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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Advice on new tandem kayak  (Read 540 times)

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  • Sand Dab
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  • Location: Santa Cruz, CA
  • Date Registered: Mar 2013
  • Posts: 83
I'm looking for recommendations on a new kayak. Ten years ago I purchased a used Islander Tropic II (?? West Marine?) tandem SOT that I have completely sucked the life out of. From rivers to open sea I really pushed this boat and caught a lot of fish over the years, but the time has finally come to retire ol' faithful. The plastic is no longer holding memory and it is actually getting quite scary on the water. So, I'm in the market for a new vessel. Budget restrictions won't allow me to go full Hobie kayak (I'm a starving grad student), so I need to find something that is in between what I have now and a Cadillac. I primarily fish out of Santa Cruz, so I'm looking for something that will paddle well in the wind/swell and can be used both tandem or solo. My budget is ~$1200 max. I have meticulously searched CL and the classified section on NCKA for months, but am pretty sold on getting a new kayak that comes with a warranty. Right now I am leaning towards the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL. I checked the local shops today and can get that boat under 1K with rod holders and a few extras, but I would need to install the deck plates (I did that on my current kayak - easy). I'd greatly appreciate any recommendations on other kayaks or opinions about the Malibu 2 XL. The biggest factors for me are: cost (within budget), stability, ability to paddle well in wind/swell, and must be tandem. Thanks all!

  • Napa Fisherman
  • View Profile
  • Location: Napa, California
  • Date Registered: Sep 2015
  • Posts: 422
The malibu pro 2 is 1in narrower which helps a little with paddling. Also weighs 8lbs lighter and comes with 6 rod holders and 3 hatches for $860 on amazon shipped from Malibu. It looks like it will need seats and paddles though

  • "Being on the water...it replenishes my soul"
  • View Profile Urban Chicken Consulting
  • Location: Lodi
  • Date Registered: Sep 2012
  • Posts: 664
I am not sure about a warranty - but that may be because Ive bought most of my kayaks used during the Headwaters Kayak swap sales that happen twice a year (spring and fall). You want something sturdy but not crazy heavy - but if you are getting a tandem, it's going to be heavy no matter what.  :smt003
Ive liked the Feel Free's, but my fishing kayak of choice is the Eddyline Caribbean 14. Its fast, tracks well, and I feel totally stable in it, even with swells and wind. No matter what you get, you have to have a good forward paddle stroke down-packed in order to really move the yak when you want it to.
Many folks have Hobie's, but they have never been a real option for me because of the weight factor. I think Victor had a Ocean kayak at some piont a while back? Maybe he can give some thoughts on it.
Key thought - try everything you can before hand. Every kayak paddles or peddles differently.
A.K.A. "Pikachu" (according to Rockfish)
2012 Eddyline Caribbean 14


  • "Grab life by the Paddle"
  • Sea Lion
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  • Location: Suisun City
  • Date Registered: Feb 2011
  • Posts: 4531
I have the Ocean Kayak Malibu 2 XL. It is a great Tandem Kayak, super stable and not to heavy. I have had my wife, 1 child and myself on it with no issues. We have though about getting rid of it, but can't. It is a great all around kayak. I have even used it by itself for crabbing.

Eddyline Caribbean 12
OK Malibu Two XL

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