Most Recent Reviews
This is a store brand for Academy sporting goods. Academy is a great store for providing mid-range quality at low-range prices. This paddle is a perfect example of that.
This is a $599 list price boat, that is frequently on sale for $500 or less, so it's not quite fair to compare this to kayaks more than double or triple the price.
FOR it's price, and in the sub $750 kayak world, this is a pretty good SOT.
The weight rating is 400 lbs. I weigh 290, and it floated me, although I did have to plug the scupper holes. It's a bit narrow for a big guy like me, but many of you like that.
I found it fairly stable, with decent primary stability, and I'd have to work a bit to flip it... which I never tried.
It's lightweight, no trouble carrying by the side handle.
Tracked pretty well, not super speedy, but it's a fishing kayak, not a touring model.
It sounds like it should be a 10 star for the price (again, not in the absolute world, but for the price)... But the seat is miserable. No padding. No back support. You NEED to plug the scuppers under the seat unless you like a wet butt.
There are plenty of aftermarket seats you can put on this. but the fact that you need to do this costs this kayak 2 stars.
You can do a LOT worse for the money. If you're looking for an entry level kayak for fishing or seeing if the sport is for you, this would be a good one to choose. But save some money to replace the seat quickly.
My Talon is now the property of my 14 year old son, who is able to walk it to the lake several days a week, and he enjoys the heck out of it (this is his 3rd different kayak).
While not all Frontier owners shop at a big and tall store (stability appeals even to shorter people), this kayak really has attracted more than it's share of larger owners.
It's also a particularly good kayak if you want to fit it with a motor. Built for up to a 2.5 hp gas, or can easily support the weight of a type 29 battery and trolling motor. That's not my scene, but it's a growing demographic.
Downsides? Well, the weight. About 70lbs with no seat, with my big comfy jon boat seat installed, it's close to 90. I cartop it on a Ford Escape, but others have expressed the viewpoint that it's a bit heavy for that.
The other downside is the speed. You're not any slower that the other fishing paddle kayaks out there, but you're sure not fast either. I have no problem keeping up with friends in Ride 135's, Slayers, or Predators, but something like the Ultimate or a Manta Ray will leave you behind. Tracking is very good.
In short... I still love my NuCanoe, 2 years after the original purchase, and I've done a lot of different water in it. You won't find a more stable kayak anywhere, or one that's as comfortable, or friendly to big people. If that meets your needs, and you can deal with the weight and not being the fastest thing on the water... you should consider this kayak.
The battery goes inside the unit, but you need to drill holes through the side of the cellblok to get the cables through to the transducer and the head unit of the transducer.
You need to buy or make a flexible transducer arm, and buy a Ram Mount ball to attach to the Cellblok for the transducer arm to attach to. This added $75 to the price.
I mounted my FF head unit directly to the Cellblock.
- Works as designed. Provides a portable unit that allows you to move your FF and battery from kayak to kayak
- Mounting points for multiple head units and methods of mounting transducer arms are molded into the inside lid of the cell block. Well thought out.
- All the weight of FF, Battery, transducer, goes to one side of kayak.
- Because it mounts on the side rail, having it close enough to touch the FF controls makes it too close, it interferes with my paddle stroke.... This might not affect everyone, I'm paddling a wide NuCanoe with a 275cm paddle, but it's definitely a problem for me.
All in all, it's fair.... I'm not thrilled with it, but I have it mounted in the front of my kayak, and it will do until I find a better way to mount my FF.
Because of the cost ($60 for cell block, $60 for transducer arm, $10 for ram ball) I'm not sure that $130 for an over the side transducer mount is a good investment.
It's small, sturdy, easy to use, and does it's job as a lightweight alternative to a big paddle when I'm fishing and want to stay in one spot. It's also a great back up paddle if I somehow drop my regular paddle... (I haven't done it since I bought this, but one of the reasons I bought it was because I DID drop my paddle and had to get a friend to retrieve it as it floated away).
Good mixture of performance and price.
The Frontier is rated for 650 lbs. 400lbs dry without scupper plugs, so mine are essentially permanently installed. But that's misleading... The seat bases aren't that strong. I had to buy a "rigid" seat base (list price $75 but manufacturer gave discount when I complained) to support my greater weight. Kind of upset me that they didn't mention this fact.
I have a jon boat seat mounted.
Now, obviously... The strength of this is stability. Even with my tonnage, and riding with my butt 10" over the floor, it's not tippy at all. But what is surprising is that it is NOT as slow as you would expect. Granted, it's not going to win any races, but you should be able to keep up with your companions in other fishing kayaks.
Tracking is very good. Storage is very good... It's essentially a big open deck. It has a hatch with a dry bag with a way into the hull, and a "gear track" system that accepts yakattack mounts... I see no reason to ever drill into the hull.
I have a second seat base that I can take a "normal" sized person out with me. I haven't used it yet.
The downside is the weight. That 74 lbs they talk about is with no seat bases... You put a seat base, a rod holder, and a job boat seat on this, and we're pushing 100 lbs. I am strong enough to car top this on a Ford Escape, but I don't think that's something most people would choose to do. You also need a cart to move this. It's just too heavy.
A good kayak for king sized paddlers or tandem usage. Tracks well. Very stable. Very friendly for stand up fishing. Not fast (not slow, but definitely not fast). Very heavy.