Choosing an Eddyline for YOU

December 29, 2020

As you browse our site we hope you have found many helpful measurements and feature explanations. In addition to learning about the kayaks themselves, it is also important to simultaneously investigate your own variables that factor into matching you with the best kayak. 
Above, Nick Wittman helping F.I.T a customer with the correct kayak.

This post covers the first of three elements to consider about yourself while searching out the right kayak so you can pursue your aspirations on the water with the best match in our line-up. When our staff and dealers speak to you, we often think of the acronym  

For you
Intended Use
Type of Water and Conditions 

 Honing in on the perfect new kayak must have you first factor in the most important part of the equation--You

The Inuit paddlers of course knew this and they relied on generations of experience to build their kayaks around their own body sizes and personal needs. When they entered the water in their kayak, they became “one” with the craft and the conditions. Today is no different! We all love recommendations from our friends but let’s make sure that we remember that this kayak is FOR YOU and all the factors that make you uniquely individual. One of the first questions our design team asks when approaching the creation of a new model is "who is paddling it and what are they doing?”. They delve into the details of this theoretical paddler as they design each kayak around them.

Here are factors about yourself that you may want to consider and share with sales staff so they can help you with the perfect match:

Body Size, Shape and Individual Considerations: 

If you speak to one of our dealers across the country they will ask you to paint a picture of yourself so they can envision what craft might work best for you. It is easy to think that the purchasing process is all about the shop staff telling you all the features and benefits of a given kayak. But more importantly, we want to encourage a dialogue between you and the sales staff. Here are some of the attributes that many of our reps and store staff consider when helping paddlers narrow their choices:


  1. Foot size:

    This is one you might not think about but for many of the sit inside kayaks on the market, the space around your foot pedals can be an important feature to consider. If you prefer to wear larger footwear/boots in your kayak, have longer legs or larger feet, then you might need a model that has a bit more room in the foot region. When testing a kayak out it is important to consider footwear. “Fitting a sneaker into a touring kayak can be like putting a square peg in a round hole” says one of our regional reps. “Consider low profile paddling boots to give yourself the most room so that you can change positions and fit in a wider variety of kayaks”. Often we see that a simple change of footwear can make all the difference in comfort and mobility within the cockpit.

    Models like the Sandpiper 130, Sitka XT and Fathom have the most foot room. The Caribbean sit on tops are an obvious choice for those that want the least restrictive fit for their legs and feet. Models like the Sitka ST and Rio feature lower volume for ease of stroke and smaller paddlers but may require some to seek low profile footwear. 
    Eddyline Kayak Foot Space


  1. Hips and Thighs

    In addition to the carrying capacity, you also want to look at the room in the cockpit of our sit insides to make sure that you can make contact with the boat so that you can control the hull beneath you in variable conditions. A good fit will allow you to use your hips, thighs and rear to “edge” your kayak for directional control and playful turns. However, too tight of a fit may not be comfortable for a long day on the water. And of course, your personal preference weighs in here. Do you like to “wear your kayak” or are you looking for a little extra room and comfort for easy entry/exit and a more relaxed fit? Often, recreational paddlers will prefer a more relaxed fit while touring paddlers are after that “one with the kayak” feel that our paddling ancestors so desired and perfected.

    The Sandpipers and Caribbeans offer the most relaxed fit in the line. The Skyark, Sky 10 and Equinox offer the body more contact but still fit a wide variety of paddlers. The Fathom, Sitkas and Rio are models that offer the fit for fluid connection and performance.
    Eddyline Kayaks Hip Room


  1. Injuries or Special Considerations

    Be sure to share with sales staff any injuries, recoveries, fears or personal comfort needs. Paddling can be a low impact sport that most can do for a lifetime. Adjustable seats and outfitting are standard in all Eddylines. Eddyline dealers also know and stock all the little tricks of the trade to help add to your comfort and safety. Stay tuned for future posts about customizing your body fit. 


Experience Level:

One discovery we’ve made after hundreds of demo days is that any given model might not feel the same to everyone. This is a factor of the variables above but also has to do with paddler’s experience and skill set. A first day feeling of “tippy” could be tomorrow’s reward of “performance” says one Eddyline staff member. 

 Over time, we learn that a kayak can feature movement underneath our bodies but that this doesn’t mean we will immediately tip. We learn to relax into the hull with our bodies. This relaxation also gives us the added benefit of allowing us to add more torso rotation to our stroke. 

 The movement we feel when we first sit in a new kayak is there for performance in rough conditions by allowing the kayak to ride on many “surfaces of the hull”. This is often referred to as secondary stability. When you are first starting out, these benefits are easy to miss because there is some trepidation to capsize. As we develop our bracing strokes and body awareness, the many facets of Eddyline designs start to really shine. We began to feel that the dynamic movement underneath us is actually designed to allow us to start edging our kayak for aid in turning, steering and performance in variable conditions.

 So, when receiving advice from fellow paddlers make sure that you factor in your experience level and realize that they may be coming from a different perspective gained through years of paddling experience. It is hard for an experienced paddler to sometimes remember how this interplay might feel to a beginner. But hang in there! You’ll be surfing your own learning curve in no time! Let’s now investigate a bit more about the parts of “you” that aren’t easily measured with a tape measure.


Learning Type:

Are you someone who doesn’t mind having a few outings where you are learning your new kayak so you can be rewarded as your skills progress?  Or, perhaps you are looking for your new kayak to inspire confidence with the openness to possibly upgrade if your enthusiasm and participate expand? Are you willing to invest a little bit in classes or paddling experiences that will sharpen your skills or are you just ready to get out there and stay in waters that are well within your safe zone?

 We’ve all been part of a sport where your learning style has to be factored in and kayaking is no different. If you can help describe your learning personality to the sales staff that is assisting you this will help them make sure that you are happy with your kayak for years and not just the day you leave the store parking lot. 

 Whether you are excited for the challenge of learning into your kayak or just want to get a stable and confidence inspiring recreational kayak is up to you!