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Reviews for Scout Kayak by Walden Kayaks


Rated: 9.21/10 Based On: 19 Reviews

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08-01-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Six years in a Scout. It is my go-to boat for photos and canal paddling. We call it the "Party Barge" for the cooler hatch in back.

It has been easy to add accessories and features: dashboard, deck rigging, paddle holder bungee, cap lifter, bilge pump bracket, etc.
Best boat for carrying a non-paddling passenger: my dogs!

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06-20-2009
Submitted by: Jose from 2002Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have been yaking with the Scout for 7 years now and have had it in the ocean, bay, lakes and went on many river trips. It is a great kayak. I beat the boat constantly. It is unbreakable. It just fell off my roof rack and bounced off the ground in Blue Hill, ME yesterday. I love it. The bottom is all scratched up and I love that too! I drag it a lot, but have made a yak carrier from a jogging stroller being tossed. My wife got a loon and I can speed past her with no sweat. We are a good match.
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08-30-2004
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My first kayak (yes I'm a beginner). Very stable for a large person like me. Tracks straight and easy. Even the molded seat is very comfortable. I just wish it was a few lbs lighter. I like the fact that it is made in MA and of recycled materials. I look forward to many years of enjoyment.
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07-26-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     My husband, sister and I bought our kayaks last summer after much research and test driving. I've been hooked on my Walden Scout ever since! I bought it mainly for the comfort of the large cockpit (lots of room to stretch the legs on those long journeys!), the padded seat and especially for the fact that Walden is concerned enough about the environment to use recycled plastic in its boats. Plus, I liked the looks of this kayak. I ran into it after I had already purchased one, and ended up buying it anyway because I liked it so much! My other boat hasn't seen much action because of my addiction to the Scout!!

When I purchased the 12-foot Scout my two main concerns were how it would handle in rough, open water and how fast it would go. I definitely didn't need to worry about either! I have been in some pretty rough water on Lake Huron and even Lake Superior, and it has handled very well. (It would be beneficial to have a spray skirt in situations like these since the large cockpit does allow for more water to enter.) As far as speed and tracking, my Scout Boy and I can outpaddle my husband in his 14-foot, rudder-equipped boat on any given day!

I feel very comfortable, stable and safe in this kayak. It's great for rivers, lakes, open water, fishing, nature photography, hauling camping gear, etc. The rear hatch/beer cooler comes in handy, too! I couldn't be happier with my purchase!

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04-14-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased my Walden Scout used off my Aunt. I was looking for a good general recreation kayak that I could fish out of. I am very pleased with my scout. It is very stable, which is nice when fishing, and moves through the water with better glide than I expected from a short and wide kayak. My only complaint is that the seat isn't comfortable. I see that the new Scout's have a better seat system. There are a ton of rec kayaks to choose from, so making a decision can be tough. If you are looking for a great fishing kayak, and one for leasure cruises on the water, the Scout is very nice, and durrable. The large cockpit is nice, but doesn't keep out water very well. The best feature I find on this kayak is the paddle holders. Comes in very handy when fishing.
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07-17-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     One-time demo in a Scout. For the money, this appears to be a competent kayak. In fact, if my only desire was to fish out of it on small water, I would consider buying it. The Scout went at least as fast as the longer, narrower Vista, and was more stable. Yes, stable is a combination of experience, seating position, and the paddler's skill, but stability can also be measured in "how much do my hip and rib muscles hurt after trying to keep this thing upright for an hour?" With the Scout, this was not a battle.

Turns well, like most 12 foot kayaks. This is also a "knees outside" boat, so you can't brace your knees inside the cockpit. This is not necessarily a drawback, just a design feature.

After trying one, I can see why Scout users like them, but I paddled yaks that I liked better that were just as stable and a bit faster. Examples were a Perception Monterey, Carolina, and America (all 13.5 feet). I'm not comparing it to the 16 foot Montauk--not fair!

Why is speed important at all? If you are done fishing (or whatever), and you want to get somewhere because you're done, the fishing is lousy, your mother is calling you, whatever--sometimes you want to get out of Dodge. That means getting somewhere, and here's a thought--how fast do your neighbors drive on the highway? Do you drive 55 or 75? You can always paddle slower, but you can't always paddle faster unless your kayak design and your skill allow it. Please don't look down on this 7. If you love your Scout and rate it a 10, it is a 10 to you.

