Blade 120 Elite Description
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Field & Stream
Blade 120 Elite Reviews
If you're a big and tall…
If you're a big and tall individual who's getting into kayaking for the first time or still towards the novice end of the kayaking spectrum then I would 100% recommend this kayak though you'll need to add some modifications to it.
For context I'm 6'1", 325 lbs as of writing this review.
Tested this on a local lake last weekend for about 7 hours. I was initially a bit worried that I'd end up sinking when I first pushed off from the dock but after the initial minute or so of stress, I found the kayak was supporting me firmly and it was gliding faster than any other kayak (all sit on tops) I've used in the past.
A few hours later I was comfortably riding the mini-wakes in the middle of the lake and felt 100% secure (though I still had a large sponge with me and a bilge pump just in case).
This kayak does well in moderately strong headwinds and tracks straight in the water. If you're used to sit on tops, you'll be smiling when you see how straight the Blade 120 tracks in open water. Turning on the other hand with this 12 footer does take a bit more effort and you'll not be able to turn on a dime. If you've used 10ft and under kayaks before be prepared for that.
Regarding build quality though, I was a bit disappointed. The seat is flimsy and doesn't keep you upright so you'll have to replace it with d ring kits and a new seat or add a support rest behind. The thigh pads are barely glued on and are already falling off after one weekend of use. I'm going to have to respray some adhesive and/or bolt them in.
If you look under your seat as well you'll notice the plastic screws securing the flimsy seat into the molded seat well dig into the bottom of the kayak. You're going to need to cut those off and glue some foam in if you're over 250lbs I'd say, as it will eventually cut into the kayak.
The foot pegs and tracks are also incredibly cheap feeling and every time I put even a bit of force on them I feel that it's seconds away from breaking off. I'd like to replace these as well or just do a full foam bulkhead mod so I can press against that.
Overall if you can get past the flimsy seat, and some of the cheap parts it's a good first kayak. Just expect some modifications and repair if you expect to use this for a few years or more.
If you're big and tall or just severely overweight this is one of your only options for usable sit in kayaks, so I'd say get it.