This being my second boat and me being no expert, I give…
This being my second boat and me being no expert, I give the boat a 7 to be fair with some slight complaints. I love it over my Pamlico 100, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I know this is hardly a comparison but this boat handles chop and wake so much better. I would say 2 ft swells on a busy local river.
Having to be budget conscious, I was looking for something used but a good all rounder that would handle my 6'2" 245lb frame. I was mostly concerned with speed so I could explore more open waters and go against a slow river and still get somewhere. Having researched Prijon among many, I was aware of the material quality and at one time a Kodiak was on my short list of dream boats. I found this barely used Calabria locally on Craigslist. It came with the float bag and a spray skirt for $500 (no rudder). It had been sitting in storage so was dusty. A good scrub and some protectant and it looked brand new. It is more stable than I expected and I am quite happy with the speed It seems to be a good ride for a first timer too. My GF took to it with ease. I know I need instruction and practice to wring more potential from the boat, yet am becoming aware that this will be an intermediate ride until I can shell out money for something better.
I have about 5 years experience kayaking. Not what I would call a ton, but I know enough at this point that I should have instruction while trying to roll, wet exit/enter. Tried on my own with laughable results. Perhaps it isn't the best boat to learn those skills but a more expert opinion should judge that. I would agree that it doesn't track as well as I would like. I may invest in that rudder one day.
My plan is to keep it as my buddy boat for kids and friends after my skills and confidence grow and I figure out my real abilities and taste. For now I find myself craving getting back in it after 3 days and a great run.
I bought my Prijon Calabria in 2002. It's made of Polyethylene-High Performance…
I bought my Prijon Calabria in 2002. It's made of Polyethylene-High Performance Thermoplast. I love it! I had the rudder system installed when I bought it and am seriously glad I did. I've used it on lakes, bays, sloughs, estuaries and rivers. It has fantastic tracking and turns easy. I am a 62 year old very happy kayaker and highly recommend this boat.
I too bought 2 used Calabria's and love them. They are extremely…
I too bought 2 used Calabria's and love them. They are extremely stable and track very well. I am 185 and my friend is about 220 and the fit is very comfortable. Also, they tend to be very strong and don't buckle like a plastic garbage can. Love them...
I have paddled sit on tops for awhile and just decided to…
I have paddled sit on tops for awhile and just decided to get a real touring kayak but didn't want to spend a ton. So I picked up a used Calabria for $400 and could not be happier. The boat tracks like a dream and is very stable.
I am no expert kayaker but I feel very comfortable in this boat. My boat does have a rudder on it and I have used it with and without the rudder down. The more I learn to paddle better the less I feel like I need the rudder. The boat tracks very well without it. Couldn't be happier.
I thought I'd share my experience of this kayak. Bought it a…
I thought I'd share my experience of this kayak. Bought it a couple years ago. Learned I could put a rudder on it. Not really knowing whether I should or should not put one on, I asked several people. Just about everyone, including sites I've read up on expressed the desire to not use one. So I didn't. Over time I've practiced trying to control the boat. One problem, it's higher above the water and catches the wind BIG time. Also it's only 14.5 feet long, unlike the ease a sea kayak has.
Today, I went out to have a rudder put on. Yes, I was nervous... because I still got the impression to not put one on. But you know what?? After getting my rudder on, I went out on a fairly large lake, with winds 5-20mph. Paddled for 3-1/2 hours. I c-o-u-l-d not believe the ease of steering this particular kayak!!!! ;o) Normally I would be struggling to keep my boat on a straighter course, because my hubby has the sea kayak.
Long story short, if you have a Calabria Prijon Kayak, and are planning on using it for the pleasure and enjoyment you should be getting out of it, get the rudder. I highly recommend it. If only I had known the difference it would of made for me.
The Calabria is already set-up to install a Prijon Wild Wacker Balance Wing Rudder, which is made for this particular boat.
