Bought on 7-4-2012 at Dick's. My primary focus is fishing. As most have already stated, no kayak is perfect, but this is not a bad 1st yak. Price (399), size (11.5) and weight (52 lbs) were perfect. As this was my 1st experience with this kayak, I am giving it an 8. Future trips may change my initial rating.
I am a newbie at kayaking and in my late 40s, 6.0, 215 lbs in just "OK" shape. The Maiden voyage in my sport access 11.5 was on a mild current (Chattahoochee) river in GA. Paddled 5 miles up stream and paddled (not floated) 5 miles down stream. Did some fishing as well. I was on the water for 4 hours. A little sore in the lower back, but then again, 1st time in the yak and the seat padding is kind of thin.
PROS: (in order)
- REALLY like the molded built-in seat, although the padding is too thin. (an easy fix)
- Dry ride!
- Easy to paddle and tracks very well
- At 52 pounds, it is easy to lift and transport.
- For short trips, it can fit inside my Toyota Matrix, with all seats folded down. Only a small part of the tail sticks out the open back window.
- I did not want sealed/covered storage as they would likely leak anyway and cause more problems. With everything open, it all drains away.
Cons: (In order...)
- The kayak is NOT as stable as I would expect from a 30+inch width.
- No side straps to hold paddle. A relative easy fix.
- Seat padding is VERY thin, but this is an easy fix.
I will update as I go on more trips in the coming months. Next will be creeks on Lake Lanier, GA and a trip back to Amelia Island, FL to fish the backwaters for trout, flounder and reds.