Caitlin Pulliam, Aloha, Oregon
This is my first-ever kayak. My daddy bought it for me with his Fathom. we rented and tested a lot of kayaks and then I demod a Sitka ST and fell in love with it. Daddy thinks he loves his Fathom more than I love my Sitka ST, but thats just not posible. We are going to kayak camp the san juan islands next summer and I CANT WAIT!!! I love the rough water in the columbia so i know the san juans will be fun. my Sitka ST is sooooooo good in the rough water that its like its part of my body like my arms or legs. Daddy and I are going to kayak together forever in these beautiful kayaks. thank you for making such good kayaks for us. WE LOVE YOU!!!
Carol Cooper,Saint Augustine,Florida
I love love this kayak I am comfortable paddling it anywhere.
Thank you for creating the perfect kayak!
Gay Lykes, Spokane, Washington
She picked me out! I walked into Kent’s and there she was, all resplendant in that glistening burnt orange, absolutely beautiful! Against my better judgment I tried her on and a perfect fit. (You have to understand I am coming from a rec boat intermediate beginner paddler, so this was a major step for me.) I asked Kent if he thought this was too much boat for me and he said, ”Gay, you can paddle this just fine.” So, I did paddle her and within the first two strokes Knew that it was going to be the start of many years together. I found myself trying things I didn’t think I could do, like leaning curves. Not good at it– yet. So happy with this purchase, only one paddle as of now, but can hardly wait for my next time out. Thank you for creating the perfect one for me!
Melda D Montgomery, Yamhill, OR
We were looking for a shorter kayak that was sleek like the longer touring models. We rented it for a day and went to the lake to paddle. It was windy with 10 – 12 inch wind waves. What a fun day to try out the Sitka ST, we had a great time. I really appreciate this kayak!
Charlie Montgomery Yamhill, OR
Very nice boat. Great compromise between day trippers and touring. It is beautiful. I Like the narrow beam and the square chine, the swede form and the weight.
I’m 6’1”, 220 lb and I fit comfortably (if snugly) in the cockpit.
Looking forward to a fun Summer in many paddling venues.
P.S. Please keep your production in the U.S. as you grow. (YOU BET WE WILL!)
Deborah de Lorenzo
Greetings Tom and Lisa Derrer: I had the privilege and pleasure to test paddle of a new Eddyline Sitka ST two days ago. Because kayak fit and preferences are so heavily influenced by personal fit and attributes, here is some info about me:
- Paddling four seasons – a lot of seat time, more than most of that duration.
- Prefer to paddle large lakes – including Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie – about 80% of my paddling is done on lakes, the balance on Class I/II rivers.
- I paddle 10 months of the year.Archetypal female small paddler: 5’3″, 120 lbs before gear, short torso (16″)inseam 32″ watershoe size 6 glove size XS
- Regular attendee of ACA/BCU sponsored classes, and 2 or 3 symposia per season.
- Member of two clubs – Great Lakes Paddlers in SE Michigan, and West Michigan Coastal Kayakers.
- This season I began assisting an ACA instructor at some on the water skill sessions.
Thanks to my many friends, instructors, coaches, co-conspirators and role models in the paddling community I have demo’d somewhere around 75 kayaks, so far, most of them seakayaks. Thanks to you both for 40 years of unswerving American innovation and craftsmanship… happy anniversary to all at Eddyline!
This was not a complete test paddle – no wet stuff.
The kayak is a good “tweener” in length of 13’10”. Good to see more entries in the 13-15 foot category. A good all rounder, especially for a first kayak. A paddler could Sitka ST on Class I and II rivers, inland lakes, our own Great Lakes here in Michigan, and protected ocean waters.
Eddyline kayaks are known for their beautiful workmanship, finish and details. Evident here. Everything from toggles to hatch necks to the handsome shear line bespeaks craftsmanship. Having said that, my own personal taste finds the raised stiffening used liberally all over the deck to be busy and distracting from the overall appearance. My bias is for a streamlined deck w. as little protuberance as possible. The old Nighthawk 16 and the Falcon 18 are of that type.
The new color – a deep red/orange – will be highly visible, and it just plain looks good.
Primary stability is high. The listed width of 22.5″ gets a stability boost from the flattened “football” like edges at the seam, which makes the kayak seem wider. A pronounced hard chine makes sculling and holding a second and third degree edge comfortable.
