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I bought it last summer (2009) and took it out at least 10 times on Lake Michigan and rivers in West Michigan and had a total blast! My kids and I both enjoy it. If you are looking for a good starter kayak to get out on the water and on a tight budget, this is a pretty good deal. If you are a serious kayaker and plan to spend more than 3 hours at a time on the water, you might want to try before you buy.
Overall I'm happy with it -- anything is better than a kayak you can't get out of the garage -- but the test remains to be given on Class I-II...
This kayak IS a complete joke! I'm about 160 pounds and 5'9...I am too heavy AND too tall for this ridiculous little thing! I think the people who are saying they like this don't realize what a real sit on top should feel like...They just say, wow this thing is light and I don't even need any kind of a roof rack system, how great! BTW, I dried it off, went straight to Dick's and they DID take it back! Of course when they asked, "has this been in the water"...I said, oh noooooo.
Moral of story...Don't buy this...Not even for your child! And btw, a friend of mine ended up buying that Viper and we don't even like that one too much either...It's not tippy, just too bulky...I now no longer want the Zest and am looking into purchasing a Cobra Escape.
I would probably not use it in a lake where there's boat traffic as the wake caused by those boats would probably make it feel unstable. However, having said that, I'll give it a try soon.
I think this is a decent kayak for the price you pay for it. By the way, I'm 180 lbs.
It fits inside my station wagon, so there is no need for a car mounting kit. And for a few hours of kayaking in calm water, it is easy to recommend.
I went in the boat and almost fell out. I got out and refused to go back in. It is soo tippy, it's ridiculous. I sit so high above the water and this is tippy. My husband tried it and he said it was uncomfortable as the backrest pushed his life jacket up and choked him plus he also thinks it's too tippy.
Of course the dealer won't take it back, unless it's a product problem.
What a waste of money.
I was considering a W/S Ripper, but I thought they might be too wide and not particularly light for the size as a child's kayak. I was not even looking for this Burst SE, but stumbled across it at a local store on clearance and could not pass it up. I would not consider the hull material to be as durable as typical hdpe but it should last long enough to hand down to his little brother and with a 200 lb rating I should be able to play with it in the surf too!
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