Just an update on my Skylark after a little over a year of use. It has become my go-to kayak for almost all my paddling here in Florida. It’s just about perfect for the paddling I do 95% of the time – twisty spring runs, rivers, lakes, bays and estuaries. I can load, unload and carry her by myself which is a big plus. And after a year of not totally gentle use she looks almost as good as when I brought her home new. I’ve loaned her out to friends looking to purchase a kayak for similar use and at least two so far have also purchased Skylarks. I can’t imagine a better boat for the day trips that we do.
My only real complaint in my previous review [07-25-2013] was about the seat and for the 2014 Skylark Eddyline has made some modifications that, for me, are an improvement.
If you are looking for a small, nimble, light boat for day paddles, you owe it to yourself to give the Skylark a test-drive. Submitted by: ftcricket
We have Skylark, Eddyline Kayaks and we love them. They are compact enough to sit on top of our truck and still pull our trailer. We take them everywhere. They do not have a rudder but they handle beautifully on the water and track beautifully. They have two water tight compartments with plenty of room for extra gear. We absolutely love them. We have used them in rivers, lakes, the ocean and sound, only recreational purposes and calm water. On the ocean we used our spray skirts. They handle like a dream Submitted by: TeresaFowler
At 39 pounds, the Skylark is the kayak of choice on almost all the paddles I do. Eddyline has managed to combine speed and stability in this one kayak as well as the ease of handling the kayak on land for loading and carrying. Perfect kayak for inland rivers and lakes. Submitted by: sonyadailey
I’ve had my Skylark a little over a month now and it is a pleasure to paddle. I have longer touring kayaks and a shorter sit-on-top, but I was looking for a short, lively kayak for day trips on local rivers and spring runs. After looking at and demoing several different models in the 10-13 foot range, I knew that in the Skylark I had found an almost perfect design for that purpose.
The cockpit is just a bit longer than many models which makes it easy enter and exit both on shore and in the water for a little swimming or snorkeling. It’s wide enough to be stable yet trim enough to paddle efficiently. While only 12 feet in length, it tracks extremely well plus the hull design has a bit of chine which makes it very maneuverable on edge.
All in all, this is a great boat for a beginning paddler but one that will also enable them to practice more advanced skills when ready. And it’s a great boat for intermediate to advanced paddlers looking for a little boat in which to relax. At 41 lbs it is easy to load, store, carry, and launch.
I got my Skylark without thigh braces so I could enter and exit more easily on the water, but I have no trouble jamming my knees & thighs up under the nicely padded hull in front of the seat for carving turns. Submitted by: ftcricket
Several years ago we bought a Skylark for my wife to use on the lakes and smooth stretches of the Deschutes River around Bend. We noticed that they were being used by a lot of women and figured it would be the right size for her (105 lbs.). She loved it, and later we bought a second one to use as a “loaner” for friends and visitors. Lately I’ve been using the second one for local outings because it’s small, light, and can go on and off the car easily in a crowded parking lot. I was initially worried that I would be too heavy for it (170 lbs.), but discovered that it wasn’t the case. I love the dry land portability, but even more the maneuverability, stability, and general sportiness of it. Yes, it’s pretty short and reaches top speed quickly, but it glides well accelerates easily, turns on a dime, and is roomy enough for my 6 ft. frame and day equipment (read: food). As far as construction, material and craftsmanship are second to none. Oh, it’s also the best looking small kayak out there. For small lakes and tame rivers you can’t find a better boat. I’d rate it a 10 but I figure that nothing’s perfect, although I can’t think of anything I’d change on it (except maybe adding a cupholder). Submitted by: brownmattei
Sylvia Shirley, Florida State
OH MY! What an awesome kayak!
We went up into the open water and played with the dolphins! It is super… stable, tracks very well, steers and handles beautifully, sleek… I LOVE IT. I switched between the Kestrel, no comparison.. the Eddyline has it!
