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Reviews for Sunapee Kayak by Walden Kayaks

Rated: 7.88/10 Based On: 8 Reviews

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Submitted by: FrankSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     I agree with the positive comments about being sturdy, roomy, and a simple paddling solution. Regarding the weird tracking, it does have a tendency to peel off the to the left or right when you get far enough past the mid line. If straight ahead is 12:00, then it seems that the "peel off" happens at about 1:30 and 11:30, to either side. I wondered whether this was an intention hull design for maneuvering on rivers. It tracks fine, as long as you don't stray too far to either side.

Giving this feature the benefit of the doubt, it's of questionable use on lake, where straight tracking is preferred. I use a 17+ foot sea kayak, so my prejudice is for good tracking, but the Sunapee is a pretty rugged water toy for the money.

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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     A friend of mine just bought a second kayak, a Walden Sunapee. He was very disappointed. The boat looks good, is roomy and has good speed. But the boat tracks absolutely terrible. It will not glide straight. It causes constant paddling and as it strays it takes multiple stokes to adjust the direction. He ran the river like a Z. We went on a 20 mile trip and he griped about this boat for 20 miles. He will sell this boat for something else. I was interested in this boat also initially for a second boat. I will look elsewhere after seeing it in action.
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Submitted by: ---
Rating: 7 of 10

     I purchased two Sunapees this year for flatwater use. Price was right, they are reasonably light, and seem to be well made. They might have been made in different years because the hatch on one has a tether, but the hatch on the other has different closures and no tether. The cockpit is roomy and although the seat doesn't bother me, it kills my wife's back. The cushion solved that. Most things considered it is not a bad little kayak. Except for one thing, and it's a biggie as far as I'm concerned. These things do not track. They want to turn left... hard. They will not coast in a straight line, and are a lot of work to keep on line. My wife and I are very frustrated with them. We went on a guided tour on the Chesapeake in some Old Town kayaks and they were a piece of cake compared to these.
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Submitted by: penntSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have arthritis in my knees, so the big cockpit is great for me. I can get out easily even if I'm still from an hour or so paddling. I can also lift it easily, and it fits nicely inside my VW camper for transport. I don't have to struggle to get it on a roof rack. The down sides are that the seat is a killer - I get cramp in my butt after 45 minutes, and with a spray skirt on I can't reach a water bottle held under the bungee cord. I also can't reach the hatch with or without the skirt. I think it's good value for the money, but steers like a cow in a thunderstorm!
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Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Update on my Sunapee-finally got some time in it! Spent 4 hours on the Connecticut River between Cornish NH and Claremont, NH. Slow water, no rapids, but loved how it handled. Only problem-when I don't paddle, it spins right around and heads downstream backwards. I have long legs and kind of a big butt, not oversize, but found the padding for knees perfect for me. I am top heavy, 225 right now, and tried one of our Naturalist's for a stretch and had to switch back-thought I was going to tip it over every time I leaned over. Can't wait to get into some faster water! With my 'fanny pad waist strap' I had absolutely no back pain this trip. Definitely going to look into a gel seat cover. Hatch is inconvenient to get into for snacks, etc. on the water if you can't co-ordinate your hands behind your back to open it. Without my watershoes on, my heels were uncomforatable-need to work on the padding up that end. Still rate it a ten!
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Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I'm a beginner kayaker but 30 year canoer. Found this easy to handle and carry, and being 6'1" no problem to get my legs (and large butt) into it with ease. Once braces are adjusted, no problem with keeping knees into the padding. Seat is a killer-right above the kidneys should be a nice gel pad!
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Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     My first kayak. Wanted a boat that would maneuver well on small rivers and also be comfortable for lake fishing. Paddled several in this length and found the Sunapee to be stable, quick, and responsive. The "feel" I got from the Sunapee was stiffer than the others, and therefore more responsive. Did not track as well as some of the others but found that once I developed my paddle technique, the boat is easy to correct if I get off line. This boat is great on small rivers due to it's eagerness to obey your every command. Obstacles in fast water are not a problem. Just apply the brakes, pick a line, and go for it. The only thing I don't like is the shape of the cockpit. I just can't seem to get my knees under the hull where the padding is provided for this purpose. All in all, it's a great boat that looks good, performs superbly, and is priced below it's competitors.
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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased 2 Sunapees in April of this year, as we are just beginners we wanted something stable for ourselves and kids to use on our local rivers the susquhanna and chenango. I've found it to be very stable, handles well, and has a comfortable seat. I like the cargo hatch but I was wondering why no tether was with it because you drop it and it sinks like a rock. Not to worry I attached one myself. It tracks fairly well (not that I am an expert) and the large cockpit is nice if you want to float and get some sun, easy to enter and exit, the price is nice too ($399). Fit and finish is also good. The only downside is this isn't a speedy boat (which I knew), otherwise this is a great boat for the money.
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