Length: 12' 6" - Width: 39.00" - Starting at: $999.00See More Details about this Kayak
I have had different types of hard shell and I can honestly say the Explorer soft shell 380x is an amazing Kayak very forgiving, you can sail, add a motor or paddle it. at the end of the day deflate it and pack it in your car trunk. this Kayak is very rugged and durable awesome unit highly recommend it.
The 380x can handle class 3 and 4 with ease. this kayak is great in white water in addition to paddling in the ocean. I have used it to travel down the kayak down the Snake River in Wyoming and "kayak surfing" in California. I agree that a directional stabilizer or fin is needed if you do not want to fishtail while paddling on flat water.
I do wish that the kayak had a spray guard to limit the amount of water during white water kayaking. All in all, this is one inflatable that everyone should enjoy!
I would say the control and steering are comparable to a canoe. You can't turn on a dime like a hard shell kayak but you don't have to worry about tipping. At 50 yrs old I'm more into the safety and comfort than high performance sport kayaking. I'm 6'1" 225lbs and had plenty of room. The high back seats were very comfortable and secure. I may go to a higher deluxe seat for my wife. She did not enjoy sitting in the water.
The 380x seems to be high quality and very durable. I spent a little more money for a boat that will last many years. I ran the boat up the concrete exit ramp and it didn't even scratch the bottom.
So with the self bailing exception, the 380x is all that I hoped for in an IK. Safe, stable, durable, comfortable and fun. I look forward to many years of river runs and camping floats.
I still like the boat but with the design as it is, the floor needs to be thicker to displace the water so the rear paddler sits at or above the water level and the self bailing feature really works, because as it is now, it really isn't a self-bailer, at least not with the high back seats.
I can attest to the fact that even filled to the brim, it still CAN be paddled.
I have the optional fixed rudder and I think it helps the tracking. I ordered the thigh straps and took it to South Fork American Fork to run the Gorge. It was flowing 1500 cps. With two people first time, self guiding, class II rapids blind, the boat forgave our many mistakes. For the class III section we had an experienced guide showing us the lines. We flipped in a scary place but I was able to dolphin kick myself back in kayak in calmer waters. The guide we met was impressed with the boat's capabilities and the boat really forgave our many mistakes.
With the directional stabilizer boat tracks straight & moves slower than a kayak but faster than a canoe.
Paddling into a strong headwind requires effort but this is really a great boat that will handle open water & for some reason is easier paddled sitting up front as possible, & even easier when there is some weight behind you as the boat will carry it's momentum better.
Big waves & boat wake are easily handled & still water is surprisingly fast.
Tandem paddling gets you moving at a brisk pace & there is lots of room for two people to sit comfortably with some gear.
The Deluxe seat will put you higher up than the Pro seat & is also a good platform for fishing. You can jump from the dock into the boat without worrying about tipping.
This is a very fun boat & it will do everything from solo to tandem paddling with relative ease. The 380X was faster than the 340X solo. See my 340X review.
I paddled this boat for hours in 30 mph wind on an East Texas lake, transiting open water and along shoreline structure while fishing. I have no qualms with the way it handles. Does it handle as well as a hard boat? Yes... a canoe. But not a kayak. But for an inflatable kayak, that's as good as it gets! I even paddled the boat for an hour while my brother fished where I was sitting in the bow and he was fishing from the stern. 290 lbs of former football lineman sitting over the skeg and 30 mph winds...and I had no problem keeping him in position for fishing the shoreline we were covering.
But my favorite things about this boat are that it is ultimately comfortable and it has nothing on it to foul a fly line when fishing. These are the two most important ingredients for any fishing boat in my world.
In flatwater any substantial wind will seriously affect your progress and while this may be true of all water craft the effects are really serious with the sea eagle. We purchased the boats for long (read 7+ days) treks in rivers of Canadian wilderness. The boats are great for that. Have taken them in Class 3 rapids fully loaded, while you do get wet, the boat rides the rapids just like a raft. No more long portages. One benefit of these inflating crafts is that they load on aircraft at a fraction of the cost (or impossible for) hard shell watercraft. They pack inside your vehicle and no wind drag. We plan more river trips in 2008.
I agree with most other positive comments on this site (regarding comfort, paddling, skeg etc). When loaded with equipment in flat water with chop the self bailing plugs usually do not work very well.
The only drawback is that it floods rather quickly in big water. It drains eventually, but if you get stuck in a big hole, you sure do feel like you are one with the river!
It comes with inflatable seats, but I prefer to paddle it kneeling down. It is still quite comfortable and you can see a whole lot of the river downstream.
If you are looking for an inexpensive white water "Ducky" this boat has what it takes to get you out on the river safely. I have just upgraded to a WW K1 and will not be selling this boat due to the overall amount of fun I had last whitewater season. It will always find its way back to the river.
Two 6' 180lb guys fit in the kayak/canoe comfortably. If I would have adjusted the straps on my seat more I could have put my legs straight out, so the interior has plenty of room. I haven't tried it without the rudder/stabilizer; with the stabilizer in place it tracked straight. I felt the 380x was a sturdy, reliable craft. Since the bottom has so much surface area you can't get moving that fast, but it turns ok and is comfortable. One negative is that it seems a bit wide for the type of strokes I wanted to do. Since you're not packed in like a sardine you've gotta pay for that comfort somehow!
I'll try to post a follow up when I do some summer paddling, but I predict this will be very enjoyable for some leisurely River Running and Class I/II action, with a little current to keep things interesting.
For someone looking for a recreational paddling solution, the 380x is a nice combination of comfort, stability, and portability.
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