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I am 5'11" 230 lbs. and liked the feel of the boat. It is a tighter fit than the 111 and even the Otter but I seem to like the small maneuverable boast just fine. The best thing going is that Old Town has the best seats around. Be sure to get a kayak with a high solid seatback.
It feels tippy at first, but if you let your body relax and let the river do the work, the boat is extremely stable. The only time I can close to flipping it was when I leaned over trying to incorrectly turn it and was careless. Even then, the boat quickly recovered. I was able to paddle it around obstacles without much prior experience and manhandle it out of the current with heavy paddling. I thoroughly recommend it as a versatile kayak.
I was originally going to buy the WS Pungo 120 for about $350 more, but at the last second I bought the loon. The Pungo 120 is a great boat, but the Loon 100 can keep up just as well. For the money, this boat is a lot of fun. Old Town makes some quality kayaks.
After years of paddling. I expected a bit more stability out of this craft. It is getting sold and I am looking for something a bit more stable. I want to run rapids, but I also want a stable craft since I'm not a young kid any more. Way to tippy for me.
If you are new to kayaking and lacking agility, I would suggest a kayak with a flatter bottom and thus more stable. The flatter bottom kayaks also require more work because there is more drag. (My non professional opinion) Unlike all previous Loon 100's, this new 100 has a great dry storage compartment with a quick release hatch. I now can bring my camera and wallet etc. The old Loons did not have this. For what I paid, about $500, I believe this is a good package. The boat has attractive chiseled lines and a handsome rise from front to opening. The adjustable Ergonomic seat is way way nice. Bravo Old Town! I can raise the soft rubber seat up and down and too and fro with the pull of some quick set straps. No tying etc.
The boat sides do not get in the way of Oar action, no hitting etc. And the giant opening is easy to get into.
I would recommend this for lake, quiet river and flat water ocean bays, etc. For large inland bays with afternoon choppy conditions and stiff winds, this is not recommended unless fairly skilled at balance and oar work.
Speed -- how would I know, I have nothing to compare it to.
The Loon rocks!
It makes a good platform for photography, but I've also gotten used to photography in a sea kayak without much trouble.
Wind isn't any fun, but I've managed decent waves and large wakes on large lakes without incident. spray skirts aren't necessary on flat calm small waters, but on a chop the bow throws tons of water at your face and the huge cockpit could swamp quickly from an unexpected wake.
I'm 5'9" 145, I feel the boat floats well with me on board, but despite the enormous cockpit, larger folks actually seem to make the boat less stable (I think it's only rated for 250lbs).
Remember though that you'll want a longer paddle for this WIDE boat than you'd want for a regular narrower touring hull.
I use them on flat water inland lakes and love the comfort, speed, and stability. I have rigged an anchor system that works flawlessly for Fishing on both boats.
We usually have a 3rd passenger "Peaches" our toy Poodle who loved Kayaking as much as we do. These boats are easy to pull up alongside and pass her between us or grab a soda etc.
Talk about great video moments or Digital Photo memories. Extremely stable no camera glitter and crystal clear.
One word of caution, I purposely capsized Mr Loon 100 in 4 feet of water to see if I could flip it back upright full of water, unlike a canoe, it doesn't work. The best I was able to do was get the boat 1/2 empty and attempted to get back in, which I did with no problem. But at this point the boat became completely unstable and continually rolled on either side with paddle horizontal to water it dumped me out every time. I always wear a PFD, but incase of mishap I always carry 4 extra cushions I wedge 1 in the Bow and 3 behind the seat for extra flotation in an emergency. If you dump along ways from shore and want to stay with the boat until help arrives, it wonít sink just grab onto the bow or stern handle and just relax. The Cushion behind seats works great for throwing to a swimmer or boater in trouble as well.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GET BACK IN, and as for trying to Pull or Tow the boat to shore while swimming, just remember there is 400-800 pounds of water in it preventing this from happening.
If you are looking for a boat to grow in and improve your skills, this is def. the boat for you. I am looking to upgrade to a Necky Eloha DS, but I donít feel any rush. And in terms of it being tippy; I can use a skulling brace and get the keel line out of the water, I also can do successful half rolls and have almost completed a full roll; I just need better hip pads.
If youíre looking to get into the world of kayaking and things like whitewater, touring, and surfing, this is the boat to learn your basics in. If you want to paddle with the kids, take pictures, or fish, then this boat may not be for you.
The younger one (60 pounds) was able to just reach across the cockpit and pull himself in. The older one (about 100 pounds) discovered she had to crawl in over the stern so she wouldn't roll off, but the excellent secondary stability kept the kayak from flipping over, even when she tried to pull herself in from the side.
My husband and I also spent quite a bit of time in them. With more weight, the Loon 100 does ride lower, and tips a bit more easily (and quicker), but it's only rated for 250 pounds. Neither one of us ever came close to flipping. We bought ours from LL Bean, and they came with padded seats. The "same" kayak at a local discount sporting goods store had a much harder seat, which I did not like at all.
Because the Loon 100 is a fairly wide craft, we found we needed longer paddles than would otherwise be expected for kayaking.
This is an excellent kayak for calm waters, and is probably best for small to medium sized adults as well as for children. If this boat is too tippy for you, and you are in the middle of the weight range (i.e., not 200 pounds or over), I would strongly recommend supervised instruction (group or individual lessons), because you are going to need help addressing balance and technique issues. I would not recommend simply switching to a kayak with higher primary stability, because if you don't resolve the balance issue, you'll flip those boats too, with much less warning. Sure, you'll feel more stable -- right up to the second you turn turtle. Our experience with the Loon 100 has been thoroughly positive.
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