Most Recent Reviews
I refer to my Malibu as a tank because it is a massive indestructible heavy boat. Being a tiny 5'6" 130lb dude makes it difficult to handle this kayak solo, which I do frequently. Fortunately I am still strong enough to pick up this 72lb monster and throw it on the roof of my car a couple times a week. This kayak is very spacious on top and inside. Slow moving and turning but can maintain speed relatively well. I got the Ocean oval and gaspachi hatches installed through Austin Kayak when I purchased it. The hatches are huge and have yet to leak. It is very easy to lose gear inside though since its open and large so gear can slide around (Maybe not the smartest but I did an eyelet with rivets on the inside which have rope to attach to my gear instead of damaging the hatch seal).
As a single paddler always with a 45lb dog: The middle seat option is placed well. The seat itself is not comfy so a gel butt pad is recommended. I can paddle fairly easy with it at around 2.5 mph (took 2 hours for 5 miles in a casual position). My dog has tons of space to walk around the front and lay down in a few spots. She has a tendency to stand at the tip and lean like its Titanic and the Malibu stays stable. It stays stable even when she jumps off the side of the kayak to chase a deer on shore. I stand up and walk around on it so it is probably great for fishing. When I kayak to the dog beach along lake Michigan the Malibu is stable through small swells and cuts through any little wave with ease.
Tandem: The only time I go tandem is if I am questioning a new relationship. Like a compatibility test. Two people and a dog with a large cart strapped on back is actually spacious so a couple with a small child would easily work. Carts easily fit inside the hatches if you are not too lazy to take it apart.
I recommend using longer paddles. I had to go buy a 240cm high angle because anything shorter does not work with such a wide high seated kayak. Also, medium scupper plugs are a bit too big for the foot holes and can make it hard to remove. I mostly use my small plugs if at all.
The most recent reviews on here are not accurate. Why did someone trash the durability when they stated they did not use it?
I am a little 5'6" 130 lb dude with size 10 shoes. The first section below is a little rant about the boat and a few performance things and the second section is of my actual use.
I've been through 3 Oru Bay ST's. First one was not folded quite right and had a terrible port lean. Returned after first use. The second was great on the water, except I found a small inside puncture and a zipper channel handle broke. Returned after first use. The third has a license stamp that punctures through the boat on the stern. I was pissed about this but its high enough and so far no leaks or other issues. You need to understand what this kayak is and cannot compare it to a regular kayak. This thing is light, any imperfection in your stroke, wind, or current will turn this thing. It lays flat and wide on the water so it handles easily but not very fast or great at maintaining speed. The cockpit is huge and easy to jump in and out of. As a smaller dude I'm afraid I cannot roll it. Placing your feet however is cramped and the foot stays blow. They take a lot of adjustment to figure out how to get right and the kicker is, you have to reset them every time you use the kayak. I recommend keeping heels close together and pads then spread out with your knees out to brace the kayak. The backrest is terrible, make sure you have it at the right height and just off the back of the combing. I replaced the seat pad with a gel pad. THIS IS A MUST.
I have been on Lake Michigan with small swells and slow moving rivers. The Bay St has great acceleration, good handling, and ok speed. Since it's super light you go right over any wave but you do get tossed around quite a bit. No water leaked in. I had one unplanned wet exit that went extremely well except for losing all the booze in my flask. With zero effort I was able to lift and flip it over. I hoped on the rear, straddled, and slid into the cockpit with ease. Draining with a bilge was a little annoying because water would collect between the orange bottom and the boat. Using the bilge while edging sort of solved this.
I love this boat. It looks freakin' good. From start to finish, including packing my gear in and adjusting my crap, it takes 12 minutes to get together. The performance is great for a folded up campaign sign. It does scratch easily but when you rub your hand over there isnt a scratch or anything so I believe the integrity is fine. I gave it 3 stars because I should not have to return 2 times and have a boat plate on my new one. I also wish the foot stay was nicer and not as wide.