Eddyline Kayaks Reviewed
Eddyline Kayaks has been manufacturing high quality and innovative sea and touring kayaks for over 40 years. The company also produces the popular Swift line of paddles, which are some of the best touring paddles on the market today.
Eddyline Kayaks was also the first company to use advanced aerospace technologies like vacuum bagging the the commercial construction of sea kayaks. Tom Derrer, who founded Eddyline in 1971, has been instrumental in the design of all of the products currently produced by the company.
Some of Eddyline’s many innovations in the world of sea kayaking include the 4-way adjustable backrest, flexible bulkheads, spring-loaded rudders, and more. They were also the first company to use computers in their hull designs, resulting in a vast improvement in hull performance and symmetry.
Unlike many kayak manufacturers, Eddyline avoided using rotomolded Polyethylene in their hull designs. Instead they developed their own
technology, and in 1994 introduced a high performance thermoplastic known as Carbonlite 2000. This revolutionary material has more dimensional stability, is easy to repair, has a hard glossy finish, and is strong and lightweight.
Eddyline Kayaks is a fairly small company, still run by Tom Derrer and his wife, building high quality sea kayaks that are as popular today as they were 30 years ago.
Eddyline manufacturers a full line of sea and touring kayaks. Included in their lineup is the Sandpiper, Skylark, Merlin LT, Samba, Equinox, Journey, Fathom and Night Hawk series. They also make two tandem models – the Shasta and Whisper. Prices range from about $1200 for the Sandpiper and Skylark, up to $3000 for the Whisper CL tandem.
Without a doubt the most unique feature of Eddyline kayaks is the use of their exclusive “Carbonlite 2000″ co-extruded plastic laminate as a hull material. This innovative plastic technology results in a hull that looks and performs like fiberglass, but with much higher heat distortion temperatures and dimensional stability over traditional rotomolded plastics. Carbonlite 2000 also has a hard glossy finish that looks great even after years of hard use, and is easily repaired in case of an unfortunate accident.
Other important features of Eddyline boats include their speed and efficiency on the water, especially the Falcon S18. A new sliding seat system was introduced in 2009 on the Equinox, Journey, and Fathom models. These padded seats have a deeper pan and additional thigh support for more comfortable paddling. They also have a “Sea Dog” ergonomic foot brace that has 14″ of adjustable travel with the flip of a lever.
Comments From Owners
As a group, owners of Eddyline kayaks are very satisfied paddlers of these well-engineered and well-crafted boats. We’ve heard very few complaints of any kind regarding these boats, and heaps of praise. So we have no problems giving Eddyline kayaks a big thumbs up.
The Carbonlite 2000 hull material that is exclusive to Eddyline gets especially high marks from owners. From a quick glance, many paddlers think these are composite boats, and the Carbonlite is light, strong, and has a very good fit and finish.
The paddlers we’ve heard from also praise the Eddyline boats for their stability and tracking, even in strong currents or heavy weather. The hatches on these yaks also seal well and stay dry, the cockpits are large and comfortable, and the deck rigging and overall design are first rate as well.
Even the company’s customer service gets high marks, which is something we can’t say about all the major brands. One owner reported that a hatch cover was missing from her Equinox when she purchased it, and Eddyline had a replacement sent to her the next day.
Top Eddyline Kayaks For 2011
| Eddyline Merlin LT
The Merlin LT fits into a new category of kayak considered transitional or cross over. 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.
| Eddyline Equinox
The Equinox brings together the comfort and stability of recreational kayaks and the performance of a true sea kayak. The efficient V hull and hard chines provide stability and glide in one package. The kayak tracks well and performs leaned turns with ease. The ample cockpit is equipped with thigh braces that give excellent control even to the smaller sized paddler.
| Eddyline Fathom
The Fathom’s highly efficient hull is fast, nearly effortless to accelerate to speed, yet carries a comfortable degree of initial stability. The combination of hard chines mid-ship and a healthy degree of rocker provide high secondary stability making leaned carved turns and bow rudder turns a breeze.