We know it can be a bit difficult to find the right kayak to fit within your budget and specifications, and that is why we decided to write up a Vibe Skipjack 90 review. Typically kayaks that are at the build quality level of the Vibe Skipjack 90 can hover around being a grand or more.
The thing is, most of those kayaks are packed with bells and whistles that aren’t necessary for the average kayaker. The people over at Vibe know how to build a solid kayak and have been building incredibly versatile kayaks for many years now that can hold up in all kinds of waters.
If you’re looking for something that is easy to get around and is high on the chart in terms of maneuverability, then we highly recommend checking out the Vibe Skipjack 90. We’ve looked into this little monster quite a bit, so follow us through our review so that you can make the most informed decision when you’re ready to make your purchase.
The Skipjack 90 Review
Features and Benefits
Let’s begin by talking about the ultra comfortable seats that Vibe decided to install on the Skipjack 90. The included deluxe seat makes this kayak very unique when compared to other kayaks in the price range, which typically have hard or uncomfortable seats. Not only is it comfortable, it is also completely adjustable. The front straps can be pulled to make the best out of the built-in lumbar support, and they are UV resistant to make sure the sun doesn’t wear them out and let them fray. Oh yea, they’re also held together by some extra strength marine grade solid brass connector straps just to give that extra security. On the back of the seat, Vibe installed a small backpack that can easily be connected and disconnected. This bag is great for things like sack lunches, tackle, or anything else that you would like to take with you on your yakking adventure. All-in-all, this seat is a very pleasant addition to keep your tush feeling good throughout your day in the water. Not only that, but you can use it on just about any other kayak, as it is built with universal components.
In terms of mounting accessories and other modifications, Vibe has left a lot of open space for you to play with. Being a kayak in this price range, we were surprised to see the amount of mounting points that it has on board. These mounting points are made to fit Scotty, Vibe, RAM, or Railblaza accessories specifically. So whether you want to add an extra rod holder, stick a GPS on to route yourself, or rig a GoPro to capture the adventure, all this room makes it possible. As with most of the Vibe kayaks, this one comes with 2 side bungee paddle parks and 4 capped flush mount fishing rod holders. The paddle parks help make your paddles easily accessible and secure when not in use, while the 4 capped flush mount fishing rod holders are cut deep into the hull to keep your rods safely onboard without the feeling of sketchiness that they will fall out when you hit a little bit of chop. Not only that, you also have the ability to keep 4 different lines in the water and one in your hand so that you can increase your chances of catching some fish.
At only 9’ long, the Skipjack 90 has a crazy amount of room onboard to store cargo. Vibe has always done an excellent job at providing sealed cargo hatches that keep your smaller items dry, and the Skipjack 90 is no different. With one on the bow of the boat and one right in front of the seat, you can easily store and access items while you’re out on the water. They’ve also crafted them so that you can snap bags to the insides. On the back of the kayak there is a tank well equipped with a bungee cord so that you can store things such as tackle boxes, bags, or whatever else you need to bring on your paddling extravaganza.
The overall construction is incredibly strong, as it is made from a single piece of high-density polyethylene, a popular high-quality material used for most kayaks. For being so small and lightweight, it’s pretty cool that it can support up to 300lbs. This means you could easily bring a little one with you if you wanted, or pack a ton of gear onboard without worrying about going down. The way it is built helps it to track really well when put side by side with other kayaks of similar designs. The reason being is it has a very prominent keel. It combos well with the width in the sides that help you stay balanced when fishing or hitting chop. If you’re someone trying to get out there and catch some tough fish, you’ll love the stability. The Vibe Skipjack 90 comes in three different pattern designs, one with an oceanic sort-of-feel, one with a tri-color light green, blue, and white, and one that is a dark camouflage, perfect for fishing if you want to be more inconspicuous.
Lastly, the transportation capabilities are great. At 46lbs, even one of the kids should be able to lift this up and bring it down to the water. You won’t have to drag it across the sand to get from your car to the river bed and finding a solid launching point will be a piece of cake. It is even equipped with a few heavy-duty, easy-grip handles on the side.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of water does the Skipjack 90 work best on?
