This is a great starter kayak for a newbie, and I think it will make a good surf kayak for any ability level. I am a 6'2" 230 lb guy, and an active watersports fan (surfing and windsurfing mostly). This kayak will easily float me, and is quite stable even in 2' chop. I took this out on Lake Tahoe CA paddling and had a blast with it. As long as you manage your paddling to maintain balance, it rides easily through and over waves.
It is easy to load on a car roof or in the back of a truck. The construction is good, it is pretty solid and made here on the USA.Family owns 3 Spitfires & ocean paddle along New England rocky coastline & barrier beaches. Spitfire's great boat for getting into coves & tight/low tide spots. Very stable for its size. Carries a lot of gear; must pack wisely. Needs bungees in bow for add'l storage. Molded handles are too shallow to comfortably carry kayak any distance from my PU to launch pt;needs webbed handles.
Biggest problem has been if plastic seatback is set BEYOND absolute vertical upright position, run risk of popping a cleat out of kayak. Neighbor did that by accident when he joined us for an ocean paddle trip recently. Family loves this kayak!Just returned from a camping trip in which we used our new Spitfire kayaks for the first time. Awesome fun is the main comment I have. My hubby and I just love them and look forward to going again.--in fact are planning on another outing over Labor day.
Interesting note: hubby is 72 years old and I am 70 and just tried a kayak for the first time over the 4th of July week end. Soooo glad we did. I feel safe and secure in my little Spitfire !!I think for the cost and what you get this kayak is fantastic. It's perfect for beginners, or solo paddlers because its light weight, easy to handle and very very very stable. I've taught several people who are afraid to kayaking to do so with my Spitfire and they feel confident almost immediately.
I find it tracks very well. The only reason its a 9 and not 10 is that the "hand moldings" are not very deep so its awkward to carry sometimes -- and the "paddle indentions" are nowhere near deep enough to actually put a paddle in - but they do add to the contour of the boat.
It's stable, fun, safe and a great ride for flatwater, Class I rivers, and light surf.Background: I grew up kayaking some and am by no means an expert, but have a pretty good idea what makes for a good kayak. I was looking for something affordable to take down to our river house that was easy to swim off of and durable enough for the kids to take out and play around on.
I took the kayak out for a decent ride this weekend and I'll give it a 5 out of 10. It's definitely nothing fancy, but it was comfortable to ride in and was very stable to swim off of. The tracking was not very good, but for what I'm looking for it was good enough.
Overall, if you're looking for something cheap to just have fun in then this isn't a bad option based on the price, but if you're looking to go for long rides then you'd be better off with a nicer kayak.