Submitted: 03-16-2000 by John Glencoe
This is the first kayak I have owned in many, many years. I have easy access to a very nice mountain stream on which I planned to try out my "loon." The rating of the stream is a 2+ for most of the reach I was paddling. Rock gardens, standing waves, fast flowing ripples. Compared to the canoes I have owned over the years, the "loon" handled extremely well in this test. Very stable even when I took it straight into the large rolling waves. Splashback was more pronounced than with a traditional canoe, but when you ride so low in the water, what can you expect. Turning in fast water was not on the proverbial dime, but I had no problems making corrections. When I was in quiet water the "loon" drifted from the track easily and depending on the flow of the water required some power on the strokes to correct it. When I took it out on a nearby lake, the day was breezy, I had no problems going into or running with the wind. The low profile did catch the wind, but here is where I think the loon was terrific, with just minor stroking and paddling course corrections were easy. If you do go out onto a lake, be certain to fasten a skit onto the cockpit. I did take in a lot of water from several waves. I plan to take a river trip soon. Storage seems amble. However, I have two questions for the designer. Why did you not build in a rear hatch cover? Why is there no bulkhead kit available for behind the seat? Overall I am extremely satisfied. I have a friend with a similar model, but from a different company. His boat cannot compare to the overall quality of the "loon." His Montero does not track as well on windy lakes either.