Location of Test:
Henry Hagg Lake
Duration of Test:
4.5 hours - 12.6 miles
Overnighters, day paddling, recreational kayaking and touring
10.6 cu. ft
Yellow, White, Lime, Red Pearl, Sapphire Blue
The Full Review:
I give this kayak two thumbs way up. It's perfect in every way if exploring lakes, calm rivers and doing a couple overnight kayak camping trips is your thing. For this demo, I drove out to Henry Hagg Lake and paddled every nook and cranny of it. Over the course of 4 and a half hours, I paddled nearly 13 miles and have a lot to say about how this kayak feels on the water.
First off, it just glides. The Skylark feels so smooth on the water and my goodness does it track well. Straight lines all day long. Throw in a little hip play and you can maneuver this boat left or right without breaking your paddling rhythm. By the end of the day, the Skylark and I were like one. It responds to subtle leans with no effort at all. Throw up your right hip and watch the bow arc to the right as you continue to paddle. This makes paddling for hours feel like no problem at all. At 12' ft long, it's amazing how well you can maneuver this boat.
There's also plenty of storage for enough gear to last you a couple of days. The bulkhead in the stern sits close enough to the cockpit to access it while on the water. Because this boat is so incredibly stable you'll have no problem turning around to pull a dry bag out of there. There's also the bulkhead in the bow for additional storage. In the cockpit itself there is room in front of the foot pegs to store a few items as well as a small space behind the seat to throw a 5L dry bag or two. I'm already thinking about the next two days off I have in a row to take the Skylark out on an overnight trip.
I did two 1/4-mile sprints out on the lake and I just can't say enough about how smooth they felt. Fast, light on the water and straight as an arrow. There are also a few small rivers flowing into this lake and I paddled up them as far as I could go. It's a great boat for exploring small and narrow backwaters. It had no problem going upstream and maintained its tracking ability with a head-on current.
If you're in the market for a kayak that will both be good for beginners as well as allow you to continue to climb the learning curve this is the kayak for you. With great initial stability, it's perfect for beginner paddlers. The hard chines allow you to hone in on your edging skills and the effortless paddling style will stoke your paddling fire and urge you to use your boat more often.
Tracking: It's top notch. Straight! Straight! Straight!
Lightweight: Come on, it only weighs 41lbs. The thermoform technology utilizes a high impact ABS plastic that is coated with a modified acrylic which gives it its color as well as high UV resistance. Ultimately its extremely lightweight and durable.
Comfort: The Infinity Seat that Eddyline uses is very comfortable. After 4 and a half hours I was feeling great. No aches or pains, no major spots of discomfort. The thigh pads, which you will use often, are also extremely comfortable which is important for this style of kayak.
Storage: Plenty of it. Two bulkheads as well as plenty of room in the cockpit.
The large cockpit size means you are going to get wet if you aren't using a sprayskirt. Easy remedy, use a sprayskirt! Seals Sprayskirts makes both a nylon and neoprene fitting for the Skylark. Sprayskirt size is 2.2.
No beer holder!
No paddle clip.
The Bottom Line:
Great kayak for anyone interested in day use or overnight camping. Super responsive!