This article was part of a feature testing five compact touring kayaks while on a trip in Georgian Bay’s 30,000 Islands. The other boats in this roundup include the Current Designs Ignite, the Hurricane Sojourn 135, the Swift Saranac 14, and the Delta Kayaks 12S. Read the review of the Stellar S14-LV below.


“This feels like a sports car!” marveled one happy tester, who enjoyed the S14-LV’s quickness in all types of water and playful maneuverability on edge.

Stellar S14-LV Specs
Length: 13’9″
Width: 22″
Weight: 37 lbs
Material: Kevlar/Fiberglass (advantage layup)
Price: $2,295

www.stellarkayaks.com

Stellar’s background in building rowing shells and surf skis is evident in the design—and speed—of the S14-LV. The 13-foot-nine-incher was the fastest of the sit-inside kayaks we tested, falling only slightly behind the Ignite on cruising speed and besting the ‘ski on acceleration.

The LV stands for low volume—the deck height in front of the cockpit is a thigh-spooning 11.4 inches, making this the snuggest fitting boat in the group. Our smaller testers loved the dialed in, performance feel; larger paddlers should try the standard S14.

With a svelte 22-inch width, the S14-LV is 1.5-to-two inches narrower than the rest of our fleet—making it our favorite for nimble turns. Add the low rear deck and unobtrusive backband and it was also by far the easiest to roll of all the boats.

The shallow-V hull and soft chines provide smooth edging and solid tracking—dropping the S14-LV’s sturdy skeg deftly managed pesky crosswind on a bumpy, open-water crossing.

As expected, the S14-LV’s lower volume meant it was a tighter squeeze for our gear, but testers couldn’t complain about the dry contents and the easy on-and-off f the Tupperware-style hatch covers.

Available in four composite lay-ups, from tough fiberglass to ultra-stiff, uber-light Kevlar and carbon with a honeycomb core—there’s a great value option for any performance-minded paddler. And, yeah, we’re definitely digging the racing stripe.

This article originally appeared in Adventure Kayak‘s Early Summer/Fall 2016 issue. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions here, or browse the archives here.

0/5 (0 Reviews)

1 COMMENT

  1. I have an S14 (normal volume) and it’s a fantastic boat. It’s not cheap but not super expensive. Layup is quite durable as long as you’re careful. Fit and finish is good but the seat is terrible, likely designed by the American Academy of Chiropractors and/or back surgeons to boost business. Definitely needs aftermarket upgrades or you’ll be come some back doctor’s favorite patient. It works well in various conditions but it seems to like to be paddled very hard in wind and waves. The light weight also helps greatly for “flatwater” getting into all kinds of launches, put ins, over guard rails and into ponds or rivers although I must say a boat of this seaworthiness helps on lakes with big fetch and chop. It’s a little tippy when you are not paddling or moving it. I think this boat is not for the rank novice and you should consider the S12 if you are just starting out or in not that great shape although once you have a season or two and some instruction under your belt in a lesser plastic boat this kayak is a wonderful progression. The tracking isn’t the best then again this “light” nature adds huge refinement as it doesn’t need much control input to control and perhaps the steepest part of the learning curve is figuring out how to make it go straight as the skeg is not 100% but like anything complex there is a learning curve and this complexity, with just a little effort, gives huge reward. I guess the S16 and 18 are faster and better (and harder to handle) but the 14 is good for those with limited storage space or carrying capability like me. Other than the god awful seat, agree to highly recommend.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here