Thursday, July 30, 2009

Calypso Women’s Kayak Review- Open Water Report

When I first was able to paddle the LL Bean Women’s Calypso Kayak on a local lake, I was extremely pleased with the size. I easily loaded the kayak on top of my truck, unloaded it, and carried it down to the waterfront without any back pulling or spectacular scenes. This boat was starting to look perfect for me- but how would it handle on the water?

Having mainly paddled 16-17 foot kayaks, that were not specifically designed for women, I thought the main things that would bug me about the Calypso would be the short length (12 feet) and thus the kayak’s speed and tracking. Here is the low down:


The major plus factor to this boat is that it is extremely lightweight for an open water, touring type boat. This is mainly due to the shape and design, keeping things low and tight for women friendly design also helps reduce overall weight. I am able to easily load this boat onto my car and to portage points.


Being pretty short for an open water kayak, I was concerned that I would feel like I was paddling to nowhere. While I have ridden in faster boats, mainly due to their more narrow width, this boat manages to stay fairly slender (24 ½” wide). Overall, while this boat isn’t the speediest one out there, I feel like it goes pretty quick.


So, the boat is short, would I be constantly correcting my course or paddling in circles? No- this boat gets a big fat check, leaning towards check plus, in the tracking department. While my boat doesn’t have the optional rudder kit, it stays a pretty fair course and doesn’t require many corrective strokes.


Being somewhat slender this boat has the potential to be more on the unstable side. If you fit within their size range, I think you’ll find it moderately stable. You can certainly find more stable boats out there, but they won’t be women’s specific, and they won’t be as fast.

Women's Calypso Kayak


Portability- Excellent
Speed- Decent
Tracking- Decent
Stability- Decent

Kayak Details

12' x 24 1/2"
weight: 38 lbs

My final Calypso Women’s Kayak review will include a summary and a run down of performance on moving water. Check back in or subscribe to my feed for the details.

Disclaimer: Product Reviews are based on opinion only and are not intended to condone, encourage, or promote a product. Some products are sent to me by the manufacturer or affiliates and are mine to keep. I mention this specifically on products sent to me. Compensation and/or product and/or services never interfere with the review of the product. Otherwise, products and services are purchased by me for personal use. Kayak was purchased by me. I have no affiliation with the manufacturer. 


Red Bike said...

I never realised there are women specific kayaks. (Just what is the difference between a kayak and a canoe?)

Are there woman speicic paddles too?

bettymountaingirl said...

A lot of companies offer at least one style of women's specific design kayak or bike etc. Many times, it just means they made the men's version, but smaller to fit a women.

This kayak though, has all the tiny details that only some research in design could have made so well.

A kayak is sort of a closed boat, generally designed for one person. A canoe is an open faced (at the top) boat that generally is for two people. Canoes are generally less tippy, but some kayaks are designed for faster rapids.

For the paddles, ya know, I've never come across a specific, women's specific, (that was a mouthful) paddle. I do try to look at overall diameter of the paddle though, because if it is too big it can be difficult to hang onto.

Hope that helps! Thanks for reading!