Most Recent Reviews
I have had my Santee 126 for 5 years now. The main reason I bought it is because of it's lightweight, I'm in my 60's, and I drive a lifted Grand Cherokee, so I was trying to keep stress off of my back. After doing research it was a toss-up between a Hurricane and an Eddyline. A local EMS had a sale going on and Hurricanes were on sale, so I jumped.
I've been very satisfied in pretty much every aspect of this kayak. It's not the best at anything, but it is quite acceptable at everything. It's fast enough, tracks straight, and is quite stable. I have used it very carefully in many "non-recommended" ways, and it has stood up to everything. I often paddle small rivers sometimes clogged with downed trees and strainers, and sometimes end up pushing myself over barely-submerged logs. I do NOT do rocky rivers and rivers with rapids with this kayak.
The only incident I've had with it happened on land. In taking it off of the roof one day my friend, who was on the stern end, had the handle slip out of her hand and the stern dropped onto the pavement from about 18"-24". I gave it a quick look and everything looked fine so we put in the water. This was just a 2-hour flatwater paddle. Turned not to be fine. When we got back and went to pull the boats out the entire rear compartment was full of water. It was easy to fix, and I also added a protective strip to the entire keel. That was 2 years ago and there have been no problems.
I also have a 17' Dagger, a 13' Perception, and a 10' Future Beach which I usually use for beginner paddlers. It's also what I use on rocky rivers. The Santee is always my go-to kayak when the destination is right.
This is my 4th season with the Sting Ray. It's also the 5th or 6th paddle I've owned over the past 20 or so years of paddling. I have to say it's by far the best paddle I've ever owned or used, especially considering the cost. Light weight, strong, it has taken all of the abuse I can give it, and believe me I am not gentle on my equipment. I don't intentionally abuse it, but I do use it to the max.
Three times since I've had this Sting Ray I've been in a situation with friends where we've swapped kayaks, paddles, etc. just to try them out. In all three cases the person trying my Sting Ray ended up buying one of their own. One of these people had a $300+ Werner (which I also liked very much) that had developed a small crack in one of the blades. She had been concerned about trying to get it fixed or the cost of replacing it. The Werner is now her spare.