Name: CA139

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The Stellar S14 kayak is a serious, high performance design in a fairly small, portable package that offers a lot of compromises that could help it find its way into the racks, and hearts of a lot of potential paddling families. This boat is for people who want a light, responsive, maneuverable boat with potential issues in terms of storage, transport but don't wish to sacrifice a lot of performance. It also has a lot to give to someone looking to increase performance over what very stable recreational boats can deliver but still maintain some (but not a ton) of stability and isn't ready for the silpheed but tippy upper end Stellar models. I am tall, thin and in good shape at 6'4" and 185 looking many years younger. Unfortunately I am not the steadiest person out there and this boat doesn't track well at all. I felt that there was no way to keep this boat going straight so I could barely get it on plane that it would go this way or that, always where I didn't want it to go and the boat is tippy enough you have to be careful not to give it big inputs so I had to "brake" with the opposite side paddle and felt like I couldn't really go that fast. Realizing that I could deploy the skeg was a total game changer and once that was down I was off to the races. Since my inlaws own a Tsunami 140 that I have been paddling for many years at their place and from knowing the market a bit and reading other reviews I think that the S-14 is a great next step. If you're familiar with this "family hauler" type boat that is widely used and are looking for a lighter, easier to carry, more crisp and responsive boat you have found it. I must caution the prospective buyer that the S14 isn't that stable. You WILL feel very tippy. The S14 is stable enough to take your shirt off, have a meal or take pictures but the difference in the Wilderness boat you can do it with your eyes closed. In the Stellar you will have to be careful and meter out your every motion. Rough waters are a bit anxiety provoking because you do feel getting rocked around a lot by the chop. The secret is to let go, not resist, and PADDLE. Once you get going with the skeg down the tippiness gets a lot better and this is the best part of the S14. The maneuverability is very nice. This boat turns fairly easily even with the skeg down and you can fight weathercocking by just edging the boat. There's a huge feeling of lightness, sprightliness and refinement. Like a fine, expensive wine this boat has a multidimensional personality that gets better as you lay into it, explore and get to know the full spectrum of everything it has to offer. The sales description is very accurate in that this boat paddles like a longer kayak, it certainly melts the miles faster and all else being equal I get to any place I want a few minutes sooner in this one than the Tsunami 140. Dealing with the learning curve is totally worth it as this boat is quite fast for its size. I can pass just about any "normal" kayaker out there like they are standing still but if you're advanced enough to be considering this boat I think that's par for the course as most people don't even know how to paddle properly and just go out to fish or drink beer as they sit idly on their SOT's. That's not saying much but if my wife and one of my sons aren't feeling that strong on our ST17 when we're out, I can keep up and even gain on them when I paddle the S14. Conversely if I don't try too hard with one of my sons in the ST17, my wife can keep up with us on the S14 without trying that hard either. Push comes to shove though if one of my sons and I are feeling like speed demons and we want to get planing and rocking, then yes, the ST-17 is spades faster but you have to really lay into it. I think the big fun of the S14 isn't just the top speed, but also how little you have to try to get it going somewhat fast. To access the highest speeds yes you have to bust your butt to get it to plane and you're trying out of proportion to how fast you're going, but just accelerating to a nice cruising is effortless. This is a real asset to this boat that can be lost on those focused on pure speed although if that's what interests you I doubt you will settle for 14 feet. The 14 feet and 37lbs of the Advantage construction makes it very liveable in terms of storage and transport. Based on personal experience this is the vertical limit of something being relatively easy. While it will fall out if I load it lengthwise in the back of my pickup, I can angle it diagonally and there's enough stern there that it won't. I think the Advantage layup is where it hits the best bang for the buck. I do own a Stellar in the Excel layup which is definitely nicer, it's not that much lighter but you feel like you have more control of what's underneath you and it's more crisp and responsive. That said the Excel is also far more fragile. While you do have to be careful and treat ALL composite kayaks like a baby being fastidious not to hit them against hard thing, avoid impacts and never launch or beach them, the occasional crash against a rock for the most part isn't bad at all. In my experience half the time the Advantage layup won't even scratch against a rock. On the other hand the Excel of my Dragonfly shows every single hit and it doesn't take much to start deeply chipping the gelcoat. That's what you get for a stiffer construction, more performance, better refinement, but the extra stiffness also comes at a cost not just in price but durability. If deepwater paddling is in your plans then by all means go for the Excel as it's nicer but feed it any rocks as part of its diet and repairs will have to be done early and often. The other stuff is pretty nice. Ergonomics, fit and finish are excellent unfortunately the seats in true Stellar style are abominable. I guess Stellar tried to get the lightest possible seating arrangement but in so doing it's not supportive at all. While somewhat better than a bareback naked (and HARD) surfski and taking longer to give you a back ache, butt ache, numb legs and sciatica, give it more than an hour and the low quality, unsupportive seat will do all those things. Thankfully overseats or seat covers or even just foam is inexpensive and easy to find. I got Cloud 9 overseats from Tom's Top Kayaker in NH and they work. Overall I very much like the S14. It's a nice boat that allows progress in your growth. Taller paddlers will have a bit of a harder time getting used to it but the learning curve is not difficult and if you trust it and don't fight it there's some stability there but plenty of reserve playfulness. Truly serious, hard core kayakers who like to roll and go super fast may want to look at the longer models but there's plenty to enjoy here especially for someone looking for something easier to maneuver, carry, store and wishing to retain some stability as well. The comfort in true Stellar fashion is awful, but can easily be remedied with inexpensive aftermarket parts that don't permanently mod or alter the boat. Highly recommended.

