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Reviews for Charger Kayak by Emotion Kayaks


Rated: 7.09/10 Based On: 33 Reviews

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08-23-2013
Submitted by: PJSSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     I bought a used Emotion Charger a few weekends ago for my step-daughter to use, so didn't get to paddle it before buying... and boy am I sorry. I took my wife and step-daughter out on a flat creek last weekend and my wife (5'3" 140ish) used it first and said it felt very tippy as soon as she got in it. But she soldiered on... after she flipped on it 3 times I made her switch and take mine (Ocean Kayak Scrambler XT). My wife is not super-coordinated or experienced with kayaks so I thought it was maybe the paddler.

I've been paddling SOTs for 8 years and consider myself intermediate. I got in the kayak and it was VERY tippy (low initial stability)... and I had flipped it within 30 seconds of paddling it. It wasn't my wife. I didn't even want my step-daughter to try it.

There seems to be a great disparity in the reviews of this kayak, some say it's very stable, some say it is extremely unstable. The old "Tastes Great, Less Filling" debate.. It makes me wonder if they have some quality variance of what Emotion is producing for this model. I did notice that when I moved and sat on the flat in front of the seat, the stability leveled out quite a bit.

My advice... paddle one before you buy it. I would like to take it to the ocean to see how it handles there and give it some more time, but this doesn't seem to be a beginner boat.

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05-01-2013
Submitted by: Sharethe TrailSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great kayak for fun! We got this one as an extra, so insecure, larger or those having difficulty getting in the Sit-Ins could come out and play. Was worried about stability due to having a previous Sit-on (different brand) that flipped almost everyone off. The Charger is easy to haul, very stable, tracks great and fun for it's size! When large, unsure newbies can spend a day having fun, with no problems of tipping, we agree: if you don't have balance of some sort - stay off kayaks. Maybe try rafting?
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04-17-2013
Submitted by: JustkuttSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This Yak is getting such a bad rap.....anyone who has used other kayaks and have any bit of balance will have no problem and actually find it very friendly. I bought my first kayak (non emotion) last year and this year I found a great deal on a Emotion Charger. I got right in and wasn't tippy one bit and I have only been out in a YAK 4-6 times. I'm 40, 5'6" 180 and I have mine totally outfitted for fishing and I will be out catching big striped bass this weekend in my Charger.... LOVE IT!!
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02-07-2012
Submitted by: MFSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     Not the best hull design - a little tippy, and a lot of drag. Rated for 250 pound capacity, but had two chargers get stress cracks in the seats adjacent to the scupper holes from two guys who weighed about 250 and 260 respectively. Seems the scupper holes are about 4-5 inches from the edge of the seat, instead of being partially inset into the wall surrounding the seat. This creates a pillar effect where the seat sags everywhere except at the scupper holes. If you want a durable sit on top kayak, get an ocean kayak.
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04-26-2011
Submitted by: BCSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     My 70 year-old dad has 2 Chargers. He ocean fishes out of these on a regular basis with no problems. I've taken one out for a full day of fishing with zero issues. Had a ball and caught a few Trout and Flounder in the Gulf. Maybe folks with no balance should stay away, but I had a great time.
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03-10-2011
Submitted by: GilSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     I am 80 years old and bought my Charger June 2010. What a mistake, the first time out it rolled on me three times. I tried all fo the Fall and it is too tippy for our placid river. Emotion folks are absolutely worthless after three call I was told it is very stable implying it is me. I have a daughter and grandchild (17 years) who wont use after trying it out, they use there own (Not an emotion) If you want service dont buy emotion.
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08-13-2010
Submitted by: b38Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This yak all around is a pretty good yak. It seems its getting a bit of a bad rap here. Let me start off it is tippy at first. I'm 5' 8 and 180lbs a pretty medium build. The center of this boat sits pretty far back, and this boat is light I found myself putting a 1/2 - 1 gallon of water inside the boat to weigh in down in the waves. It tracks and turns fast and busts through the surf with authority but it can get bouncy. I took it in the bay, and rode waves 4 - 6 feet high. Once you get the center and tipping points down it really offers a lot for the price point.
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07-21-2010
Submitted by: BuckYakSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     Ok.. I reviewed this boat before I really had a chance to get a feel for other kayaks out there. In three words, "THIS BOAT SUCKS!" I absolutely HAT this boat.. We call is Tippy Bertha, cause it sucks! Seriously! You lean too far, you're flipped.. You nudge a rock, you're flipped.. You sneeze, you're flipped.. Shoot, you fart, you're flipped.. I H A T E T H I S Y A K..
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02-03-2010
Submitted by: TimSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I love it! I researched heaps of kayaks, but then just ended up buying one that was best priced. But luckily the Charger is great. It was a bit wobbly getting in the first couple of times, but after a little bit of practice it's fine. I find it very stable and it feels nimble over waves and chop. It even goes along OK with one of my children perched on the bow while I paddle. Even my seven year old daughter can paddle it with no problems.

