Almost overnight, pandemic safety precautions and regulations have changed everyday life as we know it. In response, as a way to remain connected socially and get out of the house, many have taken to the outdoors. And there’s no better way to access the outdoors than by water, in a kayak. If you are cooped up and haven’t yet found an outdoor hobby that captures your attention - consider kayaking. Even if you already have a kayak, Eddyline owners, especially the ones in Bend, Oregon, are infamous for collecting 3 and 4 models for their garage quivers. Here’s a run down of the top four kayaks on a pandemic paddler’s wishlist…
The Rio: Great for the novice and even better to have on hand for out of town visitors
At 11’9” in length, the Rio is one of the friendliest boats for a first time kayak owner, and even the most advanced kayaker will appreciate a leisurely flat water paddle in this timeless classic. Sporty and full of spunk, the Rio is for small-framed recreational boaters. Agile and on the lighter side, at 35 pounds, the Rio’s hull is stable yet playful and efficient. An important staple in the Eddyline quiver, the Rio is also widely known as a gateway kayak and will only entice your desire to add to the fleet and build on your paddling skills.
Caribbean 14: For the dusk till dawn chillax and float party barge feel
With the Caribbean 14, you can be out on the water most of the day and then some. It’s comfortable, has a ton of storage and because there’s a spot for everything, it feels like the tiny home of kayaks. The Caribbean 14 boasts a comfortable SOT seat which sits high providing great visibility and reach to all your flotsam and jetsam. The Caribbean 14 is lightweight for its long and lean length and the amount of stability delivered, therefore you don’t have to work as hard maintaining balance. The interior space can be loaded with gear easily accessed from a large front hatch, a center day hatch and a rear hatch. From the captain's seat (cockpit) one can adjust the foot braces, access a handy gear bucket, and utilize an abundance of mounting surfaces for a feel likened to that of central command. My favorite part: There’s a whole slew of Angler add-ons one can explore.
Sitka XT: When you want to cover a lot of ground and punch out big miles
Designed to fit the large frame paddler, the Sitka XT is a maneuverable and high-performance day touring kayak. Light weight, the Sitka combines the best of both worlds - the performance, efficiency, and tracking of the Eddyline Fathom touring kayak with the playful nimble spirit of Eddyline recreational kayaks like the Rio, Equinox and Sky and Sandpiper series. Fully outfitted and seaworthy, the Sitka XT has top shelf lines, bulkheads, watertight hatches, a 6 inch forward day hatch for easy access of small items, retractable carry handles, deck bungees, an upgraded ergonomic Infinity Seat System, and most importantly, a retractable skeg to help with tracking. Whether exploring intercoastal waterways or massive inland water bodies like the Boundary Waters, this kayak is your go-to adventure vessel.
Whisper CL: For a tandem adventure with you and a loved one
Because getting on the water with a close friend, partner or child is such a magical way to spend time together, no fleet of kayaks is complete without a tandem. Although some two-person kayaks are bulky and heavy, not the Whisper. This model of tandem tip-toes effortlessly through water and a foot-controlled rudder in the rear adds to the feeling of smooth sailing. Adjustable foot pegs in the front, bow and stern hatches and bulkheads and comfortable Infinity Seats allow you and your co-pilot to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Happy paddling - see you on the water!