I'm building my current project (Njord by Bjorn Thomassen) with strips mostly from 'boards I'll never use' and leftovers around my garage shop.
I had a piece of basswood which I added to the stock for cutting into strips.
Those basswood strips came in handy when dealing with some areas where the strips had to twist a lot - the transition from the 'flat' rear deck to the area forward of the cockpit, near the sides of the deck.
There's a definite advantage of having alternatives to the stiff red cedar strips. Basswood isn't that much heavier than the alternatives, and is lovely to work with as it doesn't have the hard grain lines of cedar or spruce. Heavy kayaks (I've built a few!) are usually the result of extra epoxy & glass, IMO.
BTW, heat-bending strips doesn't work for me. I've hand-bent quite a few guitar sides, so I'm not a complete beginner at wood bending. That said, basswood also heat bends much more easily than red cedar.