The seat is very comfortable for daylong paddles, and there is adequate storage for a dry bag in the bow. I suspect this would not be the case if I was taller with longer legs!! I do wish for amenities such as a cup holder and a sealed hatch - but this was an inexpensive yak and there are trade offs. It has held up well considering that most of our paddling is in rocky-bottomed rivers, and I have scraped and banged over ledges and rocks with little more than scratches on the hull. My Glide is light enough for me to lift into our truck on my own, although it is much easier with two of us!
Bottom line - this was a great value boat and I am still very pleased with it.
Recommended to anyone out there who needs a great all around kayak
As a Pennsylvanian, I like buying local and this is a purchase that has proven to be healthy, relaxing and solid. Plus, I have been able to take some terrific photographs out on the water. For me its become a hobby that has led to many positive life changes.:0)
I agree with the original poster that changing the process without changing the model designation is a little misleading. It also calls into question the value of the model's reputation (i.e., do the many good reviews of the old process kayaks translate to the new?). That alone almost caused me to buy the next kayak down on my shopping list.
I note that at least one foot peg appears to have broken off or disassembled on the second use. I haven't checked it out in detail, but will have to follow up on that. Others reported the same problem. Considering these products have basically one moving part, you'd think they'd get that right.
I paid $295.00 for mine on sale at REI. That's certainly a lot cheaper than the $1,000 kayaks from specialty retailers, but twice as much as the $150 kayaks on sale at Dick's. Kayaks are fundamentally all just big piece of molded plastic... so it's hard for me to understand the justification for the wide range of prices.
Maybe I'm just ignorant on that topic.
The Kayaks are very stable and I feel safe having the kids out in them. However my son and I found that we can really get the kayaks gliding as advertised. There is some getting used to the smaller yaks but they will track straight after a few initial paddles to get the speed up. The seats are padded and unlike most kayaks in this class come with knee pads and a drain plug. The other benefit is that when I go with my daughter the kayaks are light enough that I can get them on and off my SUV without the need for another adult.
I researched kayaks for months before this purchase and I am very pleased with my decision. Just added another glide to our fleet and have a lot of friends that are getting in line to try out kayaking! Would like to thank Emotion for delivering a good product at a price I can afford.
Emotion kayaks is proud of the numerous awards and achievements of both our roto-molded product and our blow-molded product. As with any material and production method, there will always be trade-offs in benefits. I think that you make a good point that a lot of the confusion resides with same model names to two processes and this has been brought into our planning for 2012. We have also had customers that prefer the blow-molded glide because of the slightly different seat. In the end, we don't want people to be confused and will make adjustments going into 2012.
We feel that we should weigh in on some of the assertions that you have picked up in your interactions with staff and with the Glides you purchased.
The advent of blow-molding in kayaks has been around for some time and some of the burliest expeditions to the arctic and tropics have been done in blow-molded touring boats from another manufacturer. Emotion has been one of the firsts to create a line of recreational kayaks using this process while we continue to roto-mold for more color options (one of the reasons why independent retailers continue to get roto-molded glides). The plastic that is used in blow-molding is called HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) and it actually carries many traits that make for very strong and long lasting boats. Roto-molded plastic uses LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) Take a peek at this chart:
Blow-molded boats are actually quite strong! The blow-mold equipment and mold is much more expensive than roto-molding but the efficiency is in the very low blemish rate, running efficiency and longevity of the mold. We feel that these manufacturing efficiencies should be passed right on to the customer. But, to say that blow-molded HDPE is of lower quality than roto-molded LDPE is not correct. They do have a different "look" and "feel" and subjectively we know everyone has their favorite but the lower priced boats from Emotion are not lower quality. In fact, our Spitfire has features like the "no hole" pad eyes that hold the bungee cords in the tank well and seat back assembly. Blow-molding makes it possible to actually cool the plastic around the screws that hold the pad eyes in place making for a stronger and more water tight fitting than conventional rivets. Innovation can come in affordable packages!
The issue with the glides warping (according to an REI staff member) might have more to do with logistics and the larger qty of Glides that go to the REI via our Factory/REI Distribution Center/Warehouse at REI DC/Shipped to Store (a lot of travel). We have been investigating this but also know that we ship a lot of Blow Molded Glides and do not have shipping warpage in every instance. Especially when qtys are smaller.
