Current Designs Caribou 17/3
Fibreglass ~ 52 lbs / 23.6 kg
Kevlar ~ 48 lbs / 21.8 kg
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Current Designs Caribou 17 Kayak Review
The Caribou 17 is the mid-sized kayak in Current Designs ‘Greenland Style’ family, which also includes the smaller Suka 16/6 and much larger Isle 18. The Series successfully emulates the traditional hard-chinned features of skin-on-frame ‘Greenland’ kayaks created by the Inuit & Aleut people’s 4,000- years ago.
The Caribou fits a wide range of ‘medium' & ‘large’ sized paddlers and accommodates the skill levels of ‘novice’, ‘intermediate’ & ‘advanced’ paddlers.
Already immensely popular, the Caribou received some improvements recently:
Its length was shortened slightly to make it even more playful. Hard chines were softened and the flat sections were given a slight convex curve to moderate transition zones. The deck was modernized with flowing lines, the cockpit was reshaped to a more user-friendly ‘keyhole design’ and a touch of depth was added to make the NEW Caribou is more appealing than ever!
The Caribou’s new keyhole cockpit offers ample room for easy entry & exit. Fixed thigh braces are well placed and combine with a lower bow deck height to achieve good contact points and the desired "one-with-boat feeling" sought by manufactures but seldom achieved. All CD’s British & Greenland style kayaks are fitted with the popular Immersion Research® Reggie ratchet style back band that adjusts easily to provide comfortable lower back support and a padded seat pan.
Smooth and glossy the Caribou’s finish is immaculate, as the vacuum pressure manufacturing system leaves no sharp edges or imperfections. Our test paddle review team applauds CD for the Caribou’s new sleek, yet traditional ‘Greenland’ profile. Flush mount composite hatch covers have an interior male / female connection, which when secured with CD’s new Snap-hatch cam strap buckles provides an extremely watertight seal. Two translucent curved bulkheads provide dry storage and aid in draining water from the cockpit. Seadog® foot braces adjust simply and the recessed fittings, skeg control slider and deck rigging are all well placed.
Kayak Efficiency & Maneuverability
Its long & narrow waterline length make the Caribou extremely fast and efficient. The kayak instantly responds to an aggressive sprint stroke quickly accelerating to a cruising speed that’s easy to maintain due to its effortless glide. Hard chinned sides and its low profile effectively minimize weathercocking, and the skeg worked effectively in adverse conditions. It rests endlessly when put on its hard chine edge inspiring confident “crisp turn on a dime” maneuvers!
The kayaks hard chinned sides and well-defined edges achieve an amazing level of initial stability. Redesigning the flat sections of the chine to make them slightly convex moderate the transition from paddling flat (hull down) to a ‘very high’ secondary stability point on when on edge.
Kayak Roll & Rescue
The Caribou rolls easily and even novice paddlers will find wet exit & reentry easy due to its great initial stability and keyhole style cockpit. A high rear deck offers loads of storage but may interfere with layback rolls. The rear bulkhead is smartly placed close to the combing to effectively drain the cockpit. We suggest Self-rescue straps be installed on ALL sea / touring kayaks to aid in paddle-float reentry unless your roll is reliable.
Hatches: 2- Bow & Stern, Composite flush fitting hard hatches w’ 3 Snap-hatch cam strap buckles, 2- translucent fibreglass curved bulkheads increase visibility / maximize storage space and aid in draining water from the cockpit.
Outfitting: All British style / Greenland kayaks come standard with an ‘Immersion Research’ easy adjust ratchet back band - which provides comfortable lower back support, padded seat pan and retractable skeg. Easy adjustable Seadog® foot braces, composite padded thigh braces, recessed expedition quality deck rigging, reflective perimeter lines, bow & stern carry toggles and plastic H- channel extruded seams glassed inside compete the outfitting
Composite Colours Stocked
"Lively n’ fast and with incredible initial & secondary stability, the Caribou satisfies a wide range of paddler skills… heck its just a really fun skills boat!"
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|Length||17' 3 "||5.26 m|
|Width||21.5 inches||55 cm|
|Cockpit Length||31.5"L x 16.5"W||80L x 42W cm|
|Cockpit Depth Front||12.25 in. I.D. / 13.5 in. O.D.||31.1 cm I.D. / 34.3 cm O.D.|
|Cockpit Depth Stern||10.5 in. O.D.||27.7 cm O.D.|
Optimum Paddler Weights
|Low||160 lbs||72.6 kg|
|High||225 lbs||102.1 kg|
|Max Load||300 lbs||136 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!
|Hull Design||Shallow Vee|
|Rudder/Skeg||Skeg - Retractable|
|Bow Hatch||22 U.S. Gal.||83.3 Litres|
|Stern Hatch||35 U.S. Gal.||132.5 Litres|
|Quick Release Self Rescue Straps||$60 pr. Installed|