Submitted: 10-25-2006 by riverstrider
I’ve been in a lot of boats, so when I first paddled a Flight at a demo day I knew this was a boat that could do a lot of things well. This was also the first boat my wife ever paddled that she felt immediately comfortable in. So we each bought one. I have paddled mine on ponds, lakes, tidal bays, and rivers from flatware & quickwater up to Class III whitewater.
The good: Xytec Rules! Stiff, durable, light. I’ve run it over rocks that would put nasty gouges in most plastic boats, but barely show on this. The boat has only fair initial stability, but is rock solid on edge. I can edge it 75 degrees without a brace. It is comfortable in most conditions for my size (5’6”, 160 lbs.), but may feel tight for larger paddlers. It tracks like it is on rails, and is fast for it’s length. It turns very well on edge, and even maneuvers fairly well on whitewater, provided you lean it enough and economize your paddle strokes. I’d take this boat almost anywhere. The drainplugs make unplanned swims much easier to deal with…such a simple idea, but you never see these on anything but whitewater boats…why?
The bad: The hatch and bulkhead (in the rear only on my model) is only fair as far as outfitting goes, not watertight at all, just water resistant. Also, the boat drafts pretty deep due to the shape of its hulls…I would hit subsurface rocks in this boat that I would float over in most other boats. The foam center pillar is not well-secured…and it gets in the way anyway, so I ripped it out. The footpegs are merely adequate. The seat is OK for day trips, but gets uncomfortable over long hours.
Overall, one of the most versatile kayaks on the market, perhaps the most versatile in this price range. Of course, the price is somewhat reflective of the outfitting, I think.