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Name: paddlingnettjb

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I have been paddling a Kodiak in the Great Lakes for the past several years. This has included extended day trips and hundred mile plus "expeditions" where I have camped out of the boat for days.

The Kodiak is a sturdy, trusty and seaworthy kayak. It is reasonably fast and rollable. It handles well in surf and chop. Storage space is voluminous (I'm getting spoiled). The kayak holds up well to the inevitable knocks against rocks and sand abrasion. The fittings hold up well. The hatches keep the storage areas dry even after extensive rolling and surf work/play.

Some day I may trade up to a glass or kevlar boat for day trips, but I will continue to use the Kodiak for multi-day trips.

I'm very tall, and it is so refreshing to have a kayak in which I can fit comfortably. The Kodiak is a great choice for tall/big people. I wouldn't recommend it to smaller folks, who would rattle around in the cockpit.

The downside to the Kodiak is the flip-side of its many virtues. This is not a kayak that you wear like you wear a low volume, narrow beam kayak. Nevertheless, for its size the Kodiak is surprisingly agile.

In sum, this is a great kayak for people ranging from beginners to those planning extended trips in rough conditions. The Kodiak may be the best combination of speed, durability and versatility that you will find in a plastic kayak.

I had some paddling experiences with the Q700X this summer and wasn't blown away. These experiences ranged from calm water paddles of about 10 miles each to a 25 mile open water crossing in Lake Michigan in more challenging wind/waves. Some observations: (1) The boat (without a rudder or skeg) behaved somewhat oddly in the wind, weather- cocking to an angle about 20 degree from the direction of the wind; (2) there is a lot of wasted space between the end of the footpegs and the front bulkhead; and (3) it didn't seem that much faster than my humble Prijon Kodiak. A major concern was the velcro strapping over the hatches. I had tucked a spare paddle under these straps and pushed off into 2-4 foot surf. When a wave washed over the front it caught the paddle, the velcro straps gave way and my front hatch popped off. There I was in the surf zone with an open front hatch. Not a good situation.

In sum, I'm puzzled why this kayak gets such adulation. It seems like it is structurally sound and it certainly has the dimensions of a fast boat. But it is not a perfect "10" by any means.