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12-09-2002
Submitted by: WannapaddleSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I LOVE my Scout! I didn't want a sit-on-top because I planned to hunt and fish during the winter months here in Louisiana and I wanted the added protection from the elements of a cockpit. The Scout has a very roomy cockpit. I'm glad that it came with a clean bow (no eyelets etc...) because I wanted to install my own in specific locations chosen by me. I'm able to use it as a "layout" boat for duck hunting and have created a frame of PVC pipe and parachute cord that supports custom sewn Shadowgrass material for a hunting blind. It works great. I even have it arranged so that I can paddle out to retrieve birds without any disassembly. I did this by making the side panels of my blind where they can slide back like curtains. I can't make a full padle stroke, only about 80%, which is plenty for retrieves. For fishing I made a wooden workdeck that installs in less than 20 seconds and provides space for a small tackle box, a rod holder, a cleat and other "stuff". I rigged stretch cord in a loop on both sides from bow to stern which enables me to attach a 3lb. folding anchor to either side and employ it fore or aft. The top part of the cord runs through eyelets and I clip the anchor onto the bottom run. I put a cleat on my wooden work deck to tie the anchor line to. Works great.

Back to the boat - Easy to handle, tracks well, tough yet light enough for me to load easily. Very stable while seated and I can kneel in it on calm water without fear. A GREAT all around kayak. Suggested improvements might include a fold down seat to improve aft storage and it would be nice, though not neccessary, to have the ability to readily attach a factory made rudder system. Only thing I really would fuss about so far is the work deck that I purchased for it BUT I learned that if I turn it upside down, slide it forward, and attach it to the carry handle it makes a great rain cover for gear stored on the bow.

