In the late 1980’s Eddyline introduced a new kayak called the Raven, chosen for the playful nature of this bird. This boat was a departure from typical sea kayak design at the time as Tom Derrer, from his whitewater roots, wanted a more responsive, maneuverable and fun open water kayak. The Raven received kudos from his customers and numerous reviews.
“The Raven is kayakdom’s equivalent to the best German sports sedan… it’s the most responsive boat around.” Outside Magazine 1995 & 96 “Raven receives high marks for maneuverability, responsiveness and play in rough water and surf.” Sea Kayaker Magazine 1993
The Raven was the best selling kayak at Eddyline until our transition to thermoforming brought about the release of all new models.
Today we are pleased to announce the re-birth of the Raven kayak in an all new configuration suited to today’s technology and the desires of performance paddlers.
The “new” Raven features a raking bow and stern, hard chines mid-ship, and is very well balanced. This provides a “neutral” trim, creating a boat that is very quick and crisp handling in all conditions. All hull surfaces are fair, avoiding unnecessary turbulent flow and allowing the boat to be highly maneuverable without loss of forward speed. The harder chines mid-ship provide great tracking while on a wave and the raked bow and stern actually increase the waterline length when the boat is loaded. The Raven can accommodate multi-day touring as well as day tripping and ocean play.
Cockpit depth forward: 12.5 inches inside Cockpit depth aft: 8.5 inches outside.
Video and comments from West Coast Rep Ethan Ebersold
Got my hands on the new Eddyline Raven last week. When you drive around the country with a quiver of kayaks you tend to use the right boat for each conditions. The Samba for a quick tour, the Fathoms for distance and gear hauling, the Caribbean for sport/fish/swim and the Skylark/Sky 10 for a quick recreational dip. However, in my travels and sales, the reality is that most people are looking for just one boat to do open coast, touring, day-play, social, workout, suntan, etc. The Raven is it. It is the Queen on the chess board. Loose and dry on a wave and yet easy to control direction in a wind.
There are a multitude of brit styled boats on the market and as many opinions on what is best to match. The Raven doesn’t just join the pack, it stands alone as the first US made, fully featured, heavy duty thermo-formed rough water design on the market. Slick on the water like a composite boat with the bounce-ability of a plastic kayak. Homerun. And believe me, I was a skeptic when this project began.
Did I need to fill the trailer with another long boat? Shorter boats are selling these days and the rough water paddlers are gravitating to transitional WW and surf play boats. If I was going to add a boat to the trailer I wanted it to appeal to everyone and sell in every shop. Another long boat?! And then I paddled it. The boyish fun of playfulness took over. Been a long time since that has happened for me and I paddle ’em all. I’ve also met so many paddlers that started with and love Eddyline but needed a boat to match their skills and open-water aspirations. Raven–Check. They would tell me they needed a lower back deck that for the arsenal of rolls they had learned. Raven-Check. Surf? Raven-Check. Light and strong? Raven-Check (they use a thicker lay-up for this model but still easy to shoulder).
With all the performance packed into this boat you really can tackle any conditions from lake to coast. It excels where other models might not: open water paddling, skills training, surf, current. Smaller hatches will have to be packed with small packets of gear (trend these days). The forward day hatch makes this boat convenient for those who need a camera/gps/phone in quick reach. (Read more)
Thomas Schuebel, ACA Coastal Kayak Instructor (read the full review here)
“All in all the Eddyline Raven is a playful, highly responsive touring boat that gets from A to B fast and if you are into playing and exploring the coastline along the way, even better. If you like wind, waves, rough water and conditions too, you might as well stop looking, because the Raven is one sea kayak that does it all. “
Rod Richards staff at Alder Creek Kayak, Portland, OR (read the full review here)
“I give the Raven two thumbs up! I paddled it all day in comfort, its speed was more than adequate. Its handling characteristics were impressive. For a price point below fiberglass sea kayaks, I predict the Raven will capture many buyers in 2013.”
“I took the Raven out on the 14th to Deception Pass with 20 knot winds. This kayak blows square to the wind, it doesn’t spin in the wind, it doesn’t weathercock or leacock. This kayak will track well and has good speed but it isn’t stiff so it does bounce around on waves. It turns on a dime when you kick it up on edge to do a flat water turn or outside edge turn. I was able to do a forward finish hand roll with this kayak better than my greenland kayaks. The back deck is a little high but you can layback just fine.”
