When I decided to move to Port Carling and sell my home, I also decided to reward myself at some point, for how far I’ve come and for achieving some of the goals I have set for myself over the last year. It started out as a go pro, or something similar, then progressed to a solo canoe. I even went and tested one out! But after completing my level 2 sea kayaking course, I knew what I really wanted, and needed, was a new kayak! And so the search began….
After talking to people via email for a week and checking suggested boats out online, I put a plan in motion to spend a weekend looking at kayaks! After receiving some great advice from my favorite outdoors store, Outdoors Oriented, then talking to a few other influential people in my life, I started at Whitesquall in Parry Sound and test paddled a Willow. It was very nice but not what I wanted and a bit too expensive.
I tested the Eliza Necky next and that’s when Greg came out to assist me. He was full of great information and advice and I was really happy to have him there to help me out. The final boat I wanted to test was next, the Delta 15s. I had seen it first at Outdoors Oriented and had discussed it with Jamie. It had all the features I was looking for and was decently priced and I was very much looking forward to trying it out. The one they brought down for me was orange and so pretty.
I really enjoyed my paddle in the Delta but with thunder on and off, I decided it was time to take it back into shore. I talked with Greg for a while longer, went into the shop to buy a few things and then headed home, anxious to see what Swift had in store for me tomorrow!
I got up bright and early and made my way to Swift Canoe and Kayak at their Oxtongue Lake location. I met with Brian who explained a few kayaks to me that I might like, then was advised Andrew would get whichever boat I wanted to test paddle out to the dock for me. I started with the kayak above, but immediately knew it wasn’t for me. It had a very large cockpit and no thigh braces so rolling and edging weren’t something I could do with it. I returned it and went out in the next boat, a 14′ kevlar boat that was quite pretty!
I enjoyed my paddle in the blue boat, but it still wasn’t quite right. They were all very quick in the water, but they were also really deep and I mostly felt it was too big for me somehow. After the blue boat, I checked out the Saranac 15′ fusion. It is a gorgeous boat and I really enjoyed paddling it, but again, I felt it was so high and I felt a bit lost in it.
Andrew suggested I try the Saranac 15 LV which is a low volume boat. This boat wasn’t as deep/high and it felt far better to me than all the others. It was definitely my favorite boat out of all of them and I took it for a very long paddle to ensure I was really comfortable in it. I definitely was!
I really really liked this boat! What to do???
After my test paddle at Swift I headed over to Algonquin Park to visit a friend from grade school who was staying at the park. After a good long chat, I realized I had already made my decision and didn’t even realize it.
I emailed Whitesquall to let them know I had decided to take the Delta 15s. I was truly in love with the boat and could not wait to paddle it again! I spoke to Peter who was amazing, like everyone at Whitesquall is and after answering a few questions, I paid for the boat and arranged for it to be delivered to me on Tuesday along with a skirt so I can work on my rolls. They told me it would arrive between 11 and 12, the next day, and, at 11am sharp, the truck pulled up my driveway with my new boat! YAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!
I was so excited I literally jumped up and down. Jordan, who brought the boat to me was so kind and courteous. He explained all the documentation he brought for me and also gave me a gift certificate for a lesson of my choosing, and, they also offered a rolling class !! SWEET!!! In addition, I got 10% off the skirt and lock I bought, so that was another bonus.
I put the boat behind the office so I could glance at it outside my window until I was done work when I would take her for a spin! I could not wait!
I would like to thank all the people who helped me in this journey, from the awesome advice the instructors at Ontario Sea Kayak Centre gave me, to the excellent staff at Whitesquall and the fabulous people over at Swift. Also, thanks to Outdoors Oriented for always helping me in any decision I make with my large outdoor gear purchases and my friend Randy at Algonquin Outfitters who set me up with the people at Swift.
All the boats I tested were pretty awesome, but to me, a kayak, is like your favourite pair of jeans. It needs to fit right and every person fits different jeans differently. The Delta just fit me the best and was the best choice for me! Testing them out is the recommended way to purchase a kayak (Thanks Randy) and I highly advise you to do the same if you are looking for your own perfect pair of jeans!
I’m sure I will enjoy many many trips and paddles in my new boat and I hope you follow along with me on some of them! If any of my instructors are reading this, I’m happy to say… I’ve already done 3 self rescues in it, one assisted rescue, lots of bow rudders and a few attempts at a roll!!
Thanks for checking out my post. If you have any questions, comments or advice, please do not hesitate to contact me!