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07-13-2002
Submitted by: RiverRatSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Been testing a Scout of fishing pal. Its very portable, stable and good value. Its great for most all open waters on lakes. Handles a chop well. Great for fishing. Plenty of storage in dry box, behing seat and in cockpit. Tracks well and turns reasonable. Have used it for fishing on I-III streams. Turning is a challenge as current increases. Have had some success by leaning sharply towards turn. Thinks it help lessen the effectiveness of the three tracking keels on the bottom. The deck is even (line of sight) with the top edge of cockpit. Get damp in 1.5-3 foot drops. A skirt or partial skirt would be handy. Adding bungee with hooks and close-cell foam pads to other paddle holder to accomodate rod storage. May look at adding a retro-fit drop down rudder & steering for additional steerage in certain cases. Another pal is adding trolling motor with foot controls to his. I have also rigged small sail with some low effort success. Graet value for angling, photo, birding, fun and day/overnight outings.
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05-20-2002
Submitted by: JoseSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I just bought a scout for my first one. I have owned canoes before. I liked it since it is easy to get in and out of. I have arthritis in my hips and have lost some flexibility there. It is stable( as others have said) and tracks well. I felt comfortable in tidal waters off Mystic Island, N.J. It was easy to paddle, and I plan to use it often in small rivers.
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04-18-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Walden Scout is the 5th kayak I have owned; last fall I bought it as a leftover for $425; I selected the Scout for fishing in lakes/coastal protected waters (possibly bringing along a small canine companion in fresh water) - I avoid pushing this kayak to its limits in rough conditions & do not use a spray skirt - After aproximqately 5 hours on the water I liked the open cockpit; it provided good access to lunch & fishing gear and space to stretch my legs - Though the boat is short and wide, it did not feel tubbish at all - for me it actually handled better than my Walden Vista as far as tracking goes with speed about the same. I launched out of Rye Harbor NH and went out to the one mile marker in mid September; I have seen a number of anchors for $15. With a light weight anchor I might be able to avoid drifting with the wind & spend more time fishing or taking nature photos.
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09-17-2001
Submitted by: ChrisSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased a Scout this summer to learn a little more about kayaking, next spring I plan on purchasing 2 more Scouts for my flyfishing and light tackle guide service. The Scout has been wonderful... It tracks well, is super stable and turns relatively well by back paddling or dragging a blade. It has plenty of storgage, necessary for fishing... I added deck rigging in front of the cockpit for gear. I also installed adhesive backed velcro strips on the inside of the cockpit, I put the other side of the adhesive velcro on my fishing gear... fly boxes, leader wallet, or anything else small that I dont want rolling around in the boat. The bungee paddle holder on the starboard side doubles well as a rod holder, I plan on installing another paddle/rod holder on the port side, possibly two of them for my expensive flyrods for extra insurance. I also bought a seat cushion for the Scout and a paddle leash, two must haves for comfort and safety. Later I plan on adding cleats for tying up the boat, an anchor system with cleats and eye rings off the stern for anchoring as well as rigging up some sort of light for night paddling. This boat is excellent for saltwater fishing, I have had it 1/2 mile offshore and taken it through 3 to 4 foot rolling swells with NO difficulty.. (its fun too!)
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07-19-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     Last year I purchased a green Scout to use on ponds, lakes and quiet rivers. Since my girlfriend likes to fish I purchased another Scout for her this past spring. I have since outfitted the boats for fishing. I installed four 4' cleats on each(Wal-Mart)and rod holders. The cleats come in handy, enabling us to tie up together when breaking for lunch or just floating around together. On the cooler hatch I installed deck rigging, just enough to hold a little extra gear. Behind the seat I attached a piece of cargo netting that stretches out and hooks onto the hatch cord. This provides a nice shelf for bug spray, extra water, or whatever. Just reach around and the stuff is right at hand. I purchased accessory decks made by Old Town and custom fitted them to the Scouts. I eliminated the knot in the skirts and made two loops which can then be attached to the cleats to the rear area behind the seat. This enables us to remove and install the skirt by attaching the loops to the cleats and then stretching the skirt over the cockpit. Keep in mind that this is a half-skirt. Check it out from Old Town. Although we both have touring kayaks we use the Scouts often when we just want a lazy stable paddle. The open cockpit is great for stretching the legs, the boat handles and tracks well and there is plenty of room in the bow to stuff a few dry-bags into. I give this boat an 8 only because both hulls have a slight depression in the hulls that refuse to pop out. It doesn't affect the way the boat handles and I have no regrets on purchasing them. This Fall I'm going for the camouflage deck covers. If you're looking for a nice recreational kayak that is easy to handle, fun to be in and unique in looks then consider the Walden Scout.
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01-25-2001
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My son,daughter-in-law and I bought Walden Scouts as our first Kayaks,last September. We studied all the info we could find on beginner kayaks and settled on the Scouts. We couldn't have picked a better kayak,even tho' we plan on buying CLC's "Chesapeak 17" wood kits in the spring. We WILL be keeping our Scouts because for river and lake use, these are the best kayaks we could have found. And we all give them a "10".
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09-26-2000
