Sterling's Progression or Reflection

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by semdoug, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. semdoug

    semdoug Paddler

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    I am trying to help a kayaking relative with a new boat purchase. Does anyone here have direct experience in both the Progression and Reflection. Unfortunately, I only have about 15 minutes in each at a demo event, so not much help.

    Both boats have well publicized surfing capabilities, but for this paddler surfing is not a primary activity during outings. The main interests are maneuverability and how each handles in lumpy, at sea conditions and in winds. Besides some dimension differences, both boats seem to have similar intended purposes.
     
  2. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    Here is some info I got from Reg Lake back when they were in prototype stage:

    "This is the 15'2" Progression, a smaller version of the popular Reflection design. The thinking on this one is a "day boat, play boat" that will give the smaller paddler their independence, as in smaller and lighter to load and carry, not to mention being more responsive on the water. It will have two round hatches, 8" front and 10" rear. The simplicity of this one should equate to faster build times which would translate to a lower cost for everyone.
    The pivot point is under the paddler at the center of balance so like the Reflection this should be very easy to control in all conditions. Waterline length will be about 12'2" for a 100 lb paddler and 13'2" at 200 lbs."
     
  3. semdoug

    semdoug Paddler

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    I have seen that information before but can't remember where; maybe on Sterling's website or FB page. The Progression would appear to be the more appropriate boat and leaning that way, but it is always good to hear/read other experiences.
     
  4. AndyM

    AndyM Paddler

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    All of Sterling boats are designed for the above, the Reflection and Progression a little more so (regarding handling surf).

    I've got the 'Ice Kap', 'Illusion', and 'Progression'.
    From the brief request description, I think the 'Illusion' would be a good choice - good cruising boat and VERY sea-worthy.
    The 'Progression' is a lot of fun in surf. You can see the 'youtubes' of folks carving around in it. I like to test myself by getting in situations where I get 'beat-up' by the surf. The Progression is like a cork - you can't sink it.

    So, as a summary:
    For a long cruising trip (which may or may not involve heavy seas), I'll use the Illusion.
    For surf play the Progression.
    For other play (rolling, etc), the Ice Kap.
     
  5. semdoug

    semdoug Paddler

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    The Illusion and Ice Kap have been ruled out for the simple reason that both models are owned and available for use by/from other paddling family or friends.

    AndyM,
    Back to the main question, why did you choose the Progression over the Reflection?
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  6. AndyM

    AndyM Paddler

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    I guess I can't really comment too much on the Reflection, not having paddled one.
    I 'thought' they were primarily meant for the surf, though I know folks who paddle them for 'normal' use,
    eg, this fellow:
    [​IMG]

    a couple other 'compare' shots:
    Illusion, Reflection:
    http://www.yakabout.us/misc/DSC03321.JPG
    Reflection, Illusion:
    http://www.yakabout.us/misc/DSC03322.JPG

    My choice for the Progression was because I'm a lighter build (5'9, 140)
    btw, I do use it for more than just surf, the longest (one day trip) was around Cumberland Island (12 hours, 47miles)
    I like the 'difference'. It's very 'responsive' (feels like a whitewater boat, but paddles like a sea-kayak)
     
  7. semdoug

    semdoug Paddler

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    That helps, I'll pass it along.
    Thanks
     
  8. NWimport

    NWimport Paddler

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    The Progression is a smaller version of the Reflection. If it says Sterling it’s a great boat. Everything else is obsolete. Period.
     
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  9. Jasper

    Jasper Paddler

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    Glad you found a boat you like. I would appreciate it if you could tone down the rhetoric a notch, I love the civil and well informed discussions I normally find on this board.

