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On the bad side, it simply did not hold up. Within less than 3 months of use, the seams started to come apart - not tearing, just detaching. Worse, warranty service was pretty much out of the question. Response was slow, and the shipping cost would have been roughly half what I originally paid for the kayak. Aside from that, poor drainage made it difficult to dry out after use, and mildew is always a major problem in this climate.
I would consider buying it again if the construction quality and warranty service were better; but as it stands, it was a waste of money.
It was my first kayak so I had not have experience about the speed. However it is not a racer kayak. It is too wild for this. But if you are fit, it can be quick. (I was racing with a grass-snake once and I won...)
The disadvantage of this kayak is the draining. It is terrible! You have to drain it for 4-6 hours (if you put out the bottom buoyancy chamber [where you sit] and clean it inside with a towel). So you have to have a place where you can live it after that you used. (It could be at home or next to the water too. I used to do that when I finished my kayaking I made my lunch/dinner on the coast and during this time the kayak was draining. When I arrived at home I left it (in opened form) in a safety place for 2-3 days.)
However a towel to dry inside the kayak is highly recommended. Because it can mold inside if you do not drain it. One of the reason of this that you can not open the top. This kayak has two zips on the front but it is not working well and if you use the hole on the end, it will not mean that it is drain - some water will stay inside.
The draining was one of the biggest reason that I bought later a Sevylor Colorado - which is opened, and after a sit on top kayak.
In summary: this kayak is very stable and performance is quite good. However a huge disadvantage of the Pointer is that it can not drain easily.
Everything about it feels more like a "real" solid boat, whereas the Stearns is basically a rubber ring in a boat shaped bag. This is easy to set up, tracks pretty well through the water and feels like it moves along pretty swiftly. Not had it long but very happy so far.
So how is the Pointer?
Compared to a Rio, it is very fast. It can actually glide. It is nearly immune from wind. It sets up with few pump strokes. It does track nicely. And it has not much room for my legs - I am 5' 12" so go figure.
It is not perfect. I will guess the Stearns Cordova is faster and better. I do plan to upgrade. But the little Pointer is pretty good, and it is cheap too! I give it an eight.
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