Designing a new kayak is not an easy proposition. Aside from the high costs of R&D, and investment in production, there’s the risk of unknown demand. Kayaks are a crowded market with manufacturer’s constantly pushing the envelope in terms of performance and value. These challenges are further compounded when designing an all-around kayak. Meeting the needs of anglers, offshore paddlers, campers, and more requires calculated trade-offs and fine-tuned balancing. Add in the varying demands of different marine environments like rivers, oceans, and lakes present and making a single vessel that excels in all of them is a sizable challenge.
Crescent Kayaks hasn’t just figured out the formula to adaptable kayaks, they’ve practically perfected it. They’ve garnered a reputation for producing incredibly well designed kayaks that are both multi-functional and a joy to paddle. The latest addition to the Crescent lineup, the CK1 Venture, is an all-around kayak that will set the bar for years to come.
Kayak as a Platform
The CK1 Venture was designed as a multi-functional platform to accommodate all types of paddlers. With just a little bit of outfitting it can easily transition from a recreational river romper to tournament-ready fishing rig. Feel like adding a motor? No problem – just add a trolling motor on the square stern transom. Feel like camping and have a ton of gear? Again, no problem. The Venture has a weight capacity of 400 lbs and primary stability actually increases when it is loaded down.
Best of all the Venture has been able to achieve these feats without adding a bunch of plastic. At just 60 lbs the CK-1 is an easy to handle throw and go that can be easily car-topped. Gear track adorns the gunwales of the cockpit and capable stern tankwell for modular outfitting. Two Yak Attack Mighty Mounts are seated aft of the seat for single accessory positioning; perfect for rod holders or camera sticks. Up front the open bow hatch provides a great spot for clothing or tackle and is secured by an accommodating stretch top.
Together these features provide the foundation for a versatile platform that’s perfect for any type of over water activity. Whether you’re hunting ducks in the marshes or breaking past the surf the Venture can fit your style with ease.
An Incredible Paddling Experience
Among the plethora of kayaks that can be pedaled, sailed, or motored it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that kayaks are paddle craft first. While these vessels all have their advantages it often comes at the cost of a less than ideal paddling experience. Paddling a boat that’s truly designed to be paddled first is like driving a sports car. Driving a sports car isn’t just fun because of the looks you get (keep mirin ‘). It’s because you’re totally in tune with the vehicle – you’re connected to the car and can feel it moving through space. Paddling a Crescent Kayak is a similar experience- you’re connected to the water and boat, rather than being a passenger.
The CK1 Venture accomplishes Crescent’s trademark paddleability through a few different design features. Foremost the Venture was designed with a heavy bias towards enhanced secondary stability. Secondary stability is a kayak’s ability to right itself at a hard tilt, whereas primary stability is a kayak’s ability to stay steady on lesser angles. Stronger secondary stability permits paddlers to lean further into the stroke by tipping towards the water and reinforces the connection between pilot and craft. On craft without strong secondary stability a hard lean over the gunwale usually results in a dip; whereas the Venture actually pushes back to keep the boat righted.
Rocker Me Amadeus
At first glance one of the standout feature’s of the Venture is the aggressive curve from bow to stern. An exaggerated rocker is a rare sight on fishing kayaks. Higher rocker angles offer greater maneuverability. It’s for this reason most whitewater kayaks have big rockers – it allows paddlers to rapidly change direction in a dynamic environment.
The Venture’s high rocker hull plays a key part in both its adaptability and functionality. In river and tidal waters Venture is able to ride over waves and rapids, rather than plowing through them, making for a dryer ride. Combined with Crescent’s signature keel the CK-1’s hull offers paddlers smooth-glide tracking along with responsive handling and accessibility to any body of water you can find.
A Commitment to Quality
There aren’t too many goods out there that are built to last. Planned obsolescence is, for better or worse, here to stay. And it’s a constant source of frustration for modern consumers. Luckily, American made kayaks are one of the few products to buck the trend. Most kayaks made domestically fall into the “buy once cry once” category. But Crescent has amped it up to 11 and the Venture falls squarely in the Buy it for Life category.
The CK1 Venture is made with Crescent’s proprietary HDPE blend that primarily relies on AquaTuf Resin. This resin is specifically designed for maritime applications and is more rigid and durable than other mixtures. The extra rigidity, along with Crescent’s designs, provides a firm standing platform in the cockpit that does not flex or “squish” like others might. The added durability also helps Crescent offer a limited lifetime warranty on the hull and other critical components.
Better than Ever
Hand in hand with quality is design; and this is one area where the Crescent experience and industry knowledge really comes to the forefront. As consummate paddlers themselves they know what features add true value and which are window-dressing. One of the biggest changes with the Venture is the improved bow storage. A deep pocket is covered by a stretchy fabric covering made with material from Sunmaster – the same folks who make bimini top fabrics. It’s perfect for storing loose gear or
Not immediately noticeable, but still critically impactful, are the tiny flourishes brushed into the Venture. Deeper stash pockets, bilateral paddle parks, tapered rod catches, and most importantly… cup holders. Along with a litany of other improvements the Venture debuts some 3 brand new colors to the Crescent portfolio. NorEaster Blue, Blended Camo, and Dart green are sure to turn heads at the docks for their eye-catching aesthetic.
Overview of the CK1 Venture
Of the new kayaks to debut in 2021 the CK1 Venture is the one we’re most excited about. Every kayak has it place, but the emphasis on keeping the Venture lightweight while maximizing versatility is a trend we hope other manufacturers start to follow. And to top it all off the price is unbeatable. At $ 899 the CK1 is positioned as the premier mid-market option. It’s perfect for paddlers looking to take the next step into kayaking of any sort without committing to the big prices seen on more specialized craft. We expect the Venture will be a common sight around the shores and surf this Summer. And we’re looking forward to seeing what Crescent thinks up next.