    Now if you have some interesting evidence to offer that all other boats are indeed obsolete, I'd be all ears.. :)
     
  10. rider

    rider Paddler

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    I like Sterling designs, and have nothing but respect for Reg Lake, but I distinctly remember surfing a Reflection and a Delphin back to back and walking away with the impression that the two designs take very different paths but arrive at a very similar end result in overall ability. Except a composite Sterling boat sets you back about 2-2.5 times as much... Btw i loved the Reflection in surf, though despite being 6ft1 and 190, i thought it felt like a boat designed for someone about 6'3 and 220+ , where as the Delphin felt about right size.
     
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  11. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    nothing but respect for Reg Lake. . .
    Reg Lake back in the day completing a 'little' portage over Whitney at 13000' to do a little river kayaking:
    ComingoffthewestsideofWhitney13000ft-resize.jpg
     
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  12. NWimport

    NWimport Paddler

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    I agree with you. I’m 6’1” 235 and love the Delphin 155 but just a bit snug. On the other hand it’s 1/3rd the cost of the Sterling but I’m beginning to value light weight more and more and am willing to pay for it. Truth is I just love kayaks so if it’s even remotely viable I like it. I have an 18’ WS Tempest, an NDK Romany Excel and a Dagger Stratos 14.5 L along with the Sterling and I love em all.
     
  13. NWimport

    NWimport Paddler

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    8EDD89EB-4B59-4351-BE55-5DBCBCA82D62.jpeg
    No worries. I guess I’m a bit of a Sterling fanboy. So my reasoning for the obsolete comment.
    I have the Grand Illusion as well as the following boats so my observations. Tracks like the Tempest but plays like the Romany. It’s 3 feet longer than the Stratos but just as easy to handle off the water and as an added bonus it’s only 47 pounds and that’s the standard layup not the Carbon which shaves off another. 5-7 pounds.

    The glass weave is Boeing airplane grade so much stronger than anything else available. As an added bonus you can just call Sterling the owner and arrange a time to tour the shop, discuss your build options, get a full explanation as to building methods and features plus a world class artist that can finish your boat any way you an imagine.

    The only downside is coin. You could buy 2-3 good used boats for the same money. That being said, there’s the old adage that says just buy your last boat first and be done with it.
     
  14. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I didn't know that Boeing was using any non-prepeg fabrics in aircraft these days. Is Sterling using an autoclave to cure his boat layups? Some guys built a sailboat for the R2AK a couple of years ago using 'out-of-date' carbon prepeg from Boeing, IIRC.
    I've 'heard stories' that some repair guys are keeping busy working on Sterling boats, but that may be because the owners are more 'gung-ho' than average.
    Anyhow, I'd like to go on the record with a recommendation that people who might be paddling with me should use Reflection kayaks. My experience is that I can easily keep up with Reflection paddlers, no matter how fit they are!
    :)
    There's no one 'ultimate kayak' IMHO. Not even the Mariner Coaster or Express!
     
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  15. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    That's a good start!
    :)
     
  16. Jasper

    Jasper Paddler

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    Not me, tired of towing them when they get blown sideways when the wind pipes up with those silly traffic cones stuck on the ends of their white water boats. unless it's a paying gig of course..
    Go wash your keyboard with soap, young man! We will have no such disrespect!
     
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  17. Jasper

    Jasper Paddler

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    Just poking friendly fun. The Reflection is a great boat, If I could only have one boat, and it could not be my Express, I'd probably get a Sterling..
     
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  18. NWimport

    NWimport Paddler

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    I think THR paddlers got Sterling to build them the perfect boat for Skook because Youtube is full of them on the wave.
     
  19. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    The story I heard was that the predecessor of the Reflection surfed better backwards than forwards, so Sterling molded two stern sections and stuck them together - thus the 'Reflection' name. That may all be a legend, though....
     
  20. NWimport

    NWimport Paddler

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    I never heard where the idea came from but yes- the front and rear are identical. You can find Rowan Gloag on YouTube backsurfing the Sterling but not sure which one. I think it’s the Reflection. I heard him say before he got the Sterling he had 5 boats. Now he has one. But I can’t imagine very many kayakers with only one boat. Even if they are obsolete. . Too much emotional attachments I’m guessing.