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Name: IJShelton

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I can't say enough positive things about these PFDs - they are the most comfortable, cleverly designed and well-engineered lifejackets that I have ever paddled in. My girls (teens can be notoriously hard to please!), other friends and I all tried a number of high-end paddling jackets before we all settled on these .. we love them! I have a Kiwi which is especially designed for women, but we also bought a more basic model, and a performance paddling design as well .. they are all excellent and I would probably go right back to this company for additional jackets without bothering to waste time checking out others again. The owner / designer of Salus is a real wealth of knowledge and interesting fellow to deal with, and although the Kitchener Ontario-based company is small it seems to be receiving a fair bit of attention and awards .. well worth checking out for fine quality reasonably priced safety wear.

I bought my Hurricane Santee Sport OC at a Swift Canoe Company trial day this spring, and I absolutely LOVE this kayak!! In comparison, all of the other boats felt more cumbersome and barge-like in their handling ability. The larger, open cockpit allows me to bring along a dog or one of the kids, and even with the extra weight in front it handles beautifully, even in rougher water. Being 5'3" and needing to have something that I can lift easily myself, weight was also a major consideration, as was toughness and durability.

I have subjected this boat to a range of conditions (open water, choppy larger northern Ontario lakes, creeks, milder whitewater rivers) and have no complaints, other than that on it's first, relatively 'gentle' trip the Trylon material under the seat developed non-leaking radial cracks in the hull. This doesn't seem to be a problem (yet) and doesn't affect performance, but it is something that I will have to watch over time to see how 'durable' the Trylon really is, and how much I can expect of it (Note: a friend bought a Santee XL at the same time as me, and she has had no problem with this). Performance on all conditions was excellent - in spite of the 'recreational' tag, tracking is great, handling in current and smaller rapids fine, a joy to paddle.

The Santee rates a 10/10 for paddling performance and style, but it is the Hurricane company that brings down the rating (under a separate rating system for companies, they would get a failing grade!!!) All questions regarding the hull cracks (is this a concern over time or not, whether or not to treat them, limit of Trylon for various whitewater/rocky conditions etc) as well as attempts to replace a hatch cover that blow off and was lost, have been IGNORED...have been paddling canoes and kayaks for many years and have never run into such poor, poor service. Luckily, Swift has been a bit more helpful, although they seem to have an absence of product information from the Hurricane people, as well.

However, as for the Santee itself - I TOTALLY recommend this boat. Even my kids, who were never canoe fans, have taken to this kayak and are finally enjoying paddling - would love to get another as a second boat.