Sunday, April 12, 2009

Just Call Me Goldilocks

Guess I am the Goldilocks of kayaking . . . constantly testing out this boat and that and being hopeful that eventually I will find one that will be "JUST RIGHT."

When will I find the boat that is just right for me? Statistics say that the average height for US women is 5'3" to 5'4". So at 5'4.5" why do I have so much difficulty finding a kayak that fits? Especially in the realm of whitewater kayaks. Sea kayaks by nature are narrower and manufacturers have started working on low volume designs that are more friendly smaller adults.

I just deleted a whole rant about whitewater kayaks but will save that for another day. Currently there is an Eskimo Kendo Starlight sitting in our boatbarn that Goldilocks thinks is going to be "JUST RIGHT."


  1. Goldilocks, can I ask you a question?
    How many other women paddle with you?
    In a sample of 100 paddlers how many are actually women? and how many of those women are actually demanding a decently fitted kayak that they will use aggressively?
    Unfortunately, probably very few.
    So, from the manufacturing point of view would it be wise to offer a line of products (performance kayaks that fit small women) that has a very limited market?
    Hey, don't get me wrong. I would love to see way more women (small or big) on the water.
    It certainly would balance things out and make paddling more pleasurable.

  2. Second to kayak fishing, professional women are the fastest growing market in kayaking. Look at all the posts on as well as the success of Necky's Eliza (granted not a performance kayak).

    As far as percentage of women paddling - it is definitely regional as well as discipline specific. Priority not being on a boats that can be paddled "aggressively," but boats that are comfortable and fit.

    If you build it, they will come. Kayaking is not the most accessible sport for women - male dominated, gear intensive, heavy boats to transport and maintain, and the whole "how to pee" issue. The industry as well as us women on water are working on this. I am encouraged to see NDK working on a new line of boats for the smaller paddler as well as Confluence's offering of a balanced size range in their whitewater kayaks.

    Thanks for posting. Hopefully, we can all enjoy more balance in the paddling world and enjoy paddling together.