A quick review of the Dagger Stratos 14.5 + video
I just spent the last few days paddling the Dagger Stratos 14.5S. Its dubbed as a high performance ocean tourer that is ideal for beginners and expert alike which is a pretty broad spectrum to cover but I think they have pulled it off. I was in the market for a new sea kayak recently and I had decided I wanted a 14-15ft boat that surfs well has good speed and would be comfortable for doing daily tours, rock hopping and some day touring. After a bit of searching online I had a few contenders to consider.(The P&H Delphin, Venture Jura, North Shore Aspect and a few more.) Then I gave Colm in I-Canoe a call to see what he had available and he mentioned he was paddling the Dagger Stratos and really liked it.
To be honest I was a little surprised as I never think of Dagger and touring/sea kayaks. Anyway the feedback was good and it sounded like it was worth a try. The next day the boat arrived and a soon as it came out off the truck you could tell there was something good wrapped up. As soon as I got it opened I was impressed, the rocker profile and sleek lines looked great. I have failed to find a picture that does the boat justice and give a good sense of the rocker profile so I didn't include one. It really has to be seen in the flesh.
The outfitting is simple but very comfortable. The leg lifters are a really nice feature and provided great support. I had it fully set up in about 5 minutes. The only negative I could find with the outfitting and the boat in general was the tight braces. They are a bit flexible but once set up correctly they are not to bad.
That evening I headed straight for the surf. 5-6 ft with lots of reformers and a long slow shoulder was perfect conditions to test this boat. It surfs great! Very easy to turn, accelerate and catch waves on the fly. The rocker means it doesn't peril even in the whitewater. Paddling out is a joy, the bow cuts through breaking waves and rides high over foam piles.
I have to say this boat has surpassed my expectations, it looks fantastic and is a real joy to paddle. Definitely worth considering if you want to put some fun into your (sea) paddling or are looking for a good all round kayak. It is well equipped with full deck lines, two hatches and skeg. Not bad for RRP €1000
Did I mention how good it looks? so good!
If you have paddled this kayak and have anything to add please leave a comment.
Check out this quick video I put together below. This is 3ft surf at Enniscrone Beach in Co. Sligo
David Horkan from Paddle & Pedal. Posting info on various outdoor adventures in Mayo and around Ireland.