This trailer was the solution to all our kayak transport headaches. Securing a kayak to a car can be a pain in the butt, it's so much easier to get it on a trailer. If you look at the price increases as you go to stiffer (and more fragile!) composites you don't save that much weight but the price difference from a fiberglass composite to a Kevlar or Carbon can easily net you this trailer. Especially if your lifestyle involves a lot of paddling or paddlers, or your friends might be coming along or if you plan various trips around paddling, own different boats and perhaps wish to bring more than one or two you could certainly use this trailer to good effect as well. I have owned mine since the winter of 2018 and been extremely happy with the ownership experience. Registration and taxes even in a high tax state are very inexpensive. It's easy to move around so even in tight spots in the wilderness or a small property it's easy to find a place to move it and put it. The quality of all the components is excellent and the only real maintenance is maybe spraying the fork once a year with lubricant as well as changing the axle grease maybe every year or two with red and tacky using a grease gun and applying dielectric grease to the electric plug once a year. This is a very low maintenance way to certainly get your boats around and after having done it for almost 3 entire seasons would never go back to cartopping, it's that much better. Towing this trailer is easy, you use a 2" ball rated for 2,000lbs but it's only 180lbs and fully loaded with boats rated for nearly 800lbs so just about any car with proper towing equipment can haul this little trailer. Even my pre-teen boys can move it around without any trouble making it maneuverable in tight spots. As long as you keep your speeds in check and are careful the vehicle drives like having a couple extra people in your car so no biggie there. A note about the different trailers I feel the SUT-450-M6 or the 6 (six) boat trailer I am revewing is the best deal. This is because the same chassis can fit the rack for the 2 or 4 boat setup which cost only slightly less. To fit more boats you need a different chassis which is significantly more expensive but the price difference with the 2, 4 and 6 boat trailers is only about $200 each step. You have to factor that there are other costs as well that are the same regardless of model. Shipping is depending on where you are getting it delivered about $200 give or take and assembly is another $200. So in the end the relative difference between the 2, 4 and 6 boat trailers is relatively small compared to the overall price. The chassis is about the same size, weight and thus easy to move, there's no extra maintenance or increased problems and the height isn't enough to ever cause a problem with underpasses or even garages so there's really no downside to just ponying up a few hundred more dollars and getting the six boat model. Thanks to that we have able to bring two big doubles, two small packboats and a pair of paddleboards on a few trips making the entire family happy which would have been impossible with any other situation. I have been smitten with the customer service of Trailex. The owners themselves are available a lot of the time and everyone I have spoken to has been knowledgeable, steering me well with every call or contact. It was easy to buy, easy to deliver, didn't take that long and the ownership experience continues to be positive. Anyone as nice as Trailex is a wonderful place to do business. Perhaps my favorite element of all is that when paddling season gets heavily under way I just keep the boats I want loaded and strapped on this trailer. If I need to go to work I don't have to worry about putting them on or taking them off my car. When we want to go paddle I just connect the trailer which is easier and less time consuming than getting the boats out of my basement or garage and securing them to the mounts of my car. I can say from personal experience that I have started to kayak significantly more thanks to this addition to the family. Initially the wife thought I lost my mind when I showed up with it and almost cut my head off "because it's so ugly sitting there" but after just a couple of trips it made our experience so much easier and convenient now she raves about what a good buy it was. I just want to throw out there that we're in our early 40's, very fit and own fairly light, stiff fiberglass boats mostly from the Stellar line that are on paper not difficult to cartop. The convenience we found with this trailer was simply spectacular and I would recommend this to just about anyone shy of a true city folk with very limited parking or storage which could probably be better served with a folding or inflatable. I think that if more people who are having trouble cartopping their boats, especially as they get older, or have more boats, or just want convenience considered this option they would paddle a lot more. This trailer was one of the nicest additions and accessories to our paddling lineup. I could not imagine going without it and as a matter of fact have since removed and sold our kayak racks. I would highly recommend a Trailex trailer for your kayak transport needs and within that recommend the SUT-450 6 kayak trailer. Even if you don't need to carry 6 kayaks the price difference is so small that you might as well go for this one, buy once pay (about the same) once. How much easier the Trailex has made paddling for us is an understatement, if you're interested this is a wonderful option very much worth considering.

