Unlike white water or recreational kayaks, touring kayaks are specifically deigned to travel long distances on open water, both salt and fresh. Although speed and endurance are the two main attributes of a touring kayak, I always look for boat designed to provide the stability required to maintain propulsion and control in rough seas and weather conditions when shopping for a sea touring kayak.
I wanted something that would help me increase my heart rate; strengthen my core and shoulders, burn calories and ultimately lose weight. This is why I decided to try out the Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV flat-water day touring kayak. It is a sit-in flat bottom kayak that features a slender bow and slim deck profile to create a perfect balance of elegance and efficiency.
Dimensions & Construction quality
The kayak measures 14.5 feet by 22.5 inches by 2 inches and weights 47 pounds. Its cockpit measures 36.5 inches by 19.5 inches and is designed with a 15.75 by 8.12 inch hatch. The hull is constructed from high density polyethylene material that offers rugged durability so you don’t have to worry about suffering a few dents while paddling in white water.
The kayak features a customizable seating system designed to allow the cockpit to accommodate a wide range of users. You do not have to worry about comfort as the custom fit seating has an adjustable back band with standards padding. My first outing took a little over 2 hours and there was no sore back or bums, despite having not paddled for ages. The cockpit also features adjustable sliding foot braces for paddling comfort and integrated thigh braces to allow closer control of the kayak when performing turns. The integrated thigh braces are set high in the bow to give you a closer feel of the boa when performing various maneuvers.
Performance & Handling
The boat offers just the right amount of keel and chine to make it track solidly without compromising speed and stability. The Riot Edge tracks well while paddling while still turning with ease.
The boat probably seemed to track better in rougher water because it was cutting through it (a very known trait when getting a Riot).
I would say the boat is about 90-95 percent as efficient as high end sit-in kayaks. I had no problems keeping pace with my friends in other hard-shelled canoes and didn’t experience any problems tracking. However, I am 100 percent into the sea and haven’t taken her out on a smooth lake where tracking would be more noticeable.
The fore and aft storage spaces can fit most sea kayaking gear, but bungee shock cords are also provided to secure extra items on the deck. The storage compartments are fitted with dual density hatch covers to keep food and gear dry and improve the kayak’s buoyancy.
Other features include a flush mount rod holders for kayak angling lovers a security bar and effective lifelines.
This Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 boat is all you could ask for: fast, light, comfortable and easy to paddle. The kayak is flat-bottomed which makes for poor tracking in calm water but it completely at home in rough sea conditions. The provided flush mount rod holder makes it versatile as it can both be fishing and touring vessel.