The whole family loves it, and so far it's given hours of fun at the beach. Also the size and weight are about the upper limit of what I would be wanting to lift off the car and carry across the sand. For the money (about $700 AUD) I think it's great and am very happy with my purchase.

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01-07-2010
Submitted by: STSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This boat is fun for playing in the surf and for the kids to play in the lake and for the price, its great. I also have an Emotion Temptation and it is one of the best boats I've ever had. The Charger was one of Emotion's first boats and they have definitely improved since then. If you're looking for a fun play kayak for the kids and just for having fun with, this is a great boat at a low price. If you're looking for serious paddling, I'd go with one of the newer Emotion boats. I do recommend playing with the charger in the surf though, so much fun!
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08-14-2009
Submitted by: Mike MartinSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     By far the worst kayak I've ever owned or have used. It ruined the Emotion brand name. Horrible engineering on this one. In flat water it is slow and sluggish. In white water you're flipping over the first rock you hit. Very unstable kayak. Will take all the fun and enjoyment out of the sport.
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07-28-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     This is a terrible kayak. Its very tippy, paddles like a bucket, and worse off has a hole half way through one of the scupper holes. The store I bought it from tried to repair the hole but it still leaks. So...even though I just bought this kayak to play in the waves, that is the ONLY thing it is good for. And because of the quality of the boat, I will never purchase another Emotion product. I have a Perception Prodigy and it's fantastic. I think next time I will just stay with Perception.
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07-01-2009
Submitted by: chicano
Rating: 8 of 10

     A little tippy on the river, but I love the challenge. I can't think of a better day off with my wife, floating down the Delaware River.
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05-26-2009
Submitted by: wesSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I LOVE THE BOAT. It took a few days of getting pummeled in the surf, but I have figured out how to keep it up and will take on any wave that comes my way. I would suggest that beginners take care in getting this boat, but if you have some experience it is a great value.
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05-04-2009
Submitted by: gSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     My husband and I just purchased these Yaks for tooling around the Intracoastal and, on CALM days - playing and surfing them in on the ocean. We live in South Florida so we use them almost everyday! Is what it is: no frills-fun kayak. Tipsy at first but lots of fun.
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03-19-2009
Submitted by: N.S.Send Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     I bought this boat as a beginner's boat to let my friends use when I went paddling. Unfortunately it is tippy in the extreme, so it really doesn't make a good beginner's boat.

Other than that, it is OK. It isn't a dog in the water and there is very little hull slap, which is nice. It tracks pretty well. But, don't consider it a beginner's boat. A Islander or one of the short Ocean Kayaks would be better and more forgiving.

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03-11-2009
Submitted by: KathieSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     I just bought one of these boats used on e-bay and I hate it ! What a piece of junk! I have been kayaking for 9 years and have owned 7 boats so I am no beginner . The emotion rolls over like a friendly dog in calm conditions, I'm afraid to take this thing surfing and a choppy day on the river would be a nightmare. I should have known better, the center of gravity on this boat is way to high, the hull is so rocketed the boats does not cut through the water but skates over it and the seating area literally gave me a pain in the butt. The side slip on the boat is unreal, did the people at Emotion not paddle this pig before they put it on the market? I think this boat is just plain dangerous
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07-28-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought this as a small fishing kayak to let me get out on small water as quickly and easily as possible. Fits in the back of my SUV and is easy to transport. Outfitted with a small milk crate that has a 3 rod holder mounted, this yak gives me enough room and stability to fish from. I'm 6'1" and 200 lb, and while I wouldn't want to head out on big water with this compact kayak (use my Caper for that), it serves the purpose. A great newbie yak, tracks well, adequate speed for a stubby, and excellent price.
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10-02-2007
Submitted by: Joe RSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just bought one. Pretty good boat. I was impressed with it considering how small it is. I just went from a 17 foot fiberglass boat to this. It's not fast but is great for a short boat. This is my first SOT so I don't have anything to compare it to. I got it because I just had knee surgery and needed something small and easy to deal with. It will go straight with ease and with just a slight lean, it will carve a real crisp turn. It's kind of like a Jeep. It doesn't do anything well but it does everything well enough. And, it'll fit on a Jeep!

