The Eliza is a sea kayak well-suited to women and…
Source: I bought it from a store's summer rental fleet
The Eliza is a sea kayak well-suited to women and men who are from small to moderate size. My Eliza fits me like a good shoe. Very responsive and stable!
- Sized for the proportions of adults small to moderate size
- Rudder is easily controlled by foot pedals
- Tough rotomolded plastic in a strong design
- Hard covers for hatches
- Good hull design for rolling practice and wet re-entry
- Adjustable footpegs
- Small and stable enough for a recreational kayak
- Also available in composite instead of plastic
- Rudder cord is hard to pull rudder down for use
- A 15'4" sea kayak is not as fast as a 20' surf ski
- If you don't like pink get one of their other colours
The Necky Eliza was designed to suit women paddlers, but it also suits men and teenagers. The people it doesn't suit are taller than 5'9" with big broad shoulders. The Eliza fits me perfectly at 5'1" — at 160 pounds, I'm at the top of the recommended weight for this model. Though I am stocky and plump, I can get into the cockpit easily onshore or doing wet re-entry rescue practise. I move the footpegs to suit my short self, and my knees fit comfortably under the front deck.
A paddling friend is about 5'7" and 160 pounds, and he paddles an Eliza of his own. He says the Eliza is similar in design to a Necky Elaho, which is better for taller people.
The tough rotomolded plastic is terrific for kayaking in rock gardens. Several times I've found a rock suddenly as a wave ebbs. The hull of my Eliza has several light scratches and two deeper scratches after seven years of use. Though I love the feeling of paddling an Eliza with carbon hull, and that version is lighter at 41 pounds, I chose a rotomolded plastic model at 49 pounds for durability.
Until I test-paddled an Eliza, all kayaks I tried felt a lot like putting my bare feet into a big pair of oversized rubber boots. The Eliza fits me like a good hiking shoe! It makes me feel strong, able, and like I can paddle all day. I can turn on a dime and paddle backwards with grace. The boat glides well.
I have hearing loss and bad sense of balance, so I rely on feeling my body position to substitute for balance. The footpegs help me feel connected to the Eliza, especially when the rudder is being used.
At times, I'd prefer the lighter version. The weight of the plastic hull is managable for me to carry solo. On a windy day, I prefer to get a friend to help me carry it.
The new hatch covers have been improved since I bought my Eliza seven years ago. The hatches are good for holding a surprising amount of gear!