It was too tippy for me. Sun Dolphin products are good overall. I prefer the 10 footer.
Very light weight, only 27lbs. It's a perfect beginner kayak, very maneuverable, easy to control and transport. Excellent kayak for the price
I am writing this because I read all the reviews I could find before buying the Sun Dolphin Aruba 8 SS and none of the following issues were ever mentioned. My primary goal was to find the lightest weight kayak that would hold my weight. I am a 64 year old woman weighing almost 200 lbs, The Aruba 8 is advertised to weigh 27 lbs and hold 260 lbs. The kayak was very lightweight indeed, but I was surprised at the construction since no one had mentioned anything unusual in the reviews. It is not rotomolded - it has a horizontal seam. The plastic is so thin is is translucent and the cockpit lip dented in while I was carrying the kayak to the cash register. I wonder of what and how it is constructed. I was worried about its durability but nevertheless I took it out on the Occoquan River on a very still day. I immediately noticed that it had a rather short cockpit compared to its competitors. The cockpit length is only 36" compared to 44.5 inches for the Pelican Argo 80. I had some trouble folding myself into it but once inside the kayak felt way too big! The deck is 16" high, which made the cockpit lip come almost up to my armpits. It was difficult to paddle that way. And although I knew from the other reviews that it had no foot-pegs I thought I would be able to wedge my feet down into the bow of the kayak since it is so short. That was not possible because the deck was so high that my toes didn't reach the top of the kayak and my feet just flopped around in the bow. The seat is not well molded. The front of the seat is flat instead of rising up in front to keep you from slipping forward. I couldn't brace my feet and I couldn't stay upright in the seat so I kept slipping into an almost reclining position. I know I could buy foot braces and install them myself and/or add some molded padding to the seat but that would just add more weight to the kayak which is not my desire. It was also very tippy. I was so disappointed that I decided to try out the Pelican Argo 80 even though it is only rated for 200 lbs and I thought that was cutting it too close. I like it much better. So in conclusion I would have to say that the one thing the Aruba has going for it is that it's volume is immense for an 8' kayak. It is both very tall and wide. I am giving it 3 stars because I believe it would well handle a 260 lb person. But it was too "loose" for a 5'4" size 16 woman. I don't know how a child or a smaller person could possibly enjoy it.
This is a relatively small kayak I purchased and set up for fishing in narrow rivers and streams we have in Ohio . I take it to ponds , lakes and other bodies of water as it is light weight and very easy to get around . I have noticed that several people have thought that this kayak is "unstable in the water " , not sure what they mean by that maybe their balance or lack of experience should be taken into consideration , as I have not had problems with that fishing many lakes in some very adverse conditions . I have a spray skirt , splash jacket and neoprene pants go down parts of the New River in W.V. and not had any problems with instability . I am quite fit for 64 and it is possible people mentioning instability should be in a canoe and not a yak ? I don't know . I have had a blast in this Sundolphin and would just like to see more people go out and enjoy themselves . Have fun see you on the water . It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt , then it's hilarious !!
The Sun Dolphin Aruba 8 is great for me as a beginner, 5'6 120lb woman. I can manage loading and unloading it easily because it's so light and there are strategic gripping points. There is plenty of leg room up front for me. I'm having a little trouble finding a spray skirt to fit. The cockpit opening is a little larger than most kayaks I guess. I've had fun with it on calm waters and ventured into some class II rapids. I'd like to get something better suited for whitewater next time. My favorite thing about it is that I can slide it right into my Elantra hatchback if I don't feel like strapping it on top. It actually fits in the car!
Bought this boat for the kids, they used it twice and totally lost interest. Didn't want it to go to waste, so on a day on the Chesapeake Bay windy and wavy enough that I surfed two hours I got stoked and took this thing out. Fought the waves and made it out to about 15-foot deep water and the 3 foot chop on the sandbar immediately sunk me, luckily the extra foam floatation blocks were enough assistance to get me back in but it was no fun fighting my way back to shore. LESSON LEARNED - an 8 foot kayak is no boat to take out on a choppy day in deep water, by a 225lb 6'1" man no less. So now I paddle it almost daily in the mornings closer to shore when the water is still relatively calm in lighter winds, and I do not believe you could have more fun for $150. I will never start referring to my kayak as a "yak," which I believe most people giving this boat bad reviews have a high enough opinion of themselves probably do. It's great for a boat so inexpensive, but has the drawbacks you would expect from the value-pricing.
Pros: It is light and easy to get around, just keep it in shallow water on calm days or stick to shallow lakes and small rivers.
Cons: if you're larger it can be a little unstable even on calm water but you should be in a longer boat anyway.
New to kayaking but didn't know where to start. I found this Aruba kayak, loved the price, the weight and the length. I'm a 50ish yr old woman, so the weight and ability to load and unload from car top solo is important. I use it on a very calm lake so I don't know how this would do on a river or a lake with high boat traffic. Love it, just wish seat was more comfortable and it had foot rests.
I bought two Aruba 8 footers. I can fit both of them inside my van and I can take them on the freeway without worry. The Aruba sit on is a great barefoot kayak on super hot days. It splashes well and surfs like crazy. My 8 foot Aruba sit in was also very good choice. It is more of a creek boat than a lake boat. It is very stable and quite comfortable. Three years ago I was new to kayaking and did not want to spend a fortune on something I might only use once or twice. As it turns out, I love kayaking and get out often. It took some getting used to but now I have all my techniques down to second nature and I have a great time running two small local rivers, and surfing at the dam.