This was my first boat, and I bought it used 4 years…
This was my first boat, and I bought it used 4 years ago for $450, inc. a skirt. Overall, a very good all-around boat, esp for a first boat. Durable, very good storage, nice stability, easy to paddle. I learned my self-rescues and paddling techniques with the Calabria. The only knocks I can give it is it doesn't track well at all--regardless of wind conditions, it constantly wants to turn one way or another. I'm sure a rudder would help this. Also, the seat is not comfortable and becomes very fatiguing within an hour. Perhaps the newer versions have a better seat, but mine is not satisfactory. Also, I don't know if other plastic boats do this, but if I leave it on my Subaru's roof rack for any length of time (esp in the sun), the bottom of the boat caves in--it doesn't maintain its shape, and has to be pushed out again. Perhaps the plastic is just tired and fatigued--I have to be careful with it. But for $450, I really can't complain.
I wanted my first kayak to be a tough, compact boat that…
I wanted my first kayak to be a tough, compact boat that I could explore a variety of water with, and I wouldn't become bored with as my paddling skills grew. I chose a rudderless Calabria, and after a season paddling waters from narrow creeks to Lake Michigan, I am happy with my choice.
The Calabria is tough. Prijon's HTP plastic is stiff throughout and very damage resistant. I have done some pretty dumb things to this boat, yet it bears only minor scars from my more spectacular mishaps. The hatch, bulkhead, and other fittings have stood up well to a normal season of wear. The front flotation bag has withstood several dunkings during practice rescues. The adjustable foot pegs, thigh braces, and seat allow for a custom fit and have remained secure once tightened. Storage is ample for overnighters.
On the water I found the mix of maneuverability, stability, speed, and tracking I was hoping for. The Calabria can follow a 10' rec boat down all but the narrowest creeks and dead fall "slaloms". On open water, it lives up to its reputation for excellent secondary stability and carving. A couple of trips through the chaotic chop and rebounding waves of the Upper Wisconsin Dells were a blast and really sold me on the Calabria's overall handling characteristics. I also like the boat's speed and efficiency. I have taken 20-mile day trips that required sustained upstream paddling on the outbound leg. As to tracking it is sensitive to weather cocking, but like some other reviewers, I found some gentle leaning and/or occasional stroke adjustment sufficient to correct course in most conditions. No doubt some hull designs in this category reflect a greater emphasis on tracking. For example, the Current Designs Whistler exhibited better glide and tracking during a test paddle, but sacrificed too much maneuverability for my tastes.
Two minor features that I wish skewed more toward touring considerations are the back rest and internal space behind it. The back rest is held in place in part by two metal posts that tend to pop out during entry. The space behind the seat is great for storing non essentials during a casual paddle, but a hassle to drain after capsize.
In sum, I think the Calabria is a great looking, versatile, tough little boat that is a lot of fun to paddle.
I have now to update my review of this yak; see prior…
I have now to update my review of this yak; see prior. Now I have added a rudder. The rudder was the Prijon Wildwasser newer version (high density plastic, not metal), and took about 60 dedicated minutes to install. Required three holes to be drilled into my "rudder ready" Calabria, but this was not hard or as unforgiving as I thought. The rudder mechanics are smooth, and it is well made; the $199 plus shipping price however at 20% of the boat price is steep. The rudder cables attach neatly to the foot pegs, and there is a means to adjust the cables length "on the fly" while paddling with a tension strap that makes minor adjustments, or if a change in footpeg placement for other paddlers. The workmanship of the rudder seems very good, and the plastic is very heavy duty. The parts, mechanics, ropes are very fine; not chincy.
Once paid for and installed, I paddled for over two hours on a local lake and observed several things. First, my impression of the rudder-up Calabria being a poor tracking vessel was confirmed. Many say -"I want to learn to paddle correctly rather than have a rudder". Be my guest. I mild breezes 5-10 mph, that rudder-up Prijon starts rotating like on a pivot before I can get the opposite paddle in the water! It tracks well for a while, then boom, starts to drift substantially. I have paddled every weekend for two years, and many years in canoe as a kid -- not an expert, but I know poor tracking when I see it. Now, put new rudder down, and big improvement! The rudder goes up and down well, and when down, tracks very well. In fact, without using the foot controls it can be a tad hard to turn at times; this is a new sensation in this whirling dervish of a yak. I experimented with eyes closed, and after 30 seconds of paddling without the rudder, I could literally be going 90-180 degrees (yes, almost all the way around in the wrong direction) off course. With the rudder down, I was pretty much on target to a point on the horizon. As a newbie to rudders, though, I will say that I do not love that my yak --pristine, one piece, rattleless, and simple-- now has a mechanical unit with guide-wires, control ropes and a blade. Some message board posters suggested that rudders can break, I used to say, "How?" Now I know. My immediate test run in my backyard pond pulled a cable out of the foot peg due to a loose screw. Easy fix, but a pain in the butt. So, simplicity goes to the wayside when you add a rudder (a skeg would be nice, but not available on any Prijons). Another key: the rudder DOES give drag. It is small but perceptible. I used to think, "How can a Washington quarter thin rudder give drag" Answer: when you pivot it, ever so slightly (10 degrees), there is drag equal to the entire surface area. Even perfectly straight, drag noted. If I was blinded to the rudder position, I think I could still, just barely, tell that it was down by the drag. Add that times two hours or all day kayaking, and we may have an issue. The footpegs work well with the gas pedal controls; even applying heavy pressure on the footrests, the pressure goes on the axel pedal, not on the gas portion thus not an issue for rudder control.
