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Review Detail

 
Flirt Large
Boats & Boards
(Updated: October 28, 2009)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Design 
 
5.0
Perfomance 
 
5.0
Quality 
 
4.0
Value / Money 
 
4.0

It's the boat for me

About the reviewer

I'm not big (length and weight are estimates, the figures I entered might be a bit smaller than the real thing), other kayakkers are just really small. That being said I'm not too much of a beginning freestyler too, other people are just really good. So perhaps everything you're about to read here isn't true, have this boats is nowhere near good, all others just suck. I mostly paddle WW2 on which I'm confident and in control, and paddled some class 3 rapids too, although I have less experience with them than I'dd like to have. I'm not in anyway related to Fluid, unless being a fan counts.

Test environment

I've had this boat for about half a year now, in that time I've taken it out on small, local rivers, alpine volume runs, a couple of playspots including Hawaii sur Rhone, the biggest river wave in Europe, out to sea for a bit of surfing and into a swimming pool.

Review

I made the right decision, this boat is what I wanted. I'm only learning to feestyle, but I could double pump this boat quite soon, by now I'm wheeling, kickflipping and landing on the water wrong way down when trying to loop. Other people in the club may joke about it being a battleship, but for me it's small enough. In fact I wouldn't want it to be smaller, because I didn't get this boat for pure park and play, I wanted to take it out on some runs too, and there too it hasn't disappointed me. The boat is quite slow, as are most playboats, but it's got a good volume distribution, the extra air just behind the seat keeps the stern from going under all the time as it does in some other boats, this really helps in staying upright. The boat is quite broad and stable. It's not nearly as forgiving as more creek-inspired boats, naturally, but it's not extremely edgy either, for a playboat it's quite relaxed. Surfing this thing is great, in fact it feels a bit faster on the waves than it does otherwise. Both in riverspots and out in the sea the boat combines a playboat hull with just enough of a forgiving nature. The boat is a bit on the heavy side, but that shouldn't be a problem for anyone big enough to be interested in it (it certainly isn't for me). The plastic is no miracle of solidity, but it's good enough, it survived me so far.

Now for the downsides, as I mentioned it's a bit slow, but the main thing that troubled me is that it doesn't roll too easy, and that might be an understatement. It took me a while to get used to it. Through using it a lot I've managed to make my right hand roll more bomb proof than ever by now, but I'm still a bit in the process reinventing my left hand roll and my roll without paddle, the latter one being hindered by the extra volume behind the seat which stops me from laying down flat on the hind deck. As Fluid was just getting started when they made this boat the outfitting has its imperfections, the grips on the front and the back of the boat are not as sturdy as one might wish for, that's why I managed to get them broken already. The backrest is also vulnerable, I broke the rope that holds the backrest in place, it had been cut through where it goes into the seat, I guess being aware of this and moving the rope a few centimeters from time to time should fix this.

Conclusion

All in all the pro's of this boat far outweigh the minor issues I've had with it. There aren't many playboats in this world that fit my physical proportions, let alone my wishlist of properties, but the Flirt large is definately one of them. Thanks Fluid, it's a great boat.

Review

Affiliated
No
About Me
Location: Rivers, flat water, sea.
Age: 22
Weight: 100 kgs
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