FANTASTIC boat, a dream unicorn that is the perfect combination of stability and speed that no one thought possible. Sadly, it has a few minor flaws but they are very easily remedied with inexpensive mods and some elbow grease. The worst part of this boat is that they seem to be very hard to get. If you think you want one and are comfortable with the price BUY IT, glad I pounced on my chance to get one. That's the short version. For more detailed info, read on, if you dare. First off, the part you all want to hear about is how the stability blends with speed. It mostly does. The boat is very fast; as a matter of fact the first time we paddled this boat it took us 45 minutes to go around a pond that normally takes us about 1 hour in our Stellar ST17. The only reason why we didn't go even faster was the boat was a little bit too tippy for us and we needed to get used to it. There were some final adjustments to the seats we had to do and adapt our paddling style to a boat requiring more skill but once we made the adjustments to the footrest lengths, seats and our paddling, we were off to the races. Interestingly you can even adjust the seat height, you have over an inch of raising or lowering in 6 different positions at about 1/4 inch difference each so if you're starting out you can begin at the bottom and then slowly raise it up as your skills increase. Most "normal" doubles are as long as a fairly long single but are significantly wider. You really don't feel the loss in speed from the extra width because the second person means you don't have to paddle as hard. While the sprint or top hull speed might be a bit less in the end you can keep a pretty high average because neither paddler has to work as hard so it's almost as if you get the extra width and stability for free without a performance penalty. Double kayaks are very easy to just bomb around in, paddle anywhere without getting tippy and go fast too which is why they are so wonderful for a couple looking to get on the water stress free. This double adds some significant length measuring 22 feet long but has the width of an average touring single kayak. Now 23.5 inches on a touring boat isn't that tippy, but remember that there are two of you so you have to account for all the unexpected movements of your partner. Normally the extra wide doubles mask this fact so it's not a problem. With the Waterman it's not a huge issue, but you have to be more cognizant as 23.5 inches is plenty for one paddler but it's not a huge margin for two people so you had better get to know your paddling partner well! Furthermore, the steering is from the front, not the back. It can be converted to a back steering boat but you need to buy some extra parts and do a significant amount of work with the lines and whatnot. If you really want to it's possible but given the work involved it's probably not worth it. I mention this because normally you put the better, more experienced paddler in the back who react to and synchronize with the less experienced paddler in the front. The more capable rear person will take care of steering with rudder as well as edging the boat as the two require coordination and this traditional setup works better for novices. The Waterman reverses this; it's not necessarily a bad thing because now the person in charge of steering also has better visibility thanks to being in front. You don't have to rely on an inexperienced or inattentive paddler that acts like you can turn in an instant telling you that you're about to run into a log at the last moment at full speed that their body was blocking. In a perfect world the steering person being in the front is ideal assuming their partner can follow them perfectly but if one paddling partner is less capable, and doesn't have a good stroke rythm or is not that attentive, now they will be in the back making the ride unpleasantly tippy. So this should not be your first double but once you get good in a more steadfast touring double you'll adapt in no time to the Waterman. If you're feeling very comfortable with a more sedate double, it doesn't take long for you and your partner to get used to this boat. I wouldn't take it out with a kid who isn't into all this coordination stuff or who isn't physically fit. On the other hand it's not so tippy as to be scary either. When you're out of sync or do something you're not supposed to the boat wobbles a bit just to let you know you're not doing it right. Boat wakes and waves or wind are not a problem at all, only poor technique. It's just stable enough you could change clothing on top of. Unlike a surfski you don't have to be moving to be stable. You can stop, take a drink, eat a snack, take photos of wild-life, enjoy the looks under a cliff, inside an inlet or pretty cove, and check out the scenery having the stability to pull out your camera, phone or binoculars and look around while not moving. The boat is marginal for fishing but by the time you're buying this boat you probably have others more in tune with that. So if you want a fast boat but still require storage capacity, maybe go camping and need to be able to stop and have stability to carry out tasks while stopped this is your ticket. With the Carbon/Kevlar WWR#4 layup the stiffness makes it a responsive, refined machine. You don't have to lean much to edge. You don't have to paddle hard to make this thing GO. The way power is trasnferred in the water and gets you up to speed reminds me of my coach when I was a kid saying just that word full of power and enthusiasm.... "GO!" I will never forget being told that as a kid. As you get more comfortable and in sync with your paddling partner you can really lay into the boat and it rockets off impressively. Nothing in the touring class even comes close to this kind of high performance. Some compromises are made, you trade a bit of room, slightly smaller cockpits, a bit of tightness overall for tall people and some stability but you get almost race like speeds. Nothing any faster is going to be stable or practical at all, nothing any more practical or stable is going to be anywhere near this fast. I also feel less tired when I paddle this boat compared to shorter, wider doubles. It's so efficient you barely have to touch the water. Once you get in sync with your partner it's effortless to just power around. Steering is a bit tricky as the boat is light and responsive but once you get going the slightest bit of edging or rudder will get you where you want to go. Just like this boat is a nice combination of stability for this high level of speed, it also has a nice combination of both tracking straight in wind as well as easy maneuverability especially for a boat this long. It tracks like a boat this long but turns like a shorter, lighter boat, the only thing that gives its size away is that once you get it turning the ends keep going and it wants to keep turning so it's better not to turn that hard unless you really have to. The fit and finish is wonderful and very particular. This boat has an identity and is obviously not mass produced. The designers obviously had something in mind that is specific as you don't see the typical mass produced fittings of most boats. I have to take a moment to describe these ergonomics; they are not adjustable on the fly as they employ screws and widgets. You're going to have to get out of the boat and remove a bit of hardware. This is still very nice as it does not require tools. This is more time consuming and onerous than the Stellar boats which can be adjusted on the fly in the water. I mentioned the adjustments are not that easy so this is a boat for a couple that will be paddling it long term. It's not the kind of boat that you can adjust for for different people quickly and easily. On the other hand the hardware is stiffer, once it's in, it's locked in and theres more to brace with confidence as nothing is going to move until you go through the process again so no wobbling and you can apply more power. It contributes to a very fast, refined, sharp feeling. On the same token, with the Nelo if you actually want to take stuff off or change things almost nothing requies tools except some items on the foot that has screws, everything is has hand tightened widgets. Different philosophy, both are good just be sure that you have everything adjusted before first taking out the boat and be ready to come back shortly once you're on the water for a few minutes the first time. The rudder itself is also like this. The system is the absolute best I have ever had the pleasure to steer and trim on the water. You have to compare it with the low level rudders where both entire pedals move so if you apply any steering you are always unbalanced one leg vs the other, and paddling hard makes you step on the pedals to accidentally steer if you aren't careful as well. The next step up is the Smart-Trak rudder which is nice because the pedals have two pieces with only the toe part of the pedal moving under pressure but the lower part of the pedals are fixed allowing you to still brace. This is wonderful but the Smart Trak is spring loaded and there's a dead spot of slack when changing directions from going one way to the other so you never really know how much rudder you have applied when applying an opposite input. It's not precise and drives you nuts even with extensive experience as the numb spot always leaves you applies either too much or too little rudder. The Nelo system has a 2 piece footboard, the top part of which moves when you step on it with your toes. This way you get the bracing all the time, you can keep a certain amount of left or right trim, and there's no spring giving you slack so you always know exactly how much rudder is there based on your respective (toe) positions. You can just feel it. On the water it's sublime and simply the best handling rudder system out there. Unfortunately on land the problem is the rudder is either all the way up when retracted, as in pointing vertically up, or all the way down. This means it never really folds into the boat so the blade is always sticking out somewhere in the way when you're storing or carrying it! It's not a bad thing but when cartopping or trailering or flipping the boat in your back yard to wash and wax it then it creates a bit of a hassle and something else to be careful about vs the other two rudder systems out there that aren't as good on the water, but so much better on land. The cockpits are a bit smaller than most doubles and more commensurate with a racing boat. The positive here is they take less water even if you don't use spray skirts. Another nice element is the boat feels snug around you like a performance seat on a sports car. It helps you brance and lean and feel this boat better. Given the responsive nature, you need minimal edging and control inputs so the smaller cockpits help and contribute to enjoying the boat's personality. If you're 100lbs overweight and need to sprawl around maybe a near race boat isn't for you; at 6'4" and 183lbs with size 13 very wide feet I was afraid I couldn't get in. Indeed entering is not as easy as the more sedate tandems with huge cockpits but I am glad to report with the Waterman it's not a big deal, a lot easier than I thought. So unless you're significantly overweight which means you've got bigger problems, if a long guy with big feet like me could easily deal with this boat you'll be fine entering and exiting as well, don't worry. You do have the choice of two different rudders, an outside one that can be raised which makes it more appropriate for shallow or flatwater, or an internal one that depending on the size blade is bigger and more responsive for deep water or ocean type paddling. I prefer the former as you don't have to worry about water depth and rocks as much although plastic blades are available. Changing from rudder to the other is possible but it's kind of a pain in the butt. You can buy this boat brand new and you specify which kind of rudder you want, mine came from someone associated with Nelo who was nice enough to give me both. What is important is that there is a hole in the bottom which is a conduit for the bottom rudder and not using the lower, "internal" rudder means there's a hole in your hull for its pin. The physics mean that if the compartment is sealed with the rudder lid it shouldn't flood but you know how sometimes we're not all careful then it will flood. More importantly it can take on a little bit of water when you rinse and wash the boat, enough to make the hold mouldy if you're not paying attention and store it with the lids closed. So I was told if the prospect of leakage kept me up at night that the compartment hole can be sealed off with silicone. I used Lexel Sealant, strong enough to be watertight, soft enough to gently force the internal rudder column through it easily should I ever change my mind and want to install the bottom (as opposed to external) rudder. The seats are also spectacularly uncomfortable. They are well positioned for maximum leverage as well as weight savings, and can be adjusted in more ways than most. For example you can even raise or lower them so if the boat feels tippy you can adjust the seat height over 1 1/2 inches in 6 different slots which is wonderful. As you get better you can raise the seats for better leverage. Unfortunately they lack seat backs and are VERY hard carbon so you will start to think that sciatica is contagious and the water is full of it as every time you go out you'll catch a bunch of your legs tingling and falling asleep. These are obviously lightweight, full race seats built in the boat's spirit but adjustments are easy. For $120 you can get more comfortable seats from Nelo, or even better there are seat pads with velcro adhesives so the pad can be moved based on personal preference even after applying the velcro. These are far less expensive at only $20 each. You can also buy blocks of foam from amazon at ~$10 each and just using gravity and pressure they will easily stay there. Any of these options will increase seat comfort enormously to the point where you can paddle the boat for hours without the dreaded sciatic symptoms. It's a small issue but worth mentioning given the ease of the fixes and it's quite possible that you may find it comfortable as the boat comes. YMMV but thankfully even if these seats don't work for you there are easy and inexpensive ways to fix it. The length of the boat also makes it very particular. Almost no kayak is this long but thankfully at 52lbs it's not hard for even an 11 year old to help carry it but you have to be careful about turns and maneuvers on land. It feels heavier than the 55lb Stellar ST-17 Advantage simply due to the length. More care and measurement should be employed when cartopping. You have to understand that the hull is widest aft of center (which helps tracking) so this is a factor when strapping the boat, you need to keep it a bit more forward than you think with the straps in front of and behind the bulge which is not in the center but slightly aft. At the same time it can be unbalanced if you keep it too far forward on a rooftop, or if you keep it too far forward on a trailer and you take a turn the front part of the kayak can hit your car and get pushed back loosening everything. This asymmetric bulge is to improve tracking because a boat this stiff and light could potentially be very twitchy and highly influenced by the wind or current. As it is the boat is very manueverable when you want it turning with minimal input but stays on course like a high end boat should. The light weight, stiffness and hull design contribute to this nice combination. Unfortunately the length combined with this aft located bulge means it's another small but real challenge you should know about on land otherwise if you put the rear straps in front of this bulge the boat can fall off your vehicle. These are not big deals, again, you got a 22 foot boat you have to deal with it but you don't get the performance for free, there will be adjustments that need to be made. They are not huge, but I am just mentioning it for prospective owners to be careful about these things. Overall I am smitten by the Nelo Waterman. It's an incredibly fast boat that gives up a bit of stability and a bit of room as well as practicality compared to other doubles for a whole lot of speed. You can use it as a total sleeper and given its width enter it with the touring kayaks in a race only to wipe the floor with everyone. Or you can use it as a faster family boat as your skills are progressing to do the same lovely paddles in less time, or be able to go farther in the same amount of time. I would liken this boat to a high performance station wagon. You have the sports handling, you have most of the power of the big motor. You do have to make some compromises in terms of practicality and comfort because you need that to gain that much speed but it's a refined machine that can melt away mile after mile without you even knowing. At the beginning there is a tiny learning curve of stuff you'll have to get used to it but I spelled out what you need to watch and none of the criticisms are really drawbacks, just things you need to adapt around that aren't present in lower performance boats. Those that are getting bored with their family tandems and want something faster, but still able to stop and enjoy the scenery, bring the necessary stuff along to enjoy a longer paddle should look into the Nelo Waterman. If you're considering this boat I can confirm that it's everything you want and more; if you're comfortable with the asking price, buy it you won't regret it. It's that good.

