Dagger Alchemy Specifications
Available in two sizes, the Alchemy, as its name suggests is a blend of both touring and sea kayak characteristics to produce a short playful boat that’s at home on lakes, rivers, estuaries and indeed the sea.
We don’t think we’re being unfair to the Alchemy when we say that in the company of out and out sea kayaks in this test, when it comes to paddling on the ocean, it’s punching above its weight.
But, despite coming from the more ‘touring’ end of the spectrum in terms of design, it does do a great job of holding its own amongst the salt encrusted sea dogs with its pugnacious personality.
Outfitting the Alchemy is spot on with the all the fixtures and fittings that we’ve come to expect from kayaks from Dagger Europe with a very comfortable cockpit.
Bow and stern bulkheads, with three access hatches provide storage and deck elastics are nicely positioned.
It’s surprisingly fast for a shorter boat and its fantastic initial stability means that it’s a great platform for beginners to learn skills and increase their confidence.
It’s no slouch on the secondary stability front either and it reacts well to being aggressively edged for carving turns.
On The Water
On the water the Alchemy is most at home getting amongst it close in to the coastline.
Its short length and great manoeuvrability are great for nipping in and out of rocks and we enjoyed timing it so we could surf the swell through some pretty tight gaps.
Its pronounced rocker and cockpit positioning meant that it was pretty nifty in the wave surfing variety.
It struggled a bit once we headed out of the bays and coves and steered a course in to more open waters, and it suddenly felt out of its depth amongst the rolling swell and wind.
If longer day-trips, open water and multi-day paddling is your thing then it’s not for you, but if rock-hopping and exploring estuaries is what you want to do then the Alchemy is definitely worth a test drive, as it is a really manoeuvrable kayak that’s fun to paddle.
- Spot on outfitting.
- Comfortable cockpit.
- Fast for a shorter boat.
- Amazing initial stability.
- Builds up speed quickly.
- Very manoeuvrable.
- Less reliable and stable in bigger swells.
- On the more expensive end for touring kayaks.
For those of you looking for a simple beginners touring kayak, this is a great option. If you are a more advanced paddler though, and looking for something to take out into bigger swells, this isn’t the one for you. Read our other touring kayak reviews to find a more suitable option if you love nothing more than spending your days out at the beach in the sea tackling big waves in your kayak.