For boarding in deep water, it's actually pretty good. Primary stability is great and secondary is OK. For surf, you do need to shift your weight forward and back quite a bit but since it's so short, it responds quickly to minor changes in loading. For what it is, it's great. For what it isn't, it isn't bad.

I'm 5'10" at 180 so I give it a pretty low cg. I guess that works to my advantage. The folks complaining of tippiness seem to be pretty tall. When you've got a boat this small, leverage plays a big part.

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09-14-2007
Submitted by: SMG
Rating: 9 of 10

     I think this is a great kayak. It's not big and fancy but it's definitely a lot of fun. My parents and I each got one for use around the river and springs and they've provided us with lots of recreation, especially for the price. Great starter kayak.
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08-29-2007
Submitted by: BuckYakSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     The Charger was my first Yak purchase. So far I've really enjoyed it! Although, the learning curve to keep it from tipping takes a while. My first time taking it out was in the bay with my family watching as I tipped over about 10 times. I think they about wet themselves they were laughing so hard.. So yeah, it takes a bit to master. I have to say that the thigh straps are a MUST! They really help balance you in the boat in any kind of rapid/wake.

I fit in the yak just fine and I'm slightly larger than the average bear @ 6'2" and just a chocolate bar below 200lbs.

Definitely a good beginner boat. Not the fastest boat, but I don't plan on racing anybody, but I DO plan on surfing it in a few weeks down the OBX. We'll see how that turns out..

My advice to you is to PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.. Learn your "leaning limitations."
GOOD LUCK!

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08-27-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Complete satisfaction. That's it. I'm a six foot, 260 pound lake paddler, and I found the Charger to have all the room I needed for a comfortable ride with a high back rest. The tracking obviously wasn't on a par with my fourteen and fifteen foot SOT's, but was surprisingly excellent for its length. The Charger's sharper bow also cut through the water for a very good speed. Its weight limit is listed as 250 pounds, but I believe this puppy can handle a good bit more. It's big yak quality in a small package. And the icing on the cake... I can shove the Charger into the back of my minivan in seconds for that spur of the moment wanderlust. Well done, Emotion.
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06-28-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     New to SOTs but not new to boats. Typically paddle a mowhawk probe on ww, and a necky zoar sport on rivers and ocean. Bought this boat for hot weather and versatility. Love this boat! Keeps up easily with my friend paddling a wilderness systems alto against the wind and tracks great.

Only one problem I have seen -the shape of the hull is not great when in shallow water rivers with shoals and ledges and submerged trees (often found in the rivers of the southeast-you can get caught easily and if the submerged tree is pointing downstream and you are right on it-takes some balance to avoid tipping.

I would feel very comfortable in this boat in class II ww as long as there are not shallow shoals. It handles well.

Have to say, this boat is not all that tippy to one who has been paddling for a while except in the condition I listed above. And for the price-beats the more popular ocean kayak venus of similar size and weight though different hull shape.

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06-13-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Got my Charger today, and for a fun boat this one is hard to beat. I am new to the sport, but I have always wanted to get into kayaking because of the exercise benefits. So my primary criterion was a kayak that can keep me going for at least a couple of hours after work. Over the past couple of weeks I have been through one Perception Sundance - which I traded in because I wanted something that tracked better - one Perception Carolina 14.5 - a great boat, but a little too much hassle if you just want to get out for a quick workout in the evening - and now the Charger.

