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Reviews for Venus 11 Kayak by Ocean Kayak

Rated: 9.25/10 Based On: 16 Reviews

Venus 11 Kayak by Ocean Kayak

Length: 10' 8" - Width: 28.50" - Starting at: $749.99
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Submitted by: FerdinandSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought this kayak for my wife and she loves it. Lightweight, tracks well, roomy, good storage area (hers came with the front hatch). Her only complaint is the seat. It is a bit hard. We bought 2 cheap stadium foamy cushions ($8.00 ea) at Dick's, glued them together and we had a nice comfortable and cheap remedy. Besides that, the kayak is great. She loves the pink color. She gets a lot of compliments.
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Submitted by: VBSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     We bought a Venus 11 as the reviews were good and also as it is light weight. I have used it 3 times, on a river with a small 2 rapid and on a lake. It performed well and it is easy to paddle. I am 5'1 and 130 lbs. I also plan on taking my two tiny dogs with me in the future and should have enough room :)
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Submitted by: gibonSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have just bought this boat, but I already know I made the right choice. I'm a small guy (5'6", 140#), and I wanted a kayak that fit my size. my previous kayak was an Aquaterra Prism (14' long, weighed 60+ #'s); it is a great kayak, I had it for 15 years, but I always felt it was too big for me.

I live on the windward side of the big island of Hawaii, and we have SURF! This kayak is great going out and coming in. It has just the right amount of frontal buoyancy to lift up when going out through the whitewash, and side-surfs in ok, although it is a bit tricky due to the raised seat (criticism #1).

I take it 4 miles up the coast, where I camp for 3-7 days. I can fit full camping/survival gear inside it, without using the tank well for extra storage, which is criticism #2, I don't like rear tank wells, because your gear is exposed, and when loading a kayak, most of the weight must go in the rear or else it won't steer right, so I don't get the single hatch up front, where you can't put much weight.

Anyway, this little kayak is totally seaworthy, it can handle chop, swells, and hawaiian surf. I am very impressed, and you will not find an ocean-able plastic sit-on-top that weighs so little. Its speed is good too. Don't let the marketing boys sling their slop on you - this is NOT a women's kayak, it is a kayak for smaller paddlers. I flipped it coming in once, and it only took on 1 cup of water, ie. the hatch is quality.

As an experienced ocean kayaker, I recommend this boat (I also recommend thigh straps). Aloha!

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Submitted by: S.C.Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     We bought this Kayak up in Kittery, Maine because it looked very easy to use, for beginners (seeing as we are), and easy to maneuver. It was perfect for us. We only bought one, but would initially buy two kayaks, just needed to wait for a good deal. We brought it over to our beach house in Ipswich, Mass, put it in the water and about an hour later called back to the store and bought another. LOVE THEM!
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Submitted by: Joy MarshallSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I love my Venus 11. In choppy seas today my husband was struggling in the Mysto, getting very wet. My Venus 11 glided through without trouble. Highly recommended.
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Submitted by: RNBSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Went kayaking for the first time today (had gone canoeing several times) on my new Venus 11. Loved it! I had no problems, very stable.
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Submitted by: lacSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I am new to kayaking and purchased the Venus 11 about a month ago. I have been out on local flatwater rivers 2 times lately and I love this kayak! It is fast and stable and I am hooked.
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Submitted by: jcSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased this new toy this past weekend and took it out twice. It was exactly what I thought it would be... wonderful. So comfy, great tracking, and fast. I would recommend this boat to any woman kayaker.
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Submitted by: S.A.K.Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased the Venus 11 sit-on-top kayak last November from our local West Marine dealer in St. Louis, MO. The reason for this purchase was to paddle with my newly adopted rescue puppy. Meanwhile she is now 40+ pounds and would no longer fit in the kayak with me. Nevertheless, I started to paddle this little "very pink" boat around my local lake as well as other local rivers, and it turns out that I really enjoy this little boat.

I own and race surfskis and other long and narrow sea kayaks, but this little Venus 11 is by far the most enjoyable. Yesterday I checked the speed with my stop watch for a one mile sprint run and it clocked at 14 minutes with head winds around 20 miles per hour, going back I was able to make it in a 12 minutes run. I used my usual Epic Wing paddle for the test. The maximum speed I get out of my Fenn Mako surfski is usual 8 minutes per mile sprint.

Anyway, congratulation to the designers of the Venus 11 model kayak, although the boat is very wide, heavy and short, it does defines logic for its great performance. My weight is 100 pound and I am 5'2" tall, I paddled all kinds of different boats over many years, but prefer the feel of sitting on top of a kayak instead of inside.

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Submitted by: LindaSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I recently bought the Ocean Kayak Venus 11 and wanted to say I love it. I also bought the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 for my husband, and it turns out he likes the Venus better. So we trade off when we go out. I take my turn with the Prowler 13 when the winds come up as it is a bit easier to paddle the Prowler against the wind or current. I use the Venus (and the Prowler) for San Francisco Bay (the quiet parts of the Bay that is) and for quiet rivers and estuaries.

I am 60 and only 5'4" and not especially strong (yet - more paddling and I will be) and I can load the Venus on the top of my Subaru Forester and take it off without assistance (I load the Venus from the back of the car picking up the front of the kayak first and then sliding it on the roof - I would not be able to load it from the side without another person helping) I would not be able to load the much heavier Prowler 13 alone - even from the back of the car. Don't get me wrong, the Venus is heavy for me to move about, but it is manageable.

