Shoe Size: 13
Now that you know my specs, on to the review. Read to the end though as I reveal something shocking. The riot Edge 14.5 rotomolded Kayak is a solidly built boat with high end features for a bargain price. The fit and finish is great and you would not know it was a rotomold Kayak unless you looked very very closely...or tried to pick it up, as it is Heavy! 61 lbs according to Riot's website but, that was likely a figure given for the empty hull without the seat, hatch covers etc. I would say, the actual weight is over 70lbs with all the essentials actually on the boat. What makes the boat feel high end also weighs it down. The hatch covers are solid rubber and heavy but, they fit tightly and don't leak at all. The seat is well padded and adjusts via a mechanical ratchet assembly, again nicely made but, probably heavier than a strap based system. So, I gave this Kayak a 9 because I can't excuse the weight, otherwise this Boat is amazing. It is fast, has great secondary stability, the rudder keeps the boat on track and, it has ample, watertight storage space.
Shocking fact- I wound up giving this Kayak to my wife and I never actually took it out on the water. This was because, there was no way in Hades my feet were going to fit in it. I should have researched the specs a little closer before I ordered on-line. Although, it would not have done much good because Riot does not have the depth of the boat up on their website. But, you can consider my review valid because I inspected this boat ery closely for quality issues and, my wife told me what to write as far as the handling of the boat was concerned.
As a plus size paddler, I have difficulty getting my big feet into and out of my kayak. As such, using bulky water shoes is a no go for me. So, my only options are, go barefoot, or wear my dive boots. However, walking around barefoot in the D.C. area water shed is a non-starter(eww!) so, dive boots were really all I had.
Using my regular dive boots revealed that the soles were too flimsy and as such did not perform well on shore or in the boat. On shore, the deficiency was obvious as I could feel the pebbles in the parking lot digging into my heels. In the boat, the thin soles reared their ugly head after just a few hours working the rudder, as the pressure on my foot through the thin sole actually began to make my toes fall asleep.
Enter the NRS Paddle boot. These boots have a sole somewhere between a dive boot and a hard rubber soled wet shoe. Which proved to be the perfect balance. They allowed good feel on the rudder pedals while not being too thin.
Also, I could walk around the parking lot at Occoquan Regional park without exclaiming ouch from the gravel digging into my heels. The padding from the thick neoprene on the bottom proved extremely comfortable and, so far, my toes have remained awake.
A true judge of a product though, is in the companies attention to detail. NRS did not disappoint with these boots though. From the velcro tab that keeps the zipper up, and the very soft, almost fabric like liner, to the rubberized material at the top that keeps water from dripping into the boot. NRS has made a very good product, and I will likely buy more from them in the near future.
These gloves are good, not great. The terry cloth backing on the thumb is nice for the occasional nose wiping, the padding keeps your hands from getting sore and they offer a great grip on the paddle whether they are wet or dry...which is good because they are ALWAYS WET!
These gloves never seem to dry out even on the hottest days. By the end of each kayak trip, I find myself being able to wring out about a 1/2 cup of water from each one of these gloves. This water retention, besides leading to a wicked hand puckering, actually makes these gloves start to feel heavy after a while. This phenomenon is likely caused by the padding in the palm sucking up water. You would think Warmer would have used a non- absorbent material for the padding instead of a sponge, as these are gloves that are supposed to be used in/around water but they didn't.
Another negative aspect is, that when wet, (which these gloves should be able to be) the velcro closure on the wrist no longer holds well. This isn't that bad though, as the gloves stay on your hand well without it do to a good fit around the fingers. But, it is annoying to have the little tab flapping around while you are paddling.
Besides the absorbency issues and the velcro, over all these are decent gloves. However, I will not be buying them again as I will be on the lookout for a pair of gloves that don't act like a sponge.
5'11", 280lbs, size 13 shoe. Kayak is a bit difficult to get into initially but, once in, it is plenty roomy for my copious frame. Kayak is very responsive which is good for maneuvering but, bad in that even a light wind causes sever Weather cocking. However, drop the rudder and all your weather cocking problems disappear. Primary stability is...meh but, secondary is GREAT! The seat is well made but, lacking in holding strength for someone of my...stature. I just can't get the seat to keep me completely upright. But, this is likely due to me exceeding the weight limit and not due to any fault with the equipment. I appreciate the water bottle holder, with hold down bungee in the middle of the seat fits, which fits a standard Nalgene bottle well and tightly. The Water proof compartments are, likely, not water proof but, they seem to stay dry during average use. Weight wise, this boat is light. Compared to my wife's Riot 14.5, which is a rotomolded boat, this boat is significantly lighter... not to mention very stiff. Loving the thermoform. I will update y'all with anything that may or may not change in the future.