget in mind and my experience level as a beginner I could not justify a high-end fiberglass/Kevlar boat. So I narrowed in on thermoformed boats – wanted to demo boats from Eddyline, Hurricane, Swift and Delta.Of all the boats that I tried, different models from each of the manufacturers’ I narrowed in on a length, I wanted something larger than 12’ but not something as big as a 17’. I finally went back and forth between the Eddyline Equinox and a Swift Saranac (both the 14’ and 14.6’). The Swift felt more stable in general, the Eddyline less so, however, in testing both in different conditions I found the Equinox a better tracker and was very easy to turn (tried a little edging – not a lot mind you). I bought the Equinox and have taken her out several times, and each time I go I feel more and more comfortable with the boat. Just an FYI, I am 6’2″ (long torso) and weigh between 190-195 pounds. Comfort wise (cockpit) it feels not too tight or too loose. The only reason I give her a 9 and not a 10 is I’m old school and nothing can be perfect? So far I just haven’t found any faults… maybe next year I’ll have to update this review to a 10. Can’t wait to take her out again. Rating: 9 of 10
djo 10-02-2008 paddling.net
Having paddled my Eddyline Equinox for a little over a year now, I through that it was time to report some my opinions. First a little about me. I am 6’3″ about 220 lbs. and pushing hard on 60 years old. I have canoed for 5 decades and owned kayaks for about 15 years but have mainly used an old beat up Old Town Loon 138 as a platform for fly fishing for stripers from our place in Maine and to run over to Biddeford Pool for beer and lobster. I have put in a couple of hundred hours paddling the Equinox and for the first time have given some serious through to developing my techniques. First impression: My objectives were to get a high quality boat that was light enough for me to wrestle atop my car solo that would allow me to do modestly challenging flat water in the windy Midwest. The Equinox meets these qualifications. It is a thermoform boat so it is very tough while having a weight that approaches a composite. As with every Eddyline boat I have seen the build quality is excellent. It is a 14 ft boat with sealed compartments fore and aft with a weight of 45 lbs making it easy to flip on top of my Camry. The boat is very rigid and highly resistant to the dings and bangs of launching and landing on rocky shorelines. The cockpit opening is large (18.5 x 35 in.) making entrance and egress easy but mandating a spray skirt to keep water out during even modest edging. The boat easily handles my size. The standard footbrace just fits my 34” inseam and my size 11 feet fit as long as I don’t try to wear Tevas. Second impressions: Eddyline designed the Equinox as a transitional boat with the high primary and secondary stability of a recreational kayak but length and hatches of a touring boat. They have succeeded in these objectives. With its 25 in. width, shallow V bottom, and hard chine constructions the boat has very high initial stability. Even complete novices are very comfortable. The boat makes a good platform for fishing, photography, and even putting your knees up and eating lunch. It also provides solid secondary stability needed to learn to rely on edges and leans. The seat is comfortable for me for 3 or 4 hours. There is plenty of room to stash a few days of camping supplies in the hatches. Third impressions: While most of my paddling has been solo, I have put in enough miles with others to know that the Equinox is very easy to keep straight even in strong quartering winds and 2-3 foot waves. The boat does not have a rudder or skeg and does not need one. I have also learned that while the boat edges great it does not turn terribly quickly. One paddler, who is an instructor, did not believe me until he tried it. Sweeps and leans have to be greatly exaggerated to have the desired effect. I have tried it once on a small muddy Midwestern river and the limited agility made it less than an ideal boat. While the boat is not a dog, you have to work harder than your fellow travelers to keep up with equally skilled paddlers in true sea kayaks. Overall: This boat is exactly what it is supposed to be. It is an extremely well designed extremely well built introductory kayak for someone that wants a high performance recreational boat or a low performance touring boat. It tracks well and probably for most paddlers will be more boat than they ever need. It has also convinced me of the quality of Eddyline products and of their thermoform plastics. I suspect that some folks will feel they want a higher performance boat in a year or so. I tried an Eddyline Fathom for an hour the other day and covet it mightily for its increased speed and nimbleness. Rating: 8 of 10
Alan C. Rosenquist, Philadelphia, PA
Thank you for designing and fabricating such a great kayak.
