I bought a used Phoenix Cascade as my very first kayak. Not having much money, and only having tried out my friends kayaks before - I bought it cheap on the classifieds. The boat was overall in good shape - but was an ugly duckling for sure. I did minor fiberglass work to strengthen some weak spots - I painted her - and I gave her some new seam tape and float bags. - better than new!
The boat is of course an older fiberglass whitewater boat. I have spent much time in this boat - and compared to today's boats, she is a bit lacking in primary stability, with an awful small cockpit, and not very comfy seat. All that being said - if you know what you are getting into before hand. It is a good maneuverable boat for taking on river trips, it has no tracking to speak of, but good technique can handle that problem. Beware of this boat if buying used - it is likely 20-30 years old - the fiberglass may not look bad, but if left in the sun all these years you will be in trouble. If you are willing to due fiberglass work, or have found the rare taken care of boat - then have no hesitation - just know it will be an austere ride - but it will better your technique, and a fun ride nonetheless.I have owned a cascade for many years. The 14 foot boat is an incredible lay-up and weighs 24 pounds. These fabricators have exceptional skills. I have seen similar construction in the polk boats, however in the east and west coast their boats are rare. They use a fine mesh fiberglass with an aircraft thin resin. It looks like the new shiny rotoís now mass molded but with more body.
Most of their designs are dated and their accessories minimalist, but my cascade is an incredible boat. I met a famous kayaker who drove a cascade into rocks at 30mph and didnít scratch the boat, I have added a skeg which is just a glue-on sliver of wood to the rear which makes it go straight. I have also found duck-tape and an arrow works well and slides over rocks. The pointed stern adds no directional stability. The seat does well with a camping chair of foam inserted behind you. Phoenix people I have found most cooperative. They were reasonable and helpful to me. I am partly writing this review because we need to buy their boats because few are so light, and a polkboat is remarkable for a beginner, younger and older people.