With three paddles and around 16 miles under my belt with the Aventura 125, I am liking it more and more. I am finding it to track very well, now that I understand how to use the drop down skag more than I did in my first review. Once getting this kayak up to speed it moves through the water with very little effort. I have learned that it is responsive to turning by putting it on edge. I have paddled it in white cap conditions and in fairly smooth water conditions. It is indeed a 12'-6" touring kayak that I am coming to like more and more each time I use it. I am finding the seat to be comfortable with the peddles and thigh pads being very sturdy, as well as comfortable. For reference purposes I am a man, 5'7" with a 32" inseam, weigh approximately 175 pounds and wear a size 9 shoe. This boat fits me nicely.
I only have one outing in my Aventura 125 so far and it was about an 8-10 mile paddle, starting out in calm waters and ending up paddling in a pretty high wind. First off I'll say, I paid $636.00 and this boat is equipped as well as other 12'-14' boats costing 1/2 again to twice as much. It's 12'-6" in length, has two sealed bulk heads with latching hatch covers, a comfortable seat and a drop down skeg along with plenty of deck rigging. It is finished very nicely with smooth sides, a stippled deck with smooth shiny touches and a stippled bottom. It is definitely a nice looking boat. I found it to be paddle nicely in calm water and with a little breeze the skeg offered straight tracking. In the high winds I found the skeg to be a hindrance and had a tough time maintaining the direction intended to go. It was in high wind conditions that this boat performed very well and very safely. It is stable and tracked well. We paddled 3-4 miles with 2' to 2-1/2' foot white caps, in a pretty stiff wind and I felt very safe. I am on the fence with it for tracking in calm water, at this point and need more experience in it to make any statements regarding this aspect of the boat. I would give it 5 stars if I was totally sold on it's tracking aspect.
I found that turning, on calm water, was definitely aided by putting it on edge vs trying to make a turn sitting flat. The hull has two edges that seem to be useful in this respect. I am not an advance paddler by any means. I have another kayak which is the Emotion Guster 10, it is 30" wide and 10' in length, where this boat is 26" wide and 12'6" long. I have paddled my Guster around 100 total miles and it is an awesome beginner kayak, that is fast for what it is and tracks well. I currently only have 8-10 miles on the Aventura 125. I hope to add many more miles this year, as we typically paddle 8-10 miles per day.
I am 5'7" tall and weigh around 170 pounds, I wear a size 9 shoe. The cockpit is sized nicely for me and is shallower than my other kayak. It is easier to paddle without hitting the sides of the boat. The peddles are very sturdy are comfortable and the depth of the hull, for my feet at the peddles, is just right. I am using a Werner Skagit CF, 230cm paddle.
I hope this review helps. I was not able to find any reviews on this boat prior to buying it and was on the fence for about three months, before pulling the trigger. I almost missed the killer price I found due to the lack of information about this boat. One other aspect of my purchase is I have found Feelfree's customer service to be very excellent. I have asked them, on multiple occasions, for more information on the boat than what the instructions give and found them to be extremely helpful in this aspect. Be safe and paddle often!