Tracking is very good. In fact, maybe too good. If there was one thing that did not speak to me, it’s the Sitka ST’s reluctance to turn on sweeps and bow rudders, even with moderate edging. I am used to narrower sea kayaks with cockpit neutral positioning which spin 360 degrees in 3- 3.5 sweeps depending on degree of edge, and which make bow and cross bow rudders effortless, even elegant. Going into a modest wind (10-12 mph max) the kayak entered cleanly, and displayed only slight weathercocking which is expected and desirable in a kayak.
Paddling the Sitka ST gives a good return on at a modest sustained pace. Due to its width, I would not expect it to be fast, (and I am always cognizant that I provide the motor) but it does stay on the move due in part to its light weight. Acceleration is quite good. No beam waves present so the skeg did not get a real test. It does deploy as smooth as silk, and the slider is well recessed. Kudos for putting it on the right side of the cockpit (I’m a righty).
The foredeck is a very manageable height going into the wind. Would like to take the Sitka ST through waves to see how the ride is affected by the rather protuberant front hatch. Don’t mind a wet ride, just would like to see how the deck is affected. Speaking of hatches, both fore and aft hatch covers were easily taken on and off (on this brand new demo). Would like to see a more robust tether, and ones which would allow the paddler to completely unclip the covers for travel.
I appreciate that Eddyline shunned the dangling British style toggles for the quieter, more compact toggles which stay positioned on the deck. These type are easy to reach during rescues, travel better and contribute to a silent glide. The skeg box is very nicely encased, w. minimal room taken up in the aft bulkhead and no intrusive protuberance in the cockpit.
The cockpit itself is a haven of comfort, peformance and efficient layout. The seat pan adjusted quickly and easily. The seat is padded enough for comfort while still retaining what I call a “sport suspension.” The backband is nicely unobtrusive. To gild that lily, I suggest pinning it to the aft bulkhead w. a couple of shock cords. This will keep the seat from flopping forward on rescues, and also provide an attachment point for a hydration pack, ditch kit, repair kit, etc.
Continuing comments on that nice cockpit:
-SeaDog footpegs – a personal favorite & mark of quality.
Thigh braces are robust, well padded and some of the nicest I’ve ever used. They are large, like an NDK Romany LV, but better in finish. Wish I could take these w. me to every boat. One note – for a paddler of shorter stature and/or a short torso (that would be me) the coaming sits rather high off the deck. The back deck itself is low enough for laybacks, but the coaming hit in a rather uncomfortable place. My flexibility is very good. I felt the coaming put a limit on it.
All in all, the Sitka ST is a well conceived & developed boat which will be very appealing as an excellent all rounder for all but the most dedicated expeditioners who pack for 7+ days. This kayak will make friends easily from beginners to intermediates for a great day tour or a long weekend. One last thank you for not using a decal with dancing feet – the musical note is all the Sitka ST needs. She will be making her sweet music with many partners, and her dance card should be full.
Deborah de LorenzoSuperior Twp, Michigan
October 7, 2010 – Test paddle on: Kent Lake, Brighton Michigan
Eddyline Fan, Robin Rosengrant Seattle, WA
This is our 4th Eddyline kayak since 1995. Have shopped other brands but none compare. Proud to display decal “made in Burlington…” Thank you for making quality products/helping us enjoy our time on earth.
I have had a Merlin LT for about 15 years. It’s still going strong! I explored other brands this time, and came back to you guys. You ROCK!! By the way, that’s me and my little dog on your website in the blue Merlin paddling in St. Joseph Sound off Dunedin, Florida. I LOVE the adjustable seat features on the Sitka ST. The extra stability is different, but I’ll adjust. Thanks for making such a unique and high-quality boat.
I am new to kayaks, but have spent many years on the water. I loved the lines of the Sitka ST and knew it was going to be “the one” from the moment I saw it. I have not been disappointed. The boat feels like an extension of my thoughts. Thank you!
Last year I bought my first kayak, an Eddyline Skylark, 12′ long and 26″ wide. Great rec boat, but within a short time I was looking for something a little longer and narrower, as I wanted to improve my skills and cover greater distances more quickly. The only catch was that I did not want to add much weight, as I do my own lifting and my back sometimes gives me trouble.
The new Sitka ST looked perfect on paper, and it weighed only two pounds more at 43 lbs. My only concern was that, being used to the 26″ width of the Skylark, the 22.5″ beam of the Sitka ST might feel tippy, but after a test paddle, I found I was comfortable right away. I had earlier test paddled a 21″ Fathom LV, but unfortunately the winds were up to 25 knots that day, with white caps and a chop, and I spent a lot of paddling energy just keeping it upright. Under calmer conditions (or with more experience), I think the LV would have felt fine as well, but the additional size and weight was a concern, and I am very happy at the end of a long paddling day for a few less pounds to carry.
