Name: YakinHick

Most Recent Reviews

I love the Werner Tybee paddles! My paddling style varies by kayak and conditions, but the Tybee seems versatile enough to handle everything. The Tybee does not sacrifice quality, but is inexpensive. The carbon shaft connects securely, has plenty of adjustment, and is light-weight. The blade size and shape seems efficient. I am very happy with my Werner Tybees!

My wife and I got a pair of Whisper Dream paddles with a used kayak that we purchased. I gave them a try on a recent outing. The curve of the paddle blades seemed to give me extra power on open water. The shaft was comfortable and the snap connection was solid. I gave them an "8" because I did not like the curved blade design as well when we slowed down and weaved through the swampy areas.

For many years, my wife and I paddled rental Discovery 169s on a river in Arkansas. The hull was made of layers of plastic and foam that I believe they called Royalex. That stuff was tough and was supposed to add flotation. The canoes I paddled had the molded plastic seat which was plenty comfortable on the backside. They paddled easily and hauled a lot of payload. My wife, two kids, me, a big cooler, and a dog made the trip many times. The Discovery 169 was pretty stable, too. After years of river trips, we only rolled a Discovery one time while trying to "rescue" the dog! The Discovery 169 was a good canoe for family river trips.

I received an Extrasport Eagle PFD for Christmas several years ago. I do a lot of kayaking on slow rivers and lakes, and after many, many trips, the Extrasport still looks new. The fabric covering has proven quite durable. The straps and buckles are of good quality and allow for easy adjustment. The mesh at the top allows both ventilation and mobility. Plenty of pockets with quality zippers, and closures add to the appeal of this vest. Also, numerous lash rings allow me to attach leashes for my knife, camera, waterproof cell phone, and GPS. Extrasport did well on the Eagle PFD!

If you want a fast, straight-tracking, easy to paddle kayak; the Pungo 140 is perfect. The cockpit is large which translates into comfort, easy entry, and easy exit. The latching hatches are convenient. The kayak has lots of storage room and plenty of leg room. Also, the seats are comfortable and easily adjusted. The Pungo is also a decent fishing yak. The footrests are easily adjustable without having to strain something trying to lean forward!

We have two Pungo 140s. My wife would probably give hers a "10", because she loves everything about it. I gave mine an "8" because the slanted bottom of the kayak under the footpegs gets really uncomfortable on the heels of my big feet after a while on the water. Outfitting foam might solve that.

The Bending Branches Whisper paddles are great entry-level, recreational paddles. You can't go wrong for the price. I bought a pair of these with my first kayak. Later, I "up-graded" to a pair of slightly lighter paddles that cost twice as much. I soon found myself going back to the Whispers.

I just like the way they paddle so much that I got a second pair. These are very durable. I don't have to worry about stabbing them into the sand or rocks to push off. The have three adjustment holes for feathering. The shaft is strong and forms a firm connection when snapped together.

They are not the lightest of paddles, but you'd have to pay several times the cost of the Whispers to get high-end paddles that make a significant weight reduction. I believe that the Bending Branches Whispers are an exception to the "you get what you pay for" rule. They are well worth what they cost. I gave them a "9", because I had to file the snap-hole on the second pair to get the snap to set correctly.

The Dirigo 120 is a great kayak. (I owned the older model with the silver-looking foam seat and often kick myself for selling it.) The rigidity of the three-layer plastic was unmatched by anything I have paddled other than a royalex canoe. Even the cockpit rim was firm enough to use as a handle when loading and to brace against when exiting the kayak.

The kayak was very stable, handled well, and gave me peace of mind when I found myself in nasty, churning, wind and boat-wake conditions. At 12 feet, the kayak made navigating stumps and swampy areas easy. The seat was comfortable for hours of fishing or paddling and my model had knobs on the side for easy seat adjustment. The cockpit was bigger than some sit-inside kayaks, so I had some wiggle room! A small waterproof hatch with a screw-on lid was a really nice feature. The rear latching hatch provided a nice dry seal for storage.

My only complaint with the Dirigo 120 was that my "wingspread" forced me to make shorter paddling strokes due to the short length of the kayak. A Dirigo 140 might have fixed that for me...

The Tarpon 140 is a great kayak! I mainly paddle and fish on lakes and slow rivers. I believe that the 14 foot boat does just fine on big lakes, rivers, and even in tight quarters weaving between Cypress trees. I wanted a kayak that offered good speed to zip back to the landing after a long day of fishing.

This kayak is fast, easy to paddle, and tracks well due to its length. The Tarpon has good stability. The seat is comfortable and has plenty of adjustment. The plastic feels more rigid than that of cheaper boats. The boat is not light, but I am able to lift the boat onto the rack of an F150 fairly easily. The track system allows for limitless outfitting. There is a nice size hatch for storing things in the front and a very convenient center hatch just in front of the seat. Both hatches have loops inside to attach gear and keep things in place.

The only negative on the kayak is that the cup holder extends so far down into the inside cavity that I am prevented from storing paddles inside the kayak.
This is a great kayak!

After weeks of research and reading every review that I could find,I went ahead and bought a new Tarpon 140. I am 225 lbs. and 6'1" tall and paddle mostly flat water and slow rivers. On the first outing the Tarpon met all of my expectations and eased all of my worries. The Tarpon was fast and easy to paddle, tracked straight without a rudder, and was way more stable than I had come to believe after reading a lot of reviews. I am used to a Pungo 140 and could see very little difference in performance. Yes, the T140 weighs more and one can feel it in the first stroke of the paddle. After that, it was an easy glide. I also had no trouble weaving through the Cypress knees and shallows. I was looking for a SOT with good mix of stability, speed, and handling and one that I could still store, move, and load fairly easily. The Tarpon 140 fit the bill. A bonus will be the Slide Trax rails that will be fun to rig for fishing.