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Diablo Paddlesports "Chupacabra"

Diablo Paddlesports "Chupacabra" Hot

 
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Diablo Paddlesports Chupacabra

Kayak Make & Model

Brand:
Diablo
Model:
Chupacabra
MSRP ($):
1,249.00
Length (ft):
10.5

Sometimes a kayak fisherman needs to sit to maneuver a tricky cut in a river, other times kayak anglers need to stand while stalking redfish on the flats. The Diablo Paddlesports “Chupacabra” accomplishes both tasks with ease. This extremely light stand up paddle board / kayak hybrid will handle anything you throw at it and is easy to handle at only 56 lbs.

Features:
  • Front Dry storage
  • Over size cockpit
  • Adjustable foot pegs
  • Pull-up strap
  • 2 drink holders

Specs:

  • Width: 37"
  • Weight: 56 lbs
  • Capacity: 350 lbs

Photos

Baby small mouth Diablo
side saddle chupacabra
diablo paddlesports chupacabra

Editor review

(Updated: June 18, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Speed 
 
2.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
2.0
Features 
 
3.0
Value 
 
3.0

Nice niche boat

Owning a kayak fishing website has its perks, one of them is being the multitude of different styles of kayaks we get to fish from. Our most recent addition, a Diablo Paddlesports Chupacabra standup kayak or Sup Yak. Find out why the Chupacabra has quickly become my go to fishing kayak when hitting may of the creeks and rivers of Kentucky.

Looking at a fully rigged Chupacabra you can see on if the great things about this kayak, room! The cockpit has 9 square feet of floor space. This large open deck allows me to stand up and turn around to get rods or gear out of my crate. It also performed extremely well while fly fishing. I didn’t have issues with my fly line fouling on the kayak; now in the trees, that’s another story.

The 37” beam of this kayak makes it extremely stable; I only fell off the Chupacabra once after 6 months of use, and the fall was because I tried to go through some whitewater on the Elkhorn while standing. The Diablo Paddlesports Chupacabra is light; at only 56lbs I’m easily to carry it over my head and walk it down to the water. This lightness hasn’t affected the boats ruggedness. It’s survived a few drops including one off the roof of my explorer.

Just like any kayak there were some issues. But it’s not every day you can address your issues of a product directly to one of the owners of the company. That’s what I did; I email Thomas Flemons prior to this review to give him a chance to respond to some of my issues with the Chupacabra.

Issue: SUP paddling isn't the best, while really digging in with the paddle you find yourself zig zagging along. I'm not sure what the technique is called but I've noticed that when standing and paddling I can keep my paddle on the right side and after each stroke drag it a little like a rudder. This allows me to only have to paddle on one site. This does not work if I have to paddle hard or up current.

Thomas Response: I agree with you on the tracking issue while SUP paddling in the Chupacabra. It is very hard to maintain your course without switching sides after each stroke. The new skeg helps this greatly and makes it track much more like a traditional SUP. The added length on the Adios helps this greatly, but there will be a skeg available for both very soon.

Issue: Hull slapping, I've noticed when using the yak in choppy conditions the hull really slaps... I'm sure this is just a characteristic of the SUP style kayak.

Thomas Response: I have noticed some hull slap in choppy or rough conditions, but it is usually when I am paddling hard into it, not while fishing. When I turn to fish, I am usually going with the wind or current and I don’t tend to get much slap when you are going the same direction, which is how I prefer to fish. We’ll still be looking into a way to muffle the slap for the future.

Issue: The Larry Chair confusion, I found it very hard to figure out how to install it correctly on the kayak.

Thomas Response: The installation of Larry chairs has been giving a lot of people troubles. I am going to make a YouTube video that will show installation of our chairs and be available on our website. We’ll also start including and instruction pamphlet with the chair reminding users that it should be used with a regular kayak seat, not as a replacement for one. If the wind gets, rough rapids, or overhanging trees, you’ll want the option to take it off, fold it up and throw it in the front dry storage and go back lower with a regular kayak seat.

Issue: I haven't had any issue with the supper holes not draining well, my only issue is their diameter. If I have kayaks on my trailer, all my other SOT's accommodate cable to lock them up... The Chupacabra's is too small.

Thomas Response: Our scuppers are a little smaller than the average kayaks, they are only 1”. We only cut them at 1” so there is more structure to the scupper. I started using the Master lock Pythons, they are cables without loops on the end that can be threaded through small holes and then locked back into a housing on the other end.

To sum it all up, I’ve fished in the Diablo Paddlesports Chupacabra for over 6 months now. I’ve fished the rivers and lakes of Kentucky to the saltwater bays and creeks of Jacksonville FL. This kayak wasn’t meant to be fished in heavy chop or off shore but if used like it was intended, it’s a winner.

Update: 03/15/2012

I've been using the Chupacabra for over 2 years now and my only new complaint is the over all durability of the hull. The Thermoformed ABS hull although light is starting to show a significant amount of wear and tear. Some of the screws holding the side and bow handles are coming loose and water has started to seep into the seem between the top and bottom halves of the hull segments. Nothing that can't be fixed with a little DIY ingenuity but never the less they are still issues I've noticed over the years.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Light, Stable, Clean Open Deck
Cons:
Bad tracking, hull durability, Wet butt/Uncomfortable seat (Non Larry Chair)
Baby small mouth Diablo
side saddle chupacabra
diablo paddlesports chupacabra
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User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
2.6
Speed 
 
1.0  (1)
Stability 
 
5.0  (1)
Durability 
 
2.0  (1)
Features 
 
3.0  (1)
Value 
 
2.0  (1)
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Comments
Overall rating 
 
2.6
Speed 
 
1.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
2.0
Features 
 
3.0
Value 
 
2.0

I'll save my money

I demoed this boat last year thinking it would make a great river fishing kayak. The ones in the shop looked very sharp, they looked beautiful and shiny.

The one that I was actually able to demo was not shiny at all. The hull was badly scratched which happens to kayaks but because this kayak is not roto molded I was worried about how long the hull would last.

It is very light and easy to manage, they had the standard seat installed do I didn't get to try it with the Larry Chair so I can't say how well it would paddle from a raised position.

I did notice that the handles were starting to come off from the bow and stern. It looks like the screw the handles in and the screws were starting to back out.

The Chup is very stable I was able to stand and paddle it without issue, I did have issues paddling straight the kayak wanted to constantly zig zag. But it should like a skeg might help that.

All together the kayak was ok I just think it is overpriced, especially because it feels like it might not last as long as a traditional roto-molded kayak. I don't think this would survive a fall off my roof like some of my other kayaks have in the past.

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