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Name: damiano

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I initially purchased an Assateague in a glass lay-up version based purely by the reviews and write ups from p.net. I know that some of you would frown upon such decision but there was no chance of testing the kayak before I could buy it.

After talking to the extremely knowledgeable sales person over the phone I was assured the kayak would fit me. I am 240lbs and 6'1". Very few performance kayaks are large enough to accommodate my legs. The Assateague fitted me perfectly!

My first paddle was a launch into large dumping surf. A bit of apprehension but the kayak performed way better then my other ones. Within weeks I advenced my skills out of sight! The kayak is an excellent surfing craft. Rough waters is where it excells. Probably the Assateague is not the best suited kayak for calm waters (lakes) since it's shape is not the fastest in the water. I have other kayaks for that. Being rudderless is ideal for dumping surf since there is nothing to be broken off by waves.

Unfortunately the particular Assateague I had was faulty. The resin when manufatcured did not cure correctly and it remained soft. Most likely the kayak would be structurally sound but the interior of the hull (inside the hatches) was sticky. The hull will also deform when car topped in the heat at 30C. The hull would have definitive dimples that would disappear later on.

I made my supplier aware of the problem and he very promptly took the kayak back and within days, yes days, shipped me a new one via Air Courier from Sydney Australia. Impex has been extremely approachable and courteous in handling the warranty issue. It my opinion this is one of the reasons that I wanted to have an Impex: you will never be left barking up the wrong tree when something happens.

My Assateague was replaced/upgraded for free with a K-lite version one. The new one is stiffer and substantially lighter. An extremely well made craft with no blemishes. Probably one of the best finished kayaks I have seen. I have installed a sail onto the kayak that helps me on long trips (if the wind is blowing in the right direction).

Some novices might be slightly intimidated by a less then solid initial stability but the kayak has a tremendous secondary stability. Excellent for skulling and lay turns. The kayak responds very well to leans and can be edged with ease. I believe the Assateague has transformed me from a paddler into a kayaker.

I have since bought a Currituck for my girlfriend. I can't fit in the Currituck but fits her great. The cockpit is exceptionally good in braces and allows for easy rolling. The Immersion Research back band is too tall and I modified it and made it slimmer.

Owning 3 other digital compact cameras and being an ex pro-photographer I would say that the 720SW is not a bad camera.
7 megapixels are a marketing catch because the small lens on the camera does not have enough sharpness to really use all those megapixels. I use the 720SW pretty much exclusively for sea kayaking. When my paddling buddy takes pictures on his Pentax Optio WP and compares them to mine (same location/condition)I have much better results then he has. The color reproduction of Olympus is a bit under saturated (dull colors) and some photo-shopping is generally needed to adjust my pictures to my standard.

Strongest points: compact, solid (it really is), decent resolution (not brilliant) simple to use, best waterproof camera offering out there. Weaknesses: colors of pix are average (Canon does a superb job but they don't have a waterproof camera!), poor sharpness of lens at maximum zoom (forget the digital one) annoying scrolling through menu when powered off/on to regain last mode used, battery life is short, movie mode average, LCD screen not really usable in bright light, set exposure to -1/3 stop or overexposing in outdoor conditions.
Sounds like I hate the camera? No, I like it, but it could be improved. For the average non professional user it is a great camera. Being able to keep it in the pocket of your PFD will allow you to take the pix that you wouldn't with other cameras.

The silnylon "dry" bags from Sea to Summit are junk! I don't know…

The silnylon "dry" bags from Sea to Summit are junk!
I don't know what "Lyngo" (the reviewer below me) does with his bags, but my seam-sealing peeled off after a few uses. My backpacking budddies bought the same product and the same thing happened: the seam-sealing tape has delaminated. The bag is also not strong enough to be used as a dry bag in a kayak/canoe - I think it is primarily designed to be inside a backpack.