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I have noticed a few people complain about the comfort of the seat. I guess I am not going to complain about it although I have sat in more comfortable seats. I do start to get a little sore when paddling for hours on way to a campsite, but I think I would in almost any kayak seat.
In my opinion this a great kayak and if you're looking for a kayak in this price range, I would highly recommend this one.
The lack of accessories is also completely outweighed by this boat's wonderful handling properties. Having only used such smaller rec boats as a Swifty, Otter, and Future Beach Fusion, this kayak is a complete dream. While the others plow through the water, this slices. Of course, this boat does not compare to much more expensive boats, but it is amazing for its class. The extra $200 - $300 worth of length and design that gives this boat such performance over the rec boats is completely justified.
Turning radius and ease is also superior to boats of similar price, the 13 foot length is just long enough to provide good tracking and yet short enough to facilitate sharp turns, especially when the boat is on edge.
These handling descriptions apply to my personal experience on flat water, and I have not used the kayak on chop over 6 inches. According to other reviews, though, it will handle substantial waves satisfactorily.
From my experience, however, this is fast boat, and I am sure that an adept paddler will be able to keep up with a touring group quite well, especially in less windy conditions. If wind proves to be troublesome, however, one may add a Perception rudder kit to the rudder-ready fittings on the stern for $175 on Amazon.
I am exceptionally pleased with this boat, as I am sure any beginner, intermediate, and a few advanced paddlers would think.
Stability was very good, and with the hard chine, it edges very nicely, making the boat maneuver more like a shorter boat. Paddling hard resulted in very little yaw, which helps with tracking and glide.
I think there is plenty of dry storage space, and yes a little water got in, I think most from hosing the kayak off when I got home. The seat is comfortable, and offers a lot of adjustment. I wish it had thigh braces, but I think I can work with the foot braces and back rest to get a good hold of the kayak.
Overall, for the money, I think this kayak earns a 9. Tracking in tailwind could be better, but I don't paddle much in wind, so not an issue really. Also, thigh braces would have earned it a 10, but would have also increased the cost. I recommend this to anyone looking to tour some small lakes or deep slower moving creeks/rivers. If you have a problem with tracking, a rudder kit can help take care of that!
+ handles well for a boat its size, is fairly maneuverable and quite stable.
+ its hardy. I pulled in one day after a sudden rainstorm struck. As I was loading the yak onto my car a gust of wind struck and slammed it onto the pavement. There was barely a scratch on it. This is very comforting to know.
+ it tracks pretty well on flat water and on waves.
+ it's pretty light for its size. I have like zero upper body strength and can still carry this 51 lb boat for short distances.
+ roomy cockpit. I am able to take my 10 lb dog out with me and we are both comfortable. I wouldn't try it with a large breed dog though.
+ storage. This model has both stern and bow hatches, which is good because I like to go stay out all day and even enjoy kayak camping
+ glides easily through water. I can stay out on it with little effort on my part.
- the seat is ridiculously uncomfortable. When I'm out I like to be out all day and usually by the end of the day my lower back is sore and bruised from the uncomfortable seat. This is the first yak I've ever had where this has been an issue. Most (Old Town, Pelican, to name a couple) have been so comfortable I could sleep in it if I wanted.
- The hatch covers are rubber. In the heat of the day they are very easy to slip on and off, but in cold weather, they are a bear to get back on. They are such a pain in the ass to put back on that I leave them off in cold weather.
Overall this is an excellent kayak, one I would recommend to friends and family. However, the uncomfortable seat is bad enough that it prohibits me from giving it the full 10 rating.
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