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Keep in mind that this boat is a ducky and you WILL get wet and continue to be wet the ENTIRE time using it. It's not sold as a dry ride, and it certainly is not.. But for the money, this is one FUN little boat on a HOT day!
My dad got the yak for another reason though, it makes a great float and boat for free diving or snorkeling, something he likes to do. You will get a wet seat using one of these, I wear a wet suit anyway surfing unless the day is over 90* so no big deal there for me. Make sure you get the rubber seat back it is more comfortable than the cloth on my dad paid extra for, for those complaining about the yawing during paddling, try shortening your paddle, my dad shortened his and it helps, plus for surf a shorter paddle seems easier for quick side to side bracing or paddling.
neither of my dads yaks seem to leak that bad, unless I am punching through a lot of waves and getting wet all the time I don't have to empty that much water, the biggest leak seems to be from the rivets that hold the tie offs. As with any plastic boat store these out of the sun or you will end up with a weak hull or a pile of plastic.
I own and have owned several sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks and I will tell you I don't want to start my day wet let alone have constant wet. I was replacing her older Mini X which had cracking issues. I guess I'm back to the drawing board.
It may be a great surf yak, but plan on being wet the whole time. At least it is my only return
The only cons I can pick out is the tracking and the speed. I'm a bigger boy (6'5", 220lbs) which buries the tail in a bit and slows it down. As for the tracking... I think I get ambitious and paddle harder than is needed which pushes such a small yak side to side.
Overall GREAT toy to have!
I'm 5'7" and about 180lbs and the yak performs very well. I can transport it in my Altima with the passenger seat all the way up and the back seat folded down. It's only 8 foot and easy to transport. I've also fished with it and it can get to places that some boats can't. Again very stable.
I purchased it from LL Bean as a package with yak board, seat, and paddle for about $340. They ran out of the material seats and threw in a rubber seat for no additional charge. Pretty cool. The paddle broke after my first season and I went back to LL Bean and they replaced it with no questions asked. I was also able to upgrade the paddle for just the additional cost. They were terrific and said they want their customers to be completely satisfied and they stand by all their products. I was very happy that I purchased it from them.
I really enjoyed paddling this kayak. First time I have ever paddled in surf and it was easier than I thought going out. Coming in... well lets just say I need some more experience. It turned on a dime, very quick to respond to the paddle which was great in the large waves. It felt very stable and it did not take long to feel very comfortable out there. I am about 6' and 175 lbs.
It was not too difficult to keep going in a straight direction if needed. Small and easy to pack around. Plan to take it back next October and hopefully play some more. Will take it down some of the rivers and creeks here in central Kentucky too... soon as it warms a bit. I had no problems with leaks as mentioned by other Yak owners.
For surfing, I LOVE IT. It turns on a dime... and catches just about every wave, and is so much fun I can't say enough about it. The hardest part of surfing is turning the kayak fast enough to catch the wave in time... and the yak does this so easily. Plus the 8' length makes it so easy to transport. It fits inside my boyfriends Subaru Outback if you take the head rest off the passenger seat. And it fits in the trunk of my Mercury Milan with the seats down... with only a little sticking out. Much easier than a larger kayak to take places if you don't want to invest in a roof rack. A++ from me.
If you are not surfing it's great fun for what we call rock-hopping in the UK - nibbling in and out of a rocky shoreline, exploring the gentle stuff and catching the breakers on the rebound. Sure it leaks at the riveted clips but it's a quick job to empty every couple of hours. If you are going to surf, buy the thigh straps & backrest - the difference is unbelievable - you can even dig your edges in like a real goatboater! Plus the thigh strap makes a great shoulder strap for easy carrying. I own kayaks, open canoes, surfboards, wave-skis and sailing boats but for fun & versatility the Yak beats the lot!
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