Re: Arctic Hawk v.Shearwa

Posted by Brian on May 15, 2007

I paddled both of these at this years Okoume Fest, and I can tell you that paddling them doesn't make the choice much easier. The weather was fairly calm this year, with about a 5-10 knot wind and fairly smooth water. The Arctic Hawks there had the small and medium cockpits. The Shearwater 17 has their large cockpit standard. I mention this because the cockpit size may play a part in the different feel.

The Arctic Hawk basically feels like you're in a plywood version of a skin on frame Greenland style kayak. My knees were positioned noticeably to the sides, as opposed to more forward in the Shearwater. Basically, it felt like I was wearing the Arctic Hawk. It was effortless to lean the kayak during turns, and this would probably be a fantastic boat to roll. Being at the upper end of the weight range for this boat, I didn't notice much weathercocking at all.

With the Shearwater, I noticed a little weathercocking if I was putzing along. But once I started doing around 2.5-3 knots, it tracked like an arrow. With the extra volume on the forward deck, I have no trouble believing that it is the far more enjoyable of the two in rougher water.

One of the CLC employees there summed it up best when he said the Shearwater is basically a larger volume Arctic Hawk. Performance is similar. But you sit in a Shearwater, while you wear the Hawk.

Personally, I intend to buy a Shearwater kit. But I'd still be struggling to make up my mind if I didn't also plan to make a skin on frame Greenland kayak in the near future as well.

In Response to: Arctic Hawk v.Shearwater by mctech on May 14, 2007


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