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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.
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