Submitted: 12-02-2009 by mcd
I just bought a new Prijon Kodiak with rudder, and although I have not paddled it yet, I already have some gripes. On a positive note, it is a beauty, nice lines and shape, the mango is.....yellow, looks to have plenty of cargo space, and the hatches are HUGE. The Prijon plastic is all it is touted to be. I am sure there will be more positives after I paddle.
So, now the seemingly not so good. I will start with the mini hatch in front of the cockpit, which by the way, according to Prijon, is not water tight. Why? Who Knows. Yeah, why would you put a hatch in a spot that potentially gets mass water, and not make it water tight? The positioning of the mini hatch is ridiculous. It is placed out in front of you about as far as the average human can reach, right where your deck bag SHOULD go, if you carry one. Because of this hatch, your deck bag/boat tie down connections don't even start till forward of this hatch, which is, as stated, now beyond normal reach. As if the hatch takes the place of a watertight deck bag. I suppose I can add some worm gear aft of the hatch on the sides, but then my deck bag will sit on top of the hatch cover, which is bulky and raises off of the deck. Just not smart.
People have seemed to like the "gas pedal" style rudder pedals. I think they are a poor design. I like the KISS principle, pedal, cable, rudder. The Prijon design has too many moving parts and adds strap and cable situated around your feet where it is already busy. When my feet are situated where I want them, heels on the floor of the cockpit, the fulcrum point for the pedal is above the ball of my feet, and I wear a size 11. This means you have to actually lift your foot a bit to push and activate the rudder. Not a huge deal, but not to ergo either. Also, with this design you almost have to push the pedal straight on, like the gas pedal in your car. This is difficult because of the angle that your feet meet the pedal, coming from the thigh braces. I adjusted till I was blue and still could not get it comfortable. You have to pull a knob to adjust the pedal position, then pull a strap to adjust the pedal angle. The strap is attached to the upper outside of the pedal, which as stated, makes it too busy by the feet. Why so many moving parts just to steer a kayak? Who knows.
The seat is ok. I don't care for how it adjusts, if it slips off its track, it can be cumbersome to re-attach. Again, not huge, but a little tic that in my humble opinion, does not need to be. The hatch covers seem sturdy and well made. They fit tight and conform well to the shape of the boat once tightened. Prijon uses a plastic clip to restrain the excess strap after tightening. This clip is poorly designed and has no place on a expedition sea kayak. The clip actually falls off the strap when moved aggressively and it WILL break or be lost your first trip out. I know I know, not huge, but why even put it there?!
I returned a new Necky Looksha 17 before buying this boat. It was more comfortable in the cockpit, but the design flaws were so glaring that I could not imagine keeping it. That might be another review. Living in Las Vegas does not make it easy to buy a kayak. I just go off of reviews and others experiences and hope for the best. I am hoping the paddling experience in this boat is so good that it trumps the bad...I'll let ya know.