CKS Blog

Haley Mills’ Top 6 CKS Kayaking Essentials

After paddling for 9 years I have tested an insane amount a gear. I am finally stoked on my updated kayaking apparel that fits awesome and has plenty of style and function. Being of small stature its hard to find boats, paddles, well kayaking gear in general to fit nice and snug. My gear has been through the ringer everyday and still works.

1. Sweet Strutter

Going from a grateful heads slasher to a strutter took some getting used too.

Pros:

  • Great coverage of the forehead and the neck
  • Sun protection
  • Comfortable padded lining (no more mini cell)

Cons:

  • Takes time and patience to adjust and fit
  • Popular

2. Werner Carbon Fiber Straight Shaft paddle (small shaft)

Pros:

  • Super light (not a fan of heavy paddles)
  • Some times a small shaft is the way to go
  • Blades are predictable and responsive

Cons:

  • Straight shafts can be rough on the wrists

3. Wavesport Project 45

Pros:

  • Fast and loose hull
  • Great for playboating and running rivers
  • The outfitting (foam for my feet so they don’t move around) and the ratchet system that is strong and stable
  • Easy to initiate for tricks
  • Goes big without a beach ball!

Cons:

  • Please make a project 43!
  • The thigh braces have dented my thighs, maybe too many hours of playboating.

4. IR Women’s Comp Top

Pros:

  • IR works for me, always dry and never falls apart after 1 year of daily use the fabric still beads water up!
  • The tunnel is awesome it doesn’t ride up while paddling
  • Comfortable
  • Oh by the way it has neck and wrist gaskets!

Cons:

  • Don’t care for the pocket placement
  • The outer fabric that covers the neck gasket stretches a bit

5. Snap Dragon Flirt Reinforced Spray Skirt

Pros:

  • Short tunnel for short torsos
  • Durable reinforcement on the cockpit rim
  • Easy to put on my playboat and creek boat

Cons:

  • My Drytop velcro has eaten away at the skirts tunnel

5. Astral Bella PFD

Pros:

  • The low profile design allows you to have better range of motion while paddling
  • I don’t notice I have a pfd on
  • The Bella has a stylish design that differs from most PFD’s

Cons:

  • The pocket is not the easiest to access and really small
  • The women’s version with the bra added is uncomfortable when its tightened, so I leave it loose

Leave a comment