Classic 12

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Classic 12 Description

The Classic 12 is a kayak brought to you by Victory Kayaks. Read Classic 12 reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other kayak recommendations below or explore all kayaks to find the perfect one for you!

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Classic 12 Reviews

Read reviews for the Classic 12 by Victory Kayaks as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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I purchased my classic 12…

Submitted by: paddler530527 on 7/19/2019

I purchased my classic 12 new from Dicks in spring 2003. While I am an avid Kayaker sense the early 1990's, and have used several different yaks in the almost 30 years I've been enjoying the rivers, lakes, and creeks of Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois. This boat is my (go to), number 1. Nothing else I've used in my region compares. I have owned it for over 16 years now and can't believe how many rocks and underwater sharp object it just slides by. Never have had to plug a hole or do any repair. 3 years ago a friend of mine swore he had it tide down well on his latter rack when I watched it go flying off at 60 miles an hour on a highway down by Crawfordsville Indiana. It death rolled down the road a hundred foot. The only damage? front grab handle gone. Probably more scratches but after 16 years of river rocks I couldn't tell the difference. Still went 15 miles that day on Sugar Creek at Turkey Run State Park. Replaced the handle later that year. I've been looking for another one. Hard to find now. If u find one, don't let it go! You will not regret getting it. It's best on lazy to moderate current rivers and streams. Brent W.


It has been 10 years since my…

Submitted by: paddler236775 on 5/19/2016
It has been 10 years since my first review of the C12 kayak so I thought I would post how mine is holding up. This kayak has taken quite a beating plus some. It is well beat up and scratched but still floating down the streams and staying dry. I like this yak so well that I purchased a second one used just to have for friends and family to use. I have since bought other kayaks to fill my specialty needs but the Wilderness Systems Victory Classic 12 is still my GO TO kayak that has held up tremendously for a sub $400 kayak. If you find one used in good condition, I would highly recommend the purchase.



My family and I own several…

Submitted by: paddler235101 on 7/17/2013
My family and I own several kayaks and canoes. We try to go out in them at least twice a month. Our twelve year old has chosen the Victory Classic 12. We call it the banana boat. He is the king of the water on this kayak. He cannot be outrun on this kayak. He is always trying to get his brothers and sisters wet. He is always bumping them with the Classic 12. He doesn't have to worry about his flipping.

The Classic 12 is the fastest and safest kayak we have on the water, so my son is the king of the water with the Classic 12.


Bought this boat via a…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/30/2011
Bought this boat via a craigslist in Christmas 2010. I would recommend it as an upper level beginner boat. If you are larger (200-300lbs) and looking for a beginner boat, this (or something similar) is the ticket. I weigh about 210, and my first boat (a Potomac 10') I bought from Dicks for $220. The Potomac gets the job done, but doesn't track well and the deck is not very high off of the water.

The Victory Classic 12' tracks incredibly well, storage space is great, large surface area on boat and higher deck allows for tremendous stability and easy portaging in and out of water. I would rate this boat as a 8.5/10 for my needs. It is incredibly stable and tracks surprisingly quickly on flat water.


i bought my classic 12 used…

Submitted by: paddler233546 on 4/17/2010
i bought my classic 12 used and love it... i have had a hard time finding a spray skirt for it because of the large cockpit but found one today at my local dicks sporting goods today.

Confluence Watersports, the…

Submitted by: davidcw73 on 10/20/2008
Confluence Watersports, the manufacturer of Mad River Canoe, Wilderness Systems & Wave Sport kayaks, WindRider, and the Voyageur brands introduced the Victory Kayak line for the 2004 model year.

All Victory Kayaks are models that had previously been manufactured for the Wilderness Systems brand. The suggested retail price of all of these models has been reduced significantly. At the time this web page was posted, there was not a company sponsored web site for Victory Kayaks

The "CLASSIC 12" by: Victory Kayaks $399.95
The "Classic 12" offers simplicity and stability, in an efficient, user-friendly design. Ideal for a wide range of conditions from calm, protected waters and mild river currents. It's perfect for the paddler looking for a versatile kayak that retains excellent performance. The Classic 12's extra large cockpit opening will easily accommodate all sizes and shapes of paddlers.

This solo recreational model kayak features include adjustable seat, rear storage hatch, shock cord deck rigging, adjustable foot braces, and Kayak Karrier handles.

Overall: Length 12'2" / 370cm, Width 25.5"/ 75cm, Depth 13.5"/34cm
Cockpit Opening size: Length 55.5"/ 141cm, Width 19"/ 48cm
Weight 49 lbs./ 22.2 kg
Maximum Capacity 325lbs./ 147kg
Colors: Red, Blue, Yellow, Green

This kayak model was previously manufactured as the Pungo and Pungo Classic by Wilderness Systems. Confluence Watersports, recently created the Victory Kayak brand in order to develop a line of kayaks that are extremely competitively priced. The differences between this and the previous model include simpler seat adjustments and better attachment of the foam flotation.


