Trip Report: San Juan Island Hopping (Part 3)

February 11, 2022

Nostalgia: sea kayaking in the Fathom LV
Trip Report: San Juan Island Hopping (Part 3),
Nostalgia: Sea Kayaking in the Fathom LV
Author's note: This trip report is a three part series which will post in December, January and February. The San Juan Island hopping series is meant to keep you dreaming of warmer kayaking times to come - during the coldest months of the year!

Weighing in at 47 lbs, 15’6” in length and 21” wide, Eddyline’s OG, early flagship kayak model, the low volume (LV) version of the Fathom is my all-time favorite touring kayak. During a 2017 overnight trip to the San Juan Islands, Washington, I was loaded down with 4 days’ worth of gear and the Fathom LV was incredibly stable and easy to maneuver. It seemed like I got more power and distance out of each stroke than the rest of the crew, who were seated in varying brands of kayaks. Although the Fathom LV is now discontinued, it’s still an oldie and a goodie. The good news is, the Sitka ST has comparable performance to the Fathom LV for those paddlers too small for the full volume Fathom, and is widely available through Eddyline’s extensive network of dealers. 



Let’s take a trip down memory lane and remember some of the features that made the Fathom LV ideal for touring…

  • The Eddyline Fathom LV has enough initial stability to create confidence while touring for days. All while smaller, lighter, and nimbler than its big sibling, the Fathom. 
  • Its secondary stability is present and reliable through a combination of hard chines mid-boat and a healthy amount of rocker fore and aft. Rocker also allows for precision and ease with carved turns and more advanced boating techniques, like those required on rolling ocean waves and surfing in the break during sea kayaking tours. 
  • The ABS-laminate material Eddyline uses to construct all Eddyline kayaks performs like composite but has the durability of plastic, which is helpful when landing on rocky shores or bumping into shallow rock islands. With an abrasion and UV-resistant exterior and thermoformed at high temps, it’s both light weight for its size and shape and won’t warp in the sun. In the event of a big boo-boo, this type of material is relatively easy to repair.
  • Contoured thigh braces securely and comfortably fit to the passenger for 10 plus mile days on the water while a full-volume front deck offers room for a paddlers map, water and deck bag.
  • For the most advanced paddler, a low back deck makes it easy to execute a kayak roll and other self-rescue techniques.
  • The skeg can deploy in small increments and is invaluable while tracking on a bearing over miles.
  • Of course the bulkheads were invaluable and have enough space to easily pack multi-day gear.



For old times’ sake, we crowd sourced and compiled some reviews and comments on this older model to shed light on why it was so popular during its time on the market! 


Paddle Magazine (see link for more reviews) 

Designed for efficiency and control, the Fathom LV is built on Eddyline's flagship Fathom kayak, but sized for the small to medium-frame paddler. This touring kayak is great for long-distance adventures or playing in more adverse conditions. The Fathom LV has an efficient hull design that is nearly effortless to accelerate. Hard chines midship and a healthy degree of rocker makes turns a breeze.” 


Olympic Outdoor Center (see link for more reviews)

“The Eddyline Fathom LV still has comfortable leg and foot room for even the medium sized paddler and its curved fore-deck eliminates hand or deck bumping whether you have high or low angle paddling style. This kayak is quick to accelerate, glides forever, turns on a dime and, with the skeg down, will track on a rail. One of the most versatile kayaks in Eddyline's line, it must be paddled to be fully appreciated.”


REI Co-op (see link for more reviews) 

A high-quality ABS kayak designed for small paddlers, the Eddyline Fathom LV touring kayak has a tracking skeg, helping keep your bow pointed to your next destination in strong wind and current.


Do you have a favorite Eddyline Kayak that is no longer being manufactured? Which design brings you a sense of nostalgia? Share your story with us! Post it on social media and put up the #eddylinenostalgia hashtag or send it in to and we’ll share it on a future blog post!