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Product Reviews > Kayaks > Valley Sea Kayaks > Etain 17-7 Add Your Review Now!

Reviews for Etain 17-7 Kayak by Valley Sea Kayaks


Rated: 9/10 Based On: 4 Reviews


Etain 17-7 Kayak by Valley Sea Kayaks

Length: 17' 7" - Width: 21.50" - Starting at: $1999.00
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10-06-2014
Submitted by: adamSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I am 6'2 190 pounds and have been paddling year round for about 3 or 4 years and have had this kayak for about half year.

I find the Etain a little roomy for me, but I am not sure if that is necessarily a very bad thing yet. That's because it has a lot of storage capacity for tripping. One thing that stands out to me is how well it turns for such a large kayak. It doesn't have aggressive thigh braces and with the cockpit being roomy for me, you would think the braces wouldn't provide the support I need for aggressive maneuvers and rolling. But again it's surprisingly not a big problem either. When I am practicing rolls and going back and forth from side to side with and without paddle, I kind of wish I had more support, but its ok with the current thigh support setup.

My hatches don't leak. I think the little 4th hatch in front of cockpit is nice. The cockpit opening is huge. Well at least I know I can jump back in easily if ever in a pinch.

Overall a good kayak. "8" for me means good to very good. I am not sure I have enough knowledge to give it an accurate rating though.

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07-17-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Final update as I finally figured out a few nagging issues.
First off, I used my GPS on a calm day and managed to maintain 8 km/ hr for almost 2 hrs. So although the Etain feels slow it sure isn't. After a bit of experimenting I realized the boat wanted to veer to the right because the seat was not far back enough. I moved it as far back as possible with the backband almost touching the rear cockpit combing. The result being better tracking and a skeg that finally feels like it's doing something.

Now that I had more confidence in it's downwind / going with waves handling, I took it out in 2m waves and had a blast. It surfed very very well.

I had a lot of faith in the designers at Valley and knew some of my doubts would come to pass and boy was I right. What a difference moving the seat back 1" made.

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06-21-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just an update now that I've had a few months worth of paddling the Etain.
I found the boat to be super stable and fun in confused seas with waves bouncing off sea walls and rocky shores. This boat is also very responsive to edging and paddle inputs.

The skeg is a bit vague and really less effective than the one I had on my Aquanaut Club RM. Running with the wind/ waves even with the skeg fully down does not stop weathercocking completely. I'm not sure if this is due to the swede form design or me being at the low end of the recommended weight (I'm 175-180lbs). In short I have to do a lot more edging and sweeps in certain conditions.

As for speed, it's slower than the 'Naut but not by much. It also feels more porky. I've also surfed some small waves and it was ok. As this boat handles completely different than the 'Naut, I'm still taking my time to figure out it's handling characteristics before venturing out on some real nasty stuff.

Overall still happy with my purchase.

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04-05-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I recently got rid of my Seaward Chilco 18' after a brief stint with a Point65N XP18 as well. Both kayaks in short were fast but overall unpleasant to live with (see respective) reviews.

As a previous Aquanaut RM owner I found the Etain familiar but different. The triple layer poly was rock solid and can take major abuse. The low point is that at close to 60lbs there is a bit more heft to carry from car to launch point. The new Valley seat is a huge improvement over the old and I cannot find any fault in terms of comfort. The new back band is better but I still replaced it with an Immersion Research lounge back band with the pro straps installed ( I can't say enough good things about this set-up!). The original thigh pad placements were uncomfortable. I moved them forwards, drilled some new holes and rebolted them in place. Easy fix. The rubber hatches work well and are easy to put on and off. I fitted some bungy cords with plastic snap clips to secure the hatches to the deck rigging. I also bolted the day pod/4th hatch to the hull and used rubber washers to keep it watertight. I did this because I saw a video on Vimeo that showed the pod blowing off in surf as well, the pod easily moves out of place when you remove the hatch. Another easy fix.

I have only taken it out once for a 10km paddle in calm conditions as it is still cold on Lake Ontario in March. The primary and secondary stability were just awesome compared to my previous two 18ft kayaks....I can't wait to go out in white caps! I also find the Etain is more responsive to turn than the Aquanaut. As some pebbles jammed the skeg in the up position I can't comment on it. The good news is that even though the wind picked up the tracking was still very good. I still think the rope & cleat system was more robust and reliable than the slider system as I never had a skeg jam with it. I did not bring my GPS but I was probably doing 6-7 km/hr (I still need to build up my endurance after my winter break from kayaking).

All in all a very nice kayak that should complement my requirement for a kayak that is good for day tripping, multi-day camping and handling rough conditions. I also wanted something that could take the abuse of hitting rocks and being dragged out of the water. So far this boat is a home run! I gave it a 9 because I still needed to do a few modifications to make it perfect.

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