Except for the weight, this is the double you've always wanted. Improving upon and shortening their older Northstar offering (see the name similarity?) by deleting the central storage compartment, the Polaris is slightly shorter, 10lbs lighter, more efficient and above all more comfortable than its predecessor.

You cannot deny the heavy weight. If you use your bail to keep the boat empty when you take it out of the water, and maybe take your gear out before carrying it into or out of the water or loading onto your car, two people of some (not necessarily a lot) of strength can do it with some difficulty. Being more fit and strong helps but not as much as you would like It's not an easy boat to carry but it can be done. This is really the only negative.

The best thing about this kayak is the comfort. With the new Airpro fibers and seat technology this might very well be the most comfortable set up I have ever had the pleasure to sit inside. Not only are the cushions extremely comfortable but the seat is adjustable in a multitude of directions. Gone are the days of your legs falling asleep, back aches, butt pain. I am quite fit but I find some kayaks just give me sciatica or leave various parts of my mid sections hurting; not here. It's like sitting on a very luxurious easy chair and you can melt hours away paddling without worrying about being uncomfortable. Welcome to the Lexus of kayaks!

The behavior of this kayak could best be described as heavy, stable and fast. It's neither quick nor playful, however if the other paddler knows what they are doing and is so motivated turns can be accomplished, as in most doubles, rather adeptly. You can turn on a dime but when this happens you lose all your momentum so you need to power out and that takes a bit. Given the weight and the plastic hull you feel a heaviness when paddling and that's the name of the game. It's not as crisp or as light as as a composite but the wind won't toss you around as much either. It is much nicer to use the rudder for trim but you don't need it.

The stability is very confidence inspiring. Given the weight and the width this is one of the few boats that I can get into without needing to brace with the paddle to the side if I am getting in from a beach where I don't want to launch or getting out when I don't want to beach the boat like on rocks or near a cliff. I never feel tippy in this boat and it is up there in terms of overall stability but the speed doesn't seem compromised and I think that a lot of the stability is due not only to some width at 29 inches, but also the weight so it's not necessarily a boat that trades a lot of stability for speed and it uses other factors while still using a reasonably fast hull. Race boat speeds you won't accomplish but thanks to its overall length two people can get quite a head of steam going without trying exceptionally hard.

Compared to 14 foot long singles the miles seem to melt away. Recently I paddled just over 8 miles in 2 1/2 hours but this was taking four, yes four stops at four different beaches for different reasons, either bathroom breaks, taking a drink, eating a snack or just wanting to check out the scenery. You can beat the current much better than with a shorter boat and its manners in waves are pretty stolid these qualities make a boat that from its comfort, to stability, to exceptional seakeeping works well in a longer journey, especially if you need the plastic durability to shrug off impacts with rocks.

The only problem is that the boat's length is such that it won't float over waves like a shorter one where you might put in a good two or three stroke burst to plane the hull on the way up preventing water splashing into you or getting a rough ride. Here in the Polaris the length makes it harder to cut through or float smoothly over the wave and you bang up and down. It's worse for the person in front who feels like they get airborne. You could take two singles in similar sea conditions for a smoother ride but then you won't be "beating the waves and current" as much. You pick your boat and paddle in it living with the consequences of your choice. I would say the longer journey you have in mind, the more the double has an advantage.