Like any issue, there are a lot of factors at play. Here is just one example:
The numbers that you see in the chart above might promote the argument that a blow-molded Glide might have more elasticity than a roto-molded glide. There are strength benefits to that but if in the heat of the summer with a lot of boats shipped in a closed container there may be a larger chance of deformation from these traits. Small boats like the glide are a bit too long to be shipped vertically but small enough that a lot of boats can fit per shipping container. There have been manufacturers in years past that ship their kayaks in air controlled containers but we have found that a little sunshine and time to "breathe" does bring any dent back to shape. Often times, independent retailers have a bit more time to let boats recover from a long trip. If you go down to the local shop and speak with the owner I think they would tell you that even "pancaked" kayaks will come back to shape after a 1/2 hour in a lot of sun. This "elasticity" is what makes Poly boats so tough when they knock into a rock. It is always a trade-off to balance a paddler's need for a light weight craft and their need for rigid stiffness in high heat. Poly is tough when bumped, bounced and impacted but the trade-off compared to composite boats is that 130 degree surface temperature can cause heat distortion. If you put pressure into that equation the forming temperature decreases dramatically (on your rack with strap pressure or bow and stern lines).
If a dent that mostly reshaped is still noticeable, a little boiling water and pressure safely applied to the remaining dent does the trick. It should also be mentioned that a dark boat is going to heat up more in the sun than a lighter colored boat so the blue Glide may be more prone to heat distortion than an orange or yellow boat. Heat distortion is a common occurrence in the lifespan of any poly boat. Even our friends at Hobie have made a video that admits that poly boats sometimes have to be "coaxed" back to shape http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpuIJzMotDg.
In 2010, the Roto-molded glides were sold out beginning in early summer. For 2011, Emotion invested heavily in a new blow-mold to greatly add to the production of the glide "model". We replicated the blow-molded glide features as close as we possibly could so that two exact same hulls did not need different names but your review brings up a valid argument that this might cause confusion in the market place. The price savings are not because it is a "cheaper product" but because it is a more efficiently manufactured product. However, both of our Glides are suggested to sell at the same price--$349. The costs of blow-mold development and the blow-molded glide was everything but "cheap"! We will continue to offer a roto-molded version so that we can make all the fun colors our customers love but we also know that a lot of folks wouldn't have Glides if we didn't also blow-mold versions in select colors. You might not feel this way but we have had a lot of customers who sought after the features in the blue glide you purchased compared to the roto-molded glide. Everyone is a little different in the features they value. That is why autos have so many versions within model. The dealer network would not let us retire all those fun other colors we make but perhaps a more clarified sub-model name is the way to go.
I'm sending you a care package for your input if you would email us with your contact information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President, Emotion Kayaks
I was leery at first about quality control... Emotion seems to have a problem with plastic in some of their molds. I say this because two of our kayaks are Emotion Advant- Edge rotomolded boats bought at the same time but one has maintained an acceptable shape over the years and the other has really never been good... seems as if the left side hull plastic is much thinner than the right and far more prone to oil canning. I need not have fretted... the Glides have none of the problems of the Advant- Edge.
A shorter hull, a better design with a bit of a keel line adds to hull rigidity and assists tracking. Seat supports and underhull strakes also provide hull integrity and straight tracking. These are great rec kayaks. At a fair price. Good for beginners,kids or light duty daytripping. Since we got these little gems....everyone wants to use them... the Glides are so handy and perform so well, there are times I wish all my boats were Glides.
My rating is based on performance for value. I would not hesitate to buy another...If you consider any inexpensive plastic kayak examine it carefully... turn it upside - down ... and push, prod, sight along the keel line for symmetry.
Anyway... a couple of months passed. I passed a local store (not REI) that sells the Emotion Glide, and their sale was $30 more than what I paid on sale at REI. Nevertheless, I brought my kayak in to them because they were offering free installation of fishing rod holders, and those were being sold at a 20% discount. The owner of the store gave me a funny look and asked me, "Where did you buy this kayak?" and I told him, "REI." He and other salesmen were whispering about my kayak and I couldn't figure it out...it all seemed somewhat mysterious. After about 15 minutes, he approached me and asked if I would be at all interested in swapping out my 2011 REI Emotion Glide for one of his 2011 Emotion Glide Kayaks, my choice of color, and fully warrantied. The reason, he told me, is that Emotion has been trying to convince his store to carry the "lesser" Emotion Glides with the cheaper plastic. Due to the lousy economy, Emotion is attempting to build all their newer kayaks this way and hope to phase out the stronger plastic ones, although currently they continue to be manufactured. His store is trying to convince Emotion not to go this route. Additionally, he wanted my REI kayak to show customers, so they could determine the difference in the quality of the plastic themselves because a lot of customers have questioned why their kayaks are more expensive than REI's for what ostensibly is the same model (I should also add that the foot pedals are a little longer and more comfortable in the "better" Emotion Glide, and the seat is also a "better" grade and much more comfortable, even though both Emotion Glides are 2011).