All in all, a fine kayak made better with the rudder, but I suppose I am not much of a rudder kind of fellow, and would prefer the silent, sleek lines of a yak with no moving parts as opposed to the rudder. I concur with reviewers below that the Calabria requires a rudder. I question though if the Calabria is the right vessel for everyone as it is really middle ground…not a super speed stealth (and even dowdier with the rudder), and a little long for creeks and streams, yet a tad short for large water. My Capri(s) plus a longer seaworthy boat might have been the key for me.
A bit of a disappointment compared to my Prijon Capri (see review)…
A bit of a disappointment compared to my Prijon Capri (see review). I love my 12 foot, 44 lb Capri, and still feel it is the best bang for buck in small plastic kayaks; the Capri is stiff HTP plastic, very fast and holds a line very well for a 12 ft boat. I bought the Calabria, 14.5 feet, 54 lbs for a day tourer with more storage (it does have this on the Capri for sure), and that could hold a line on larger lakes, reservoirs and maybe even great lakes.
It actually--without rudder--tracks WORSE than my Prijon Capri. There is no keel, and I believe with the longer profile it catches crosswind that the Capri does not and --as other reviewers mention below, some emphatically, but even the reviewers that love the boat seem to mention it--one must work to keep it tracking. It is not a "chore" unless windy and weathercocking, but even with breezeless flatwater paddles, it can be an issue; I find myself adjusting my paddle stroke strength one on side or other to keep tracking smoothly.
Although I agree with prior reviewers that it turns well and responds well to leaning, and is fast, I do not feel that the 10 lb (about 20%!) weight premium over the Capri is well spent as the tracking is not improved. Please note that, I have adjusted the seat, and with the seat in a more forward (frontward) position, the front end stays in water and tracking may be a very small amount improved).
I do like Prijon boats in general (although feel their accessories, such as paddles, are heavy and antiquated), and have stuck with the brand and would continue to do so. Very well constructed (German made, like a Benz) with adjustable seat, thigh braces, etc.
NOTE: I have not yet added the $199 rudder, but have it ordered from Prijon, and will install and update this review--the reviewer below seems to feel it made a huge difference, I will give you my experience. Bottom line: rudderless, anyway, the Capri is lighter, cheaper cost (but same high quality build), and tracks better and is just as speedy.
I have had my Calabria for 3 years now. I bought the…
I have had my Calabria for 3 years now. I bought the boat for my wife to use (infrequent paddler) and to take newbies, lend to friends etc. In calm conditions the boat is very stable and edges well. No fun at all in any kind of following seas or wind. Given the target audience for this boat I think that the rudder should come with. The boat is well constructed. I like the fully adjustable cockpit since I rarely have the same paddler in it twice in a row, fits a wide range with the fore & aft seat adjustment combined with adjustable thigh bracing. I'd give it a thumbs up for a beginner in calm conditions, I'm less than enthused about it in wind and wave though.
I am 5'9 and 150 lbs. and purchased a Calabria to begin…
I am 5'9 and 150 lbs. and purchased a Calabria to begin my second year of kayaking. Prior to the Calabria, I paddled a WS Pamlico 135T tandem primarily with my wife, kids, and occasionally solo. I have taken it out in both calm and windy conditions. I am very pleased that I purchased this kayak.