Thanks for your help. You are special!
I’ve tried the Skylark as well as several other brands of kayaks. NONE compare with the Skylark It’s a beautiful and spunky little boat!
Plesent Goode, White Marsh, VA
I needed a light, affordable kayak suitable for beginners yet capable of good performance. The Skylark met me requirements for a second kayak.
Submitted by: jeff Paddling.net
I’m a new sea kayaker and wanted a light but durable kayak. I love the skylark. It is so much fun to paddle. We’ve had one serious winter storm in which my boat was bashed around and hung by a cable. It didn’t have a scratch. For exploring little inlets and shelves it’s hard to beat and the decking and rear bulkhead and carbonlite finish make it look and feel like a real sea kayak. I’ve had more than one person comment on its looks. However I do want to do some real sea kayaking expeditions in the southern gulf islands, and was advised that this boat should not be taken there as it will be too difficult to control in big seas, and to do self rescue in. I’m definitely eyeing one of the skylarks bigger siblings for next year. But I think I’ll keep it because it is just too much fun. Rating: 9 of 10
Submitted by: Anonymous Paddling.net
Rented a Skylark on big Ross Lake in the rugged No. Cascades NP in Wash. state. Wow, what a great little boat! It tracked beautifully in moderate 5-15 mph winds, was very comfortable and super easy to poke into narrow canyons. We easily carried it inside a 15 ft. motorboat. Agree w/ above comments that it’s expensive for a small kayak, but really handles like a longer (i.e. more sea worthy) boat! Up to 6- 8 miles per day this boat easily kept up w/the bigger kayaks. Feels solid in anything up to really big water or very high winds! Great boat. The Swift Wind paddles are also the BEST – way to go, Eddyline! Rating: 9 of 10
Dan Stevenson, Lavalette, WV
I love this little boat!. It’s as fast as my old fiberglass, and light enough to carry easily. A quality product!
Martin Zurn, Eugene OR
I am 56 and am so excited, I feel 30. Getting this exact boat has been a three year dream.
Robyn Arsenault, Ishpeming, MI
I just wanted you to know that about 4 months ago I bought your Skylark and my husband bought your Merlin LT. I had never Kayaked before and I went to a demo at Teal Lake in Neguanee, MI put on by Downwind Sports. I would like you to know how much I love my Skylark, I have gone on rivers, lakes, basins, reservoirs and on calm and choppy water. I can’t say enough on how comfortable and stable the Skylark is. My husband also loves his Merlin. They are a great size to go anywhere, big enough for lakes and small enough for rivers. We both are hooked on them. We go everyday we can and since we got them I think we have missed about a weeks worth because of weather or traveling. I recommend these Kayaks for any beginner, intermediate or experienced they are SOOOO much fun. Thanks for such a great product.
Robert T Nelsen Hamilton, OH
Hi I just bought a Skylark from Benchmark in Cincinnati and its great. Good job. I first saw one at the Paddlefest on the Ohio River. The store employees were the best help ever. Thanks, your kayaks seem way ahead of the others. Skylark Mary Storm Corvallis, OR I have had both Skylarks out twice and just can’t get over how well they perform and how comfortable they are to paddle! Everyone comments on them. If I could design a kayak for day trip fun, this Skylark would be it.
Nancy Boulanger, Plymouth, MA
I tried eight or nine kayaks on ponds and ocean and found my Eddyline was more pleasing, all over, to paddle. Size and weight were a large consideration.
Mary Storm, Corvallis, OR
I have had both Skylarks out twice and just can’t get over how well they perform and how comfortable they are to paddle! Everyone comments on them. If I could design a kayak for day trip fun, this Skylark would be it.
Christina La Vergne, MI
Very proud to be a member of the Eddyline family! I also purchased a Swift Paddle. Thanks for the hat! This kayak is my dream. What a wonderful company you have!
