Kids Sit-on-Top: Fantastic…
Kids Sit-on-Top: Fantastic boat, When you little one is ready to move up this is a great transitional boat from something like the Lifetime wave. Even though it's a sit-on-top it's hull design is more like a sit in, with it's molded in seat you actually sit in the kayak giving it a lower center of gravity like a sit in with the ease of getting in and out that a SOT provides. With it's sit in hull design it moves faster than traditional SOT's more like the Sit in's and allows your younger paddlers to develop their skills. Being that it is a SOT, it's unsinkable, so even if they get dumped they can easily get back in. And when they get tired, the Tag-Along system easily allows you to tow them so no more listening to: Dad I'm tired on longer trips. It's molded in seat is, very comfortable, and allows good control of the boat something a lot of the SOT's do not do. Overall the 'V' hull design allows for it to track very straight and it's quite fast so parents watch out as you little ones hit the tween years they'll be running away from you and you may be hard pressed to keep up in some of the rec-boats out there. (Perceptions I'm talking to you.) Its weight carrying capacity is nothing to sneeze at either, with a listed capacity of 230 lbs, it still held and stayed afloat with my 6'4" 250lb frame on it, though at this point I was close to swamping it. But still this will easily take a child from anywhere around 6 to 18 (for an average kid that is.) and possibly into their 20's and beyond. The boat has a replaceable skid plate so the hull does not take damage if your child has to drag it on a portage as they may not be quite up to carrying it yet. the roto molding on the boat is also pretty thick so it can handle the bumps along the way too. The molded in handles are at the balance point of the boat so older kids and adults can pick the boat up and at 36 lbs you can easily hoist it over your head, and rest you head in the seat area for carrying. The boat also comes with handles front and rear so if you are with someone you can do front-rear carry and these make for outstanding tie down points too. Now it's not all sunshine and roses, there are some areas that could be improved on. There is no rear bungee on the cargo area. You can easily put in the eye pads for this, or have your outfitter do this, but it would be nice if it came from the factory this way. It also does not have a place to put a paddle leash, but again this is something you can easily do yourself with a drill and a pad-eye kit. And there is no Dry storage, however if you bungee the back deck you can easily put on a Dry-box, or a Dry-bag. Finally there is no paddle holder, when catering to kids, this is a handy feature especially when they get tired and you need to tow them with the tow system. Again something you could add easily but should come this way for a kids boat. But don't think for a moment that this is only a kids boat, it will also work well for adults, on the smaller side. They also market the Venus, for women, which is basically this boat with included dry storage and no tag-along system, but for $200 less than the Venus, you can have this boat and outfit it and still have money left over for a good paddle. All in all the Ocean Kayak Banzai is a great boat for beginning and intermediate children, moving out of the normal kids boat especially if they like the openness of a SOT, and not a bad choice for the money for smaller adults.
Works great for a 9 year old.…
Works great for a 9 year old. Not great for a full size man though