I did not demo it prior to purchase because most of the water in the upper Midwest was in a solid state. However I sat in it for a long time at Canoecopia (some of the more experienced paddlers on this board informed me that comfort is an extremely major factor even if you do not get a chance to demo).
Here are my general impressions:
- The plastic is durable, stiff, and well-molded (extrusion blow-molded; not rotomolded).
- The seat, imho, is more comfortable than the WS Phase 3 seats. The Calabria seat is rigid and keeps you vertical and comfortable for long periods. There is a little storage area in back of the seat which can be used for average-sized dry bags.
- The foot rests are solid, firm and comfortable and the adjustable thigh braces are a great feature.
- Initial and secondary stability are very good.
- The yak is fast for a 14'5" boat with a 25" beam. It glides and carves through the water. I have no idea what effect the trihedral hull has because it still looks like a relatively flat bottom to me.
- Tracking is very straight in calm conditions. On windy days, the Calabria has a tendency to weathercock a bit more than expected. The yak comes rudder-ready but in the near-term, I would prefer to refine my technique. It can be leaned and edged fairly easily and has a hard chine.
- The Calabria is costly for a plastic yak- $1,100. A few hundred dollars extra for a preferable yak was not an issue for me.
- It comes in only three colors in 2005: red, mango and turquoise- I selected the mango.
- The Calabria is a high volume boat and I think it would comfortably fit paddlers of many varying sizes.
- There is no front bulkhead; just a form-fitting flotation bag. This did not matter to me because I will use it primarily for day trips on lakes, rivers, and the Great Lakes in non-threatening conditions.
- The yak is 50 lbs. and is easy to car top.
- Storage space is good but I will not need that much.
- The personnel at Prijon were very responsive when I e-mailed them for info.
- The coaming is firm and it's easy to enter and exit the keyhole-shaped cockpit. The keyhole shape is also nice because when I'm ready for a cigar and Gatorade break on the water, I can rest my feet outside the cockpit.
In summary, the Calabria is a great transitional hybrid model when you want to graduate from a basic recreational yak to something somewhat more advanced; without being overwhelmed.
Thanks to Maximadude and the other reviewers of this boat for their insightful comments.
I bought this boat in July 2004 sight unseen, but well researched…
I bought this boat in July 2004 sight unseen, but well researched via this website and email exchanges with other owners. I am extremely happy with the purchase. A pleasing Mango colour, the boat has very clean lines and the plastic is top notch compared to many of the other manufacturers I looked at. The Calabria is lighter than my 13 foot Clearwater Design Inuvik, and is a pleasure to paddle. It comes up to speed effortlessly and holds its line without difficulty. Surfing with the waves gives you the feeling of sitting on a rocket! I found the seat to be more comfortable than the Wilderness Systems set up and the adjustable thigh braces are great. The boat receives a lot of compliments and has been difficult for me to keep to myself. The teens now each want one and my wife wants to offload the 13 ft. rec boat in favour of something similar.
I'm 6'2' and 185 lbs. The boat is a perfect fit for me. My wife at 5'2" and 130 lbs has no difficulty paddling this boat whatsoever, but prefers a cushion on top of the seat to raise her by about 2", as she feels the cockpit edge is a little too high for her. We will be checking out the Prijon Catalina for her, as it in theory is designed for a smaller person.
The tough rigid plastic has shown no signs at all of warping, denting, oil canning, and I have been able to strap it down quite tight with the ratchet straps on my racks. The 36" keyhole cockpit design makes entry/eggress a snap. The boat came with a rudder but have not yet found a need nor an opportunity to attach it.
The aesthetics of this boat combined with the high great fit and finish gives it the appearance of a high quality boat. Two outfitting places in Toronto sell the Prijon line. It pays to shop around (all of which I did via e-mails and a few phonecalls).
First off, I love this boat! It's quick, nimble and yet…
First off, I love this boat! It's quick, nimble and yet stable, sturdy & well made, has attractive lines, decent weight for transport, is well equipped, and has the ability to adjust seat/ & thigh braces to customize the fit. Now some specifics:
Invested several months during winter/sprint of 2003 researching a kayak that would fit my needs, my body and my budget. The big thing I learned is everything is a compromise--I wanted speed (which often = length) AND a responsive performer; wanted sturdy construction AND light weight for transport; wanted to occasionally go on "big water" (for me that means Great Lakes Michigan and Superior) AND negotiate a 15' wide, meandering river; wanted features AND good price; wanted to do occasional overnighters in something that met the other parameters above. One additional important point was I wanted to share the experience with others. I ended up buying two kayaks a week apart. The other is a Pungo Classic (see that review), which I also am very happy with.