Richard and Diana Nichols, Southborough, MA
Doug and Pat were wonderful to us at Billington Sea Kayaks in Plymouth, MA. They were so patient and answered all our questions and even discussed the safety factors of kayaking. They did everything right. We arrived at their store on a Saturday at 10:00am just to ‘look’ and didn’t leave until 4:00pm (that’s the kind of customer service they give!). The ice had just melted on the lake at their location so we were able to demo similar type boats/brands. Immediately after getting into the Equinox, that was it… hands down we knew this is our boat!! Love absolutely everything about it. I wish all decisions in life were that easy!
joyce van fleet castle rock, WA
I have recently gone from an inflatable kayak, to an eddyline Equinox. I can’t say enough good things about this wonderful boat!! I have been paddling in the harbor and sound waters. It is so much F-U-N. I am 5feet 1inch tall and I can handle this boat on/off the top of my vehicle and in/out of the water. Thanks Eddyline, Boston Harbor Marina, and esp. LUCAS
Susan Bedworth, Milford, CT
I have been kayaking for three years, this being my third season. I have a Peception Arcdia 11ft. A dinosaur. Sept 30th I upgraded to a Eddyline Equinox, 14ft. Wow !!!!! I do not think I will ever get in my dinosaur again. My yellow boat has been christened “Tweety II”. My husband and I went out in Long Island sound, off one beach and on to another. 1.25 hours each way. A journey I have, we have been attempting for two years. Not only did I do it, but also was able to make the return trip. Yea Ha !!! What a kayak. Steady, straight, and does it fly. The light weight makes it a breeze when it is time to come in. I love you now, until my husband buys the “fathom”. Or upgrades out of his dinosaur I can leave him in the dust, not so sure with his upgrade. I just want to tell you that you have a great product. Thanks for all your work in the design and execution of this kayak. Now a true believer in Eddyline!!!! Do not worry, I will continue to, as my husband would say, annoy you, with further updates. He claims I look like my kayak and I are one. A huge improvement. Thank you again.
Jeff G at Paddling.net
I’ve owned my Eddyline Equinox for about a year now and have been delighted with this neat “little” kayak. At fourteen feet long with a twenty-five inch beam, it combines the best features of a recreational kayak – comfort and stability – with the speed and performance of a sea kayak. As a big fan of Eddyline kayaks – and I own five of them – I find the Equinox fits in a niche between the twelve foot Skylark and the sixteen foot Nighthawk. Like its little sister the Skylark, the Equinox has an ample cockpit and fine initial stability for fishing, photography, and less-than-experienced paddlers. Like its big brother the Nighthawk, the Equinox has a good turn of speed and tracks very well even without a skeg. With thigh braces, a fully adjustable seat, and bow and stern bulkheads and hatches, this hybrid is a “pocket battleship.” Recently my wife and I were paddling in some rather heavy chop, and she felt more comfortable in the Equinox than she would have in her Nighthawk (Although in a race next month she will paddle the longer kayak.) Last spring my buddy had little problem keeping up with my Nighthawk while in the Equinox. At a light forty-five pounds, the Equinox is easy to put on and take off the roof rack of my car. It has become my “kayak of choice” for most of my paddling adventures. For racing and long crossings, the Nighthawk has the edge. For expeditions the Phoenix (a sadly discontinued model) is preferable. For shorter, “let’s just get out for a paddle” trips in most conditions, the Equinox has become my first choice. I have owned many kayaks over the past 15 years, but now, having arrived at a ‘certain age’ with 2 hip replacements, I needed a kayak that was both stable and easier to enter and exit than my absolutely wonderful, fast, beautiful Samba with the keyhole cockpit, which had been my latest acquisition. I sold Eddyline Samba to a nimble gal that loves her and polishes her with a diaper. On to my new yak… Equinox. White, gorgeous, big enough (but not TOO big) cockpit, very responsive (rudder, only used in windy, open waters), at 14′ is perfect for waters around our area – Homosassa, Florida, (scooting up rivers and narrow feeder creeks). I love this kayak and this will likely be my last purchase because she feels like my Best On-the-Water Friend. Reliable. Steady. True-blue.
Jdwait at Paddling.net
My wife and I, both relative novices, tested many kayaks this spring, and we each concluded that we preferred the Equinox (14′) to a variety of more expensive kayaks. I suspect that they are the lightest and most versatile kayaks for under $2,000, and from our perspective handle as well as kayaks costing much more. We were recently on a large pond at Martha’s Vineyard and got caught in a sudden and unexpected squall – from dead calm to wind and rain and whitecaps – and my wife, after some serious initial concern, concluded that she was in fact completely safe and stable as we paddled through it. And they look beautiful.
