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Name: SplashFun2017

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Manitou 130R 2014 I love it! Much improved over the older versions…

Manitou 130R 2014
I love it! Much improved over the older versions, Manitou 13R has front AND rear dry hatch plus the new ASC comfortable and ajustable seat. The "R" used to mean rudder ready. The Manitou 13R comes with a rudder already on it. BUT the one I bought at a great price, is a barely used 2 year old, and I had a rudder installed. Wonderful kayak, I recommend it. All the things mentioned in other reviews I found to be true, I am 5'1 and it's easy to handle, turns easily, and very comfortable. It has not dumped me out yet.

Emotion Guster - I was very excited to find this inexpensive kayak in orange at a clearance sale at REI. I was specifically looking for a stable boat unlikely to flip in the salt water bays and inlets where I paddle.

This is a good first kayak to get the feel of the waterways and learn the good/bad traits. This is a wide kayak- easy entry and exit. (My husband, who has a Dagger, calls it a bathtub!). I find my arms hit the sides sometimes when I paddle since it is wide.The fold- down seat is soft and comfortable; the backrest comes up high for support. A useful bungee cord arrangement clamps stuff down and I put a carabineer on the rope for extra water bottle. The paddle has its own storage slot on the side. A cup holder fit my small Nalgene, and the rear hold compartment is big enough for insulated lunch box, towels, etc. Small amount of water will eventually get into that compartment. I rely on gallon zip lock bags.

I find the Guster tracks straight, but it is slow going with no rudder. My next kayak will definitely have a rudder. Even paddling hard, the rest of my paddling friends are always leaving me behind. I am female, 5' and 115 pounds, I work out in a gym, so I am not a weak paddler. I think it is the size and bulk of the kayak that holds it back from the group of Necky Looksha kayakers speeding ahead. Alone I love to poke along the shoreline slowly and enjoy the scenery. I net shrimp, and take photographs. It doesn't bother me that it is not a fast racy, kayak.