Calypso fever – Islander Calypso review

Islander’s Calypso has been part of the Sitons fleet for a while – it’s not a brand new design but it’s definitely a popular sit on kayak. Billed as an all round performer the Calypso Sport should be just as happy in small waves as it would be on flatter water and therefore a good choice for many paddlers.

Hey good looking

The version we have is from Islander’s Calypso Sport line which boasts a large front hatch, rear bungee covered tank well and smaller in-cockpit hatch. Affixed carry handles are more robust than on the standard Calypso hull increasing its suitability for slightly harder core paddling. Islander’s attention to detail with fixtures and fittings is top notch – you can see it’s a quality, well manufactured boat that’ll stand the test of time.

Offering a 145kg max weight carrying capacity it’ll cater for paddlers of all shapes and sizes while giving ample floatation for storing belongings – kayak fisher peeps take note. Along the length of the Calypso’s hull runs an accentuated keel improving stability and aiding straight line tracking. Ergonomically moulded foot rests are comfortable additions and the cockpit area is well thought out – offering plenty of room to determine optimal paddling position.

Floating about

As with many of Islander’s kayaks there’s quite a taper along the boat’s length. While width is ample around the seated section of the hull, reduction is apparent further forwards. This translates to more efficient glide on the water. It also tracks beautifully without ‘pushing’ unnecessary amounts of water. As such distance is eaten up without hassle. OK, this isn’t a full on touring hull, but it ain’t bad for a shorter boat!

If any paddlers are considering moderately sized wave play the Calypso certainly handles a few liquid walls. Manoeuvrability in surf is admirable, delivering a decent amount of performance. Stability is confidence inspiring – even nervous paddlers won’t end up with too many dunkings. Back on flatter water and if you’re into exploring and investigating the Islander is just the ticket. You can load it with enough essentials for day excursions and not struggle too much with ‘driving’. Some boats do tend to feel being laden down, and while there is a small effect on the Calypso, it’s nothing significant. We should also mention the durability of the Calypso. It certainly takes those bumps and scrapes and paddle away kicking. There’s a fair amount of abuse you could chuck at the Islander and not be too concerned. Obviously we’re not suggesting go out of your way to destroy it but the Calypso will stand the test of time.

Conclusion

As a pure all rounder, ticking the multiple kayak discipline box for everyman paddlers, you can’t fault the Calypso. It’s carefully crafted hull design will suit anxious early intermediates looking to develop their sit on kayak skills. Experienced paddlers will find it a fun boat to pilot across multiple environments. Price: £399.95 Info: http://islanderkayaks.com/product/calypso-sport/