Chris Mitchell, ACA L-5 Coastal Kayak Instructor
“I just finished paddling the “new” Raven in the surf at Hobuck Beach, Neah Bay, Wa. This boat is the most controllable sea kayak I have ever paddled. On a green face this boat can change direction with a just a lift of a knee. It surfed backward as well as forward. I found it very easy to get out of a broach and window shade rolls were easy. I think a lot of people are going to really like this boat.”
Submitted by: george4908 at Paddling.net
“This is a great boat. I’ve now had it out in a wide range of conditions, from 25mph winds, steep chop, 2′-3′ waves and large swells, and it’s handled them all with unruffled aplomb. Unlike current Eddylines, the hull is closer to British-style, with rocker and flared ends. A bit harder chined in the mid-section, though. Dry in a chop, it is well balanced, tracks well and typically only needs a bit of skeg in high winds or following seas. A good turn of speed — perhaps not quite as fast as the Eddyline Fathom, but no problems being at the front of the pack, if you’re inclined. They list the primary stability as medium and the secondary as medium-high, and that’s a fair description. Edges and maneuvers easily. I have never felt uncomfortable in any conditions so far, but I might not start a beginner in it. The decks is well laid out with three main hatches and a smaller hatch in front of the coaming for a phone, camera or other small item. The seat is new, with the backband low to match the low back deck, and comfortable once I got it dialed in. Interior storage is probably less than some fuller-bodied kayaks. This is a boat for open water. Sort of like a Range Rover — go anywhere, do anything, and do it in style. Build quality is exceptional, and its lines are, to my eye, very pretty. Gets admiring looks wherever I go.”
Submitted by: jcorr at Paddling.net
“I do not own this boat. However I have paddled it quite a few times, as my store has had a demo model for customer/employee use for about two months. Since I’m tasked with selling these boats, I’m very well versed in the manufacturing process, materials, and outfitting on the boats. Everything is very well finished, on par with Tahe in terms of finesse and craftsmanship. Thermoformed plastic construction is what sets this boat apart from other playboats. While Eddyline isn’t the only manufacturer out there today that manufactures kayaks this way, they are certainly the only ones making a boat like the Raven. As you’ll read on the Eddyline website, the new material is about as strong as fiberglass, with a much more flexible quality. As a result, they can take impacts much better (this of course depends on the composite layup, some are better than others). The Sea-Lect rigid hatch covers are nice, they come on and off with much less effort than the classic soft Kajak Sport covers. The deck bungees have a nice, soft sheathing. Deck lines are perhaps too tight and thin, though. The seat pan is very comfortable, and slides on a long track, giving the paddler an excellent option that Tahe neglects. Sea-Dog Line footpegs are sturdy and robust, however require you to lean forward for adjustment, unlike other modern designs. Now for the important part: How does it paddle? My experience in this boat was all on calm water, so I cannot attest to its surfing or rough water capability. However its high volume bow, deep rocker and long, raked bow and stern lead me to believe that it would fare well. However most of my time in the Raven was spent doing boat control strokes and rolling. I paddled the Raven using a standard Greenland paddle and found that it was very agile. With simple edging, bow rudder, and stern rudder, the Raven and be turned 180*. The flat water handling of the 2013 Raven closely resembles that of a NDK Romany, the “end-all” in rough water kayaks. Having always wanted a Romany myself, I’ve taken every opportunity to paddle one. The main difference in handling characteristics between the two boats is the Raven’s semi-hard chine. The Raven carves well on edge, and will easily carve the other way, following its deep rocker when edged to the extreme. When paddling the Romany, I found it had a tendency to always turn with the direction of the boat’s rocker, perhaps due to its hull’s subdued lines. Rolling this boat took adjustment for me, as I was coming from my cheater boat, the Tahe Greenland T. The Raven takes more power in the knee and fuller sweep to right itself, but it rolls all the same. The back deck is lower enough for this paddler to consider it a “Greenland” design. I have no doubt that this boat would roll well in rough conditions. Having rolled a Romany (again, usually considered the end-all in rough water) I can say that rolling capability is about even between the two boats. Overall I rate the Raven a 9/10. Having always lusted after the NDK Romany, my mind was changed after I paddled the Raven. Two very similar boats, the Raven beats the Romany in both Greenland sex appeal and construction.”
