Submitted: 05-12-2006 by Jay Glass
I own several kayaks for 25 years and have sold them and taught paddling. I have enjoyed a solution XL for several years and paddled it inland and at the shore. After several rentals I picked it because it seamed most comfortable. Most of us need to try several, and we do change our needs. I was most disappointed with Wilderness Systems when my solution embraced my vehicle and Swedish roof rack on hot days followed the form of my car to distort its shape. Pretzel shaped kayaks are not as funny as poor customer service commitment. I was able to straighten the boat with sandbags and patience but never recovered from these failures. The xl is clearly a battleship, and at 200 pounds, I needed another 60 in bricks to reach a smooth waterline. The seat I found one of the most comfortable and serviceable, and the fish-form rocker hull I find most comfortable and assuring to work with. I believe few people need a 17 foot boat, and since it spends 99% of its time in a pile on land somewhere, that ought to be everyone's priority. Horray for $10 gas to get more people paddling and less in motor boats. Buy a big boat like the xl if it makes you feel comfortable.