I poured over the literature, and sat in as many boats over winter that I could. That is a HUGE consideration as you will quickly determine whether the seating comfort, ease of entry (ie, cockpit size), and general fit will be to your liking. Boats that looked good "on paper" were quickly dismissed by me in 10 seconds when I got into and sat down in them. The reviews on Paddling.net were invaluable--manufacture's hype is fine to get your attention but I'd rather hear directly from the people who use them.
I've paddled my Calabria about 30 times so far, mostly on rivers with moderate currents but no whitewater yet. I've been venturing out on Lake Michigan more lately. The Calabria is quick and nimble, accelerates well and carves like a sporty sedan. The hard chine hull is stable when entering the boat and when I lean. I mostly go up river and then come back down, and with the huge rains we've had in Spring of '04 flows were up to 20X normal rate. Up to this year I've gone without a rudder and felt in control, though often I had to work harder to keep my line. It's sensitive, which is good when you want to turn sharply, but I was feeling a little pushed around when wind and current became challenging. the 12' Pungo actually tracked better--it has a keel that runs the length of the boat. Then I read that the people at Wildwasser designed a new rudder shape this year so I opted for this $200 option. The Calabria comes "rudder ready" with pre-drilled holes and guides, gas-pedal footpegs and a plastic stern rudder piece already on the boat. The rudder was easy to put on and very well made. In a word: Wow--the rudder makes this boat track like a dream and yet still remain nimble. I love that I can hold a line across a lake, wind and chop be damned. When on a river, I can stop paddling to take a picture or use binoculars and hold a line or steer as required to keep me on track. In my opinion, it completes the boat.
The HTTP plastic and special construction method make this a stiff boat and therefore, more "big water worthy." Practically, to me, the stiffness (combined with the multi-chine hull) translated into a feeling of confidence from the first stroke I took on a demo paddle--this boat feels like it can do things that will take me years to learn. I'm taking it on a Lake Superior Adventure in a few months. Most outfitters I talked to would not allow tour participants to bring their own plastic boats, but made an exception for the Calabria. That's a great endorsement in my mind.
The seat and thigh brace adjustment is cool--this boat fits me the best of all I tried. I'm 6' 1" and 210 lbs and never feel cramped. I do have a gripe about where the back rest adjustment is located--I can barely make and adjustment when in the boat. The V-notch that's supposed to keep it firm often slips when I put pressure on the seat back and it's a pain to readjust. Also, one of the plastic "D-rings" that are a part of that system broke right away, so I replaced it with a two inexpensive key-ring-type metal things. Personally, I get some back fatigue after several hours of paddling which I attribute to the backrest's non-adjustability. I'm going to try a small foam piece (from a "noodle") to give some lumbar support. The thigh braces are comfortable and very useful, once you've used them, every boat without them feels like it's missing something. The Keyhole cockpit is great--feels snug and fits the skirt well, and yet allows you to lift your knees. The area right behind the cockpit is strong and very conducive to entry with paddle support. The cowling is strong and keeps most water out.
The double covered rear hatch is great, the storage ample. An included bow flotation bag was a nice touch. The rigging and safety lines that run the length of the boat are very useful to bungee things to and the net-type holder on the front is a welcome addition. I've towed my tired wife across a lake with the included tow line. My 20# dog Maggie is often with me and I've rigger her a "deck" from a milk crate and carpeting that sits on the bow. She fits well between my legs in the cockpit too.
Other boats I looked at, paddled, and liked were Wilderness Systems Cape Lookout 14.5, Perception Carolina 14.5. Decent boats, but neither felt as secure and seaworthy to my size and weight. The adjustability, included niceties and rudder-ready set-up are what pushed me to purchase the Calabria and I've very happy with my choice. Sorry this review got a bit lengthy, but when spending over $1000 ( $850 plus $200 for rudder), more info is helpful.
