Maybe the most stable sea kayak at 54.5cm in the market capable of handling really rough conditions.
Valley has a long history of producing expedition capable sea kayaks. In fact, arguably, they started this trend by designing the Nordkapp back in 1974. Whilst the Nordkapp has evolved and retains a valuable place in the Valley range, it was decided in 2011 that a new flagship was required for the Valley range.
The Etain is a conscious departure from previous Valley designs. Valley kayaks were traditionally more “fish-form” i.e. widest point slightly forward of centre. The Etain is more neutral, in fact very slightly Swede form i.e. widest point rear of centre. Swede form kayaks have a different feel, slightly more glide and a perception of speed that is more noticeable because you are now paddling in a narrower part of the boat. The paddling stroke is also less encumbered and there is a general feeling of having less boat between you and the water. Better…NO, different… YES!
Other features are a hull that has a shallow to moderate ‘V’ in cross-section for good initial stability and rocker, that would best be describe as moderate i.e. slightly less than some older Valley boats to provide secure tracking but still enough to provide a lively ride.
The Etain also features a removable deck-pod storage-unit in front of the cockpit. Whilst holding the same as a regular 4th hatch/compartment, the advantage is, it can be taken up the beach (or into the car/house) with you. The deck-pod is ideal for things like valuables, snacks, car keys, and small items of safety-kit that you might always want close to hand*. Other features of the Etain include a locking point situated behind the cockpit and special attention given to cockpit ergonomics.
The Etain is designed to appeal to paddlers looking for an expedition style boat with a contemporary feel. Arguably the Etain should appeal to those who are already familiar with the performance of a Valley kayak but also to those who have previously not been a fan of Valley’s traditional style!
* Any items that are susceptible to water-damage should always be additionally protected by the use of dry-bags or other suitable packaging, we’d recommend doing this, no matter how dry your compartment usually seems!
Boat specs -model 17-7
Length: 17’7″ (536cm)
Width: 21.5″ (54.5cm)
Weight: 57lbs (26kg)
Load Suitability: 180-270lbs/ 81-122kg
Boat specs -model 17-5
Length: 17’5″ (531cm)
Width: 21.25″ (54cm)
Weight: 55lbs (25kg)
Load Suitability: 140-230lbs/ 63-104kg
* Weights stated are approximations for our standard Diolen construction, excluding hatch covers.