I bought this as a first boat…

Submitted by: paddler232181 on 7/11/2007
I bought this as a first boat 4 years ago, and it is the best investment I have made, dollar for dollar, as long as I have been kayaking.
I have read other reviews and agree with the other boaters who state that this boat has very spartan appointments, however the stability and reliability of this Pungo clone is legendary. Most rec boaters consider the Pungo to be the kayak equivalent of the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, and I believe this to be accurate. What you get with the C12 is not a Corolla or Civic, but a less well appointed version of a proven winner.
The footpegs are O.K., and realistically, anyone should set their feet before pushing off. The seat is bare but solid, and not easily adjusted while afloat, but again, get set before you shove off. Deck rigging is minimalistic, but really, how much is the average rec. boater going to lash onto the deck?
The bow and stern floats are pretty much ineffective except for keeping the boat from sinking when full of water (I am speaking from experience). However, there is a great deal of space available for camping gear and supplies if you think ahead and balance your load. I have gone island hopping with this and even carried several logs and a 1/2 case of beer in addition to campsite essentials.
The poly is thinner than a Pungo, but then again, you get what you pay for. This boat will distort if left on a rack , especially with straps taut and high ambient temperatures. No real need for a spray skirt with this type of boat unless you are paddling an extended trip and may encounter rain, but then again, why would you be on the water if you don't want to get wet?
I have owned numerous kayaks ans currently own Liquidlogic and Necky yaks, and while I enjoy them immensely, the C12 is an outstanding value. If you have an opportunity to snag one, do it.

This is the beginning of my…

Submitted by: paddler231547 on 5/4/2006
This is the beginning of my second season with my Classic 12 and I have been very pleased with it so far and look forward to a summer of fun on the water in it. I have paddled it in many places and on many types of water without any problems or dunkings. It handles waves quite well as experienced up on Lake Huron in 3 to 4 foot waves you just have to pay attention to where you are headed but that is no different than any other kayak. I did purchase a nice seat pad and a good paddle which has made a difference for me. The boat tracks amazingly straight and does not take a lot of effort to get it moving. I have not fished out of it yet but am planning to do so this year on a couple of my longer trips with it. I have not tried any overnights with it but think it would fill my needs. It is most definately a great first kayak and will last for years if taken care of.

I have now owned my C12 since…

Submitted by: paddler231513 on 4/10/2006
I have now owned my C12 since 2004 and must say that it holds up quite well. My main idea of buying this low priced kayak was to fish Lake Erie and Presque Isle bay. Since I have purchased it though, I now find myself going kayaking without the poles and having a blast. I added the seat cushon, extra deck rigging, paddle rigging, knee pads (Highly reccommended), and a few other small details. For the 329.00 (Dicks) I paid for this, it is money WELL spent.

I just got one of these for…

Submitted by: paddler231502 on 3/27/2006
I just got one of these for $300 here in Colorado. In this instance, it is labeled a "Victory Navigator." I've had it out once on a small lake so far, and agree with the other reviewers: it is stable, it tracks well (much better than the Old Town Loon 111 I tried out last summer), the large cockpit is easy to get in and out of, the seat is basic but comfortable, and the small hatch is very useful for keys, wallets, etc. However, it is pretty wide with a high coaming, so although at 5' 10" I can get my 220cm paddle into the water without too much of a stretch, smaller paddlers may have some issues. Overall, I highly recommend it at this price, but since it is on clearance and other reviewers (and the lack of current info on the web) indicate that Victory kayaks may no longer be around.

I just picked one up used,…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/7/2005
I just picked one up used, it's been in the water twice, and I paid $180 for it and a 4 pc paddle. The cockpit reminds me of my friend's Pungo 140, the wife loves the extra room. I haven't had it on the water, but it "looks" like it will be very stable, and should track well. Fit and finish is better than I expected, deck rigging has to go! I'll use existing holes to mount bungie guides and lash points rather than the simple factory rigging. The highback seat is much more comfortable than it looks.

I bought this one simply because it looked like a decent deal, and should make for a good base as a fishing rig. I'd think this would make a very good starter boat for the budget minded. I gave it a 7 now, but I expect that will rise after the first paddle day. In all honesty...if the seller had 2...I'd have bought both at this price each. It screams stability at first glance, and the huge cockpit would also ease the mind of a new kayaker. There's foam bow and stern, but it looks like only enough to keep the boat itself from sinking.

My other boats are...Perception Monarch 15, Necky Looksha Sport w/rudder, and an Old Town Discovery 158 canoe, I'm new to kayaking, been canoeing for 20 years.


Bought a Classic 12 last June…

Submitted by: paddler231187 on 7/6/2005
Bought a Classic 12 last June (for under $300) and has brought me many, many, many days of excellent fishing. I have used it in calm lakes, swift rivers, and even 4 foot waves in Lake Erie with no problems or complaints! Very stable and makes diving out of and climbing back in very easy out in 25 feet of water. Plenty of room for weekend float trips (remove worthless foam in front and back) or even day fishing trips out in the lake. I've been searching to buy another, but see that they have been discontinued after only 1 year of manufacturing????? If you can find one, buy it up before I do... you won't be disappointed!

