One of the best kayaks you've never heard of, I've owned a Current Designs Cypress (Kevlar) for the past two years. I purchased it after trying out several other kayak designs, including Valley's Aquanaut and Nordkapp, Current Design's Sirocco and Suka, Epic's 18x Performance, Impex Currituck, and P&H's Bahiya and Capella (of various lengths and compositions). I'm 5'10", 155 lbs, and at the time of purchase, I was 57 years old. I was bitten by the kayaking bug after my kids bought me a kayak lesson for my birthday. After a few more classes, I began my search for a boat. Having rented and paddled plastic boats, I decided that I really wanted a boat that I could transport without constant visits to the chiropractor, as well as one that would allow me to grow into as my skills improved. I wanted the Cypress on my first paddle in it Ė the glide was sweet, the fit was good, I just knew we'd get along - but I tried it for a couple more paddles before buying it, and I have been very happy with it.
I don't agree with Current Designs' positioning of the Cypress as a "non-entry level day-tripper," because I think it discourages beginning paddlers from getting one. In reality, to an entry level paddler, EVERY boat is a non-entry level boat. I did my share of getting to know my boat, but I think I would have been doing the same thing in any boat. On one of the first outings with the Cypress in a harbor in perfectly calm water, I capsized when I was trying to navigate between some pilings. I leaned a little too far and found myself swimming. I learned to perfect my paddle float rescue that day. A few months later, I caught my first wave in it and capsized. I didn't lean far enough and found myself swimming. I learned how to side surf that day. Inside of my first year with it, I learned how to roll in it on both my strong and off side. The Cypress has accompanied me on several surf zone classes and spends almost every Saturday and Sunday with me on the Pacific coast or San Francisco Bay. I have parked by butt inside of her cockpit for almost every weekend since purchase, and like a friend that's shared so many experiences and taught me so much about myself, she is still my favorite boat. The Cypress has taken me on the ocean in large swells when my friends convinced me to paddle beyond my fears. I've been at the tide rips at Yellow Bluff where my anxiety was well above my confidence level. And I've been in high winds where every paddler was struggling with directional control.
I know that in the universe of kayaks, you'll be able to find faster boats, and narrower boats, and better rock gardening boats, and boats that roll more easily, and boats that have better stability, and low volume boats that have a lower wind profile. I've been in a few and lusted after some of these boats myself. But if you're looking for an all-around boat that can do a lot of everything and that will reward you for every incremental improvement in your paddling skills, I think you'll be happy with the Cypress.
Hatches seal tightly, and deck lines have held up well. Even after two years of weekend beach launches, the gel coat and finish still look good. Good storage space in the hatches, and the boat behaves well when carrying a load. She is light, so holding position in a strong side wind unloaded will be more difficult than in a plastic boat. The back deck is higher than some classic British designs, but that wonít impede your roll - sometimes when Iím just goofing around with my roll, I take my feet off the pegs and scoot by butt further forward a little while leaning back. I right the boat so fast, I have to brace to prevent from rolling over to the other side.
If youíre looking for a well-appointed all-around tourer with good speed, looks, and the demeanor to match, one that you can grow into as your skills improve and that will inspire your paddling and provide you with the versatility to do all the fun things that come along with the sport, you canít go wrong with a Cypress.I am 6' tall, 184 lbs and 12.5 size boots. I have 3 years of experience but consider myself a beginner. I had the opportunity to demo the CD Cypress more than once.
This is a well built kayak (typical of Current Design glass boats).
Hatches are dry and easy to open.
Gel coat is uniform and I found no defects in the boat.
The boat has a beautiful design with little rocker but nice water line.
Deck rigging is good.
Thigh braces are comfortable and the foot pegs are easy to adjust.
The foredeck has enough room for a 6' tall with big feet. The boat is not as low on the water as I expected from CD recommended weight.
Primary stability is low (to be expected from a 22' with 17 feet). Secondary is good. It is well balance and responsive.
The boat edges nicely on command. The snug fit makes it feel like part of my body and I feel like driving a sports car.
I have not taken it to the open ocean. I am curious to see if I like it more than the Gulfstream out in the open. The Cypress is excellent for playing around and it has good acceleration. The speed is good for its size (better than the Gulfstream but less than the larger CD Infinity, ND. Explorer, Maeltrom. Vaag and CD Solstice GTS). It feels a little like a more specialized boat. I didn't roll the boat but I am looking forward to do so. The Cypress tracks well for a boat this short.
The draw back for me is the back band (as the Gulfstream and Infinity). Very uncomfortable and it does not stay in place. I think there are inferior brands with a better system. The foot pegs are easy to adjust but I do not think they have the quality of the Nimbus or Maeltrom Kayaks. I have rented a few CD (specially the Sirocco) and some of them fail under pressure and the boats are not that old.
Very nice boat but I do not recommended for long tours unless you are a smaller paddler (less than 6'). CD recommended paddler range (120 - 160 lbs) and they were right. At 180 lbs it would limit my cargo and will affect an assisted rescue.
I'll keep testing this boat because I am not sure I'll buy it even though it is small for me. If you want to play around this is a good toy to do so.I've had this boat for a few months now. Every time I paddle it, I'm more and more impressed. The Cypress, itself, draws attention both on and off the water. The lines are clean. The detailing outstanding. On the water it accelerates quickly and has a very impressive glide.
I watched my husband paddle my boat and love the way it cuts through the water. He was impressed with how effortlessly he was working and the distance he was covering. I've had no problems with manuverablity and have had it on a variety of fresh water spring runs and blackwater rivers. In open water lakes, with a mild breeze, it tracks extremely well. We have not experienced a stiff wind yet, and I can't wait to get it into a gusty lake with some good chop. I expect it'll handle well. Also can't wait to see how well the skeg works in windy conditions.
The seat is comfortable. I love the backband. The hatches are generous. The day hatch is easily accessible while on the water. It edges very well and a friend has rolled it (I do plan to learn how). He was very impressed with how easy it was to roll. I have practiced wet exit and unassisted reentry with no problem. Hatches remained dry. Lifting the bow (while boat inverted on the water, water drains quickly and easily from cockpit leaving it almost totally dry.
Many know that I test paddled this boat prior to its official production release and fell in love with it. After two years of "boat lust" and I am not disappointed. I don't want to paddle anything else. I chose a Kevlar boat that was pre-made and in stock at the Current Designs warehouse. Of course any wait seems like an eternity, it took about 6 weeks for CD to ship. It did arrive with a small ding, which the dealer and the CD acknowledged and a repair kit was sent directly to me at no additional charge.
Only one person has had something negative to say about my boat, for them, saying that the height of the back deck was a little too tall for them. This has not been an issue for me.
Once again Current Designs has produced a GREAT boat. Please test paddle one if you get the chance. I hope you will be as pleased as I am and choose to purchase the Cypress as well.