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Reviews for Vital 166 Kayak by Maelstrom

Rated: 9.5/10 Based On: 2 Reviews

Vital 166 Kayak by Maelstrom

Length: 16' 6" - Width: 21.00" - Starting at: $2899.00
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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have owned my Vital 166 for about three years, and have yet to find anything better out there for smaller paddlers. Seldom will you find a boat this nimble that also tracks well, but this one does. It's pretty fast, but also very stable. It rolls beautifully! Other than a bit of water in the hatches when rolling (quickly repaired by the dealer), I have had no construction problems at all. It is well built.

At 110 lbs. I am at the lower end of the ideal displacement weight for this boat, but I have only found slower kayaks under 16 ft. that have better displacement for my weight. None of those equal the performance of the Vital. The ONLY real problem was the too deep recess under the front edge of the cockpit coaming, that trapped my skirt bungee. I installed a piece of tubing or hose underneath, which cannot be seen, but makes the skirt OK to pull off in a wet exit.

Small women won't find a Perfect 10 kayak, but I'm giving the Vital a 9.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've been kayaking for 20 years - I am an ACA L3 Coastal Kayaking Instructor. I've been through my share of kayaks over the years, being female when kayaks were only designed for men. I have found nirvana.

It was at Sea Kayak Carolina in Charleston, S.C. where I discovered the Maelstrom Vital 166. I already owned the NDK Pilgrim - but the Vital is everything the Pilgrim offers, and more... it surfs like a dream (even small following seas!), tracks, is incredibly maneuverable, easy to lift, and is approx. 18" longer than my Pilgrim, so I can travel faster and work less to cover the same distance. Rolling the Vital is amazing...the kayak almost rolls itself yet is extremely stable. The design is all my years of kayaking, it is the only kayak I've found that does everything well! And attention to detail is evident in the bungeed hatch covers, reflective deck line, and the choice of a backrest or foam block... the skeg works flawlessly as it should... if you can only have one kayak, this is the one!

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