Most of the 2014 kayaks are starting to arrive in showrooms across the country, while a few are being shown as pictures only for now. Leaking photos, excitement about arrivals and new reviews are fueling the growing buzz for several kayaks. Energized by the Holiday Shopping Fever that is so rampant this time of year, kayaks, and these five especially, are being mentioned in almost every forum and Facebook group across the nation. Innovative designs are leading the excitement and for good reason. These are not listed in rank order. You'll have to decide for yourself which is tops on your list.
1. Native Slayer Propel
Since its first "accidental photo leak" earlier in the year, the Slayer Propel has been seen as a game changer by many. A narrower kayak than its brother the Mariner, the Slayer Propel offers the hull of the original Slayer (with some improvements) but the versatility and speed of the Mariner. Native still hasn't given the Slayer any real underdeck storage but I'm just one guy asking. The price: $2,399
2. Jackson Big Rig
At just over 13 feet long and 37 inches wide, the Big Rig from Jackson is exactly that. Designed for superior stand and fish capability, it should deliver. It's still listed as a prototype but is available for preorder now. The estimated weight capacity is between 550 and 600 pounds which should bode very well for larger paddlers who want to stand and fish. The price: $1499 w/o a rudder and $1699 with a rudder.
3. Old Town Predator
In two models (13 and MX) the OT Predator has made a splash in the kayak market. Combining lots of sought after features, Old Town is causing people to look their way. A three position frame seat option, rod pod and six removable mounting plates bring comfort and customizability to a big water boat. The smaller MX removes the Rod Pod and is a slightly smaller boat for river running which makes a great fly casting option. The price: $1299 for the 13, $1199 for the MX.
4. Wilderness Systems Ride 115X
The 115X offers a new twist on a current favorite. The removable electronics bay in the front has been a huge hit with fishermen this year. Having a single box that all of your electronics fit on and in (for single transducer models) that are easily removed when needed has been a major draw. With an already proven stand and fish capability, this just adds another reason why people continue to buy Rides. The price: $1059.
5. Feelfree Lure
The Lure has seemingly taken the lawn chair seating craze one step further. The leaked photos seem to have the Lure posed with a cushioned, lumbar cradling, four position seat that should rival any competitor on the market. Add in molded handles, tri-lock hatch and available rudder and Feelfree is swinging for the fences. Little in the way of thoughts and reviews are out yet on the Lure but it is burning up the internet with talk of what could be. The price: $1099 w/o the rudder, $1249 with the rudder.
Love the list? Hate the list? What should be on the list that's not? Let everyone know!