SUV Kayaks

| March 4, 2022


…CONTINUED From HTown Monday

Two distinct needs are present in the eventual purchase of a river kayak. One is the need for carrying enough gear for multi overnights, and when I say, “multi,” I mean MULTI overnights on the rivers of Texas wherever they may flow.

I was too stoopid to realize my old Native U12 was the perfect watercraft for this purpose. A true innovation in kayaks, the original U12 was lightweight, versatile and STABLE to stand up in and cast from. I continue to beat myself up over this sale, just in case you haven’t noticed.

While in recovery from my beatings, I reluctantly began researching (as all fly fishers DO research don’t we?), and came across a couple of contenders in the kayak and canoe world.


The Old Town company, a subsidiary of Johnson Outdoors nowadays, is making strides to try and keep their beat-down canoe category alive and paddling. Their Old Town Discovery Solo 119 has all the characteristics of a fly fishing machine, but is 11-feet 9-inches and not endorsed for standing up – still that’s not a deal breaker if you know how to cast. Upon looking through their site, there is a new potentially BETTER “canyak” showing there – the Old Town NEXT coming in at a foot longer, slightly higher freeboard and more agreeable colors – The NEXT might just be the NEXT for me. Oh, don’t forget a seat to die for as well! Seats may seem like a trivial thing, but if you are assless like me, or making long hard paddle and fish days? A comfortable seat is MY best friend. Someday … it’ll matter to you too!

NEXT Canoe Old Town

I am almost willing to bet I can stand on that extra foot of boat as well! If I can stand on a 12′ surfboard, I don’t see why I can’t do the same in this canyak on my local pond and at times in the river’s slack. Standing serves many purposes –

  • Standing Up to Cast
  • Standing Up to Stretch the Legs
  • Standing Up to paddle
  • Standing Up to maneuver
  • Getting in and Out
  • Detangling
  • Seeing for goodness sake SEEING!

The main thing about a canyak is that it is distinctly NOT sexy. Ask me if I care. Also, there is a major shortage of surfaces to attach the needed accessories – a REAL shortage. I think this factor – mounting areas – is the main reason canoes and canyaks, in their current designs (2022), will not move into any real competition with kayaks. We are not even getting into drive systems because I don’t believe in them! Get a skiff if you want to stop paddling! My rule: Paddle Only!

I look at the pros as –

  • Affordable
  • Weight Savings
  • Availability compared to Yaks
  • Ease of portage compared to Yaks
  • Volume of gear
  • Maneuverability
  • Durability
  • Seating is supreme

I look at the cons as –

  • No good surface mounting options
  • Weight – still heavy!
  • Wood in the NEXT
  • Can’t stand up like in U12
  • Tracks poorly?
  • Seat height along freeboard?
  • Wheels that fit are hard to find
  • Catches air in transport and catches air when carrying
  • Small water only – not long and straight runs
  • TIPS

*NEW INVENTION – I have another possible invention for canoes and kayaks that will turn any kayak or canoe of a REASONABLE LENGTH into a stable standup platform. It is so simple and low tech – someone must have thought of it already!

NEXT TIME – A New Design Kayak That Caught MY Canoe shaped eye …

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Category: Adventure, Industry, Kayak, kayaking, Store Merchandise

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live. Visit professional photography website at today!

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