Name: Little_Frank

Most Recent Reviews

I plan to follow this up, but so far this paddle is outstanding. I've been out with it twice, and it makes my boat (Necky Manitou 14), which I've always loved, feel faster and more agile. I've been using a high angle style the last 2 years after buying the Brent Reitz DVD, and I've liked my Aquabound carbon StingRay, but there's no comparison.

If there is a drawback, it's that I crash -- hard -- at the end of the day when I'm home and the boats are put away. That used to happen a lot earlier in the day with other boats and other paddles. Bottom line -- this paddle is worth the price, and it looks beautiful.

I had to replace the Thule Hullaports that I had for 6 years. They worked fine, but they wouldn't clear large sections of the garage where I park at work, and they took too long to put on or take off the rack for me to go through that hassle every weekend. With hardly any reviews of the Bowdown out there, I took a chance...

Yes, they fold down, but the wind noise at highway speeds is unacceptable in that position. The Hullaports added a little noise when the moonroof was open, but nothing like the howling and whistling from the Bowdowns, even with all the windows and the moonroof closed (they don't make noise when the kayaks are loaded onto them). On the other hand, they go on and off with ease. So now I take them off when I'm not using them to transport our kayaks. Not what I expected when I bought them, but they did solve my problems -- the open moonroof is quiet and I can park anywhere in the garage at work.

I finally bought this kayak after coveting it for almost a year after having outgrown my first kayak, an Old Town Castine. This kayak is everything the Castine is not: fast, light and maneuverable -- like a racing ski compared to a good intermediate ski. I had it out on a windy day on Cedar River Flow, and the skeg definitely makes a difference, tho' I'm still getting used to it. The jury is out on the hatches so far (not as convenient on the go like the Old Town "tupperware" seals). I've tried other friends' "better" boats: Swift Caspian Sea Kevlar (fast, but TOO delicate), Current Designs Kestral TCS (not impressed), but this one has the best combination of speed, handling and poly durability. Color me very happy.

Five years ago on my wife's birthday, I bought this for her and a Castine for myself. On paper, my boat should have been faster and more seaworthy, but that has not been the case. The Sebago handles rough water every bit as good, if not better, than the Castine, and it is much faster and far more maneuverable. I don't know why Old Town discontinued this model. Even my youngest daughter and youngest nephew were able to handle this yak like a champ. The only drawback is that the single hatch leaks like a sieve, but I guess that's a recurring intermittent QC problem with Old Town kayaks. If you find a used one for cheap, jump on it.

This was my first kayak, purchased 5 years ago. What I loved…

This was my first kayak, purchased 5 years ago.
What I loved about it at first -- rock solid stability, abundant bone dry storage -- recently just didn't make up for its drawbacks -- it's heavy and slow and just doesn't edge.

It's rated at 50 lbs., it's actually 64 lbs. (I weighed it). It also leaves a wake when I'm pushing it as fast as I can (never a good sign).
Nevertheless, it's a superb boat for beginners, so I'm keeping up at my Adirondack cabin for guests.
Bottom line, this yak is like a great beginner ski, but when you're ready for a racing ski, it just doesn't cut it.