The Miliip EK3 “definitely looks like a kayak”. The plastic “is like no other kayak material I have seen.” At 0.9 ounces, the kayak is light, and easy to carry over head, which is a good thing since “front and rear toggles appear to be merely painted on.”
Fit and Outfitting
Relative to its size, the EK3 has a large cockpit opening. Sold with a splash deck, it is perhaps best described as an “semi-enclosed sit on top”. The cockpit is well recessed into the boat, lowering the center of balance and increasing stability. The seat is molded plastic, and the base of the cockpit features a divided compartment. TLG liked that arrangement, “my feet felt locked in place.” However, “My feet were about the maximum size which could be accommodated by the kayak.”
Storage is minimal. There are no compartments. Though there are multiple bungees, their usefulness is limited; “hey, these are just painted on too!”
Stability and Maneuverability
The EK3 has an extremely flat bottom with a small protrusion on it. This allowed for rapid rotation on a flat surface – “you could easily play ‘Spin the EK3.’” The Miliip EK3 is a Swede-form, hard chine kayak with minimal flare. Initial stability was rated as “Very high” while secondary stability was “nearly nonexistent.”
As to performance on the water, “it really wants to weathercock and turns with the slightest wave.”
Speed and Surf
Speed was “minimal at best, and could be described as “limited to current and wind motion.” As to surfing, “that was probably the best use of the boat, it made a stable landing upon the rocky shore.”
(Editors note: Minimal speed must be blamed in part due to the limitations of the paddler(TLG) and paddle. While TLG has an excellent grasp of the paddler’s box – his commitment to stiff armed paddling is commendable- unfortunately his torso rotation is minimal. In addition, his paddle is short for the boat, so he needs a sliding stroke to reach the water. And while his cheerful nature is evident, I feel it is poor form for TLG to show up to the kayak trial wearing a wind surfing shirt. Fortunately it is mostly covered by his stylish black PFD.)
Rolling and Rescue
The high back of the EK3 hits the paddler in the lower rib cage. TLG was unable to roll successfully with the EK3. The only rescue which worked consistently was the Hand of God.
The Bottom Line
At 7 ¾” length and 1 ¾” width, the EK3 is not for everyone, but the low cost (less than $7) and light weight may make it attractive for some. Available in only one color (Lilliputian Sunset) it is at least a very visible shade. Bungees and toggles are painted on, and of limited use. While the EK3 may appear to be suited for lakes and quiet bays, perhaps its best use is for trips of the imagination.
EK3 is available locally at Union River Books and Toy Company, Ellsworth, ME