As a primarily summer sport retail store, Daniel and I decided to carry Crescent Kayaks when we opened the brick and mortar store back in April 2022 to carry us through the fall and winter seasons. Crescent was our first choice because of their reputation of being a top tier kayak manufacturer. Being that we only carry brands we believe in, this was a very important detail when choosing a kayak brand. It’s not hard to get passionate about a product you believe in 100%. On the other hand, being a small shop that has never sold kayaks makes it hard to convince companies we are a good bet. If any of you know Daniel, nothing much can stop him when he has his mind set on something he believes is a good idea. After a few weeks of not hearing back from Crescent, Daniel did what Daniel does best. He showed up to the Carrollton factory with our 24ft trailer and sold our brand to them. It did not take long for them to see how passionate he was about watersports in general and they agreed to allow us become a dealer. Daniel came home with 16 boats and a plan to make the best fishing kayak on the market available to the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area). When he brought them home, I marveled to see that indeed these were some great boats. A full length keel, meticulously designed with a slight rocker (much like a wakeboard) to ease through the water, maneuverable, fast, lightweight, stable, and made in the USA. We could not be happier with this brand.
Recently, I had a customer drive from Charleston, S.C. to “test drive” the Litetackle model and met him one morning at the Keg Creek boat ramp. He was a tall, fit, and spry older gentleman that was all business. He spoke very little as we unloaded the boat down the ramp, only with a few comments about how he’s a rope guy, not a ratchet guy when it comes to tying down a boat. I knew he was the real McCoy when he pulled out his own lifejacket, pulled on his watershoes, and donned his hat to keep the sun off. He wasted no time. In seconds, he was paddling around the cove, testing out the speed, turning radius, and stability. I’d never seen such a tenacious customer determined to fully evaluate the capabilities of a product before purchasing. Gone for only about five minutes, he returned with a concerned look on his face. He reported that he liked the boat very much but was concerned at his age (68) he would not be able to car top it without assistance. While it is a lightweight boat at 75lbs, it is still a bit to manage lifting on top of a car. He asked, “Do you have something smaller?” “Sure do.” I replied. “At the house, it’s about 2 miles down the road.” For those of you reading that do not know our backstory, Daniel and I started selling wakesurf boards and wakeboards from our basement and then from the 24ft enclosed trailer mentioned earlier. As a way to try and prove ourselves as a more professional outfit, we have tried (very unsuccessfully) to pull away from “come on up to the house” but it seems to come back to that frequently. I suppose it’s not a bad thing. It shows our customers we’re a regular family that really enjoys watersports and sharing it with others… or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. HA. Back to the story at hand, he agreed to follow me back to the house, helped me load the Litetackle into the back of the Maverick and away we went… very slowly… with a 4.5 foot bed and an 12 foot boat, it was a sight to see. It takes on a whole new meaning of “size matters.” I introduced him to the Ultralite, the little sister of the Litetackle. At 49lbs and 10 feet long, his eyes began to sparkle. We walked it down to the water and away he went. He spent a bit more time this go round, testing responsiveness, standing up, sitting down, casting a net; I swear he must have been in quality control before retiring. When he returned, his demeanor had completely changed. He was grinning ear to ear and talking a mile a minute. I then learned he had been testing fishing kayaks for TWO years. He had tried every brand there was and left Crescent for last because the nearest and newest dealer, Keg Creek Board Shop was so far away. By far, the Ultralite was the fastest and most responsive kayak he had tried. Best of all, he could car top it and go fishing by himself. Many years ago, he built a 15 foot wooden canoe which he was currently fishing out of. As you can imagine, while fast, it was heavy and unstable. But that was that, he paid me and loaded the Ultralite on top of his car and rode away. A few weeks later, I received an email from him with a very detailed review of the boat. I hope you are as delighted and entertained to read it as I was. If you would like to test drive a Crescent Kayak, “come on up to the house.” I’m sure I have something that fits the bill. – Sarah
Crescent Ultra Lite – My choice for a Fishing Kayak
I normally paddle a 15 foot long, 30 year old wooden canoe that I built. It holds alot and is fast, also I can stand up in it. BUT, when there is wind the boat is just unmanageable. Also, it can get swamped by passing boats even on the creeks here in Charleston, SC.
So, my criteria for a fishing kayak,
1. Fast and tracks well
3. Light enough to Car top
4. Stable enough to stand and throw cast net
I have tried multiple kayaks, “Native”, “Bonafide” and most disappointed on one criteria or another. Most were too heavy and couldn’t be car topped. Many didn’t track well and were sluggish at best.
Now to the Crescent Ultra Lite.
The stability is amazing, I hooked into a 30 Inch red yesterday and was dragged all over the place and the kayak never felt unstable. A boat went by and threw up a wake and it was no issue ( I would have been holding on for dear life in my canoe.) Standing is fine when you are up, getting up is a little difficult since the seat is very low. But, hook up a line to the front and it can assist in getting up. ( I’m 68 so it shouldn’t be an issue for younger people.)
The room in front of you is perfect for a cast net (sits in front of the foot pegs) and the bait bucket sits between your legs. Moving the bait bucket from the kayak to the water is easy and any water that comes out goes right down the drain hole.
Speed and tracking – this is amazing for a small kayak. When I stopped paddling the kayak, just keeps going, turning is easy, one or two strokes and you do a 180. I was moving very quickly and as fast as my 15 foot canoe, and faster than any other kayak I tested, most were much longer. The tracking is perfect. Keep a line without even trying.
Car topping — Very easy at only 49 pounds, I leaned it against the car upside down and lifted the back end and walked it around to the back, no issue.
Summary — so if you are looking for a car top capable, fast, stable, light, tracks like a dream, and extremely fun kayak to paddle, this is the one for you. Couldn’t be happier with it. Just a final note I have been reviewing and testing out fishing kayaks for over two years and couldn’t find one that met my needs. The Crescent Ultra Lite fits the bill.
-George N., Charleston, SC