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I got this kayak in sale at REI for 1200. I have to…
I have to agree with the other reviewers about the build quality. It is outstanding.
I also disagree with the reviewer complaining about how awkward it is to carry the package. It is no bigger or heavier, than a SOF kayak. Plus it can be set up in 20 minutes (I am LAZY) and took apart in 15, including wiping it with scott-towels.
The kayak feels bug one on water. It is not affected much by the wind, and tracking is nice with the included rudder down. Load capacity is HUGE.
Speed - this is the problem I find that it is essential to inflate the floor first. Inflate it to the maximum allowed pressure (IE until the release valve lets the air out). This way, you will get rid of the wrinkles in the bow. Loading the front also helps a great deal, otherwise you will "cut" the water with the flat bottom.
If I move 4 inches forward, and paddle constantly and determined, I can get 5 mph out of this kayak. That's decent in the world of recreational kayaks, but pretty slow for a sea kayak. It is a bit faster than a Dimension River Runner R5 I also have.
I give it a 9 because I got is so cheap.
I have owned this boat since…
The boat tracks straight when used with the rudder without the rudder it is very difficult to keep it straight. Foot room is limited because of the side tubes, Storage space is good although I have not done any touring. I have mounted a Pacific Action sail which works very well since the boat is stable. The hands sometimes rub against the side tubes and previously against the grab line but I use a bungee cord to keep them away from the sidetube in the cockpit area.
I bought this boat because I have limited storage space and like the idea of having the boat in the trunk when traveling. The setup time is 10 to 15 Minutes but carrying the un-inflated boat is very awkward since it is heavy (60#). Packing up takes about the same time but at home it has to be unpacked again to dry out the interior.
The bottom line is if you paddle in a group with other hardshells or want to go somewhere fast this boat is not for you. If you don't mind that you travel slowly and you are able to lug a 60 # ungainly object around and you want a boat that is very unlikely to capsize and you don't mind to pay more for that privilege then you would for a decent hardshell this boat is for you.
I have a hard time giving a…
For someone who doesn't plan on traveling great distances this is an awesome boat to get you out on the water. If you plan on paddling with friends who have hardshell kayaks and are going from point A-->B, you'll find yourself getting frustrated. Unfortunately this boat didn't work out for me and back to REI it went. I don't want to be too negative on it though, I do think it's a great boat for the right activity.