Anyway - I give the Venus a big thumbs up - I love being able to load it up and go out without needing help. The Venus is fun and maneuverable. It does not feel as stable as the Prowler 13 (which is like a rock), but I don't find it to be tippy.
ps - the Prowler 13 is also great

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Very happy with my two Venus 11's. I bought two so I could always convince somebody to go with me! Easy float and paddle-work. I looked at many Ocean Kayak models before finally deciding on the Venus 11. I love the handles; makes for easy carrying and tie-down. It is a sit on top, so don't expect to stay completely dry. It would be nice to find angler accessories to add on to it. Overall, I am a happy kayaker.
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Submitted by: Ian G.
Rating: 9 of 10

     I am 53 years old, 6' tall, weigh 150 lbs with kit on and.........I am a bloke. I also have a Nordkapp LV.

I visited my Ocean dealer about 9 months ago with a desire to buy a sit-on for paddling on the local canals and lakes but was unsure about which model to buy. I looked at the Frenzy, Scrambler, Caper, Scupper Pro and Prowler 13/15 but was not totally happy with any of them for various reasons. The dealer then, rather apologetically, suggested a women's kayak which he kept round the back of the shop. Visions of a girlie pink offering were unfounded and a blue Venus 11 appeared. Despite the 'Venus 11' logo (which still creates some adverse comment 12 months on) it was purchased.

What a brilliant little boat. VERY stable (but then anything is stable compared to a Nordkapp LV), very comfortable after a seat upgrade and very manouverable. Thigh straps were added more for reassurance than anything else together with scupper stoppers to reduce the water coming in but these are rarely used. The bow is fine with a little flare so it cuts through the waves in choppy water and there is enough stowage for day trips. The 28" beam provides more than enough stability to move around in the boat and the boat is better than expected when running across the waves.

Minor detrimental points are a tendancy for the hull to slap when side on to the waves and the bow tends to bury itself in deepish swells because of the relatively short length and send water into the footwells. The last point is not really a problem because it drains away and I tend to use a dry suit in anything other than summer. The alternative is a longer, less manouverable boat or a flared bow which will be uncomfortable in the same conditions. It would benefit from a skeg or rudder because it can wander and is difficult to paddle in a truely straight line. It is not as fast as my Nordkapp but it has handled 12/15 mile trips with no problems. It is also light enough to put on the car roof rack with ease (although not in a strong wind).

A bad point is the fittings for the paddle keeper which have skinned my knuckles on more than one occasion. Resessed fittings (like Valley) would be a great improvement. Replacing these would give it a ten point rating.

Overall a very nice little boat which does most things well. It is far too good to be restricted to use by women only(!). I am thinking of changing the Nordkapp but I have no plans to change this boat.

P.S. A great web site. I wish I had found it 12 months ago.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Have owned my Venus 11 for 3 weeks now, and absolutely love it! I've been using skupper stoppers and have stayed dry. Today was very hot, so I took them out, and still stayed dry! I jumped overboard for a swim, and it was VERY easy for me to climb back on. I can paddle it for hours on end without getting tired, it tracks straight as an arrow, it's faster than all of my friends' kayaks, and it's very stable -- just a blast to own! I have not experienced the water coming in near the side handles, but I haven't been in surf - just some large boat wakes on a fresh water lake. I can take them sideways without tipping! I feel very safe in this kayak. I bought a kayak roller for the roof of my Ford Escape, and I can load & unload my Venus by myself - I'm 5'1" and 120#. Two of my friends have tried my kayak, and they both bought one! Great job on this one, Ocean Kayak folks!!!
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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased the Venus 11 this spring. I am new to kayaking, however, I absolutely love this little boat. Have taken it across a few lakes and down the Mississippi River. I feel stable and safe in it. Very easy to maneuver. I do always have a wet seat by the time I am done paddling, but I do expect to get wet on the water!
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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've been flat water kayaking for three years now and I bought this boat after demo day at REI, and took it out on Orchard Lake this morning for the first time. It's great! I had no problem with water coming in, and I'm near the upper limit of the weight capacity. Tracks straight, comfortable, lots of storage, even a dry hatch for the keys and phone. I'm using the seat that comes with it, very comfortable and my butt stayed pretty dry. But I expect to get a little wet in a sit-on-top. All in all a great boat.
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Submitted by: WGSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I have owned 4 Ocean Kayaks over the years and this is the first and only one that I would rate this low. I purchased a Venus 11 for my girlfriend. I soon discovered that I liked its handling and portability more than my old Scrambler. However, she and I also discovered what we consider to be a design flaw.

There is a rim that runs along the top of the boat that channels water away from the cockpit. Unfortunately, the handle wells on each side of the boat create a break. The result is that the water being channeled around the entire boat by the rim ultimately flows into the boat through the handle wells and into the seating area. The end result is that, even on the calmest days, there is a steady trickle of water soaking the seat.

When I purchased the boat, I upgraded to the Comfort Deluxe seating, only to find that it is virtually impossible to keep the seat dry. (I have no such problem with the Scrambler.) The seat that comes standard with the Venus 11 gets equally wet.

I believe that a waterproof, thermo-molded foam seat like the "Comfort Pro Backrest" would alleviate this problem. But certainly not the Comfort Deluxe, which is the suggested upgrade. I just ordered a new seat. I will report back on this issue once I have had a chance to test it.

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