I do most of my paddling near a major sea lane, and there is also a lot of smaller craft carving up the sea around me. In the Sundance and the Carolina, this got to be slightly unnerving once the primary stability was used up and I had to struggle to stay on an even keel. Not so the Charger, with a lot more secondary stability to its hull shape, it handles the surf and the waves with perfect agility. In fact, you only want more of it.

For a boat this size, tracking is great, and despite some sideways motion, you can put as much power into your strokes as you wish.

I have also tried the Emotion Edge, and while I liked it, there was no doubt that for me the Charger was the better choice. Although the Charger is wider, because you sit higher, your paddling position is better - a wide sit-inside kayak requires you to keep your arms and shoulders higher, which is tiring, the Chargers affords a very efficient paddling technique.

Finally, being only 282 cm long, the Charger fits inside my station wagon, an added boon when you want to shed your office rags for tank top and shorts and get on the water as quickly as possible.

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06-07-2006
Submitted by: TGSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Compelled to ring in! Got my "Tiny Avenger" last September to day-trip, creek run or get a few hours of paddle time on a nearby lakes. Boat performs beyond expectations. As an entry-level SOT, the quality & feature per $ are hard to beat. Easy to load & go for more time on the water. Stable as most canoes. Edging performance improves with thigh straps. Wish I had room for 2. 9.9 rating, Gotta leave those folks at Emotion hungry.
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03-30-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     We bought 2 charges in August of 2005. Had great fun in these boats. Though we had a learning curve to overcome, as we had been in several other kayaks before buying our own. Each has its own unique ride. These boats are quick, light weight and alot of fun. Easy to transport because of the length. Had some trouble with foot wells ( it would rub my ankles for some reason) but it didn't stop us from getting out in the water.
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12-11-2005
Submitted by: csoSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great over all. My first kayak and I love it. Nothing wrong with it except a little hull slap. [Not an issue] I LOVE THIS BOAT AND WOULD RECCOMEND IT FOR ANY BEGINNER!!!!!!
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09-06-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     This kayak is great for beginners. It will not give you a wet seat, unless you're in the river or surfing. Emotion changed the hull design for '05 and it is very stable now. No hull slap either. The only issue I had was that my feet could never get comfy in the molded footrests. Also, Iím short, so the footrests stuck out (not graduated) so they were uncomfortable if leaning your legs against them. Good boat for the dollars. Would give it a 9 if it weren't for the footrest issues.
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08-03-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     The family has dubbed my Charger "Tippy Canoe". The better part of my first day surfing was spent in the water, putting on a show for the people on the beach. My YakBoard is better for surfing.... On the bay, this boat is a lot of fun. It tracks well, and cuts through small waves like a champ. Because you're sitting higher, it's a drier ride than some SOTs. This is a well made kayak with lots of features, and the company backs their product. I've exchanged e-mails with the president answering my questions. For quality, price, and "fun quotient" I would rate this a 9. The lack of stability drags it down.
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01-12-2005
Submitted by: donna
Rating: 3 of 10

     It floats but thatís the only good thing about it. Iíve been ocean kayaking all my life and never have found worse a boat. The keel is way too deep and you canít surf in it for a million dollars. This boats horrible period!
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10-22-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     My brother and I both have chargers for one simple reason, good design for a great price. You can find this boat for about $300. You can surf this boat and run Texas rapids. The boat tracks straight and is easy to turn. You really canít carve the waves due to the pointed bow and lack of a hard rail but getting out in Texas washing machine surf conditions isnít a problem. This boat punches right thru the breakers with ease. Stability is a learning curve with this kayak as with all small boats. I can fish from this boat with no problems at all and the rear storage well is a good design. For the money a super entry level all around fun boat. I am 6'4' 190 lbs male and I feel comfortable in such a small boat because of the designed foot wells. Any questions just ask? I would rate it a 7.5 overall and a 9 for an entry level craft.
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08-20-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased this as my first kayak 3 week's ago. It has performed according to Emotions literature. If you want a very stable kayak for fishing this is it. I'm 6'1" and 175lbs. I feel comfortable in it.
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07-26-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Easy to handle, in and out of the water. Not the most stable kayak, but good enough for me to fish from it, and I'm heavy (225.) A lighter person would probably be even happier with it. Considering the price, I'm very glad I found it . . . my objective was to find an inexpensive solo yak to fish from when I didn't have a second person for the double. It filled the bill very well.
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