This is my go-to kayak. I started in a Frenzy and really enjoyed kayaking. Then I tried a Tetra and was amazed at how agile they were and how nice the seats were. For the price, I feel like they are great deal. It's an affordable kayak that is sturdy, still pretty stable, but with more agility and comfortable seats that provide great back and leg support. I work in a marina that rents kayaks and I feel like the better seats make a difference esp. for our larger and older customers.
As usual, I've got to preface this with my caveat: my experience with this product is limited to flat water, as part of our rental fleet.
After years of using Ocean Kayak products as the bulk of our rental fleet (Frenzy's, Malibu's, etc) and relying on them to be stable, easy to use and (from my own perspective, since I have to maintain them) virtually indestructible, we added 5 Tetras last season. These were purchased with the intention that they would be mostly for staff/lifeguards/instructors, and not rented to the general public. We fell in love with them almost immediately. For most of us, our kayak experience had been limited to the comparatively clunky Frenzy (which I have given its own review and mean it no disrespect here), so those of us with experience on the water discovered that this critter will fly with very little effort.
Considerably lighter, less rocker and a lot less boat beneath you -combined with a much smoother finish and this thing will move through calm water almost by mere telepathy. Using our 'any excuse to get on the water' mantra, we put these through informal head to heads with our other boats and discovered -no joke- that stroke for stroke, the Tetra moved with about 50% less effort. (One full paddle stroke would move it as far as 2 complete strokes of the other yaks.)
Even though they're lighter, with an experienced paddler, wind doesn't seem to be a problem. We attribute this to the fact that there's not a lot of boat out of the water to catch it.
The new seat, although it takes awhile to get it adjusted perfectly, is remarkably comfortable once you do. The adjustable foot rests are also a big hit among us, since they seem to give you about twice as many increments as the ones molded into the deck of the other OK models. We also love the paddle retainer on the side, since we often need to get it out of our hands to help someone (or in my case, perform maintenance on something in the water). We havnt done anything to really need the forward deck hatch, but post season we hope to take them on an over nighter.
(And if you have more than one of these -and this is true with the Frenzy's as well- if you relaxe the seat fittings, they will 'nest' very nicely for storage.)
Now, I said our experienced staff loved them immediately. Anyone new getting into one -as a first timer- has about a 50/50 chance of going into the water. These are much less forgiving than their ancestors, but that's what also makes them more agile. I don't think any of us ever unintentional ditched a Frenzy or Malibu; most of us have with the Tetra. But, oh are they fun.
I will also ramble on to say, that the smaller and bolder the paddler, the better they do. Since these do weigh less than our other boats, we've put kids on them so they don't have to move as much weight around. (Always with supervision, and starting with our own children as test dummies.). You know the fearless kids who jump in feet first, ready to go? Yeah, they tend to do really well with these.