Submitted: 10-10-2006 by DaveMc
I've been kayaking for approx. 8 years and have owned a number of kayaks, including sit-on-tops. I primarily kayak in wide rivers for fitness and just to be outdoors. I also paddle the smaller rivers and creeks of central Fla. My last boat (Hurricane Tampico XL) was, for me, very unstable. Not sure if it was that the kayak was only 23" wide or that I'm not a small, light person, but I never felt steady in it. Big chop and boat wakes were always interesting... Exasperated by a year of not being comfortable in the Hurricane kayak I demoed several other similar length boats including the Kestrel. I was immediately impressed with the stability of the Kestrel. It tracks well and I've not noticed that it wants to veer off course in strong winds. I purchased the kayak with a rudder and have not yet found too many instances where I needed it. The cockpit is comfortable for me and the seat works fine, even for all day trips.
I purchased the TCS composite version and greatly appreciate the weight savings -- only 46 lbs. with rudder. At the end of a long day on the water it's nice to not have to hoist a lot of weight onto the Jeep. Not sure over the long run how durable the TCS will be, so I'm being careful to not abuse the hull.
I'm very pleased with this kayak as it's stable, performs well with or without the rudder, responds to my input with the paddle and while leaning, and is visually a knockout (white hull, red deck). This is one sweet kayak, definitely a 10!!