Submitted: 08-30-2006 by cooldoctor1
The Prijon Kodiak is the flagship model of the Prijon line, and it is a superb boat with many virtues and few vices. Made for a larger paddler, I am 5 foot 8.5 inches and weight 168 lbs, and I feel very comfortable in this ‘pit, although I have added some minicell under the thigh braces. Please note that I own the 2004 model, produced before the 2006 remodel. Like all Prijons, the workmanship is truly superior for a plastic boat (blow mold, not rotomolded), and the dry hatches, coaming, and deck lines are well thought out. My version does not have paddle rescue deck lines. The seat, although not as comfortable as a rec kayak seat for those that like a reclining paddle position, is made for superior upright sitting in order to optimize the paddling stroke efficiency. When the padded seat back (a vast benefit over many yak’s backbands, in my opinion) is upright and secured, the positioning of the lumbar spine and buttocks is perfect for a strong stroke. Some minicell can be added to the seat pad, and I find it better than the stock Prijon removable seat pad. I cannot comment on the seta back being too high to roll as I am not a roller.
The performance of the Kodiak is stellar, and in wind-whipped chop it seems to stay steady and straight thanks to the 17 foot one inch length. This length compensates for the weathercocking that is famous for shorter Prijon models. I have no rudder, and find that the boat seems to edge well; I have not yet been in conditions that warrant a rudder, although I am a rudder advocate when necessary. This boat appears to do well without.
The Kodiak’s speed is better than fair, but it is with a 24 inch beam. It is, by reviews I have read, the second fastest Prijon. It would likely not be as fast as a 21-22 inch sea kayak, and if shear speed is the goal, try the Prijon Barracuda (see my review on that boat). If longer treks, distance paddling, especially if on stumpy, icy or rocky waters, the Prijon Kodiak rules over fiberglass and Kevlar. If one were paddling in debris-clear water, a very long distance, on low to middling chop, another 21-22 inch yak would likely get you from point to point quicker. The Barracuda should be considered in those cases, esp. as it can handle some abuse.
In summary, the Kodiak is a workhorse of a sea kayak, favored by expedition kayakers like Renata Chlumska and Jon Turek. It holds loads of gear (but not startlingly more than the Prijon Barracuda). Please note that, although I am below the height and size that is generally thought of for the “big man’s boat” Kodiak, I feel perfectly confident and comfortable in this 2004 model year boat. It paddles like a charm, has high initial and secondary stability. It has a generous cockpit opening that allows great leg stretch, and requires an XL Wildwasser or Snapdragon sprayskirt. The boat performs well with a 220 cm or 230 cm paddle length. The quality control at Prijon is exceptional.