Logan PelosoSeptember 1, 2017 · Sterlings Kayaks Thank you Sterling for building me such a high performance, resilient, and visually striking kayak. Without your design, technical knowledge, attention to detail, masterful craftsmanship, and passion for paddlesports, I would never have pushed myself to enjoy paddling the big wave...
by Logan Peloso Photography
All Things Qajaq <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sat 7/2/2016 3:09 PM Hi Chris! Thanks for reaching out! I've gotta say, the Progression has been the one boat that allows me to do all the things I love doing... surf, rolling, rock gardens and touring. I love rolling myself and can appreciate a kayak that rolls well. I can attest that the Sterling Progression is a great rolling kayak, primarily for forward finish recovery which tend to be the harder rolls and the best for rough water. Forward finish hand rolls are a breeze. It is like it snaps up during a roll like it wants to finish. I call it secondary pop. The only other kayak I've experienced this with was the Sterling Ice Kap. It's a bit of a shocker after rolling the Greenland a lot. The Progression is certainly an intermediate to advanced kayak and if you've been paddling the Greenland you will REALLY appreciate this kayak. It's very responsive and literally turns the direction you think. Best part is it tracks straight as well as it turns. It's a bit faster than the Reflection so gives me the speed I'm looking for ripping down the line on a wave like an HP kayak avoiding the close out. I've paddle a lot of kayaks and rolled a ton of difference designs. The Sterling Progression is my boat of choice hands down and if your looking for a boat that is well rounded and will be used more than any other kayak in your fleet, this ones the winner.
Andy owns 3 Sterling Kayaks, An Ice Kap, an Illusion and a Progression
Hello Sterling, Marsha, Just a quick note of thanks. On Monday (last), my new Progression was delivered in perfect condition. I paddled it each of the following 4 days, at my normal (weekday) paddling hours of 1:30(AM) to around 4 (10 mile loop). Yesterday (Sat.), I paddled it for my ‘monthly’ paddle around Cumberland Island (south end of Georgia), it's about a 47 mile paddle. Again, I start (very) early (that day - about 1:30am). So, after about 60 miles (40 from previous 4 days, 20 on this day) of paddling, it wasn't until I was at the north end of Cumberland that I could actually 'see' my new boat (while paddling), as the sun was rising. I really do like the blue (even though I'm more a fan of the darker colored boats). The day around Cumberland was ideal for this boat. There was a light SW breeze - 10-15 knot. This was at my back while going up the 'ocean' side of the island. 'Smallish' waves - but got some good surfing rides on them - 20 miles worth. Will be looking forward to some bigger waves to play in when the Tropical Storms start coming in (hopefully staying offshore - I'll take the waves, don't need the storm). Andy
Chris King: Some notes on the Progression's performance that day (perhaps it will help folks who are doing research into the kayak to understand how wonderfully it behaves in high winds). Quick background on me: I come from a mostly Greenland kayak background and have loved the way the low volume of GL kayaks ignore the wind, and are playful on edge. I had no doubt that the Progression would be agile, but was seriously concerned about how it'd manage high winds as I enjoy foul/harsh weather on the water. The Progression has so much more freeboard than my GL, and the up-sweep at the bow and stern is significant. I spoke at length with Sterling and James Manke among others about how the design performed in wind and everyone assured me it was barely affected, and even that the skeg (skeel) was unnecessary. But I had to see for myself. To the point: The day of the video above had steady winds in the upper 20kt range, with gusts into the mid 30s. We had gone out to find some surf, but it was mostly laid flat by the wind, so we played in that. To my astonishment, the Progression had a slight tendency to weathercock, but less than every other kayak out with us that day as far as I could tell by watching other's strokes. The minor weathercocking was easily correctable with a tiny edge, or a slight sweep added to the forward stroke. Honestly, it was easier to keep on track than my GL is in similar conditions due to the ease and responsiveness of edging. The only times that the boat was more strongly affected by winds were when the stern got picked up on a following wave and I started to surf it. At that point the stern is lifted up into the wind and the bow nosed down a bit (these were small waves that day), resulting in the boat strongly wanting to turn into the wind, and requiring more of an edge to correct. You can see the sheer force of the wind in the video when Luke comes up from the roll, the wind catches his torso--he is facing directly into the wind--and the kayak is immediately pushed backwards. He starts throwing the bow down as he crests the waves to keep the bow lower and out of the wind. Great fun and phenomenal performance. TL;DR: The Progression is so well balanced for wind that it barely weathercocks in monster wind. The skeel is not needed for directional stability, and serves better if in a beam wind or current to keep the kayak from drifting laterally akin to a centerboard on a sailboat. Sterling happily explained the physics behind the performance in wind, but it escapes me everytime I try to recall it :) Seriously... I cannot recommend this kayak enough for paddlers at any level.
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