Submitted by: BobSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is a great boat for paddling around Humboldt Bay, California. My wife gave me a (used) Scout for my 40th birthday, and it's probably the best gift I've ever received. I paddled canoes quite a bit as a boy, back east, and a year or so ago, took a lesson on Humboldt Bay. So I was really happy when she surprised me with the boat. I'm impressed with the quality of the Scout. It seems really well made, looks good, and yet is fairly light at 60 pounds. I understand that it's recycled plastic, but it doesn't look cheap or cheesy in the least. It looks like a perfect use for the materials from which it is made. It handles well in the wind and choppy water that's common on the Bay. Even going against the wind and tide, it's easy to make prompt headway in this kayak. The cockpit is large, which means that a spray skirt is a necessity (maybe I need a longer paddle for this wide boat), at least in cool weather and water. But with a skirt, it feels really safe, and it's stable, and fast. I wouldn't take this boat past the jetties (it's not a Sea Kayak per se), but for general paddling, it's a wonderful boat and I look forward to each brief trip. If I ever replace this boat, I'd look at the other Walden products first, because this seems a well designed and "value priced" craft. For a beginner, and relatively sheltered coastal paddling, it's a perfect fit.
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06-25-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Having had the opportunity to use my new Scout on both fastwater, and flatwater, I feel I no longer need to search for the ideal float for my personal use. This boat is so stable I think I could stand in it..!, it is reasonably manuverable on smaller fastwater rivers and tracks very well on larger water, it is comfortable, roomy, the hatch/cooler is great and the price is very user friendly. I have two other kayaks that I used for different waters, one on flatwater and the other on fastwater (up to class 3's) that will probably get recycled into other paddling gear now..! The Scout is a strong 10 in this paddlers house.
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05-14-2000
Submitted by: Tim RillahanSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     First of all, I must say, this is one of the few kayaks I could comfortably sit in. Lots of room to stretch out if you are a tall person. Handles very well, stays straight with little help. This is my first kayak, and I am extremely happy with my purchase!
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07-25-1999
Submitted by: SS
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just an update now that she and I have decided to go steady. What a DELIGHTFUL boat! Though initial stability remains weaker than say a Pungo, her secondary stability is excellent! But most of all, man is she FAST with excellent glide and tracking! A mile long lake gets crossed at warp speed it seems, no matter how strong the wind and which way it is blowing. Once you set a track in the beauty, it'll keep going where you wanna go with minimal effort. She definitely feels like a 15 foot boat in terms of paddling performance. And boy is she PRETTY! The special Walden molding process holds up well and she retains her unblemished beauty after many hours on the water (and the rocks of shore). Her classic lines turn heads as well, and I often feel like Gwyneth's prom date when I'm paddling her. The fixed seat turns out to VERY comfortable after paddles of 3 hrs. or so.More than that I don't plan to do in one stretch. The long track footbraces work and fit extremely well. All in all she's my baby!
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07-12-1999
Submitted by: SS
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just purchased a Scout as my first solo kayak (I owned a tandem before).She's a real beauty with flawless craftsmanship evident in her construction. She looks much more like a composite boat than a plastic one, with the same fine lines and angles that one sees only on composite boats. She definitely does NOT look like a plastic trash can or porta-potty like most of the other plastic boats I've seen. Regarding performance, she tracks beatuifully and I have crossed a relatively large lake in her with winds blowing hard enough to bend over the small trees, and she didn't blink an eyelid, keeping her track with minimal effort throughout. She develops very good speed and responds to the paddle nimbly. In all, she does feel like a MUCH longer boat.Regarding stability, she's advertised to be an ideal fishing/bird watching platform. This I can't vouch for. Though she is nearly 30" wide, she has very soft chines and therefore is a little more tippy at rest than I thought she'd be. Secondary stability though, is excellent. She carries a long waterline with absolutely no rocker or flare. Though this contributes to her excellent tracking, she does bob a bit in wind-blown chop, no matter how small, though she continues to feel rock-solid stable when underway. The seat is huge and very comfortable, though I'd prefer an adjustable seat back to vary seating positions on long paddles. The Scout's seat is fixed and though comfortable on daily hour-long workouts, I wonder how she'll feel on a day trip. The footbraces, which are adjustable from the cockpit on boats made after March,99 are exceptionally long and they fit my 6'5" frame easily, and adjust to vary foot position (and overall comfort) very easily from the cockpit. The rear-deck "cooler" (in shape only) is a real pleasure and would be accessible from the cockpit if the intial stability was a little better (its still very good though). I did have some problem with Walden's customer service when I bought my brand new '99 Scout (in July,99) and found that it had '98 footbraces. However, after some haggling back and forth between the dealer and Walden, they delivered me a brand new JUNE, 1999 boat with the new footbraces (and unfortunately a new shade of yellow which is not nearly as striking) within 2 days. All in all, great service, but I wish that the haggling hadn't occured. Her great tracking, great hull speed, beautiful construction, classic beauty and comfort make her a definite keeper, and I'm sure that we'll grow to be GREAT friends after we get to know each other better, though I'm mighty impressed after our first few dates.

By the way, it was a choice between a Scout and a Dagger Delta for me. Though I never actually paddled the Delta, I found the cockpit on the Delta to be relatively the same size, but the rough edges on the plastic cockpit coaming which face your knees were very uncomfortable as I sat on the show-room floor in her, and abraded my knees just sitting there. Other than that, she looks like a fine boat, and a Dagger all the way, but she does look like a psychedelic garbage can. But I'm sure that she'd be worth a try. Chines seemed to be harder so maybe she'll have more initial stability than the Scout, but she'll never have the Scout's classic good looks.

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10-20-1998
Submitted by: DaleSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Very stable with a large cockpit. Absolutely the best kayak for fly fishing (or any fishing) I've used. Built in cooler which is accessable from the cockpit and a paddle holder that really works!
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