The fit and finish as well as quality of fittings is top notch. Not only are the seats the best I've ever experienced but you have "mini" storage compartments in front of the cockpits for things like tools, equipment, radios, navigation aids or even drinks. The compartments are just large enough to fit all of these at once! The rigging is nice too as are the handles, and the rudder works well and is easy to raise and lower. 20 years later all the acoutrements have benefitted from more advanced technology vs the Northstar so while the money seems expensive, you're getting a very nice boat.

Compared to our Stellar ST17 which is a composite double of similar size it's less playful. The composite is a bit faster, more responsive, certainly more efficient but it's upset by wind more whereas the Polaris has a more sedate demeanor. This is not a bad thing. If I am paddling with my kids who are very attentive to heading and correct for wind and current well it's not a big deal but if your other paddler doesn't want to pay that much attention the extra weight, stability and less responsiveness can work in your favor.

The fact that this boat is of a certain length also lowers the "divorce boat" potential though the Stellar ST17, being 5" shorter than the Polaris is a bit in that direction but so is the Polaris, just not as bad. The problem here is the Polaris is 8" shoter than the boat it replaced and those 8" were in between the two paddles with an extra storage compartment so with that one hitting each others' paddles was impossible. Here it can happen so while you don't have to be perfectly coordinated if the stern paddler is not paying attention you will have mild problems. Not quite divorce boat territory indeed but something to pay at least a little bit of attention to. Put the more passionate, "in control" paddler in the back who keeps an eye on these things and the more mellow person in the front who cares less and it will all be fine.

A note about paddling this boat alone, it can be done. When the kids were smaller we wouldn't even give them a paddle and my wife and I would take the Polaris and Northstar each with a kid in front (we have two). The going is slower but with an adult and kid in the double, and an adult paddling a single alone, the double, even though we did it long before we could trust the kids with paddles, was always faster. So this boat is more tiring to paddle alone, but can be used this way if a vehicle to take a family member who is unable to paddle such as a younger child. It just costs you more energy and you won't go as far but you'll still be faster than a single; it will just take more energy but for a slight effort increase you'll go significantly farther.

Overall I love our Wilderness Polaris. It's a comfortable, stable, fast and easy to use kayak that can cover a lot of ground and take a beating on the rocks. I love the seats, I adore its forgiving nature but I just wish it wasn't as heavy. This is a good boat for families for example to stick a child in the front, or for couples that want a craft to enjoy the water that can withstand impacts. It's not maneuverable enough for white water but its seakeeping is good enough to allow it to paddle just about anywhere else other than rapids where one would wish to paddle. It's a step up from its predecessor, the Wilderness Northstar which we also have in every way save the loss of the central storage compartment if you're going on an expedition and need to bring that extra amount of gear. If you are willing to lug around an 85lb boat which is just about the limit of what two people can reasonably do well, there really are no other drawbacks .

It's a niche boat as plastic tandems have faded given the weight but if people would look past that it's not that bad. Things like trailers which are not that expensive really help, Trailex makes some very inexpensive models that cost less than the difference between the Polaris and a composite or more light weight double.

I give this boat 5 stars as there is nothing I would change about it; the only way to improve on certain things like the weight would mean going to a lighter, and less durable material which would prevent it from being our go to boat for paddling off the rocky beach behind our house. Having cut weight, improved build quality I think Wilderness systems is doing just about the best they can with plastic, and it shows as the Polaris is the peak of the pannicle when it comes to rotomolded tandems. If you're in the market for a plastic double in the interest of durability or keeping costs down, or are looking for a more family friendly boat where you can keep a younger one up front the Polaris is a fantastic choice. Thank you Wilderness Systems, I love your update to the Northstar. I hope you keep making plastic doubles as magnificent as your Polaris.

Stellar really makes Stellar boats, if you ever want to put a smile on your face try one and you'll see! Just when you thought tandems were heavy, bulky beasts to lug around and maybe fast but a little too like bloated luxury cars in their demeanor when you wanted the room for a second paddler or a little more gear but didn't want to give up the sports car feel in your kayak. Enter the spectacular Stellar ST17.

This is a very different kind of boat that is confusing at first to paddle as the performance and speed is disconcerting. If ever you wanted a certain kind of immunity from the elements, at least as far as your speed goes, this craft does it very well. You can paddle right into the wind and current almost as if they weren't there. Like a good composite minimal effort already gets you underway at a very satisfying rate of speed. If you want to go faster, all you have to do is paddle harder. It's not like the shorter boats where the length limits your speed and more effort makes you go at best marginally faster. Here it's incredible how little you have to try to reach any speed so with a strong partner it's tempting to try to push the "MORE FASTER" button and paddle the living daylights out of the boat. It will erase any misconception that "speeding won't get you there any quicker. As a matter of fact this Kayak can be so fast that you'll be passing motorboats in no-wake zones at breakneck speeds; we get a lot of looks! As a matter of fact the other day we crossed Wallum Lake in MA and RI where some woman who was waterskiing behind her parent's boat encountered us, was buzzing around the lake as we were paddling North, and couldn't believe how quickly we reached the boat ramp on the northern shore.

Another element that is endearing of this boat is the light weight in the Advantage layup at 55lbs. Two people, even an adult and a strong child like our little one, my 10 year old who is 5'2" and VERY strong can carry it anywhere for rather long distances without tiring. Compared to our plastic doubles that we adore and cherish for dealing with rocky landings in rough conditions you have to be very careful as the fiberglass cannot be beached or launched from rocks unlike plastic. However this boat is so light it's very easy to be careful with it so unless you have strong waves that dash you against the rocks faster than you can get in getting on board with it already in the water isn't a problem.

Like many doubles it's very stable so jumping in with aplomb, even with my very long legs (I am nearly 6'5") is easy thanks to the large cockpit. The boat is stable enough that I don't need to brace much with the paddle but it's demeanor is much more playful than a heavier plastic boat.

The initial stability isn't there as much so you have to be very careful or you'll feel tippy. I went paddling with a friend of mine who had Canoe instructor certification from his younger days but gave it up as he doesn't derive income. He just came back from Canada where he canoes a lot and started to paddle my ST17 with the same kind of vigor and "digging in" where you roll the boat slightly to the side as you're paddling it. The ST17 and I didn't like it. Every stroke would make the boat wobble. Stellar boats are like that. The "calmer", more "recreational" as opposed to race boats have really good secondary stability and won't really flip unless you really do something wrong but like a docile yet playful hunting dog will startle and nip at you if you pet them the wrong way.

