Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV Flatwater Day Touring Kayak Review
If you’re hoping to get out on the water in all seasons and travel over long distances, the Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 touring kayak could just be what you need.
But is a touring yak the right choice for you? To help you decide, we’ve checked out its main features to see what it offers and who it’s designed for.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Touring Kayak
With all the different types of kayak out there, trying to choose the one best suited to your style of paddling can often be a challenge. So before you buy a touring kayak you should think about your needs.
A touring yak can be an ideal vessel if you plan to paddle on flatwater lakes and rivers, or calm ocean bays and want to take a lot of gear with you. With the Edge 14.5 being a sit-inside, it can help to keep you warm and dry if you’re out in colder weather, so could be perfect if you plan to paddle all year round.
However, if you’re looking for something that will let you paddle in rough or choppy conditions, a sea kayak could be better and should still give you the added storage that you’ll find on a touring yak.
Remember that touring yaks tend to be much narrower than recreational ones, so it might take some getting used to if you’re new to kayaking, or are used to wider vessels.
Top Features Of The Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5
The Riot Edge 14.5 is a sit-inside touring yak that’s designed for flatwater. It’s built for both overnight trips and day trips and comes complete with a rudder system for improved tracking.
How Does It Handle?
Because of the long, narrow design of this vessel it can travel pretty fast across flatwater, meaning it could be a good yak if you’re planning to paddle for several miles.
The attached rudder can also help with tracking in windy conditions and if you feel you don’t need it, it can easily be flipped up out of the water.
Video: Riot Edge 14.5 Sea Kayak Sea Trial Test
Because it’s designed for flatwater, with a hard chine hull, it may not have the stability for choppy conditions or ocean waves but may be easier when edging or turning. Its flat hull means it might perform better with speed over stability, and is designed with primary stability rather than secondary stability. However, if you’re a beginner you might feel a little more stable in this yak as opposed to more professional sea kayaks.
You may also find that it sits quite low in the water, with the hull depth being just 12 inches, but this can help to boost speed as it should have a lower wind resistance.
With it being 14 feet 6 inches long, you might find it easier to maneuver compared with some of the longer kayaks. This could make it a little easier for a beginner to use but can still be fun if you have a bit more experience.
What’s The Storage Like?
The Riot Edge 14.5 has plenty of storage and could be ideal for a weekend camping trip. There are two sealed compartments, one at the front and one at the rear, offering dry storage.
In addition to this there is a large on-deck storage area with bungee cords in front of the cockpit and a smaller area with bungee cords to the rear, so you can secure larger items. However, its lighter weight, upgraded Thermo sibling has more bungee cord rigging, covering the entire deck.
An added feature, common on touring kayaks, is the perimeter deck line, which can be useful as an extra tie down spot.
Is It Comfortable?
If you’re a larger paddler, you might find that the cockpit on this model is quite tight. It measures 36.5 by 19.5 inches but with the shallow depth of the hull, you might find that it’s not as comfortable for your legs and feet as an unrestricted sit-on-top might be.
There are adjustable foot braces inside, as well as padded thigh braces, to help you stabilize and keep you comfortable when paddling across large bodies of water.
Another feature is the seating, that you can customize for a better fit. The seat is padded with an adjustable back to help you paddle comfortably for longer.
Edge 14.5 Alternatives
Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165
Perhaps you’re a larger paddler or you’re looking for a roomier vessel. The Tsunami 165 could be a better choice. It’s 2 feet longer in length and is 3 inches deeper, which might allow you a little extra room. Although it does cost a little more.
Because it’s longer, it also has more deck bungee storage and three sealed hatches. This yak is only around an inch wider so should offer greater speed with the added length, and it also comes with a rudder.
If you’d prefer a shorter, wider hull the Skylark may be a good alternative. It’s 12 foot long, 26 inches wide and is built for stability. Its shorter length makes it easy to maneuver and could be a good choice for beginners. It’s also super lightweight at just 41 pounds and should be easier to transport. It comes in a little higher in price though.
Perception Tribute 12
The Tribute 12 is specially designed for women, but could also work well for smaller built paddlers. It has a lower capacity at 240 pounds but it’s 12 feet long, 24.5 inches and weighs just 42 pounds. It has one sealed hatch plus front and rear deck bungee for extra storage.
It’s built for improved maneuverability and speed on calm or slow moving water and it comes in at a slightly lower price than the Edge 14.5.
As you’ll have seen, the Riot Edge 14.5 gives you quite a lot of bang for your buck and could be a great choice whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned paddler. It can let you get out on the flatwater all year round, so if you live in a colder climate you might get more use out of this compared to a sit-on-top.
But don’t just take our word for it, check it out here for yourself if you think it’s a good fit for your paddling style. And when you take it out on the water, we’d love to know how you get on. Just leave us a comment! Or if you want to drop some hints to your loved ones, share this with them.