I own Calabria and a Wildness Lookout 145, Although both boats are…
I own Calabria and a Wildness Lookout 145, Although both boats are great, here are some advantages of the Calabria- Much stiffer and tougher plastic, adjustable thigh braces- big advantage here and they are placed in a much more functional position, deck rigging, its nice to have the bow/stern ropes and emergency line. The boat tracks very well and is very easy to carve with. My only complaint it that the decals on the side of the boat are easily damaged and it makes the boat look a little cheap with black smears on the side. But the little extra dollars for the boat is well worth it.
I have owned and used this boat for almost 2 years -…
I have owned and used this boat for almost 2 years - it was my first kayak and still serves me well. It tracks well without the rudder ans steers well without the rudder even in moderate wind conditions usually just a gentle lean is all that is needed to keep it straight. I have used in in lakes, and intercoastal waterways, in moderate waves/swells - it is stable and confident. I am 6' and weigh 195 lbs and it fits like a gove - very adjustable seat, thigh and foot pegs. Also works good for my wife at 5'8". Why 9 and not 10 - I don't feel qualified enough to rate it a 10 - but I've no compliants and no plans to trade it in.
I have been paddling for about three years with my wife and…
I have been paddling for about three years with my wife and have only used a tandem until recently. I love my pamlico but wanted a dedicated solo boat so I began shopping around and after being put in some less than satifactory boats I found the Calabria.
It is fast, stable and carves on dime. Even though I as yet do not have a rudder I tried the dagger style zero sum rudder and did not like it. I was much happier with the gas pedal style used by Prijon. I am 6'2" and weigh 215 lbs and find the boat more than big enough even for my size 11's. I have done no long term camping with it as yet so the single rear hatch has been enough and I really like the Prijon hatch design.
I recently purchased a Prijon Calabria after trying many boats over several…
I recently purchased a Prijon Calabria after trying many boats over several years. A boat decision was difficult due to the many trade-offs one must make over price, speed, stability, size, paddling environment, etc. I chose the Prijon because it was reasonably long, but not too long (14.5 feet), it tracked well, and was fairly fast. I especially liked that Prijon has adjustable thigh braces. I found that fixed thigh braces on other boats were often not in quite the right place for me. Additionally, the cockpit is of the keyhole design that allows you to anchor yourself in but also allows easy entry and exit when you want. I did not want a large cockpit that I would fall out of if the boat tipped. I would rather stay in the boat and try to roll it up. I also like the trihedral hull. With just a little lean, you can correct your direction without using excessive paddle stroke correction. Furthermore, the Prijon is constructed of HTTP plastic which is supposed to be stronger than rotomolded plastic and is supposed to better withstand "oil canning" indentations that plague other plastic boats after porting on top of your car. The boat is somewhat heavy at 54 lbs. therefore I also purchased a Kayak cart with wheels and I am glad I did. I would hate to carry this boat any distance. The boat is stable and I feel very comfortable in it. The seat is extremely comfortable and, although I have long legs, there is more than enough room. I even have more adjustment room left for the footpegs. I did not purchase a rudder although one is available and easily installed (and uses the "gas-pedal" style footpegs which provides you with a fixed footpeg for bracing). I do not yet know whether a rudder is needed. The only tracking difficulties I have come across are two: (1) in bow waves from motor boats, the kayak wants to turn parallel to the wave and (2) in river current around bends, it wants to follow the current flow. This may also be common to other boats -- I don't know. Did I purchase the best boat? Who knows? I only know that I tried many boats and this one immediately felt right. The important thing is to carefully consider what you want a boat for now, and what you may want it to do in the future, and make your decision.
After owning 5 kayaks, I can say the Prijon Clabria was my…
After owning 5 kayaks, I can say the Prijon Clabria was my favorite - plenty of room, came with its own custom made float bag, easy to handle, stable, fast. In my non-expert opinion, the Calbria was better than my much more expensive ($1695 vs. $689) Eddyline Nighthawk. My Necky Looksha Sport (same price as the Calbria) was harder to track, and weighed more - For a full volume boat the Calabria amazed me. It was more stable, tracked better w/o rudder than either of the skeg equipped kayaks and seemed faster - When I called Prijon, a person answered the phone to help me locate a Wildwassar spray skirt; when I emailed Necky, I never got a reply. The Prijon plastic was much stiffer and lighter than the Necky - the Looksha Sport was dented when I bought it new and was dented when I sold it a year later.