I liken Stellar boats to a high end race car with coilover suspension. There's a way these cars like to be driven, usually giving gas as soon as possible a certain way when going into a corner and unwinding the wheel, much like you'd have to handle a motorcycle, ATV or dirt bike. Each race car, or should I say each Stellar boat has its rythm and stroke and approach it likes best. You have to adapt to that otherwise you're in for a miserable ride but finding this is easy and once you get into the groove with how the boat wants to be handled, you're off to the races and feel like you're flying over the water.

This playful nature is spectacular. Turning, maneuvering and playing with the boat is very easy. Who thought anyone would describe a double as "playful". Stellar ST17 loves to romp. It's a two edge sword though because this responsiveness also means that wind, waves and current will toss you around more than an equivalent plastic barge, it's a two edge sword. The rudder helps a lot to maintain trim and is sometimes necessary to keep control of the boat especially in a bad crosswind. I must mention I love the spring loaded rudder both to retract and the fact that it's easier to find center.

On this vein once you get a feel for how the boat reacts you can take advantage of this playfulness and increased repsonsiveness to give minimal control inputs to set your course thus wasting the least amount of momentum when executing maneuvers so you get there sooner. And to stay on my motorcycle example, rather than looking close, it helps if you keep sight of a landmark or waypoint in the distance instead. If your bow is moving away from that you need to gently, without overcompensating as the responsiveness makes it easy to do, especially if you're used to plastic boats, maneuver to face it again.

One other element I am not crazy about is the Stellar seats. They are just not that comfortable. For longer paddles you can get back aches, butt aches; your legs don't fall asleep thankfully as they are reasonably ergonomic but these are lightweight seats made of Kevlar with minimal padding. Think racing and weight reduction which is Stellar's DNA. All is not lost though, you can find Airpro type over-seats for about $100 to stick on top and make your paddling experience comfortable on longer journeys across large expanses of water. This kayak devours miles so quickly it's an ideal boat for the task.

Another potential pitfall is a slight divorce boat tendency. At 17' 5" the two cockpits are close enough that one paddler can interfere with the other. One of the pair had better be attentive to what the person in the front is doing otherwise you're going to be hitting each other's paddles all the time. It's not horrible, you don't have to be in perfect synchrony but as opposed to doubles that are only a few inches longer like the Wilderness Systems Northstar or Polaris the difference in hitting each other's paddle is definitely felt. It's not so hard as to be divorce boat levels, but it's on the spectrum in a mild to moderate way so make sure to put the more attentive and experienced paddler in the stern as always.

What is particular about Stellar as opposed to other kayak companies is that their weights are not only realistic but a maximum. What I mean is that the 55lbs of the Advantage boat feels feather light and I can carry this boat alone whereas I have difficulty carrying a nominally 55lb plastic boat like the Wilderness Tsunami 140. This is because Stellar is one of the few companies that weighs all their components at every step of production and makes sure that the advertised weight, in this case 55lb is a guarantee in that their boat will never exceed that. So the truth is that while Stellar's trademark is making their boats lighter, the deviation from that weight is minimal and if anything will always be less. Other companies might advertise their boats weight but a boat clocking in at 55lbs might actually be just the bare hull, and have more variation hull to hull so it could have been their lightest hull ever produced while still not accounting for the weight of the seats, handles, rigging, rudder, foot pedals and other accessories. This is why the Stellar boats at their given weights feel so much lighter than any other boat that is sold at the "same" weight because in the end, thanks to Stellar's attention to detail and quality control their boat will always be lighter and I appreciate that.

I also appreciate that the Advantage layup, while expensive compared to some other fiberglass kayaks, is still very reasonably priced (look at the PH boats!) and is satisfyingly cheap to repair. So even if you're boneheaded you're not going to be hurting as bad as if you put a hole in a Kevlar or Carbon Fiber boat. And it can take a bit of damage impact wise, more than you think, just don't push it. The lighter weight means thinner hull so while a much heavier PH boat can go rock gardening or surfing with ease the Stellar boats will never withstand that kind of abuse and it is specifically so stated in their manual, their website and their warranty.

Then again as long as you're not involved in abusive type of activities best saved for your plastic boats, which is why I will never get rid of my rotomolded kayaks, all else being equal it's much easier to handle and be careful with these delicate, lightweight boats. Plus the maneuverability goes a long way to dodging rocks! Oh the question, agility vs raw power, who can survive better? There's no correct answer but Stellar is really the apex when it comes to lightweight, lovely, easy to handle, delightful to paddle and playfully maneuverable craft. They are the answer to everything you disliked about your plastic boat.

I am smitten with Stellar boats and their lush, deep personality and interactive feel. They are fast, efficient, playful boats that are easy to get going and very, very fast at all levels. They are a step up from the plastic boats' monolithic, one noted personality and a joy to not only paddle around, but carry thanks to their light weight yet relatively forgiving enough that you don't need to be an expert as the boat not only tells you when you're doing it wrong but rewards you with its stellar performance and handling when you're doing it right. No praise is too great for these exceptional Kayaks except for the seats which thankfully are not expensive or laborious to upgrade, you just slide an Airpro style kayak overseat for hours of paddling comfort.

If you've wanted a longer and faster boat to enjoy with a partner but was concerned about the heavy reputation and turned off by the idea of lugging around the lead sledge that a plastic double can be, try Stellar. You can actually carry or paddle these boats singly either alone or sticking a young child in front of you. They are forgiving enough that an older child who enjoys paddling can be with you and not worry about tipping, and so efficient that even minimal effort on their part can be felt in greater speed. But there is so much depth, so much performance, so many layers to this boat. It's a hard choice, if I only could have one boat to rule them all, it would be a tie between the Grabner Holiday 3 inflatable (also spectacular in its own way) and the Stellar ST17. Both are doubles that are light enough that can be carried by one person alone. Both are fast and playful for different reasons. The Grabner is more stable and holds 3 and is suprisingly efficient, maybe even more so than plastic despite being inflatable; it also weighs less. But the Stellar is more fun, playful and faster. A lot faster. And it has more layers of personality.

One boat to rule them all, if I could pick, it's a tough decision, but the Stellar boats offer so much depth, so much character I'd have to go with their design. If you want a lightweight, efficient composite with performance, handling and personality to spare, you'll love Stellar. They are exceptional and magnificent. I love our Stellar boats, and maybe the nicest paddling kayak I've had the pleasure to take out is the ST17.

