Name: tcsspitts

Most Recent Reviews

This is a great beginner boat for the money and easy to toss on the roof. Stable, paddles well reasonably comfortable and sturdy rotomolded kayak. I have a Tsunami 125 and a Necky looksha which are both great boats, but for a simple lake or slow stream type craft you will enjoy using it. It was my friends boat and we were paddling around a small lake, it tracked well and did not have a problem with my 5' 10" 220 pound body. If I needed another boat I would consider this for sure.

I purchased this for my daughter (5'7" 120#) who liked the larger volume. I am 5' 10" and 210# and find the seat very comfortable and has a reasonable amount of adjustment. The boat paddles easily through the water and tracks straight. The foot braces are a little on the small side but don't create a problem even on longer paddles. Stability is excellent and it maneuvers better than my boat. My boat is a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125. She is able to keep pace with me. The Kestrel is easier to get in and out of due to the slightly larger cockpit and higher deck.

Kayak reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt and focus on you want from your boat. My cousin was shopping around and based on what he wanted I recommended this model. He purchased it and is very happy, I tried it and like it also.

He wanted on the water cheap and we got this at a local closeout outfitter for about $375. He wanted a beginner boat and easy to get in and out. This covered his basics but when I paddled it around I found it moved easily through the water, at 28.5 inches, it is narrow for a rec boat. The open cockpit is a breeze to get in & out, and as he pointed out he can put his grandson in front of him (or a small to medium dog). He placed the hatch cover on his boat which makes easy covered storage for a cooler and lunch.

The only shortcoming of this boat is the seat. It has the basic seat not the XT so it lacks padding, nothing an aftermarket cushion can't help. This is not a boat for weekend expeditions or whitewater but for his needs it is a great boat.

My cousin recently purchased this boat as her first boat. She has had 2 knee replacements and needed something she could be comfortable in. Curiosity got the better of me so I had to paddle it around. It is a nice 1st boat. Ease of entry, stability and tracking are pretty good for a short boat. The seat on this boat is very comfortable for this price range. Changing position is easy and important for those of us over 50 who are not in top physical condition. Good beginner rec boat for people with limited range of motion. Personally I would opt for a 12 foot version, but it is her boat not mine.

Our family rented 2 of these and a canoe for a Sunday outing on the Great Miami River in Ohio. It is reasonably comfortable with a supportive backrest. A little padding would help it. It is a rental unit and has been through much hard use but is fun on flat water or slow rivers on hot days. It tracks well and was popular with my wife and I and our teenage daughters. Not for serious floats or a fishing platform but great for summer family paddles.

I have been using the First Need water purifier for over 20 years with great success. It has worked for me flawlessly on my many backpacking and canoeing trips from Minnesota to Tennessee to California and New Mexico. I have never come down with a water-born illness. It has good stroke volume and ergonomics. The canister has good filter life. It is also classified as a purifier so it removes pesticides and fertilizers if you happen to be near an agricultural area. The only downside is its bulk and weight which is more of a problem with backpacking than canoe tripping.

I used my friend's Rogue on a lake paddle on a mild day. The seat is reasonably comfortable and the back band provides adequate support. With the skeg down the boat tracks fine with a small amount of concentration on flat water,but with the skeg up keeping the boat straight takes a considerable amount of work. I can tell with the large volume bow this boat is intended more for moving water which is what my friend enjoys. I'm more of a flatwater kinda guy. The maneuverability in swift water is an obvious advantage and the boat would become much more fun. I could easily see it working well in class 2 or 3 rapids. If I ever use it I will have to re-evaluate it, but for flat water it would make for a tiring day.

This is my favorite of the 3 boats I own. It tracks well and moves through the water well for a 12 foot boat. I have not done and overnight but I have tried fitting my gear in the holds and I could do a weekend trip I think. The seat is very comfortable and adjust easily and I like the thigh braces. My wife always tries to use it as well, but I have to remind her this one is mine.

I never realized how tiring it was to use my old aluminum paddle until I got this one. The lighter weight of the fiberglass shaft and flex is comfortable for longer paddles. Blade design propels the boat efficiently and with my added yak grips I have never had a blister (knock wood). This paddle was in my price range ($90) so you can get a paddle upgrade without breaking the bank.

I borrowed this from my friend for a 10 mile paddle on a class I-II river. The grip is a good size for my hands. Using it at a low angle I was not impressed but when using it at its intended high angle it seems much more efficient. Since I do more low angle paddling this is not the paddle for me.