After spending 6 months reading, shopping and demoing, I ended up purchasing…
After spending 6 months reading, shopping and demoing, I ended up purchasing a Calabria and I love it. I opted to start off w/o the rudder to force myself to learn correct paddle technique and know that I can survive without one. In boats of this length, I found the Calabria tracked exceptionally well without a rudder. The Trihedral hulls and solid construction are noticeable when compared to some of the Perception boats of a similar style. So far, I've had it on rivers, bays, 2.5 foot surf and a bit of open ocean; it has handled extremely well. With the combination of a head wind and current against me it does take extra energy to keep on course but I imagine any boat this length would!
A couple of things I'd suggest: make the first adjustments with foot pegs only, then adjust the thigh braces. Paddle a bit and make adjustments as necessary. I would suggest only adjusting the seat as a last ditch effort b/c it can be tough to get it locked in straight. That said, I very much appreciate the adjustments b/c I am 6 feet tall but only have 30 inch legs and a lot of boats didn't fit me well. Prijon is the only line I saw with this level of customization for under $1000.
Final thought: if you plan to do a lot of camping and the 2nd bulkhead is required, I'd look at the Catalina. You get the 2nd bulkhead and lose about 12 pounds of weight. On the flip side - it is a bit longer and about $450 more. See you on the water!
Good all-around boat. I'm about 170 lbs with a tall torso. It's…
Good all-around boat. I'm about 170 lbs with a tall torso. It's VERY Stable, turns well and has a very stiff hull. Speed is good in flat water with little wind, but it slows significantly heading into a chop or stiff headwinds (as expected with a high volume boat). Tracking is good, and the boat was fun surfing in a 3' following sea. Rudder is needed in wind or chop, but completely unnecessary in calm conditions.
I love my calabria. It is my first kayak and I am…
I love my calabria. It is my first kayak and I am pretty pleased by it. The traking is good and it is very stable. Look nice too. Plastic seems to be very strong. Very confortable seat. Just got in the water and felt like a charm!
Prijon Calabria. After MANY test runs of several different manufactures, Prijon Calabria…
Prijon Calabria. After MANY test runs of several different manufactures, Prijon Calabria won many features. Concider comfort-Great, tracking w/rudder works better than most. Ease in upwind conditions/better than most, speed, faster than most. Storage was one of the most impressive features. A small cooler, several changes of clothes, tent, camera, small grill, and dry goods ALL in the water tight storage. Behind the seat I had room for more small camping supplies.
Using the front net and rear nets enables me to tie down dry bags, and more comforts for camping. LEG room on the rudder peddles was adjustable and comfortable. GRIPE-MAKE A LARGER DRINK HOLDER FOR MY BEVERAGE. -- Highly praised boat.
I recently purchased my Prijon Calabria and have been pretty pleased so…
I recently purchased my Prijon Calabria and have been pretty pleased so far. The finish work on the boat is good, the seat is comfortable, and overall, it is reasonably light and very stiff for a plastic boat. A couple of minor gripes; the hardware on the adjustable thigh brace stripped out during the first adjustment (have requested new hardware from Prijon's US distributor). The boat seems to want for a rudder (optional), as it curls to the right slightly during pauses in paddling. I'm 6'2" and about 200lbs, and I found the boat to be most comfortable for me with the adjustable thigh braces removed completely. The medium volume bow in conjunction with Prijon's "gas-pedal" style footpegs are probably comfortable if you have less than a size 10 foot, however, the lack of a rudder causes the "pedal" portion of the footpeg to spring forward into a retracted position and leaves you with a round peg roughly the diameter of quarter to brace your foot against. Couple this with low bow volume and the result is that you have to cock your feet outward to clear the bow, and brace the peg diagonally across the ball of your foot. It's not the most comfortable foot peg I have tried, but it is functional. For its width (25") the Calabria feels fast, and accelerates quickly. It is a very stable and maneuverable boat that turns remarkable well for its length (14'5"). For a paddler my size, a spray skirt is highly recommended, as weighting the inside thigh brace for tighter turns will bring the lip of the cockpit very close, if not below the surface of the water. If you are in the market for a sport-touring kayak and are able to locate a Prijon dealer who stocks the Calabria, take one for a spin and see what you think.