Kayak Chronicles: The Pursuit of the Ultimate Sea Kayak


Have you ever embarked on a quest for perfection? A journey to find something that feels elusive, yet essential to your happiness? For me, that quest revolves around sea kayaking. As an avid enthusiast for over a quarter-century, I have sought the ideal sea kayak that will not only meet my needs but also enhance my experiences on the water.

The Yearning for the Perfect Design

In my early years, I paddled a sea kayak that seemed to tick all the boxes – long, slim, and boasting an elegant clipper bow. However, there was one crucial shortcoming that plagued me: capturing action photographs. While calm waters allowed me to snap away, as soon as I confronted rough seas, my unease grew, and my camera remained untouched. With the passing of time, I worried this discomfort would only intensify. Desperate, I scoured the market for a viable alternative.

Endless Trials and Disappointments

Over the course of many years, I eagerly explored various designs in search of the perfect fit. Some offered improved stability, but none truly resonated with me. It was during this phase that UpStreamPaddle reached out to me with an intriguing proposition – to test and provide feedback on two of their cutting-edge designs.

Filled with anticipation, I welcomed the arrival of a visually stunning Kevlar Carbon kayak known as Project X. The seat was remarkably comfortable, and the kayak proved to be exceptionally fast. However, it possessed the stability of a razor blade – far from ideal for my photography endeavors.

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A Glimpse of Hope

Amidst my disappointment, whispers of Project Y reached my ears. With renewed enthusiasm, I turned my attention to the second design. Almost immediately, it became apparent that Project Y held the promise I had been yearning for. Equipped with the same comfortable seat as Project X, this sleek beauty glided through the water effortlessly, boasting attractive lines that caught the eye. But more importantly, it eradicated my camera wobble, offering stability without compromising performance.

The Quest Finds its Champion

Rebranded as the “Quest,” Project Y has accompanied me on countless adventures, weathering a range of sea and wind conditions. Lightweight and versatile, it effortlessly accommodates both day trips and week-long expeditions. Playful in the surf, it confidently maneuvers through treacherous overfalls. No matter the situation, the Quest handles brilliantly, aided by its easily adjustable retractable skeg that tames unpredictable wind and waves.

At 17’7″ in length and 22″ in width, the Quest is the perfect companion for serious sea kayakers and aspiring enthusiasts alike. Its attractive design is complemented by essential features such as a deck-mounted compass, adjustable seat and backrest, retractable skeg, and a third waterproof hatch for day trips. With its ample storage capacity, this expedition kayak effortlessly accommodates both me and all the gear I need. To top it off, the kajaksport hatch covers strike the ideal balance between durability and weight.

The Future of the Quest

As I sit back and reflect, it occurs to me that the only concern I harbor is the possibility of UpStreamPaddle wanting their exceptional creation back. Dave Evans, a Level 5 Sea Kayak Coach who oversees the Cwm Pennant Mountain Centre in North Wales, penned this sentiment. His words resonate with those who have experienced the Quest’s magic firsthand.

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In conclusion, let us embark on our own quests, driven by the desire to find perfection and push the boundaries of our experiences. As we navigate life’s uncharted waters, a trusty companion like the Quest can make all the difference.


To learn more about the Quest and other exceptional sea kayaks, visit UpStreamPaddle.