I got this for less than $150 from a big box store. I wanted a short kayak that wouldn't take up too much room on deck of my 35' sailboat. I use it to paddle around the marina and for short distance out on the mile wide Columbia River. I weight 180 lbs and the Aruba 8 has plenty of buoyancy in a small package. It tracks OK with constant paddling, but it doesn't glide very well which is only an issue when I want to take a drink from my water bottle. The fore and aft deck-top drain plugs are a little tough to get out and in. I keep a chopstick in the kayak to push the plugs back in after draining. I couldn't drain the kayak without removing the plugs. It is compact, durable, easy to get in and out, and lightweight. Overall I'm very happy with the Aruba 8.
First of all, this kayak is a good value for entry level. Dunham's regularly has coupons for big discounts. My kids are loving this kayak.
* It's light to carry.
* It's fast.
* No access hatch for rear storage.
* Drain holes in front and back are too far away from the ends to drain completely.
* Drain plugs are un-tethered rubber stoppers that can get lost. Takes effort to reinsert them.
* Not extremely stable, but it's manageable if careful. Hey, it's not a pontoon boat!
* No pad for your butt - get one.
I took it out this morning to the bay area and while paddling, I realized that it tip very easily. It is not about getting use to this kayak but how it is made. I had to concentrate to ensure that I don't make a sudden movement either to the right or the left as I know for sure that it will tip. I do like the kayak as it not too heavy to carry and it fits in my van nicely. I will keep it as it is inexpensive at Walmart and would invest in a stabilizer as this will prevent it from tipping. I bought this spare kayak for my crabbing and is concerned about hauling in my trap as I have to ensure that my balancing is correct. Remember it tips easily. I believed the stabilizer will help me relax and enjoy the paddling.
I own 6 kayaks and have been paddling sporadically for about 20 years. Mostly on a small lake but a few calm ocean trips and river runs in class 1 and some 2 rapids. I like inexpensive boats that are easy to load in a minivan and I don't have to worry about banging up. I have 3 Daggers and and 3 Old Towns. I bought this kayak for my grand kids and for the size and weight. At 73 years old weight is becoming an issue and 27 lbs. is very attractive. I do find this one less stable than my normal lake kayaks, but it's OK for me and really easy to carry. I do find the sides higher than normal and I have to hold the paddle higher. I probably won't buy another one but I do use this one more than the others for it's ease of handling on dry land. My grand kids say it's tippy.
We have two of these kayaks, blue and red. My 8 year old (75 lbs) and 11 year old (85 lbs) sons love them and can paddle around for hours. My 16 year old (150 lbs) and I took them out one day and I felt comfortable and stable in it, as did he. The storage is small, but if you are short you can store some things in front by your legs. Seat is hard plastic, but padding could be added and I felt comfortable. Very lightweight and easy for my boys to carry down to the lakes. Great for day trips on calm lakes.
To who said that its unstable I disagree very much. I myself am 220lbs and I have no problems with this kayak I'm guessing that you have never used a kayak before. Yes, it was unstable the very first 10 mins of being on it before I got use to it. You just have to get use to the feel of the kayak
Extremely unstable. I took this kayak out on the bay on a light wind day yet it was very difficult to keep upright. I was doing fine going with the wind but as soon as I turned into the wind it quickly filled with water and sank leaving me stranded for 8 hours thankfully game wardens came and picked me up. It should be pulled from market very dangerous if I was not a strong swimmer I would be dead! 😈😬😣
My son at 200lbs tried it, his friend at 170 lbs tried it, and I at 220 lbs tried it. All three of us found it to be very unstable. Maybe OK for a child or a small woman but I would not recommend it for anyone over 150 lbs.
Overall a great, stable kayaks. Lightweight easy to transport handle good on the water. The seat is a bit uncomfortable nothing a pad won't cure highly recommend to the fiscally impaired.
Also a good foundation to build upon make it a cheep and great fishing kayak.
I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a cheep kayak to use every so often for fun. It would be nice if there were foot pegs. I might put another review up later if i find problem after further use.
It tracks well for its length and can get up decent speed. I'm going to install some flush mount rod holders on either side behind the seat but it doesn't have a lot of extra space there. I'm also going to cut out the inside of the little rear storage compartment to allow me to access the entire compartment to fit in more gear.
I would absolutely recommend this for anyone 250 pounds or less. For you larger folks you could try the 10 footer.
I'm 5'10" and 200 pounds. this kayak was able to hold not only just me but also all of my equipment... a tent and a sleeping bag clothes and food and other necessary equipment. it was cramped a bit but still comfortable. I paddled 508 miles in 17 days in this 8-foot kayak. next year I intend to continue the journey starting exactly where I stopped this summer. and although I know that this particular kayak would be successful I'm considering using a longer kayak for the next segment of my journey.
Overall I highly recommend this small portable kayak for both at home recreation use as well as longer journeys.
Our river is the San Joaquin, south of the California delta. We are in a drought & the water gets low very fast at certain times of day. So far, I've only gone about a mile against the current to make sure I have enough time to get back before the water gets too low.
When our skill level improves, we plan to go to deeper water.
I can only recommend this for a young child playing around in calm waters or maybe for messing around at a summer cottage. If you are looking to spend an entire day on the water, especially in strong current, spring for the extra hundred bucks or so for a real kayak. The only reason I am not even more disappointed is that I paid 99.00 for it. I'll be upgrading next month.
I rated this an 8 out of 10 because I did have to put in foot pegs (very easy) and I will get a padded seat eventually. It would have been nice to have both of these already installed.