As a postscript just to show my esteem of the ST17's characteristics I am planning two longer paddles, one an 11 mile trek north through the Sakonnet River where I live and it's considered a very challenging paddle to start at ocean's edge and go North. If all goes well I might do the big Sakonnet paddle with the wife. I am also training and getting into even better shape for a potential Block Island paddle through 15 miles of open Atlantic Ocean for next year with my canoe instructor buddy. I just paddled 20 miles this last weekend, 12 of them in the ST17 but in a more leisurely, touristy route on the northern Sakonnet so I think I am very close and up to both challenges with a little more training. Guess which boat I am thinking of taking out?

Grabner has done an outstanding job bringing a very different and unusual layup with uniquely endearing qualities enhanced by top notch engineering. Whoever would have thought that an inflatable kayak could be one of the lightest, most stable kayaks out there that remains very fast?

From the moment I contacted Grabner they inspired confidence with their knowledge, recommendations and customer service. They were a little insistent on making a sale but in the end their product was so amazing I am glad I purchased their magnificent boat. It's a long story but I spend a lot of time in Europe and wanted to have a kayak for us to use out there. I wanted the luxury of leaving it there since it would be a bit of a hassle to truck it back and forth but at the same time I had some issues with being able to send things that large to a European country, import taxes and all that jazz. Buying from Grabner directly in Austria was a big help.

The boat is unbelievably good. You didn't think an inflatable could paddle, maneuver and handle so incredibly well and I will get into the gory details but it's faster to sum up the negatives so I will start there. One big drawback (and there are two which I will discuss) is even for people with storage issues the Kayak cannot be stored folded for long periods of time. It will ruin the rubber and shorten the lifespan, you just can't roll it up and pack it in the back of a closet. You can de-inflate it but you have to roll it out and keep it flat, all 5+ meters or 17+ feet of it. Since no one uses the areas we stay while we're gone then it's not a big deal but if you live in a tiny apartment European style and think you can just tuck it at the bottom of a closet you can't or it won't last long. Short term storage, like a few days or weeks at a time is OK and will only shorten the lifespan slightly from a theoretical 20-25 years but that's the name of the game. So customers looking for something easy to store need to either go to the top of the price range with the foldable route or get a very cheap, flexible inflatable that paddles awful but then you just cram it wherever and not care (as much) if it gets ruined.

The other negative is the seats. They are not that comfortable and quickly start to ache your back. You have to set them properly like any kayak seat, they are thin and light and a bit flimsy so failure to do so will result in your discomfort being maximized more than any other seat but they're still not great. I recommend getting kayak seat covers that you can put over them, then its fine.

Other than that the Holiday 3 is a joy to paddle. Because the rubber is specially reinforced and of high quality it can withstand about 0.3 bar or ~about 4.4psi above atmospheric. This creates a very stiff boat that won't flex when you paddle. It's a funny feeling when you sit in the boat as it does move a bit more than a plastic or composite craft with waves, but when you actually paddle it nothing moves and you feel your effort moving the boat; it has a lightness about it that is more reminiscent but not quite as good as a composite, but certainly far nicer than a plastic layup.

What is very impressive is the low weight of only 43lbs. Comparable length and size boats that come in kevlar or even pure carbon fiber are far, far more expensive, a bit nicer to paddle, but are nowhere near as light. Even the Stellar ST17 in their Ultra carbon fiber layup is a few pounds more. What this means is a wonderful experience, even my 10 and 12 year old sons can grab one handle, I grab the other and we can carry it significant distances with only a handful of rest stops. The boat also accelerates nicely in the water and changes direction pretty deftly when desired. The light weight does make it a little more responsive to wind and waves, but I found it to be easier to control without a rudder than say my similarly sized Stellar ST17 in the fiberglass layup. As a matter of fact, while you can get a rudder, I just didn't bother. It takes longer to install the rudder than to inflate the craft and it's just one more thing to bother with. Not that I am complaining about the rudder, far from it, rather that the boat is plenty controllable without one even in wind and surf. It does go a little this way and that but it's so minor that the extra effort in installing the rudder doesn't seem worth it.

As far as the stability goes I think this is the most stable kayak I have ever paddled. The air gives it a very odd stability because the initial stability is just as much as a recreational or sit on top boat, but it has secondary stability in spades despite the hull being flat like a more basic sit on top design. This is because the air seems to add to the light weight. It wants to float, it doesn't want to get in the water deep enough to roll so there's a third stability past the primary and secondary stability just from the buoyancy thanks to the air. This is one of those try it to believe it as you won't feel it in any other kayak. That said the old adage that stability compromises speed doesn't apply. The speed is quite fast, not just because of the hull stiffness but also the length, and especially how high it sits in the water thanks to the air. You don't feel like you're drawing a whole lot of water, the resistance to paddling feels minimal.

The picture I am trying to weave to the prospective buyer is that this kayak has handling and performance characteristics that don't seem to follow the rules of normal kayaks because the inflatable gives it a different personality, all for the good. This boat rows to the beat of a different drummer.

While the price seems high I think it's not unreasonable when you consider the performance envelope of this boat. Where do you find a boat that is beginner stable yet retains a playful demeanor that remains fairly fast, extremely maneuverable, above average in stiffness and lighter than an equivalently sized carbon fiber design that costs only slightly more than an equivalent plastic kayak? It sounded too good to be true until Grabner came along. It's the real thing, it's that good.

Now don't get me wrong, the Stellar ST17 in their Advantage layup is still faster, more responsive, stiffer, more efficient and more playful and fun. Unfortunately it also costs a whole lot more and it's nowhere near as beginner stable for the family. It also weighs more

The seaworthiness is quite good but this kayak is open topped more like a canoe. You can paddle it either way with one or two bladed paddles but it comes with two bladed traditional kayak paddles. This is worth noting because if you need to use it in rough conditions with big waves while it handles them just fine you'll get some more water inside than with a kayak that has a deck. The freeboard is quite high so it's not as bad as you think but you have to anticipate rough seas. They do sell a spray skirt that you have to install the mounts yourself and it's a few hundred dollars but adds about 12lbs to the design. I didn't feel it necessary, it certainly is somewhat limiting in sea kayaking but then again I don't like going out in rough conditions. Worse comes to worse bringing a bail or two fixed the issue. I think it was originally designed for the Austrians to stuff in the back of their BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Volkswagen station wagons to explore the relatively calm lakes in the alps and rivers with the occasional family trip to Croatia or Italy in the Adriatic. It can do more but you just have to be aware of the limitations.

