It is a great shame that this boat has been discontinued. I…
It is a great shame that this boat has been discontinued. I am a fan of OK products generally. They are well designed and built. I own or have owned a number. My main paddle is an original Prowler, my wife uses a Drifter (it was a cheap second hand purchase) which I also use for nervous friends. I also have a Scrambler XT and a Mars.
The Mars has lovely manners, tracks well and is quick even with me aboard (I am 230lb). It is a good length for paddling longer distances, but is also nimble and easy to turn. It is comfortable and relatively dry in smooth conditions. For a light to medium weight paddler it has no pears and is fine for all but the largest paddlers. It is a good choice for women, similar in design, but better than either of the Venus models. My daughter has been using the Mars since she was about twelve and even completed a 20 mile open sea paddle with little difficulty.
If you can get your hands on one snap it up. Older design but a lovely paddle, Avoid boats that have had hatches fitted in the cockpit if you can. It is not an expedition boat and hatches let in water, no matter how well fitted they are.
Bought a Mars & a Necky Spike last winter and have logged…
Bought a Mars & a Necky Spike last winter and have logged several trips in S FL canals and in the Atlantic. The Mars is simply a friendly boat. Cockpit seems custom fit for me. The boat has no major deficiencies, performance on all bases is good to very good. There are no deficiencies. Could track a bit better on the drift, but managable. Let me say again, what a fine cockpit. Has proven to be a fine fishing platform.
My wife and I paddle a couple of miles up a river…
My wife and I paddle a couple of miles up a river with variable swift shallows and deep holes. We have a Hobie Pursuit, Maui, and Oddesy and just added 2 Mars. We love the Mars for it's ability to get upstream thru the rapid shallows and good speed in the deep areas. I have heard people say they are a little tipsy, but we have experienced none of that even in some fairly swift water. It paddles very similar to the Hobie Pursuit, which is a good bit more expensive. The seat position could be a little more comfortable (the Hobies really shine in this area) or I would give it a 10. One note is that we originally purchased a Venus instead of the second Mars, but my wife found it much too hard to paddle upstream. Though it cuts on a dime and was a lot of fun, a long shallow area was hard slow going in that unit. Luckily the shop we purchased it from was nice enough to let us swap it for another Mars.
The Mars is a pretty boat, rides quietly by cutting easily through…
The Mars is a pretty boat, rides quietly by cutting easily through any chop, BUT it is very hard to handle in winds over 10 MPH in open water - the Mars tends to turn in circle regardless of wind direction, and it can tire you out quickly when you only paddle on one side to compensate for the drift.
Very nice styling, turns well, fairly stable, moderately fast, little storage space…
Very nice styling, turns well, fairly stable, moderately fast, little storage space, and the tracking is so-so, but there is lots of space for a person all around. Not for touring or fishing or for rough waters, but a great recreational boat for which it is well suited -- a "fun" kayak.
This review is after a short 20-minute demo, but this boat just…
This review is after a short 20-minute demo, but this boat just began production last week, so I thought I would share my thoughts.
I paddled the Mars along with the Necky Dolphin and Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro at Moneterey Bay Kayaks on Moneterey Bay. I am 5'9" tall and weigh 180#. I have a bad shoulder and I need an lightweight boat that is easy to paddle. I launched all three boats into small 1-2 foot knee high surf. A 1-2 foot chop on the bay. After the demo I preordered the Mars even though I could have bought used Dolphins or Scupper Pros cheaper.
The Scupper Pro was faster and had more cargo capacity. The Mars just has a cargo well and small 6" center hatch. The Mars was more maneuverable, more comfortable, and more stable on the water. The Mars did accelerate quicker, and maintained an easy 3-4 MPH pace with less effort. It also seems like it is much more than just 5# lighter than the Scupper Pro.
I have a bad shoulder and the lightweight and easy paddling is most important to me. I seek my thrills in surf and whitewater and the Mars is for easy trips with friends. It is all about personal preference. If ease of use is more important than performance, this may be a very good boat for you, too.