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Valley Gemini ST
Lightweight and compact, yet fast composite sea kayak
The Valley Gemini ST is a remarkably lightweight boat that tracks well and offers superb straight line speed despite being 2-3 feet shorter than most conventional sea kayaks.
- More info
- Customer Review
- Custom Options
Valley Gemini ST - GRP Composite
The Valley Gemini ST (Sports Tourer) was designed as a pair with the Gemini SP (Sports Play), both boats are smaller than most conventional sea kayaks but this offers huge benefits in terms of weight, playfulness and handling. The ST, as the name suggests, is more focussed on touring than ocean play and despite its reduced length, the Gemini ST offers an amazing amount of speed for a boat of this size- to the point where it is faster than boats two or three feet longer.
Whilst the ST is not an all out play boat, it is still very nimble on the water and offers superb manouverability once you get it up on edge; it would make a great kayak for those who want to tour but still be able to do some rock hopping and surfing in between. Because of its V shaped hull, initial stability isnt as good as you would find in some boats but you soon get used to this and once on edge, its secondary stability is amazing and allows you to make the most of the boats edges.
One of the main benefits of making a boat this size is the weight saving, at 17kg the Gemini ST is one of the lightest sea kayaks on the market and this really does make a difference when moving it around on land and transporting the kayak to and from the water.
The Gemini ST carries all the features you would expect; a drop down skeg to further help with straight line tracking, two storage hatch's with bulkheads, a deck mounted storage pod and deck lines and elastics. Inside the cockpit it is outfitted with a comfortable padded seat, adjustable backrest, hip pads and adjustable Yakima Footrests.
The ST is a great boat for Small - Medium size paddlers who are looking for a more lightweight and compact sea kayak but dont want to compromise on straight line speed.
- Length 452cm
- Width 54cm
- Weight 20.5kg
Manufacturers Paddler Weight Capacity: 65-100kg Optimum weight capacity may differ - please contact us if you are unsure about the suitability of the Valley Gemini ST - GRP Composite for your weight
Valley Gemini ST Review by Steve Jones - Founding Member of Jurassic Sea Kayakers, 5 Star Sea Paddler and rough water enthusiast
I was feeling a little bit sorry for myself when Josh asked me to review this kayak, simply because the Gemini comes as a pair and the SP would be more suited to my paddling style, that said I did enjoy paddling it and it performed surprisingly well given the test trip was quite a lively one.
First impressions; the finish of this boat is fantastic inside and out whilst the hatches pop on easily and are waterproof. The foot pegs are aluminium Yakima type and easily adjustable, the seat is comfortable, and there is plenty of room for my feet, although my thighs felt slightly less connected than in my plastic Etain. This boat is small and exceedingly lightweight at a mere 17kgs and 14’10” or 452cms and it feels small when you hop in. On the water it felt a little tippy to start with which is a feature of its V shaped hull but after a few minutes of acclimatizing it felt fine, the secondary stability of Valley boats is almost legendary and this is no exception- on edge it turns as quickly as a Delphin and gives a nice secure feeling to the paddler.
Before heading out in to the rough stuff I tried a few basic maneuvers, low brace turns are fast and a 90 degree turn is very easily achievable from one quick lean on the back of the paddle but its edge turns have really got me on this boat; it is so reactive and secure, it feels like a much bigger boat. With fellow paddlers in longer boats I was surprised at the speed of this tiny craft, way faster than a Delphin and in slightly rougher water it feels smooth and easy to paddle, not splashing over waves but gliding through which is another great result of the V shaped hull.
In much rougher water and close to the cliffs with a meter of swell at around 8-9 secs it handled exceptionally well, keeping a course with little encouragement from me, it turned well and handled breaking waves with ease, even some tricky rock hopping was a delight with such an agile little boat, it would have done a lot more rock hopping if I wasn't so worried about what Josh would say about the scratches and dinks when I returned it!
For the last part of the test we headed for Peveril Point, on springs and on the ebb flow this can produce some quite brilliant surfing, for today though it was disappointingly ugly, big choppy & spilling chaotic waves. Despite this the Gemini pulled a few nice runs out of the bag, but this is definitely not its strong area, the small size had me fighting to keep it straight, it edged fine in moving water but it simply refused to carve, skeg up, skeg down, in between, it was all over the place, and to make it worse straight down a wave it purls, but to simply paddle through the race, it was fine and in fairness to Valley the Gemini ST is not built as a play boat, even though for the most part it does extremely well at doing so.
This Kayak would suit a small person or lightly built tall person for expeditions of up to 4 days, it would easily manage to keep up with a club paddle- al in all the Gemini ST has a lot going for it and it surprised me with what it was capable of.
Good Points (lots to praise about this boat)
- Great speed for such a short boat.
- Quality finish and outfitting.
- Stable platform for coaching from, though the lack of a day hatch is a negative.
- Fast effortless changes of direction.
- Good rough water handling capabilities.
Bad Points (struggling to find anything much)
- Not great for playing in a race (but then that’s not what it was built for!)
- Rough surface on the inside of the rear hatch wore holes through my lunch dry bag (but in fairness it was getting rattled around a bit!)
- The deck pod is not everyone’s cup of tea and its not mine! (I would glue it in as I have with my Etain)
Words by Steve Jones
Valley Custom Options - Please call to discuss your requirements
The most popular option for custom sea kayaks, a 50mm wide length of tape is run down the centre of the hull to offer extra reinforcement. This can be colour coded to the boat or left clear.
A custom position bulkhead can be done for a number of reasons; for fitting of a foot pump, in order to maximise available hatch space or to use as a footrest.
Valley offer two types of pump, a foredeck mounted Compac 50 pump or a Henderson foot pump mounted to a custom position bulkhead.
Most valley sea kayaks can be fitted from the factory with a Silva 70p compass in the recess just in front of the front hatch.
Whilst most people will be happy with the skeg system fitted as standard to all Valley sea kayaks there is the option of having a rudder fitted to most models.
For delivery of Valley Gemini ST - GRP Composite please contact us with your delivery address and we will endeavour to provide a delivery price & service using our own fleet of vehicles where possible.
Alternatively we offer nationwide click and collect service from any of our stores as listed below.
Collection - Click & Collect
Buy a Valley Gemini ST - GRP Composite online from our website and collect from our shop in Hamworthy, Poole or you can collect from any branch within the Canoe Shops Group. There is no cost associated with instore collection.
Our other stores are:
- Southampton Canoes - Totton, Hampshire
- Cornwall Canoes - St. Columb Road, Nr Newquay
- Brighton Canoes - Newhaven, East Sussex
- Kayaks & Paddles - Plymouth, Devon
- Manchester Canoes - Warrington, Cheshire
- Norfolk Canoes - Norwich, Norfolk
We will contact you to arrange collection upon receipt of you order.