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Boats & Boards
(Updated: August 12, 2009)
Value / Money
Great recreational boat, very stable, and comfy
About the reviewerI'm somewhat a newbie to kayaking (I did some in college), but have always loved the water. You can't get any closer to water than kayaking without going swimming. I love it. Some people get hooked on fancy cars, I get hooked by rivers and streams.
Test environmentI've tested in merrill creek reservoir, spruce run reservoir, and on the Delaware River. Merrill Creek can get some decent white caps once you get on beyond the cove, and it handled it well. The Delaware was on two different occasions. Once was a typical day, the other right after a huge rain storm and the river was raging (gage height was around 6', and it's usually at or under 2').
ReviewThe boat is all about stability, and has handled anything I've thrown at it so far. It hasn't been through much craziness, but the river was flowing faster than I've seen it. Through the white water, and almost being pinned to a dock, it stayed upright and there was minimal water in the kayak. It's not particularly fast, but it tracks pretty well, and it sits high out of the water. If stability and comfort are what you are looking for, this is your boat. The only reason it gets an overall rating of 4 is because I thought it would be able to run whitewater. But I guess that's not the boats fault...4.5 it is.
ConclusionIf you want a nice stable rec boat that can do very light river running (I wouldn't take it on anything too serious) this is a great boat to learn on. A very comfy kayak, the back band is very supportive, I was in it for 5+ hours on the river and had no problem. Two complaints: wish it had padding along the cockpit wall to prevent bruising, and some kind of padding because my shoulder takes a beating when I carry it. It's also light, ~37 lbs, with deck rigging on the bow and stern, and a paddle holder along the side. My upper body strength is not my best aspect, so if I can lift it, most people in my size range could too. I've been told it's not suited for any serious whitewater (despite being told it could), but it'll take on the white caps and minor bumping with no problem.
Location: NJ, river and reservoir
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