Because of its size and design, we highly recommend using this in environments that require quick turning and maneuverability. Not many other kayaks will be able to get into spots without solid launch or with a tons of obstacles, so being able to excel in places with those qualities make it very exciting. Because of the width, it is an incredibly stable kayak. This means that if you want, you shouldn’t have an issue trying to take it out in ocean chop. That being said, most of these types of kayaks are made for milder water such as gentle rivers, lakes, creeks, etc. If you’re looking to get some good fishing in, this kayak is the perfect beast.
You can also take a look at our best kayak guide if you're looking for one that is more suitable for open waters.
What are some good accessories to purchase with the Skipjack 90?
Because Vibe has been in the kayak game for quite sometime, they have also put out a wide array of accessories to help you make the most out of your kayak in terms of modification. Not only that, but the idea of customizing any kayak is a very popular one. While it totally depends on the person who is taking it out, there are definitely some accessories that we would recommend purchasing along with your Skipjack 90.
Vibe Rudder: If you’re hoping to paddle out in open water that is exposed to waves or wind, having a rudder can be extremely helpful. It can help you stay on track much better and maneuver when you need to.
Vibe Element 20 Cooler: While Vibe makes tons of great coolers, we recommend getting your hands on the Element 20, as it is one of their smallest and perfect for a small craft like the Skipjack 90. It has heavy-duty handles, a built-in bottle opener, and a pressure release button. It’s a cooler that is perfect for outdoor excursions
Vibe Complete Anchor Trolley System: If you want to remain steady in one spot when you’re fishing, having an anchor is very helpful. It’s very easy to install on your Vibe Kayak and will allow you to anchor softly into the water without disturbing the fish or damaging the lakebeds.
How is the paddle that it comes with?
The Skipjack 90 comes with the standard Vibe Journey paddle. This paddle works well for paddlers of all skill levels and in just about any condition. The blade is made from a strong polypropylene blade and is connected to a tough aluminum shaft. Not only is the paddle very durable, it is also flexible enough to feel responsive in the waves. You’ll dig the two-piece snap button to change the ferrule angles, asymmetric blades to keep your stroked even and efficient, and the lightweight design.
Can I strap this kayak to the roof of my car?
Absolutely! While transporting a kayak isn’t very hard, you’ll want to make sure that you do it right so that it is not only on their safely and securely, but the kayak itself does not get damaged in the process. The great thing about the Skipjack 90 is it is far light enough to lift onto the top of your car by yourself. You’ll want to make sure you have crossbars nicely installed that run across the roof of your vehicle. We would not recommend using your factory rack systems. Secondly, make sure you get some padding so you can cradle the boat without damaging the rails. Lastly, you’ll want to get a pair of cam straps that are AT LEAST 10ft long so that you can tie your kayak down and secure it tightly to the top of your car.
Is the Vibe Deluxe kayak seat good for somebody with a bad back?
There are tons of reviews online from people who have bad backs saying that having the Deluxe seat makes kayaking much more enjoyable and comfortable. There is an ample amount of extra padding that runs along the back and butt to keep you nice and supported throughout the duration of your ride. If you feel you need the best seat for your kayak, we would highly recommend purchasing the Deluxe Hero seat and swapping it out. The lumbar support characteristics on that seat are of highest priority.
Final Thoughts – Should You Buy?
Overall, we were very impressed with the Skipjack 90 in pretty much all aspects. It has a professional, high-quality design that makes paddling and fishing easier than ever and also comes equipped with tons of storage and mounting capabilities that you would be hard pressed to find on other kayaks within the same price range.
It performs extremely well, is very maneuverable and stable, and can be used by the occasional weekends or veteran fisherman. You can even get out of the seat on this thing without fear of it tipping.
If you’ve been looking for a great kayak at an inexpensive price that you can grow and learn with, we’d highly recommend the Skipjack 90. Keep the Vibes good and have fun kayaking!
Vibe Skipjack 90