Steve, Chicago, IL
Unbelievable, what a complete package. Perfect for flat water, i.e. very stable, excellent for the great Lakes because of the small cockpit, and very lightweight, great for transporting some distance to your favorite put-in by yourself. I paddled this new Kayak in Lake Michigan before the weather turned. Handles well, great value. Rating: 10 of 10
Tim Nelson, Mt Vernon, WA
The Skylark is a blast; it handles like a sports car! It was great to be in a boat smaller than my Nighthawk 17.5, and still have plenty of leg and body room. It’s perfect for an experienced kayaker out on a shorter day paddle without much gear to carry. And it is an ideal boat for a beginner because of its high stability and maneuverability. I love this boat! Skylark V. Roberts Penn Valley, CA I’ve tried the Skylark as well as several other brands of kayaks. NONE compare with the Skylark It’s a beautiful and spunky little boat!
WHAT AN AWESOME LITTLE KAYAK!!! I very aptly named her DaBomb. This little lady is very spry, yet extremely stable. I just KNOW I’m not gonna go over, regardless of the water conditions. And no, this is not my first kayak — but it will definitely be my last. A real gem! She’s DaBomb! Rating: 10 of 10
Carole Palmer, Washington
I love it! Very maneuverable, great glide and stability.
Steve Marineau, Waukesha, WI
I really am enjoying this ride – from the first time I dipped the paddle. It fits me well, and the thigh pads really allow me to get good power out of my stroke. Thanks for a quality product.
Stephen C. Frederick The Villages FL
Just took my first paddle in the new boat today. It was wonderful! It looks terrific. It maneuvers very spritely. It has no business tracking like an arrow, but it does. And it absolutely is the best boat I’ve ever had. Thank you so much for building such a beautiful boat that works so well on the water. And please know how much help Matt and Sue at Aardvarks were in helping me to find the perfect boat for me.
Sharon E. Abele, Frederick, Maryland
I am in love with this boat!!! Just had her out on Memorial Day weekend and she handles like a dream. Looking forward to some more Zen time on the water and lots of gunk holing on the Bay.
Sea Kayaker Magazine
The Skylark fits into a new category of kayak that is considered transitional or crossover. While essentially a recreational kayak in size and fit, the Skylark has been endowed with much more consideration to the features and performance found in a full-fledged sea kayak. We gave it abundant stability and a roomy fit to make the entry-level paddler comfortable, yet the efficiency to keep up with longer boats on an easy cruise. At the same time we want the more experienced paddler to have fun, so we added hard chines for carving and Greenland styling for looks. The goal was to make a kayak that is attractive to beginners and one that they can grow in, yet also provide a lightweight and fun alternative to the more experienced paddler.
REVIEWER SPECS (in order)
KC: 5′ 6″ 125-pound female. Day paddle in calm conditions, no cargo. · GL: 5′ 11″, 165-pound male. Day paddles 10-knot breeze, 1 ft chop. No cargo · TW: 6′ 1″ 180-pound male. Day paddles, calm conditions, no cargo.