Anyway, I will tell you that the "better" Emotion Glide with the stronger plastic is much, much better quality than the "lesser" Emotion Glide sold at REI. It is better balanced, stronger, does not suffer from warping, the foot pedals and seat are infinitely more comfortable. I don't know why Emotion is being so cagey about this - REI insisted they had sold me the "only" Emotion Glides that are made. So, I would have to say BUYER BEWARE.
I would give my new Emotion Glide a "10" but due to what I feel is a questionable case of ethics in management and sales, I will have to relegate it to a "5". The cheaper version still a good product for the money, but for $30 - $50 more you get an upgraded version of this boat that is well worth the extra $$$. Don't be fooled!!! I hope this is helpful, and will promote discussion!
At this point I was exasperated and didn't really feel like driving yet again to REI to return it and wait for another. I contacted Emotion and they said that the kayaks warp from leaving them out in the sun and probably that had happened somewhere from the time it left the factory until it arrived at the store. They said the solution was to let it warm up and then the plastic's "memory" would return it to shape, and if the warp was bad enough I could "mold" it back into shape with my hands. This did not work. The REI manager said that for every 5 kayaks they receive from Emotion, 4 are warped. He said that the Glide's materials are of very thin density and he could not really recommend this kayak at all. That said, better made kayaks are about $100 more, and that is beyond my budget, so I stuck with the Emotion.
We took the kayaks out yesterday to (finally!) to Daniels Dam in Ellicott City in MD and the water was extremely shallow and like glass. So, I can't say I got to "test" the kayak because under those conditions paddling was effortless. That said, the kayak tracked nicely and with some speed. I'll be interested to see how it does in deep lakes with some wind, which is what we'll mostly be faced with when we bring the kayak to Maine. Interestingly, we met a lady who was trying out her Emotion Comet at the same time, and she was miserable because the Comet tracked so poorly; she said she felt she had to expend a lot of effort and was more tired than after a day of rock climbing!
I bought the Emotion Glide because of price, short size, and weight. Overall I thought it was a nice ride, but the quality control (or lack thereof) made me give it a lower rating.
It's really a fully equipped rec kayak ready to use out of the box. You blow up the float bag (wish they had included one for the bow too, but that's cheap enough from them at $25), adjust your foot pads and launch. It's a stable boat, launching and paddling, and it handles well for its size and shape. We get plenty of wind where I live (SF Bay), and the boat isn't bad in the wind at all; otherwise it tracks very well. It's fast enough and it's a tough build. The seating and footpad systems are very good for starters; there's room to customize if you want.
I do recommend this to friends, and commend Emotion Kayaks for their good design at a very attractive price.
I would recommend this Kayak to anyone who fits my size (5'11" 190 lbs). I did not give it a 10 because a 10 is perfect.
I bought the Glide specifically to use in the evenings after work and it's perfect. It's very easy to load/unload from the back of my Toyota pickup and I can have it in the water in a couple of minutes. I've already had a couple of folks ask about it at the ramp and one woman even ended up purchasing one afterwards.
If you're an average sized person looking for a great recreational kayak that's easy to load and carry and get you out on the water for an hour or two? I don't think you can go wrong with this boat.
Emotion has thought of everything to put on these boats and still keep the price down where I can afford one for me and my husband. It comes with bungees everywhere even one for your paddle, nice foot pegs, padded seat, a drain plug (the best feature), great v-shape hull for fast tracking, an air bag you can blow-up by mouth for extra volume.
We were so geeked when we took the bubble wrap off, like wow nice quality, extremely comfortable, the best seats I have sat in too and the boats just plain look cool with their logo and graphics. I like how you sit up higher than most sit-in kayaks. It will make paddling much easier by far.
Just wanted to say how happy we are with our Emotion kayaks. I will stick with Emotion kayaks in the future!!! Oh and my very graphic is MADE IN THE USA. Love that sticker. I'm a fan.
I think the Glide is now the best kayak made by Emotion! It tracks as well as the Advant-Edge, but it's much smaller and easier to load/unload from a vehicle. I also like the hull of the Glide better (it's got a faster V shape rather than the flatbottom of the other Emotion line).
Although it may seem like a minor point, I also think the adjustable seat of the Glide is far superior to that of the molded seats and I like that the Glide comes with a bungee paddle holder.