Most Recent Reviews
This kayak comes closest to performing as a hardshell touring kayak than most other inflatable kayaks unless you pay well over a $1,000 for a NRS or Airforce kayak. I bought this used and loved it until the seam split open. I had read about others who had the same issue prior to purchasing this kayak and suspected they had over inflated the kayak. I purchased a pump from AE that included a pressure guage. I inflated the main tubes to 2 PSI. The 3rd time I had used it the seam blew out on me. I patched one hole and the seam would tear in a different spot. Rather than pay $90 to replace the tube I purchased a 2002 Perception Carolina. I do plan on purchasing a replacement tube in the future so that I can sell it.
I upgraded to a 2002 Perception Carolina from an inflatable kayak. The first thing I noticed was how quickly the kayak accelerated and how it just glided through the water. For the most part it is stable once you are seated, though I did capsize it while getting out one time. It was quite challenging getting back in. I have rented hardshell kayaks that were more stable, though not as quick. I suspect that the more expensive and faster kayaks are even more prone to capsize for which reason I believe this to be a good one in which to learn. I am 6'3 and found it a little challenging to get in and out of the cockpit. I found the best way to make an exit is to put both hands behind me and push the kayak forward while lifting my hips upwards so that I'm sitting on top of it. I use the same method to get in, though in reverse.
The only issue I had was that I couldn't bend my knees enough to be able to use the rudder pedal. My solution was to lengthen the wire hooked up to the rudder so that I could move the pedals down 2 inches. This did the trick, however rudder now has less travel. In time I plan on finding a better solution to the rudder problem.
This was my first kayak. This is an excellent all around kayak. It is extremely stable and sea worthy and surprisingly fast. I was able to outrun tourists paddling rental kayaks easily. It has two skegs and track fairly well. I did find it challenging to paddle straight on a windy day prior to perfecting my stroke. With some practice Inlearned to paddle straight under most conditions. I like that there are multiple chambers in the event one chamber is punctured. The two main tubes are filled with air separately unlike the Advanced Elements Expedition I own, where if I punctured one side of the kayak both sides would deflate quickly. I'd highly recommend this kayak.