Re: Keyhole cockpit

Posted by CLC on Jul 20, 2005

I don't think the decision should be based on appearance. The only reason for the bigger cockpit is to make it easier for larger statured people (over 6') to get in and out of the Arctic Hawk's cockpit.

(As many have noted, the Arctic Hawk's "keyhole" cockpit is not in fact keyhole-shaped, although it started out that way. The appellation stuck. It's just an oblong ring 4" longer than the standard 20" ring.)

A snug fit in the cockpit is critical for good sea kayak handling. All things being equal, smaller cockpit openings make it easier, with judicious use of foam padding, to get a snug fit. I can't think of any reason why someone of your petite build would want the large cockpit. The "openness" might have some appeal if you're just starting out, or if someone with long legs habitually borrowed your Hawk. But after you've taken a few classes you'll wish for the smaller cockpit opening.

In Response to: Keyhole cockpit by Crystal on Jul 20, 2005