You can also sit three people here but then it can turn into what they call a divorce boat. What I mean is with two people it feels huge and the paddles don't get in each other's way. If three people are paddling, say dad and the two children, then coordinating your strokes becomes more important. It's not a big deal though and can be mitigated by having the forward two just paddle along no matter what but assigning the rear most paddler, who can see what the other two are doing, to steer so he or she is able to stay out of the front two paddler's ways.

Other extras come such as the repair kit if you want one but I found the rubber to be quite durable. You have to be more careful with this boat than with plastic, but if you treat it like a composite and don't land or launch from the beach and always get in and out with the boat already on the water while avoiding rocks and other sharp things you'll be fine.

I love the Grabner 3 for its unique, vibrant personality, outstanding build quality and ease of transportation. I am slightly disappointed you can't store it all folded up but overall this boat is a delight to paddle. I would think this kayak makes a wonderful choice for people that like to travel a lot and bring their boat, especially when space is at a premium like when you fly or take a bus, or someone looking for a light boat and/or better performance than plastic that doesn't want to spend the money on a composite. For about the same to slightly more than the cost of a plastic double you get something half the weight, somewhat stiffer, much more transportable and less durable. If someone was thinking carbon fiber or kevlar but was balking at the price or the expensive repairs the Grabner boats could make a fantastic light weight option. You sacrifice some stiffness but you're lighter than just about anything else of the same size. The performance is real and taken for what this boat can do, the pricepoint which seems like a ludicrously high outlier for an inflatable, is actually very fair when you consider this boats behavior, handling, low weight, fit, finish, quality and overall capability.

We picked up our old Northstar from a neighbor that was moving out of state and did not have the ability to bring the boat with him. At a whopping 95lbs and 18+ feet in length I can see why. This is really the only negative. It's a beast to move, even in two people. Unless you have a trailer, are both Crossfit champions in a long term relationship, or live on the water where carrying it any distance is not an issue you are likely to have problems getting it around. Did I say it's a beast?

Well that's the only bad thing or drawback, everything else about this design is extremely impressive. The plastic is high quality and has held up to years of sitting under the sun, being dragged and launched and landed on rocky beaches or shores with minimal changes or damage. It doesn't seem to have aged much at all and appears to be nearly indestructible considering how much abuse we put it through.

As far as seakeeping this Kayak has it all. It's both extremely stable, much less tippy than any single I've tried, and very fast in a straight line. I can put one of my sons in the forward cockpit, when they were little I would have my wife follow along in a single and there was nothing she could do to keep up even though I was paddling alone. When we're both paddling this thing, it absolutely hauls ass. I never clocked any speeds but we tend to reach the same destinations we go to in our singles much sooner. If I had to guess this boat is probably 50% faster or more than a shorter single in the 12-14 feet range. Again, it's not a little difference, destinations compared to small to medium singles are reached very quickly.

The turning is a little slow unless both paddlers start to synchronize. I am sure it can be turned quick but we were never able to do so. That said I don't need to count on the rudder for turns either which works well for tracking in wind, I just take my time and don't treat it like a sports car, only a rocket ship for its straight line speed. Build quality of the seats, hatches and rudder has been excellent as has the durability of everything holding up.

The storage is amazing, there's lots of room with a huge bow and even bigger stern compartment; there's also a central compartment as well. This is an excellent long expedition boat in terms of gear storage and it's big, long and fast enough that even with some weight or cargo on board you can still make good time. The hatches are plastic and the nylon bands securing them have suffered some fatigue but at least you don't have to worry about rubber. Some of the ergonomics and fittings do look older and a bit dated but that's what you get when you paddle an old boat.

Wilderness now makes a replacement for the Northstar called the Polaris which is very similar and we bought one as the kids are old enough to paddle now, one parent in back with one kid in front, but still waiting on it. The main difference is that the Polaris is a bit shorter as it lacks the center storage compartment. IT does have a small cupholder or "day storage" compartment behind but pretty much handles and paddles very much like the Northstar. They do have the same name as Polaris is latin for the Northstar and while it's 10lbs lighter, I don't think I can tell much difference in the weight. So fret not, even though the Northstar is no longer in production and may be hard to find, you can still buy one anew with more modern fittings, 10lbs less, minus 5 inches of length and the center storage compartment in the Polaris.

I have enjoyed a Tsunami 140 for nearly 13 years on a bay and inland river that leads to the Atlantic Ocean. The craft handles really well and is both extremely stable and resistant to rolling or tipping as tracks exceptionally well, yet turns on almost, but not quite a dime. It's very responsive, planes easily and has good speed. We do get ocean like conditions and some nasty, sometimes 2 foot whitecaps in which I got stuck more than once. Obviously conditions such as this, especially with a head wind and into the current slow you down considerably but I was amazed at how well this kayak was able to confront such a challenge. I am sure that a more expensive Kayak would be faster or handle better but for the money this model is exceptional.

What I wanted to mention is that my inlaws also enjoy these Kayaks and the last few many years, asked us to just leave them on the beach at their house which is on the water. It's an incredibly rocky beach, you cannot step anywhere without your foot touching a rock of some size. Plus the Kayaks get left out for months on end. In short we've done everything you're not supposed to do to a paddelcraft, and never maintained it or took care of it but once. We weren't trying to be destructive but eventually these kayaks held up so well that if they broke tomorrow I would do things the same because given how much they were used and abused, I feel that I got my money's worth and the convenience of not having to ever worry or take care of it, especially when we had very small children, was a huge plus!

The storage compartments are quite large, the seats very comfortable and also adjustable and the rubber and materials have held up incredibly well despite being left out for months on end since the mid 2000's. They look a little beat up now but anything used this much and left outside won't appear to be museum quality. They still paddle, and the hatches and fixtures still work and move and seal as well as the day we got them brand new.

It's not too bad hauling it around but again we don't ever load it on the car, just enjoy it off the back yard. I would probably have more reservations about hauling it around and at the end of the day I always do it with my wife in tow helping as even at this weight it's a bit much to safely drag or haul around such an incredibly rocky beach. I think it I had to carry this Kayak alone on a flat surface without risk of slipping I can, as once I make it to the yard and put it away for the winter (or take it out for the spring) then it's not too bad indeed but probably at the upper limit of what I can comfortably carry for more than 10 feet.

If you want a solid, stable, fast ocean kayak that is exceptionally durable, will survive harsh conditions, and doesn't feel cheap you have to pay to play. This model really gives you just enough of a high end feeling with its performance, handling and good ocean manners without costing like a kayak that gives these qualities in spades. While there are more affordable models as well, the Tsunami, especially at this pricepoint, doesn't leave you wanting much more. Well, maybe a few more feet in length and a second cockpit, but now they make the Polaris!