The Sitka ST is a significantly faster and more playful boat than the Skylark. With the skeg up, it is less tracky and turns very easily, due to a bit more rocker in the hull, but with the skeg even partially down in windy conditions or cross currents it tracks very well. Cruising speed is nearly effortless and it sprints easily, with much less bow wake. I crossed the open Chesapeake — 5 miles — in about an hour and 15 minutes, i.e., 4 mph, without pushing it very hard. I haven’t rolled it yet — will be taking lessons soon. The backband, I have found, is much more comfortable than the rather hard seatback in the Skylark. (I velcroed a Seal Line back pad over that one, which was a big help.)
Any gripes? Not really. It’s a wetter boat than the Skylark, as the entry is finer and the deck is lower. At 5′ 10″ and 155 lbs, the cockpit fits great, but if I were much taller it would be tight, as the foot pegs are nearly all the way out. Storage is not huge in a boat of this size, but I use it for day trips so that’s not a concern for me. You could certainly weekend with it.
So now my wife paddles the Skylark and I have the Samba, and we’re both happy. While we’re relatively new to kayaking, we’ve been around boats all our lives. Eddyline builds a beautiful and very high quality kayak. Boats should be pretty, and this one is. I’ll rate it a 10 (doesn’t everybody?) because it fulfills its design brief very well and is perfect for my needs. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Paddling.com qagaye on 8/9/2011
First, about me: I am 5’4″, 150lbs female, age wise I am somewhere between death and 50. The Sitka ST is the first boat of a “sea kayak” type that I’ve had. Previously had rec kayaks, including a composite Kestral that I found too sloppy inside for my comfort and wanted to trade up.
About the boat. Top quality boat, lives up to expectations for agility, speed and tracking. Always felt a little tender when starting out, but two or three paddle strokes and all good. Looks beautiful on and off the water and truly a fun paddle. Wonderful glide and easy to get going and keep going.
My wife has a Sitka ST and she loves paddling it. She sometimes will let me paddle her kayak, but not often. I find the Sitka ST very comfortable, fast, responsive and the skeg helps it track. I’m going to buy a Sitka ST as soon as I sell my Cobra Expedition.
About a year ago I had an opportunity to test paddle a Sitka ST on Florida’s west coast. With 2 hrs on the water I was hooked. Fortunately my Eddyline dealer in NC had a demo boat for sale at the end of the season. Now with 6 months of paddling on a variety of waters I can say that for me this boat is close to perfect.
For starters, I’m short, 5’2″ and 140 lbs so the Sitka ST is a very good fit. I’m also 66 so need a boat that is easy to carry and launch. Fit and finish is excellent to date I have made no changes to deck rigging or seat, just a bit of additional foam on thigh pads. I am not a rudder fan so I wanted a boat that tracks well. With the adjustable skeg my Sitka ST handles all wind and wave conditions.
Although I have a fiberglass sea kayak and several smaller rec boats, the Sitka ST is my main ride. I also recently switched to a Greenland paddle and find that I can power the Sitka ST like a pro in some very sloppy conditions. If you are looking for a boat that will track, edge and perform try the Sitka ST.
The Sitka ST is a great boat for shorter/smaller paddlers. I thought it might feel tippy due to the width, but it felt immediately stable to me, easy to control, responsive, and just a joy to paddle. I’ve owned it for 2 years now, and finally did an overnight (sleeping platform on the Suwannee River) last weekend. The Sitka ST has two small round hatches, so something long (like a sleeping pad)has to be placed on the deck. Everything else fit inside in small bags, and I was surprised how much the boat held.
I purchased the Eddyline Sitka ST after several years paddling the Skylark. I am petite (5’0) and found the Skylark too ‘roomy’ for me to control. Upon recommendation by my ‘kayak’ team, I purchased the Sitka ST without even test paddling. The first couple of paddles were tricky; entering and exiting the boat took some practice. However, after those trials, I found the boat to be perfect for my small frame. I like to paddle distance and this boat accommodates with ease. Now I know how useful the thigh braces are! This has been the perfect boat for me and I love, LOVE the Eddyline products… would never own anything else. And, yes, I keep all of my boats because of the quality and craftsmanship. My only problem is what Eddyline product could I possibly purchase next that would meet or exceed the Sitka ST qualities!! If you’re a small paddler this boat will serve you well!