I've been paddling for over 10 years, and other than my plastic Sea Lion, this is my first real boat. Our local float shop has sea kayak demo days a few times a year and I have tried countless models. I had been most recently leaning towards a Necky Looksha. I love it's sleek feel and secondary stability. It edge-turns like no other. But when I sat in the Pursuit LP I was in heaven. I have never sat in a boat that is nearly as comfortable as this. I have some lower back problems, and find most kayaks unbearable (especially the Looksha, and Nighthawk)... both boats I wanted to like, but couldn't stand to be in them for more than a half-hour.
A friend of mine who is a guide tells me that the Pursuit LP is popular with guides because it's a great GEAR HAULER and still has great perfomance. It's pretty fast. Faster than the Looksha. I just love mine because:
- It's so dang comfortable, It's fast and sleek, It's red, It's got huge hatches, It's got good hatch clasps (unbreakable), It's a used demo (cheap).
Now I finally have a boat to match my $400 ikelos paddle.This is my first boat. I've been renting for years (both touring boats and whitewater) and have paddled Perception, Necky, and Dagger boats. I have to admit the primary factor leading me to buy this particular model was the price (I purchased it as a demo from a local shop cutting the cost by about $1,000), however I've been hooked from day one.
The boat is a nice mix of length for decent speed and rocker for maneuverability - with a slight lean the boat carves a fair turn. It does seem to take some time to get up to speed however, making it feel slightly less responsive than other boats I've paddled. The rudder is easily deployed and even with the good maneuverability, in strong winds I have occaisionally appreciated having the it.
Initial stability is good, though I've been out a few times in choppy waters where I took some time to feel stable. Secondary stability is great. I've leaned the boat to where my ear is in the water and easily skulled/braced back up. Purposely capsizing takes some effort. Rolling is hampered somewhat by spongy footbraces and a high seatback, but after a few times I was getting up easily (adding hip pads and knee braces improved stability and ease of rolling even more).
The seat and seat back are comfortable and provide good support during long paddles.
Cargo space is good. A large rear hatch makes it easy to get sleeping bags, tents, and othe large objects in and out, and the front hatch and cargo area are more than adequate. Both front and rear hatch covers are have double seals and have kept the compartments mostly dry during rolling and wet exit practices. The stern deck is flat with bungees to make paddle float rescues fairly easy.
Northwest Kayaks Inc. seems to have the small company feel and is very responsive to emails and phone calls.
I've been using this boat for everything from paddles on the city lake, to week long camping trips. Other boats may be faster or more stable (though not likely both) but this one makes a good effort to get a little of everything.