kathybrien at Paddling.net
I am a senior paddler, who tried a verity of kayaks before deciding on the one. The Equinox, from Eddyline fit the bill. There is no where I can’t go, we go to the Keys in Florida, we traveled the Lewis & Clark Trail an put in a different places, lakes an rivers, from calm to the quick winds an waves keeping your cool,this kayak will keep you safe. The only problem is the blow hole covers are hard to put back tight once removed but rub with a lubricant like Vaseline and your good to go. I can handle this kayak alone with a simple set of wheels. Don’t let is beauty fool you it is quite durable. This does not mean sharp rocks an running it on cement. Enjoying the glide in all types of waters.
bclbernard at Paddling.net
Thank you Eddyline!! My husband and I started out in 11 ft entry level kayaks, less than 2 years later we upgraded to the Eddyline 14 ft Equinox. We love these boats! The Carbonlite 2000 material is light enough for me to load & unload by myself and very easy to handle. New Hampshire can have unpredictable weather, when the wind kicks up we have no problem hauling through the swells. Sleek, easy to turn & comfortable the only thing missing is a spot for my camera! I would love if Eddyline came up with something to integrate into the cockpit for this purpose.
Ed Vater 10-09-2009
I recently had a great opportunity to borrow a thermoformed Eddyline Equinox kayak to spend four days paddling with friends on the Cowlitz River in southern Washington state. As I’m not an experienced sea kayaker, I really appreciated the stability this boat offers in the occasionally strong currents of the Cowlitz. Even though this boat was a little wider than some of the kayaks others were using on our trip, I found it easy to keep up with the group of skilled paddlers. I agree with the reviews below regarding the excellent tracking ability of the Equinox; also the hatches stayed perfectly dry amidst lots of splashes. I can’t speak to the durability of the hull, as I was careful to avoid dinging the borrowed boat. I’m 5’10” and 180# and I found the cockpit to be very spacious and the seat comfortable. Adjusting the seat back was a bit tricky when seated in the kayak, but once I got it dialed in, it fit like a dream. I’d also like to mention that I really liked the Eddyline spray skirt that came with this kayak. It kept me perfectly dry and was easier to stretch into position than others I have used in the past. Rating: 10 of 10
Roger Baldwin – Michigan
I have lusted after an Eddyline for years. My wife saw one recently (Equinox) and insisted that was the boat for her. Pending the arrival of warmer water (Michigan), she is letting me paddle it since I have the only dry suit. I love it. I’m not that experienced as a kayaker, but I really do admire the work you and Tom do. It just seems everything about your company is first class. The design, fit and finish are outstanding. I really like the way the Equinox performs. The article in the thermoforming publication provided some interesting background and speaks highly of your fabrication techniques. All in all, I’m impressed with your operation.
Lyn O Mattei – Bend, Oregon
This is the fifth Eddyline we have (four different models to fit any of our friends and relatives). I briefly strayed from Eddyline a couple of years ago but came right back because of the design and quality of the boats. I couldn’t be happier.
Dianne Elder Miller – Winter Park, FL
I like this kayak because I can life it without assistance. I am female 5’7”. I also need the performance and carrying capacity to kayak-camp. I love this kayak!
Canoe and Kayak Mag. March 2006
The Equinox is a beamy mid-volume touring kayak with the accoutrements that one would expect – hatches, bulkheads, recessed hardware, bungee cords fore and aft of the cockpit. Hard chines lead to a rounded-V hull, providing both good initial and secondary stability. Carry toggles are on stretch cord, so they’re flush to the deck when not being used. The Equinox reviewed had adjustable foot pegs but no rudder or skeg. Inside the cockpit, there’s a seat and double-layer backrest. The front layer is padded and can be vertically adjusted by unscrewing the knob to three different height levels. There’s padding at the hips and thigh braces. The Equinox tracks well, and its shorter length allows for easy turning. It is also easily shoulder-carried by one person. Bottom Line: Have you grown out of your rec boat, but an 18-foot sea kayak is a little too long? The Equinox strikes a happy medium. (On a scale of 1-4 the Equinox was the only one rated 4 for Weight, Comfort and Details in a comparison with 5 other similar kayaks.)
Ocean Paddler Review
The Eddyline Equinox is a 14-foot coastal day-tripper, made in Eddyline’s Carbonite 2000 material, and aimed at the type of sea kayaker who favours a more leisurely style of coastal cruising. It’s the smaller cousin of the Eddyline Fathom that we reviewed in issue 008, and the second of the boats being imported into the UK by Reed Chillcheater. So, how did it fair in the hands of Ocean Paddler reviewers? To find out, read on…
Well, to all intents and purposes the Eddyline Equinox looks how you’d expect a leisurely coastal cruiser to look. It’s around 14ft long, is relatively wide at the beam, and features a very large cockpit; you’ll need a larger than standard spray deck, which we didn’t have, so Reed were kind enough to lend us one of their neoprene/aquatherm ones to use.
