Articles - Sea Kayak Review - P&H Delphin ‘Ocean Play’ Sea Kayak - Long Term Test

P&H Delphin Plastic Sea Kayak Test
P&H Delphin Plastic Sea Kayak Test
Canoe & Kayak UK Editorial - Posted on 08 Jun 2011
The Delphin has been primarily designed as use as an ‘ocean play’ boat, and basically what that means is that its perfectly at home in situations where a more traditional sea kayak might struggle. Surf breaks, over-falls, tidal races rock gardens these are the natural home to the Delphin. When the waves are crashing and the spume flying the Delphin will look after you, in fact it’ll even make it fun! More playful sea boats are not a brand new idea, but the P&H designers ditched any preconceived ideas about how a sea kayak design should be, ripped up the rulebook and set to designing a boat that would really perform, but was also fun and easy to paddle. As we said in our original review that was brave move in a discipline and market where traditional designs are revered. It seems to be a move that has paid off in spades. The Delphin may not win any awards for beauty but it’s a boat that has won us over completelP&H Delphin Sea kayak being tested by Canoe & Kayak UKy.

Of course we’ve spent a lot of time playing in it and the ample rocker and cockpit positioning make it super-responsive when surfing swell or waves, or dodging through gaps in rock gardens. For experienced paddlers with a good roll you’ll find it instils confidence to try harder moves and surf bigger waves. For the lesser daredevils it will instil confidence to be a little bit more adventurous, but we always knew that it’d be great for those situations; it’s what it was designed for.

What’s really impressed us with the Delphin is how good it actually is as a day-today sea kayak. It has a surprising turn of hull speed and we’ve found that it easily keeps the pace on trips with faster traditional designs without to much effort on our part. The seating position and cockpit area are very comfortable, the outfitting is great and we’ve had no breakages or failures over the last six-months of use.

To be honest over the last few months we’ve more often than not opted to choose the Delphin for ‘proper’ sea paddling trips as well. It’s initial and secondary stability are excellent and it edges and carves with ease, it also tracks very well and is more than capable of racking up the sea miles on longer trips, the skeg is there if you need it but the Delphin is so responsive we find that we very rarely use it relying on edging instead. There’s plenty of storage space in the hatches and although, as you’d expect, there is a small loss of play performance when heavily loaded it still track as well and maintains its speed. We’ve used it on loads of day trips and it always puts a smile on our faces, whether we’re playing or just pootling about enjoying the coastline. It’s really beginner friendly too and we’ve had fun letting paddlers try our test boat at various events and they’ve all come to like it as much as we do. We’d still opt for a more traditional design for longer multi-day or expedition purposes, but the more we paddle the Delphin the more it becomes our boat of choice for pretty much all our sea trips. It delivers what it promises, a fun playful spirit, but the Delphin also has a lot more to offer you too.

Specs:
Length: 472cm
Width: 57cm
Weight: 24kg
Volume: 290lts
Max Load: 125kgs

RRP: £1199P&H Delphin Sea Kayak being Tested by Canoe & Kayak UK Magazine
More info: www.phseakayaks.com

Check out our head to head plastic sea kayak test here

To find your nearest dealer and demo centre go to the Market Place


Have you paddled the Delphin? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the Forum

Here a few videos of the Delphin Sea Kayak in action


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