Most Recent Reviews
This is a light weight, two piece, paddle that is extremely precision made. Once together there is zero play at the ferrule joint and it feels like a one piece paddle. It can be feathered left or right in increments of 15 degrees up to 45 degrees as well as having it straight. It enters and exits the water smoothly and efficiently. Also, the drip stops work like a dream on this paddle. If I could I would give it 4-1/2 stars. The only negative I have found is that when paddling hard, in rough water, the blade feels like it has a flutter toward the end of my stroke. That said I have only felt it do this about three times and in pretty windy conditions with white caps on the lakes. Considering the fact that my paddle cadence is about one stroke per second (that's 3600 strokes per hour) and I have used the Skagit to paddle approximately 10 -12 miles, to date, the occurrence of this flutter is very limited.
With three paddles and around 16 miles under my belt with the Aventura 125, I am liking it more and more. I am finding it to track very well, now that I understand how to use the drop down skag more than I did in my first review. Once getting this kayak up to speed it moves through the water with very little effort. I have learned that it is responsive to turning by putting it on edge. I have paddled it in white cap conditions and in fairly smooth water conditions. It is indeed a 12'-6" touring kayak that I am coming to like more and more each time I use it. I am finding the seat to be comfortable with the peddles and thigh pads being very sturdy, as well as comfortable. For reference purposes I am a man, 5'7" with a 32" inseam, weigh approximately 175 pounds and wear a size 9 shoe. This boat fits me nicely.
I have used the Men's Onyx MoveVent Dynamic vest for three seasons and have found it to be very comfortable. After the initial shock of having it on and the robust chestyiness one feels, I am very impressed with it's comfort. It easily adjusts to wear over a light shirt or heavier clothing and rain gear. It has never restricted my movements for kayaking, even when using my DSL camera or when fishing. After getting used to it I hardly know it's there, just as it should be.
I have not had the opportunity to test it's effectiveness when in the water.
I only have one outing in my Aventura 125 so far and it was about an 8-10 mile paddle, starting out in calm waters and ending up paddling in a pretty high wind. First off I'll say, I paid $636.00 and this boat is equipped as well as other 12'-14' boats costing 1/2 again to twice as much. It's 12'-6" in length, has two sealed bulk heads with latching hatch covers, a comfortable seat and a drop down skeg along with plenty of deck rigging. It is finished very nicely with smooth sides, a stippled deck with smooth shiny touches and a stippled bottom. It is definitely a nice looking boat. I found it to be paddle nicely in calm water and with a little breeze the skeg offered straight tracking. In the high winds I found the skeg to be a hindrance and had a tough time maintaining the direction intended to go. It was in high wind conditions that this boat performed very well and very safely. It is stable and tracked well. We paddled 3-4 miles with 2' to 2-1/2' foot white caps, in a pretty stiff wind and I felt very safe. I am on the fence with it for tracking in calm water, at this point and need more experience in it to make any statements regarding this aspect of the boat. I would give it 5 stars if I was totally sold on it's tracking aspect.
I found that turning, on calm water, was definitely aided by putting it on edge vs trying to make a turn sitting flat. The hull has two edges that seem to be useful in this respect. I am not an advance paddler by any means. I have another kayak which is the Emotion Guster 10, it is 30" wide and 10' in length, where this boat is 26" wide and 12'6" long. I have paddled my Guster around 100 total miles and it is an awesome beginner kayak, that is fast for what it is and tracks well. I currently only have 8-10 miles on the Aventura 125. I hope to add many more miles this year, as we typically paddle 8-10 miles per day.
I am 5'7" tall and weigh around 170 pounds, I wear a size 9 shoe. The cockpit is sized nicely for me and is shallower than my other kayak. It is easier to paddle without hitting the sides of the boat. The peddles are very sturdy are comfortable and the depth of the hull, for my feet at the peddles, is just right. I am using a Werner Skagit CF, 230cm paddle.
I hope this review helps. I was not able to find any reviews on this boat prior to buying it and was on the fence for about three months, before pulling the trigger. I almost missed the killer price I found due to the lack of information about this boat. One other aspect of my purchase is I have found Feelfree's customer service to be very excellent. I have asked them, on multiple occasions, for more information on the boat than what the instructions give and found them to be extremely helpful in this aspect. Be safe and paddle often!
I was originally looking to buy a kayak for fishing, but have found touring to be a lot more enjoyable. Typically we paddle 8-10 miles a day on the numerous lakes we have been to. My Lime Green, Guster 10 is a very stable boat and it is surprisingly fast, for a 30" wide boat. My paddling buddy has a 12' kayak that is narrower and I have no problem keeping up with him...until the wind comes up, at that point I have to paddle a lot harder to keep up. This boat tracks well, has a large cockpit and a very comfortable seat. The rear hatch is not water proof, but it is large enough to fit a lot of gear into; I pack a Nikon DSLR with extra lenses, water shoes, a stadium seat, raincoat and a small soft side cooler in the back of this little boat! There is also plenty of room under the front deck of this boat. I added two rod holders for fishing rods and GoPro holders. Ialso purchased a half skirt for it. This is where the Guster 10 falls down and looses one star in my rating. The combing on the cockpit is not made to retain a spray skirt, I have tried numerous things and it is very difficult to keep the spray skirt on, but where there's a will there's a way and I have been able to make it work when needed. All in all this is a great beginning kayak that I would not be afraid to recommend to anyone wanting a good beginner boat or a good sit in fishing boat.
This boat is loaded with great features for the money. The seat is comfortable, did I say we paddled nearly 8 miles? The adjustable peddles are easy to adjust, which is a good thing because I have foot problems and had to adjust them three times to keep my feet from going numb. I had room under the bow to put a towel in a dry bag, and a small cooler. In the rear hatch I had rain gear, a change of clothes and some other misc. emergency items. I had very little water that got in my boat, other than a few drips form my paddle; I stayed dry and so did the boat.
I am impressed with the fact that my first time out was a paddle of 7-8 miles! I was comfortable, warm and dry even though the weather at times was cool and windy...we even got rained on a little. All in all an awesome Kayak!
The only negative I can find to date is trying to find a skirt for it was a real chore. The Emotion company was no help either, which is kinda sad, but I measured and searched. Finally I got a hold of Harmony products to find out their Recreational mini skirt might work, they pulled one from stock and gave me the measurements. It fits nicely but the cockpit combing is pretty shallow and I couldn't get the skirt to stay on, to use it. I am going to modify the mini skirt to make it work, by using a smaller diameter bungee cord, which I'm thinking just might be the ticket.
Other than this issue I'm diggin' this kayak! It looks great and performs nicely for a low budget boat."