Submitted: 02-22-2012 by water_walker
The 13'11" Walrus Griffin accelerates more quickly than longer boats and very easily slips along at speeds of 3 to 4 knots. The low profile of the Griffin makes it neutral in the wind -- and gives it an edge over bigger boats when paddled in windy conditions.
The Griffin is beautiful, well-balanced kayak with sleek lines, raked bow, and a moderate v in the hull. It is a low volume, symmetrical kayak with a hull that flares slightly above the waterline.
Paddlers above 210 lbs. will want to look elsewhere, but for small and medium-size paddlers, the cockpit is comfortable -- and provides excellent control for edging and rolling. The Griffin is extremely solid when on edge. It can be turned without being leaned and provides an instantaneous response when on edge.
The Griffin is an ideal boat for smaller paddlers, and for medium-size paddlers looking for a compact boat for day trips, rough water and surf. The low volume and snug fit also make the Griffin an excellent choice for rolling and for Greenland style paddling.
For this 5'11" 165 lb. paddler, the Griffin provides an exceptional fit and is as easy to move from edge to edge as any boat I have paddled, Importantly, it feels very secure on edge, even in chop and waves. The one drawback of the snug cockpit and thigh braces is not being able to paddle in knees up style.
Due to its lower profile and shorter length, when paddled in chop and waves, the Griffin provides a wetter ride.
When conducting GPS trials of the Griffin in 13 - 15 knot winds, and using a wing paddle, I found that I could cruise at 4.1 knots going upwind and 4.9 knots on the same course when I turned and headed downwind. The Griffin had very little tendency to weathercock and performed well without lowering the skeg..
As a strong, medium sized paddler who has grown partial to the Walrus Jaeger, I can see choosing the Griffin for rock gardening, surf play, winding creeks and rivers, "quickies," and for rolling practice. For smaller paddlers and for those for efficiency is more of a priority than top-end speed, the Griffin is likely to become a favorite for all-around use.
*Note: After test paddling the Griffin, I recently became a dealer for Walrus Kayaks. I have since paddled the Griffin 4 times in a variety of conditions.