Paddled this kayak again but this time in open water in a bit of chop and it excelled in the rough stuff. It paddled very fast, super stable and tracked much better in the open vs a twisty river. Fantastic fishing kayak!!!
I did a demo day at my local outfitters paddling spot on a calm lake. I tried several brands sit inside and sit on top kayaks of varied designs. I liked most of them but I fell in love with this kayak! It is very responsive- super fast up to hull speed which is pretty fast and efficient , so much I was pleasantly surprised, the cockpit is very roomy, very comfy seat, it tracks well, it's very stable ( initial and secondary stability are both excellent), it just felt right immediately- I have a fickle lower back ( chronic moderate to severe lower back pain) and the cloud 10 lawn chair style seat in a good performing kayak is a home run Eddyline! I immediately went to my local shop and bought myself a blue over silver Eddyline Sandpiper 130.
I test paddled this kayak recently and now know why it was quickly discontinued. I only paddled it about two minutes and realized I hated it immediately. I like all kinds of kayaks and canoes but not this one. The seat was comfortable but so fiddly of a retention system on slide tracks that makes it very hard to correctly line up and tighten down with two screw knobs and two cam locks like a bicycle quick release seat post clamp. You might as well just keep the seat on and never adjust it because you will cuss out loud trying to adjust it or get it back on after removing it. The boat paddles well since most of the hull shape is like the other tarpons but 2" wider. It is stable and has a lot of fishing features most anglers want. There is two giant holes in the middle front of the kayak. One has a plate covering it and one has a hollow small box covering it. These are for transducers and other various electronics mounting. ect. When paddling these giant holes in the hull slap and churn water at a ridiculous noise level equal to an old clothing washing machine. I'm not exaggerating, this boat is the loudest most annoying kayak I've ever paddled. It's downright terrible! How could this design make it through testing/development into production? How is this a fishing kayak? You will certainly scare away all fish within a half mile of your paddling area.
I test paddled the Old Town Topwater 106 today on a calm lake. It feels very heavy in hand for such a small kayak, much heavier than it's claimed 74 lb weight. The seat is comfortable but of much lesser quality than the older style seats by Old Town/Ocean Kayak . The seat was very hard to adjust from high/low while on the water. The high seat position was also disappointingly not very high. It paddled just OK, not bad, not good. It tracked ok and was a bit slow as expected for a short wider kayak but it spins when you stop paddling. I didn't notice any flexing of the hull when standing. It had excellent initial primary/secondary stability. The new style of foot rests are great. I like the front hatch style- t's about as watertight a design as you can make. My biggest complaint about this kayak is the front scupper design. When you paddle even slow and gently the front 4 scuppers very loudly burp up like mini geysers- this reminds me of some Wilderness and Native designs that have noisy scuppers that shoot water when paddling. Yes, you could put in scupper plugs but that defeats the purpose of a sit on top self bailing kayak in my opinion and just a poorly executed design. There are If you are paddling a fishing kayak you want it to be quiet. If you are just sitting and fishing nd not paddling far this kayak is OK but I think there are a lot of better designs and options out there.
I did a nice long paddle trip on a smooth winding river with a slight current. The Trident 13 was a little disappointing. I found the seat to be a little wet- you cannot access the scupper holes to plug them without unbolting the seat. The seat seemed comfortable at first but I found myself getting squirmy after only a few minutes wanting the backrest to adjust lower ( it was in the lowest position) and the seat a bit higher ( I ordered a stadium seat pad to hopefully help both) I found the speed to be just average. The kayak wanted to wander and spin frequently requiring constant course correction much more than the average kayak- this made maintaining speed and glide difficult. The very pronounced banana shaped rocker on this kayak makes maneuvering ok but makes it suffer in tracking ability. I'm sure this kayak would be much better suited in rough water in ocean conditions over a river. I like all the hatches and features even though I don't fish. The build quality seems very good. The weight of this kayak is also surprising- it's a heavy beast. A kayak cart is a must . At 6', 200lbs I was able to stand pretty easily to paddle and it felt very stable overall. I really dislike rudders but I feel like it's the only option to improve this kayaks performance shortcomings.
Ratings overall on a scale of 1-10 Looks: 9 Quality: 9 Weight: 3 Speed: 6 Stability: 8 Tracking: 5 Comfort: 5 Fishablity: 9 Features: 9
The ocean kayak Malibu PDL seems well made and laid out. It has a large weight capacity and is very stable and roomy for standing. The seat is good but not nearly as comfortable as Hobie or Native seats. The upper back bar will contact you no matter what your recline position is. It tracks well and had good enough speed but does hull slap quite loudly. The PDL drive mechanism seems notchier than other pedal drives, it's much heavier than other drive units and the gear ratio seems off. I'm an avid cyclist and it feels like pedaling a bike uphill in a headwind in a gear or two that's just a little too hard( I feel like downshifting but I can't) Overall it's a nice pedal kayak and priced a bit more affordable than some others. It's biggest downfall is it's weight. It's just a big heavy beast of a kayak and feels much heavier than it's 100 claimed weight. It's just too much for me. I'd take a light paddle kayak any day over this.
The compass is a simpler budget Hobie design. It has a more roomy open layout which I like. It's stable and has decent speed and it's quiet through the water. The seat is not nearly as good as it's other CT designs but is a bit wider for larger people. It did not have long enough reclining straps so my dealer made an extender kit. The rudder design also is ok but does not work as smoothly as hobie's other twist and stow design. I really like and prefer their other kayaks for just a bit more money- you get a better design and features-the difference is worth it. The Revo, Outback or PA are better options if you can afford a bit more. I had buyers remorse and traded up for a different model and I'm much happier.
I have paddled the Native Ultimate FX 12 in the past and decided to purchase one recently because of the open design and high comfortable seating. I have a bad back and comfort is now my top priority. I do not fish and so I removed all of the tracks and rigging to lighten the kayak up a few pounds. I do like to occasionally stand to relieve back stress and this kayak allows this easily. Standing stability is good but not great. Seated stability is great at the high or low position. The kayak is very responsive and quick to reach top hull speed. It has decent glide but will turn when you stop paddling. It turns and maneuvers very easily. It snakes when paddling hard but can be controlled with easier paddling. I soon will be attempting to add a diablo paddlesports skeg to help with tracking performance. I demoed an FX12 in the past with a rudder and it had too much stiction in the footrests and was not pleasant to use but did help a bit in tracking. Overall the kayak is roomy, light, comfortable and performs better than you would expect- it's much faster than other standable kayaks.
This kayak has the most comfortable seat made since they recently changed from a clip in to a lawn chair style seat- it's height/tilt/lumbar adjustable for awesome comfort and support without interfering with a proper paddle stroke. The fit and finish and features are unmatched. Some of my favorite features are the side mesh pockets, 3 large easy to use sealed hatches, comfort carry handles, molded in rod holders, very comfortable and large rotating foot rests, dual paddle keepers, 3 water bottle holders, gear bucket for mid hatch, replaceable skid plate and the list goes on and on. The kayak is surprisingly stable even with the seat at it's highest setting( I'm 6' and weigh 200 lbs) The Quest 11 has very good speed and glide and also tracks fantastic- no need for a rudder since it's so short. I recently demoed a 14' sea kayak while my wife paddled the Quest 11 and she kept up with me just fine. It's relatively light and easy to move round out of the water especially with a scupper cart. Hobie has reinforced scupper holes so plug in cart use doesn't void the warranty. This kayak is more expensive than other brands but it's because it's a better quality and well designed paddling watercraft. EPIC win for Hobie on the Quest 11.