Current Designs Caribou Kayak 17/3 Review
The Current Designs Caribou Kayak is the mid-sized kayak in Current Designs’ ‘Greenland Style’ family, which also includes the smaller Suka 16/6 and much larger Isle 18. The Series successfully emulates the traditional hard-chined features of skin-on-frame Greenland kayaks created by the Inuit & Aleut people’s 4,000- years ago.
The Caribou fits a wide range of ‘medium’ & ‘large’ sized paddlers and accommodates the skill levels of ‘novice’, ‘intermediate’ & ‘advanced’ paddlers.
Already immensely popular, the Current Designs Caribou Kayak received some improvements recently:
Its length was shortened slightly to make it even more playful. Hard chines were softened and the flat sections were given a slight convex curve to moderate transition zones. The deck was modernized with flowing lines, the cockpit was reshaped to a more user-friendly ‘keyhole design’ and a touch of depth was added to make the NEW Current Designs Caribou more appealing than ever!
“Lively and with incredible initial & secondary stability, the Caribou satisfies a wide range of paddler skills… it’s a really fun skills boat!”
The Current Designs Caribou’s new keyhole cockpit offers ample room for easy entry & exit. Fixed thigh braces are well placed and combine with a lower bow deck height to achieve good contact points and the desired “one-with-boat feeling” sought by manufactures but seldom achieved. All CD’s British & Greenland style sea kayaks are fitted with the popular Immersion Research® Reggie ratchet style back band that adjusts easily to provide comfortable lower back support and a padded seat pan.
Smooth and glossy, the Caribou’s finish is immaculate, as the vacuum pressure manufacturing system leaves no sharp edges or imperfections. Our test paddle review team applauds the Current Designs Caribou Kayak’s sleek, yet traditional, ‘Greenland’ profile. Flush mount, composite hatch covers have an interior male / female connection, which when secured with CD’s Snap-hatch cam strap buckles, provides an extremely watertight seal. Two translucent curved bulkheads provide dry storage and aid in draining water from the cockpit. Sea-Lect Designs® foot braces adjust simply and the recessed fittings, skeg control slider and deck rigging are all well placed.
Kayak Efficiency & Maneuverability
Its long & narrow waterline length make the Current Designs Caribou Kayak relatively efficient. The kayak instantly responds to an aggressive sprint stroke quickly accelerating to a cruising speed that’s easy to maintain due to its effortless glide. Hard chine sides and its low profile effectively minimize weathercocking, and the skeg worked effectively in adverse conditions. It rests endlessly when put on its hard chine edge inspiring confident “turn on a dime” maneuvers!
The kayaks hard chine sides and well-defined edges achieve an amazing level of initial stability. Redesigning the flat sections of the chine to make them slightly convex moderate the transition from paddling flat (hull down) to a ‘very high’ secondary stability point on when on edge.
Kayak Roll & Rescue
The Current Designs Caribou Kayak rolls easily and even novice paddlers will find wet exit & reentry easy due to its great initial stability and keyhole style cockpit. A high rear deck offers loads of storage but may interfere with layback rolls. The rear bulkhead is smartly placed close to the combing to effectively drain the cockpit. We suggest Self-rescue straps be installed on ‘ALL’ sea / touring kayaks to aid in paddle-float reentry unless your roll is reliable.
Ever considered using a Greenland Paddle or Aleutian Paddle to experience the tradition of Greenland kayaking? We are proud to have a relationship with Jill Ellis, owner and maker of Adanac Paddles, who handcrafts beautiful Greenland style paddles – better yet, she even puts on workshops that allows you to make your own! Jill is exceptionally talented and will build a paddle specific to you and your needs. To view her products or to inquire about making your own paddle or having one custom made, Click Here to visit Adanac Paddles website!
Hatches: Current Designs Caribou Kayak has Bow & Stern Composite Compression Style Hatch Covers that sit flush with the deck and feature a rubber gasket that seats perfectly into the molded deck recess. Bow: 14″ / 36cm L x 7″ / 18cm W – Stern: 15.5″ / 39cm L x 8.5″ / 22cm W.
Three cam-buckle straps then compress the gasket to create a water tight seal. Two curved semi-translucent fibreglass bulkheads increase visibility, maximize dry storage space, and add buoyancy.
Outfitting: Cockpit includes a padded seat pan, Immersion Research ‘Reggie’ easy adjust backband, and integrated padded thighbraces.
Other Features Include:
- Retractable skeg
- SEA-LECT ® footbraces
- Composite padded thighbraces
- Recessed deck rigging
- Bow & Stern carry handles
- Reflective perimeter safety lines
- Proudly made in North America
- Improved in 2014 – new stronger, lighter weight composite seams
Composite Colours Stocked
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To view the Current Designs Caribou Kayak on their website, Click Here