Submitted by: Troy at Paddling.net
“I will preface this review by stating that I am very fickle especially with kayaks. I have owned or tried nearly every make and model of kayak made over the years and paddle around Florida primarily in Tampa Bay waters 3-4 times a week. I also have a 2013 Eddyline Caribbean 12 that my wife uses. I just purchased an all white 2015 Eddyline Caribbean 14. They just made quite a few changes for the better in this new model year. The squeaky seat issue was fixed with a textured seat pan insert. The center console/rod pod was removed to open the cockpit up for more leg room and a large hatch/bucket was put in with softer/easier to use round rubber hatch covers front/rear. A lay down bottle holder/bungee was added in front of the bucket. The stock seat is ok but has a dumb cord attachment system that is too fiddly and impractical. It’s certainly different and worse. I put in an aftermarket seat with regular style brass clips. The seadog foot braces were replaced with squeeze and slide style which are quicker to adjust but are still straight up. Angled footrests would be more comfortable IMO. The carbon side carry handles are no longer smooth like a paddle shaft but instead rougher/ribbed now for more grip when wet. The hull seems to be slightly reshaped as well with tweaked tear drop scupper holes and a less pronounced keel in the middle to aid in turning I think. The boat feels significantly heavier than it’s claimed 50 pounds. My Caribbean 12 is 45 pounds but feels much lighter than the 14. It feels like a 15 pound difference at least not 5. For a sit on top kayak it’s nearly perfect. It is as fast to paddle as a sea kayak of similar size and much faster than any other sit on top I’ve paddled. It even beats the fast Necky Vectors. It is a bit faster than the Caribbean 12 with much better glide. It does exhibit slight weather cocking in wind. Adding a rudder would make sense if you paddle in open windy rough conditions often. It tracks very straight and also turns well so it’s a good compromise in performance. The primary and secondary stability are the best of any sit on top out there. It’s stable enough to stand up paddle in calm water and light chop/wind. The seating position is high and dry and comfortable. The 14 has more leg room than the 12. At 6′ and 32″ inseam I had the footrests fully extended on the 12 but I have 6-8″ more room on the 14. Construction is top notch and great looking. Pictures don’t do it justice. The fit and finish is way above any polyethylene boat at any price point. Overall it’s an awesome boat. It’s fast AND stable(quite the feat) It’s well thought out and nearly perfect. It would be great for fitness or recreational paddlers or fishermen. It’s a very well rounded boat. If you want speed but hate tight fitting sit inside kayaks, this is the one for you. It is not a cheap boat by any means in price or quality but you get what you pay for. The thermoform ABS this boat is constructed from is stiff and durable and is much more scratch/scuff resistant than poly boats which scratch and feather very easily. No boat can be absolutely perfect for the masses since we all have different want and needs but the new Eddyline Caribbean 14 comes close. 10/10”
Colin Mullen, ACA Coastal Kayaking Instructor
Once put on edge the kayak will hold an edge. When using a bow rudder the Raven makes an extremely tight turn as it does when utilizing both the high and low brace turns. When capsized I could roll the Raven upright smoothly and without effort, it seems to want to recover. When performing the high brace I waited until both my head and shoulder touched the water’s surface before attempting a recovery and the Raven responded beautiful, bring me back to an upright position each time. Both the paddle float and scrambled self-rescue techniques were easily performed with the Raven.
Having the option to move the seat forward and rearward by simply turning two knobs has tremendous benefits. The first and obvious benefit in the ability to move the seat is the kayak can be trimmed for the individual paddler. In most kayaks my knees rest uncomfortably under the thighs braces giving me little support and the possibility of injuring my knees, this is not the case with the Raven; I can easily adjust the seat position so my thighs are under the thigh braces where they belong. Additionally for me there is an added benefit in the ability of being able to move the seat, I like to store me paddle float, pump and other assorted items behind the seat and the Raven has plenty of storage room between the rear of the seat and the bulkhead for that purpose.
Overall Eddyline’s Raven is an excellent kayak. It will have no problems in fulfilling all my kayaking needs. It is durable enough to withstand the rigors of being used when conducting kayaking instruction and it has the maneuverability to move between students when the need arises. With the Raven’s smooth and effortless paddling performance I will be able to extend the distance I normally paddle. There is sufficient storage room within the forward and rear compartments that all my equipment for an extended kayak camping trips will fit inside of the Raven and nothing will need to be placed on the decks.I will have no hesitation in taking the Raven out into open water after experiencing how it wants to prevent and recover from a capsize.
David G Hobbs, Truro Mass
I recently bought one of your 2013 raven kayaks. It’s been a bit of a learning curve as I’ve been paddling an Aqua Terra Chinook for the past 10 years( which has some seriously different handling characteristics), but it was time for me to move up to a more advanced boat. Today, while working on some skills I was able to complete several rolls, the first I have ever done. The raven is not a magic answer, but it certainly is responsive and when executed properly wants to come back up. I’ve also enjoyed several day trips since I’ve purchased it, and wanted to say that you make a great product.