Current Designs Solstice GT 17/7
Fibreglass ~ 56 lbs / 25.4 kg
Kevlar ~ 49 lbs / 22.2 kg
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Current Designs Solstice GT 17/7 Kayak Review
Many kayak experts and competitors alike recognize Current Designs Solstice GT as the “most popular composite sea kayak EVER MADE!” Wow… that fact alone is a good enough reason for many potential buyers to test paddle a GT before buying ANY touring kayak. Current Designs Solstice GT fits a wide range of paddler sizes from 'medium to extra large' and rewards them with a comfortable, straight tracking, efficient N. American rudder style kayak.
The 3- boat Solstice Series, which also includes the narrower GTS and much larger GT Titan, recently received a major face lift. Additional depth was added to increase foot room, cockpits were changed to a “keyhole style” to enhance easy of entry & exit, and rudder lines are now installed under the deck for a cleaner, snag-free appearance.
Originally designed in 1984, the extremely successful Solstice GT is still Current Designs flagship model almost 30- years later.
The new style keyhole cockpit offers ample room, a comfortable padded seat with lumbar support, and a good knee brace fit. Foot pedals have been upgraded to ‘Seadogs’ easily adjustable pivoting style, which unlike traditional sliding pedal systems enables paddlers to brace and steer independently.
Fit and finish is exquisite. Recessed deck fittings, flush fitting hatches and new hidden rudder cables make for a clean looking, well-organized deck. The degree of stretch in the rudderised deployment line bothered some of our test paddlers, while others thought it was a non-issue.
Kayak Efficiency & Maneuverability
The Solstice GT accelerates quickly and easily maintains good cruising speed due to its outstanding glide. The GT’s tracking ability was superior to most other North American style sea kayaks even with the rudder up. The long waterline makes for great tracking but limits its maneuverability without edging and sweep strokes.
Its long waterline length and shallow Vee hull design provides 'great' initial stability, while its secondary stability is less defined or 'moderate'.
Kayak Roll & Rescue
The larger keyhole style cockpit helps with the ease of entries & exits. CD’s Composite Compression Hatch System works brilliantly as ‘NO’ water leaked into our test kayak, even after multiple rolling sessions. Curved bulkheads maximize pack space and drain the cockpit efficiently. The high rear deck & backrest may inhibit lay-back rolls for some paddlers. Lastly, to make paddle float re-entries far simpler we suggest installing self-rescue straps.
Hatches: Composite hatch covers sit flush with the deck and feature a rubber gasket that seats perfectly into the decks recess. A NEW buckle strap compresses the gasket to form a watertight seal. Translucent, curved fibreglass bulkheads maximize space and aid in draining the cockpit.
Outfitting: All N. American kayaks come standard with a ‘Dimension Articulating Seat’, which easily adjusts on and off the water. A durable foiled rudder blade w’ upgraded ‘Seadog’ pivoting style foot braces. Paddled thigh braces, recessed expedition quality deck rigging and reflective perimeter lines, 2- translucent fibreglass bulkheads and new for 2014 -intregrated fibreglass seams complete the outfitting.
Composite Colours Stocked
Current Designs newly redesigned Solstice GT 17/7 is stable, predictable and user-friendly. It’s a straight tracking, highly efficient big water cruiser. The kayak's fit and finish is exquisite and well thought out. Watertight hatches and a superior ‘Seadog’ pivoting rudder system add safety and instill paddler confidence. Current Designs Solstice GT is a great choice for 'medium to extra large' paddlers’ looking for a do-anything well N. American style (rudder) sea kayak.
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Frontenac Outfitters was created way back in 1984. Our vision rewards visitors with a vastly superior level of customer service, paddling expertise and an exhilarating 'on-water' experience.
Today, we have grown to become One of Canada's Largest, most respected, full-service Paddlesports shops. Our sincere objective is to introduce you to a fun, educational and environmentally responsible way to explore our waterways!
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|Length||17' 7 "||5.4 m|
|Width||24.25 inches||62 cm|
|Cockpit Length||33"L x 16.5"W||84L x 42W cm|
|Cockpit Depth Front||14 inches||36 cm|
Optimum Paddler Weights
|Low||185 lbs||84 kg|
|High||249 lbs||113 kg|
|Max Load||325 lbs||147.4 kg|
Note: Weights are based on our extensive knowledge of each model, thus often differ from overstated manufacturers figures. Paddler height to weight ratio, weight distribution, gender and paddler skill also influence paddler fit.
We recommend a kayak specialist help with your best fit & to test paddle prior to purchasing any boat.
Kayak Performance Ratings
Note: Performance ratings are based on our extensive test paddling & customer feedback. Remember, there is no substitute for test paddling a number of kayaks with us!
|Kayak Shape||Fish Form|
|Hull Design||Shallow Vee|
|Rudder/Skeg||Skeg - Retractable|
|Bow Hatch||19 U.S. Gal.||71.9 Litres|
|Stern Hatch||23 U.S. Gal.||87.1 Litres|
|Quick Release Self Rescue Straps||$60 pr. Installed|