First Glance Eddyline’s thermoformed Carbonlite 2000 Skylark is “smooth, shiny and attractive. Nice lines in the deck and hard chine hull keep it from looking overly stubby. Hull and deck come together with an overlapped seam. A foam pillar in the bow adds support and floatation but takes away stowage” (GL). “You have to think twice about the fact that it is plastic, not fiberglass. The deck was free of blemishes or imperfections and the Skylark was quite a sharp little kayak, with pleasing lines and a functional shape.” (TW). “At 40 pounds, the Skylark is quite easy to carry on one’s shoulder. I could easily unload the kayak from my car rack, and the retractable handles at the bow and stern are sturdy and easy to use” (KC). Fit “A sizable cockpit makes getting into the Skylark a breeze. There is plenty of room for me, a larger paddler” (TW). KC, at 5’6″ “had to move the foot braces as close as I could possibly get them. This cockpit definitely accommodates medium to larger-sized paddlers but for me, it was far too roomy, and I had a hard time getting a snug fit” (KC). W “found the seat and backrest combination to be surprisingly comfortable” and while KC found ‘the back support a bit awkward” GL thought it was “very comfortable and easy to adjust, so I could lie back on the rear deck.” The Skylark has “padding along the inside of the hull where thighs rest. Since the cockpit is so large and the beam so wide, thighs end up spread out quite wide in order to brace effectively.” (KC). “On the other hand the kayak is so stable and where most paddlers would take it, I would not think that thigh braces were really necessary” (TW). The footbraces have “nice large footpads, easy to adjust with a twist of the plastic rod and then reach in and move the pad” (GL). The recessed deck fittings have “ample deck bungees across the foredeck for securing water bottles and other gear. The thoughtful layout provides plenty of security and the stout shock cord on the rear deck for a paddle float re-entry is great! Kudos for putting the paddle float re-entry rigging on a recreational kayak!” (TW). Stability The Skylark’s initial stability is “moderate to high” (GL),to “very high” (KC) and “quite high” (TW). The secondary stability is also “high” (GL) and “will resist all but those most determined to capsize” (TW). Maneuverability “For a short kayak, the tracking on the Skylark was remarkably good” (TW) and it “doesn’t badly spin off course if you stop paddling and has no discernible weathercocking in 10-knot wind” (GL). It “turns easily, especially when leaned slightly on its edge.” (KC). It is “easy to maneuver while going in and out of tight places” (GL). Speed The Skylark “accelerates well and feels peppy enough for the 3-knot day trip but it maxes out at a moderate effort” (GL). TW “wouldn’t want to keep up with a touring kayak at cruising speed, but paddling at a comfortable pace for exploring was nearly effortless.” Roll and Rescue The Skylark’s “sizable width, flat deck and loose fit make this kayak a bit more sluggish to roll” (KC). “A paddle float re-entry was fairly easy. I also re-entered without the outrigger, and found that not difficult” (GL). Cruising The Skylark’s rear compartment is roomy, providing plenty of storage space for day trip exploring” (TW). GL “easily squeezed my tent and sleeping bag on opposite sides of the pillar in the bow, and you could cram in enough for an overnight with careful packing.” The hatch cover is tethered “easy to get on and off” (KC). No leaks were reported. The bulkhead is molded from clear plastic and illuminates the stowage compartment. “The bulkhead and forward floatation are a great step toward providing safety for this class of kayak” (TW). The Bottom Line “The Skylark would be great for someone who wants to day paddle on calm waters. This kayak would be great for fishing, bird-watching, photography, and even napping” (KC). “The light-weight and easy handling will appeal to many looking for a day-tripper, or possible overnighter, for protected bay and inland lake paddling. Older paddlers and women will find it an easy solo carry and a reasonable to lift to the car-top or launch from a yacht” (GL). “Quick to accelerate, comfortable and easy to maneuver, the Skylark was a blast to paddle and would be in its place at any waterfront home or cabin where a variety of inexperience paddlers may with to poke about and explore. With plenty of room for a bigger paddler it will suit a broad variety of paddlers” (TW).
SPEED VS. RESISTANCE
Resistance in pounds · SpeedWinters/KAPERBroze/Taylor · 2 knots0.920.89 · 3 knots2.021.99 · 4 knots5.115.14 · 4.5 knots8.209.89 · 5 knots10.8115.20 · 6 knots17.8725.97 The relatively high volumetric coefficient of the Skylark puts it outside of the range of our resistance prediction formulae, so the predictions for two highest speeds had to be extrapolated. HYDROSTATICS (Hydrostatics calculated with 250-lb. Load) · Waterline length 11′ 2.2″ · Waterline beam 25.6″ · Draft5.9″ · Prismatic coefficient 0.54 · Wetted surface 19.33sq. ft. · Center of buoyancy 54%.