Now that I'm middle aged, lazy, and have a new wooden kayak, I decided it was time to get a good cart!
Searched the reviews across the 'net and found this product by The Richards Group. Price seemed most reasonable but I couldn't find anyone who had actually used one. During a conversation with Mark Richards, I was informed the cart had only been available for a short time.
The cart looked good and appeared to fit my needs so I went ahead and ordered one sight and unseen. Mark offers an unconditional guarantee so I felt rather safe.
The PaddleCart arrived timely and assembly was a painless chore that lasted but a few seconds. Construction is very impressive. Real wheels/tires/bearings and a solid axle that's fully gusseted. All metal edges had been cleaned up so storage in a kayak won't scratch or otherwise damage the boat.
This cart uses no kickstand which is a feature that originally attracted me to it. Less parts, easier to stow, and it simply doesn't need a stand. Loading the boat is straight forward and simple.
Overall weight is just shy of the 7 lb mark and the disassembled cart easily stows in my boats.
I first tested the PaddleCart in the Tetons for the portage between String & Leigh lakes. An easy off road portage of about 150 yards and the PaddleCart made the task a breeze. All the other paddlers were very impressed with it.
Since the portage was an easy one, I decided to try the cart in a more aggressive manner. I strapped my lightly loaded plastic T-165 on and took off through the forest along some hiking trails. Double timed for a while, uphill, downhill, twisties, etc. No worries with this cart. The 12.5" x 2.25" pneumatic tires cushioned the ride and the overall design lent excellent tracking and maneuvering. I did manage to upset it once while jogging with the rig when I hit some big rocks and snagged a stubborn bush. The straps stayed tight so I just righted the rig and took off again. (The straps on this cart are a big improvement over its competition.) I've never used a cart before that I could have subjected to this kind of obstacle course.
To summarize, I highly recommend the PaddleCart. I've two friends who have subsequently purchased their own PaddleCarts and they are as happy as I am. Not many better ways to spend $79!
You'll find the product excellent and the company delivers great service and shipping.
The Mohawk went picture perfect. Fifteen minute installation and the TUGEYES were nice and snug. Appearance was a definite improvement as compared to my homemade units.
The Sandpiper gave me a surprise. I could not get the TUGEYES to snug up to the hull. After measuring the thickness of the two boats it was immediately apparent the Wenonah layup is much lighter than the Mohawk hence the hull is thinner. An email to Dan Kidd resulted in a confirmation of this and he quickly sent me an adaptor that allows the TUGEYES to be tightened further than the normal kit.
When the adaptor arrived, I was able to complete the Sandpiper installation perfectly. So.... let's see now....Excellent product, economical, great service and support.... yup, a perfect 10!
All in all, my favourite paddle, having aced out my Kauai. A great blade for the energetic paddler or a larger paddler who likes a relaxed cadence with dramatic forward propulsion. Caution: The Molokai is aggressive enough in the water that one's forward stroke needs to be in tune in terms of torso rotation. Don't try to 'arm power' this paddle. Pleasant waters to ya.
Joint is tight with very little play. I'm not easy on paddles and this one is certainly holding it's own. This is my third Werner and I remain impressed with regard to quality vs. investment. I've noticed no change in muscle fatigue or joint discomfort even though this paddle is rather aggressive. I'd like to try a Molokai sometime and see if I'm tough enough!
The Kauai is a paddle that anyone who prefers a higher active stroke will enjoy. It really performs in rough water and I use it when river running the Crossover in Class III conditions. In my experience, the Kauai is the best all around paddle. I'd definitely buy one again.