Nice boat for the price. I…

Submitted by: paddler230999 on 3/27/2005
Nice boat for the price. I put angler kit on and love it very versatile for creeks & streams (class one & two is all I’ve used it on) but even @ 260lbs I’ve got plenty room for fishing gear, very happy.

At less than $300 this a…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/22/2005
At less than $300 this a great buy. Based on the proven Pungo Classic mold it track well and has lots of room.

It is slightly skimpy on the high dollar features like a good, comfortable seat and foot pegs. All of this can be fixed easily and inexpensively. My biggest complaint about this boat is that the plastic is thinner than the old Pungo Classic and the cockpit opening distorts if left upside down or strapped to the rack for too long. I have a skirt that will not pull tight to the lip because of this distortion that occurred after I bought the boat.

Even with the thinner plastic this is still a great boat.


This is a very versatile…

Submitted by: paddler230799 on 9/14/2004
This is a very versatile boat. I paddle in moderate current rivers, slow streams, still lakes, and saltwater. The 12 footer tracks well and is faster than you would think. I fish and duck hunt out of mine as well. You can put a skirt on it, and store lots of gear underneath. A good buy and a good entry level boat for sure.

I just got a c-12 and love…

Submitted by: paddler230757 on 8/25/2004
I just got a c-12 and love it.I've had it for 5 days now,and been out in the river with it every day.

I Love My Kayak. This kayak…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/2/2004
I Love My Kayak. This kayak model was previously manufactured Pungo Classic by Wilderness Systems. Confluence Watersports, recently created the Victory Kayak brand to be competitively priced. The differences between this and the previous model include simpler seat adjustments, narrower cockpit and better attachment of the foam flotation. Pretty much my husband and I have been hitting some of the smaller lakes out here and going up some rivers. The boat tracks well, the seat is very comfortable, there is a lot of room and it is very stable. It has alot of room for extras and with a weight capasity of 325lbs I can fit a lot of our camping gear. It weighs 49lbs but I have managed to put the boat on the car rack just fine by myself. The only thing that is a little uncomfortable for me is how low I sit in the boat and how high the sides are. My husband compaired it to paddling a bathtub. Although I don't think it's quite that extreme after paddling some other kayaks I definitely notice the height difference. But I am having a wonderful time with it and I am very happy with my purchase. 9 out of 10:-)

Definitely one of the best…

Submitted by: atmoltmaker on 7/12/2004
Definitely one of the best kayaks you can buy for such a cheap price. I paid $329 at Dick's Sporting Goods. Compare that with $649 for the Pungo 120. I did have an issue with the first kayak I bought but it was quickly replaced without a hassle. As previously mentioned you get the same mold as the Pungo and the great handling and tracking. Yes, you are missing some of the extras you might get with a Pungo but:

I bought a seat pad for about $40 that is close to equal to one of the Phase3 seats. I would agree that the floation leaves something to be desired but again buying a couple of floation bags is still cheaper than the Pungo. I have also added a bungie rigging kit to the front of the kayak that works just fine. Although I do wish it had a bulkhead for what I paid I am not complaining.

This is a great kayak for someone who is just beginning to learn to kayak and is a kayak that will not be quickly out grown as your skills improve.


Looking for a good…

Submitted by: paddler230626 on 6/15/2004
Looking for a good recreational kayak for a decent price? Confluence started a new company (Victory Kayaks) that has taken some of the old Wilderness System molds and made a line of budget kayaks. The Classic 12 is the old Pungo. I won't go through all of its features and instead I suggest those who want to get a sense of the Classic 12's performance to look at the Wilderness Systems' Pungo reviews.

A friend and I bought Classic 12s a couple of weeks ago and we're happy with them. Given that they are essentially re-badged Pungos, they have the same stability and superior tracking performance that people love Pungos for.

So what don't you get with a C12 that you would if you spent the extra money for a new Pungo? (1) Most noticeable is that you don't get one of those great Phase 3 seats. The C12 seat is pretty basic and could do with some cushioning. (2) There are also no bulkheads in the C12 and only a small rear hatch. The C12 flotation is a piece of pretty skimpy foam in the bow and stern, and I think at least one of these should be replaced with a flotation bag. Like the Pungo, the foot braces are also skimpy and some might want better ones. (3) The C12 has only minimal bungie cord rigging and more would be needed for anyone planning on carrying anything on deck. (4) As of 2004, I think the C12 only comes in the 4 primary colors (yellow, red, green, & blue).

Bottom line: If you want a less expensive, barebones yak that has most of the wonderful attributes of the Pungo, the Classic 12 may be what you're looking for. It's a good recreational kayak for beginners, and for those who'd like to pick up an extra one for not much $. Even though it lacks some of the nice features of the new Pungo, I give it an "8 out of 10" score because it paddles well and is lots of fun.