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Name: GoEasily

Most Recent Reviews

Great hybrid of recreation and touring kayaks. It is easier to paddle, faster, and safer than recreational kayaks and more comfortable than touring kayaks. Easier: It has a 26" beam vs. 27-30" inches on most rec boats, and that allows it to be paddled forward with less force and with less yawing (the bow swinging left and right). On the other hand, it is more maneuverable than touring kayaks. In calm conditions and 160 lbs load, two moderately strong sweep strokes will turn the boat about 80 degrees. Faster: Reduced paddling force and yawing results in more speed for a given effort. Safer: It has a longer foredeck than recreational kayaks, making it less likely to take in water when going through wakes or other disturbed water conditions. It also has a bulkhead a little forward of the foot pegs, unlike rec kayaks which means that if you capsize, the water that is taken in cannot slosh into the bow, making it easier to self-rescue or to swim the boat to a shore. It also has padding on the forward cockpit coaming and under that area of the deck, allowing you to "lock in" your knees during unstable conditions to improve your stability and control of the yak. Comfort: The cockpit 39" long--longer than in touring kayaks, allowing you to raise both knees at once and reduce the strain that many people feel after sustained periods of paddling with their their legs extended out almost flat. For maximum power, put your feet on the pegs; for maximum comfort, raise both knees up some and rest them against the nicely padded cockpit coaming. [Warning: The European website shows the Carolina 12 with conventional thigh braces, which probably impede comfortably paddling with both knees raised some.] The seat has adjustable thigh supports, and the seat back adjusts vertically and by angling forward or aft. I found the bottom too hard, but adding a square foot of half-inch EVA foam remedied that. Other virtues: It is built tough. I hug a rocky river side when padding against the current, and have bumped over barely submerged rocks at least four dozen times with no damage but shallow scratches. It has two parallel channels a few inches to each side of the keel, which help prevent the hull bottom from "oil canning" and altering the intended shape of the hull. These channels also minimize yawing (see above). This yak also comes ready for installation of a rudder, but I suggest thinking hard about whether it is worth the complications. Regrets: The foot peg distance is not adjustable when you are seated in the yak, but it is not a serious shortcoming if yak is being used by just one person. Why is it--and most other yaks--sold without a low-profile U bolt and backing plate on the foredeck for attaching a bow line, a tow line, and securing the yak with chain or cable against theft? Yes, one can be retrofitted, but why put new owners to the bother? Bottom line: If you want to paddle more than a mile or two, but find it painful to do in a touring kayak, the Carolina 12 might be a very good match.