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Reviews for Nunu Kayak by ClearWater Design


Rated: 9/10 Based On: 5 Reviews

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08-14-2013
Submitted by: RonSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased my Clear Water Designs Nunu from an individual on Craigslist. I wasn't familiar with the company, but researched them as much as I could by reading other reviews on Paddling.net and watching videos on YouTube, and thought that it looked like a couple of steps up from the common boats in its size range, the Old Town Otter and Perception Swifty.

The first time we took the Nunu out, the wind was blowing 15 or 20 mph, and there was a mild chop on the lake. I liked the way the Nunu made steady progress into the wind, and how the relatively high sides and small cockpit opening kept water from washing into the boat. When wind is across the boat, the Nunu wants to turn into the wind, probably because the paddlers exposed torso is a few inches behind the center of drag, something fairly common in kayaks, especially this size. This also happens when the wind is blowing from behind, but in either instance, an occasional corrective stroke puts everything right.

As the day wore on, the wind gradually died down and the water became almost completely smooth. Under these conditions the Nunu tracked, not perfectly, but quite acceptably and glided well between strokes. I practiced using a slow and restful stroke...1...2...3... rhythm, during which the nose would veer just a few degrees away from the side being paddled. As long as paddling continued, the Nunu would stay on course, headed directly for whatever landmark it was pointed toward on the other side of the lake. If one quits paddling altogether, the nose would eventually veer off course and the boat would sort of spin out and drift sideways, something else which occurs with some frequency, especially in shorter boats.

The Nunu feels as if it is moving pretty quickly when underway, faster and with significantly less effort than either of my Grumman aluminum canoes, but probably not as fast as my old 15 foot Folbot. Bubbles and flotsam on the water just skim past, and the landscape glides by at an entertaining rate. Paddling at a relaxed rate the Nunu is pretty quiet; spirited paddling can create a little bit of a wake and some water sounds.

The manufacturers suggested price is $549, significantly more than either an Otter or a Swifty...so why would anyone pay so much more for a Nunu? Part of the reason is that the Nunu includes features which are simply not present or even available in the less expensive boats... such as a sealed bulkhead with a dry storage compartment (sealed by a transparent screw-in hatch) in the stern, a seat with an inflatable lumbar support, and full deck rigging on both bow and stern.

From a construction standpoint, the build quality is very good, and the lines of the Nunu are very attractive. The bow and stern are fairly sharp, widening out to a gently rounded flat bottom. There are a pair of deep channels running under the cockpit which help improve tracking and stiffen the bottom, preventing "oil canning" while underway.

Additionally, the Nunu is available in a large number of stunning colors. Mine happens to be their "Seafoam", a vivid green, gradually fading to a bright yellow in places... it looks like a leaf near the end of summer when the green is turning to yellow, but not yet brown.
So, you pay more, but you get more...I paid $300 for my used Nunu, which included a nice paddle and a bilge pump, and I thought I got a good deal.

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Win a Kayak or Canoe
09-22-2008
Submitted by: JillSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is a great kayak! After MUCH research this is the sit-in I decided to go with and I am not unhappy with my choice 3 years later! It's very stable! Not overly heavy or big, which was important to me. I only take a point off, not for the small opening like many are annoyed with...But because of the snug cockpit...At first I felt like I was going white watering! It's a rec boat! I should have more room and feel more comfy and safe...So my first year with it was spent feeling a tad nervous IF I ever flipped (I'm a bit hippy and wondered if I'd be stuck or not) I have yet to flip as phew this is quite stable so am not as nervous but still wonder, would I slide out? So if that's an issue for you (and mind you, I'm pretty much a normal size girl, just a little more hippy, perhaps) then go with a Perception Prodigy...I used one of those before and I felt 100%, 10 out of 10 comfy and safe in that one...I only did not buy one of those and took the point off Nunu over a Prodigy because Prodigy's are boring looking, shiny, thin, no rigging or hatches...And yes, I am the type to take more points off one being ugly but more safe than one that makes me a tad nervous (now only when a fast boat goes by) and gorgeous, which was more important to me! And that brings me to...This was the only kayak in it's price range to offer all the extras that the Nunu has for no more money...I had looked at one Riot kayak for about the same price as the Nunu with nothing! And it was a price jump to in the 5 hundreds just to get a hatch or two and some rigging on that Riot! Not to mention...Check out the color choices for the Nunu! Just love them! This kayak turns heads! Everyone has the boring Prodigy's and what nots in their boring colors...But these Clearwater's are stunning! And soooo durable! It was also the only one out of the few I had looked into that could be left out in the hot sun and freezing cold with no problems! I just love the material and again, the colors! I almost want to give that 1 point back for the color choices alone!
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02-16-2007
Submitted by: KA
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is a GREAT little kayak, previously owned a Pelican with skeg and find the NuNu tracks just as well without the skeg so it may be a paddling technique thing. Would have liked a larger hatch-the space is there for gear but its hard to fit through the small opening. Very stable, manoevers well, easy to handle. What more can you ask for from a rec-yak?
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03-24-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Awesome beginner kayak. I think that this boat would be well suited to a more advanced paddler as well. This is my fist boat and I love it. Light and easy to carry / portage. I use it mainly for flatwater, river trips and dont see too much whitewater. This boat is very stable and easy to manuver. Has very good storage space for a 9.5 ft boat. I can comforatbly hold enough gear for an overnight trip, but any more than that would be difficult. I use this kayak year round. It is stable enough that I can go paddling in the middle of winter (I have done this at least a dozen times) and I dont have to worry about flipping it. Very durable and the only wera marks I have after a year of VERY HARD use ar ea few very light scratches from rocks (I think they would probably clean right up with a fine grit sandpaper) Great boat and I would definately purchase agian.
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03-07-2006
Submitted by: SBSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Small, compact, easy to carry and load. Great for beginners. Well made, durable, Comforable seat with air cushion.
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