The boat is Swede-formed, with a relatively wide profile. It features a shallow vee’d wide hull, with hard chines, and minimal bow and stern overhang, keeping the waterline relatively long compared with the overall length of the boat. The deck profile is relatively flat, with minimal rocker throughout its sheerline. There is minimal rocker on the stern and bow sections of the hull.
On top of the deck, the boat has two large hatches; one round one at the front and an oval hatch at the rear. There is no compass recess, but you wouldn’t necessarily expect that on a coastal daytripper.
The Carbonite 2000 material used in the build of this boat is, as we commented in issue 008 when we reviewed the Eddyline Fathom, superb, and whilst it’s a plasticbased material, the result is a harder gloss finish than composite construction. The combination of a coloured deck, and white hull, also conveys the impression that this is more than ‘just plastic’, and equally, it’s an extremely light material, resulting in a boat which is very lightweight; you’ll soon notice this if you’re regularly lifting boats on or off car roof racks. Unlike the Fathom the deck sits on the hull like a lid, rather than joined in a seam. Put simply, if you haven’t seen this material before, then you should – it’s impressive and could/ought to be representative of what all plastic sea kayaks should be constructed from.
Sitting in the Equinox, two things are immediately clear; the seat, which is well padded, is incredibly comfortable. The other noticeable element is that your knees sit relatively low, giving the impression that they’re being pressed down. Some of our reviewers (albeit the slightly larger ones) found this seating position a little uncomfortable. The footrests are however very comfortable, as is the thigh grip area.
The Equinox has plenty of initial stability, as you’d expect, though maybe not as much as, say, the Prijon T-470 we reviewed in Issue 007. You certainly don’t feel like you have to overcome initial stability to get the Equinox to sit on its secondary stability, this gives a pleasing feel to edged turns – though these are relatively large ‘radius turns’. Any edging done in the Equinox is driven through the hip/pelvis regions and you can’t really employ the stronger knee drive as much as you want to.
In terms of manoeuvrability, yes, this boat is relatively short, yet the minimal rocker does mean it’s not that manoeuvrable. When employing sweep strokes to turn the Equinox, you’ll notice
the lack of rocker as the bow and stern ‘dig in’. Getting it up on to its edge will ease this to some extent, but it’s not a boat for radical edge turns. In reality, it’s probably a great boat in which to learn how to edge turn a boat, before being let loose in a high-performance kayak.
As with many shorter boats, the Equinox has, as a result of the minimal bow and stern overhang, a relatively long waterlength when compared to its overall length. This helps with tracking, which the Equinox does well. Yes, the boat will weathercock, however, with the low profile deck, with its low knee position, the effect of a beam or quartering wind is greatly minimized.
When in a following sea, the boat tracks well, and is actually quite good fun in smallish following conditions, though you do notice the lack of bow rocker at times as it attempts to wrestle control from you.
The Equinox that we trialled did not feature a skeg or rudder, and to be honest, it doesn’t rally need either. We didn’t really test the Equinox in any real rough conditions, it’s just not that type of boat; however Chris Reed did inform us that people have commented that it is good fun in smallish surf, so we felt obliged to put it through its paces.
Actually, it is quite good fun. The wide hull gives good stability, and it tracks nicely along the wave. The Equinox can actually be manoeuvred on the wave face, though you’re not going to achieve huge cutbacks in it. When caught side on, the stability of the kayak helps, and it is quite easy to hold upright.
As with the Eddyline Fathom reviewed last issue, you get the feeling that the hard chined hull on this boat is there to impart strength and rigidity into the hull, rather than for performance reasons.
The Equinox’s carrying capability is more than adequate, however it does lack a day hatch; important for those small items you want close to you, yet don’t want to risk opening a main hatch for.
The Eddyline Equinox is actually very reminiscent of some of the traditional skin-on-frame boats that I have had the opportunity to paddle in the past, so whilst not being a ‘traditional’ sea kayak in the British sense, it does appear to have its roots deeply embedded in the traditions of kayaking.
So, in conclusion, if you’re not looking for a full-on sea kayak, for example you’re new to the activity or simply you don’t need a full-onocean going kayak and a more touring influenced kayak would work better for you, then you might want to seriously consider having a good look at the Equinox.
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