Read reviews for the Sound 120 XE by Elie as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!
The rapids were class 3, and I was shouting in joy as three friends and I shot them. My Elie -- though not a whitewater boat -- responded beautifully. She's lightweight, maneuverable, responsive. But I'm still learning the fine points of paddling, and as I tried to hit a chute, I slammed into a rock, spun, hit another rock. Before I knew it, I was in the churning water. I grabbed the capsized Elie, held on. Finally, I pushed her to the bank, emptied her and got back on the river. The boat had taken hard hits, but there wasn't a mark on her. This review is a four star because I learned the difference between water resistant and water proof. The Elie's hatches are water resistant, not water proof. Be sure to stow all gear in dry bags. Especially lunch.
I saw this yellow beauty sitting in a show room at an outfitter I'd never visited before, before I knew it I was driving home with a 12' boat strapped to my Sedan's roof.
Since then it's been a happy 2 years with Y-Elie, we've spent hundreds of hours on the waters surrounding St. Petersburg FL, tackled several rivers, and most recently a multi-day trip down the Suwannee in which she performed brilliantly!
Great storage hatch, my showroom model came without the foam liner so i added a strip of neoprene which has kept it very dry. The seat is comfortable as are the adjustable foot pegs. The boat is well balanced, speedy, turns fast, and tracks well. She can take waves and she can turn corners on a fast flowing river.
In other words, unless you seriously need the benefits of a short river play boat, or a 16'+ seayak, a 12' Elie will do everything for you. And looks like you have options in case you want more fishing riggings or even a rudder, but I'm here to say the Sound 120 XE is da bomb.
This boat is so great my paddling homie bought the same model in red. Her name is R-Elie, and the sisters get along famously. We are not exactly gentle with our boats, sometimes running right onto some sharp barnacles or throwing it in the back of a truck. These boats can take some abuse, and we both look forward to many many more years on the water with the Elie sisters!
Very satisfied! You won't go wrong with this one! Hull handles all of the submerged logs and stumps with no problem. I just have problem getting out after several hours!!
The Elie tracked well, was completely manageable even in the afternoon wind, and had a surprisingly comfortable seat for a stock model. It was very stable, but I didn't feel as if I was paddling a bathtub around the lake (unlike my most recent rental, which was stable as stable gets, but also sluggish and heavy). The knee/thigh padding was good. The foot pegs adjusted easily and didn't slip around out on the water (I have a habit of bearing down on them in the wind, apparently more than the average kayaker, so this is always an issue with me).
A plus: the cockpit is wide, so I had no trouble sliding in or out at the shore. I thought the tray--which I didn't really use--might create an access problem, but it didn't. The kayak was light and easy to lift to the shoulder (the manufacturer says this is because of its "lightweight and incredibly durable Poly-XR material").
I'd definitely consider buying this model for day trips on lakes or rivers (not whitewater) if I didn't travel so much. I'm not sure I'd use it on open coastal water with tides/currents/high wind (just got back from a kayaking trip in the Puget Sound) without a rudder.