Eddyline Sky 10 Adventure and Review
Testimonial and Trip Report from WA paddler Mike, Spring 2021 (Mike received a little “thank you” for his contribution to Happy Paddlin)
Ross lake adventure. April 12-17 2021
For a year now I have enjoyed my Eddyline Sky 10. I bought it because my girlfriend has two 10 foot poly rec kayaks: heavy, stable and fun. So I needed some sort of kayak as well. On CraigsLIst I found an Eddyline Sky 10 at 1/2 price barely used with a good paddle thrown in. Done deal. I got that boat in the water and it was awesome right off. Its lighter than so many other kayaks and very nimble. In a year I have done over 20 trips both in large lakes, rivers and in the Puget Sound. So I have dealt with currents, tides, windwaves and some intimidating large seals! My homemade spray skirt has come in handy for windwaves and paddle drip.
My dream for years has been to kayak camp. This year I got my chance on Ross Lake. I was not sure about loading it up with gear since this model is not intended for muti-day camping trips. I weigh 157 and my hiking experience already had me setup for the appropriate lightweight camping gear ( 40 lbs) so thats under the 250 max load for the Sky 10. But again I knew from reading about this kayak that I may be pushing it as it was made for lightweight paddlers and day trips ‘ !. I live only 4 miles from Puget sound so it was easy to do a test in the kayak with 40lbs of lifting weights. I hopped in and it was fine. If I did not know I had weights in it I don’t know if I would have noticed a lower ride. Now a new range of possibilities just opened up. So on April 13th I showed up at the Ross Dam trail with my new untried portage wheels and a 40lb pack on my back. A few light items were also stored in the kayak. The portage entailed a 500ft decent over .8 mile rough trail and 1/2 mile downhill gravel road. I set up the portage wheels wrong and had issues on the very rocky trail portion. This prompted me to carry the kayak on my shoulders…switching often…not fun. Once on the gravel road I reworked the wheels and all was fine. The uphill return portage went better than expected and the wheels worked well with the kayak. Clearly, the lightweight of the kayak was appreciated here! This boat has 2 ( front and back) bulkheads with rubber hatches for storage. I like having the flotation insurance as well with those lids on tight. Once the portage was over, I dropped my pack and filled the bulkhead storage area with my heaviest items. I used the top deck bungies for my tent, closed cell sleeping pad ( won’t absorb water) and empty back pack. Like I said earlier, this boat was not designed to hold a ton of gear but I could do a 10 day trip with this using my lightweight backpacking approach. I managed to fit my hammock in as well which was about the important item I brought :>) I wore a life jacket while paddling always. The water is direct snowmelt and is cold as heck.
Ross lake is dammed so the level varies. This time of year the water is near its lowest so muddy entries/exits from the kayak are standard practice. I never flipped the boat getting in or out …or at all in fact, on the entire trip. I was in heaven as soon as I was on the water. A little morning headwind as the sun was heating up the air and I was off…9 miles of incredible scenery and nimble paddling put me at my basecamp. Definitely faster than my hiking speed. The next 4 days I spent doing day trips up and down the long lake exploring camps and stream entrances. Weather was perfect and the fish were hitting the first bug hatch of the year quite hard, often sailing a foot in the air and coming down with a nice slap! Fishing season is not open here until sometime in july though. Overall, I did about 40 miles. I have practiced good paddling form so I was not wrecked at all after 5 straight days of paddling ( 2 with a full load ). One thing I like about the Carbonlite is that it is lighter, stiffer and more repairable than the typical poly kayak. You can refinish the carbonite if you want to from what I understand. I like that. I am the sort of person who keeps things for a long time so being able to refinish the boat someday is ideal for me. I treat the rubber hatch covers and deck with a widely available treatment as recommended by Eddyline. I called them when I first got the Kayak to ask a few questions. They were helpful.
All I need now is a kayak to hold me, my girlfriend and her 70lb lab!
Here’s another great review I received in the spring of ’21 from Dave in Souther Oregon:
I’ve never met you, but I wanted to say thanks for the videos you made last
summer highlighting the features and performance of the Eddyline Sky 10. I
ordered one in February, and picked it up two weeks ago from The Ledge in
Klamath Falls. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t buy a boat without test-driving it
first, but your informative videos gave me the confidence to place the order,
sight unseen. And so far, the Sky 10 has met or exceeded all of my
expectations: it’s surprisingly quick for its size, turns on a dime, and can
even carry enough gear for an overnight trip – I had a great time camping last
week down at Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park in California.