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Submitted: 12-11-2006 by Mark

Purchased a red duralite pungo 120 from REI last spring. I am 62 yrs at 6' with 195 lb weight. Used it several times on small MN lakes during summer, three river trips this fall and ended season with a paddle on a small half iced over lake in late November. Paddling alongside newly forming 1/4 inch thick ice with its tinkling bell sound made me feel like a real eskimo. Duralite construction working well so far, even after going over many rocks, getting numerous scratches in bottom while using in shallow low water river conditions this fall. In colder weather I use a full skirt to keep paddle drip off my legs, plus sealskin socks and gloves. Very comfortable adjustable seat and foot pegs, very stable, tracks well, paddles easy with 140 cm paddles for me, but I have not experienced a real sea kayak yet so cannot compare it to one. Love the 39 lb weight and with my bad back its very easy to carry when moving from car to a distant launch area. Found it easy to cartop travel the kayak upside down with 4 foam canoe blocks placed around the coaming, plus one nylon rachet strap over kayaks middle through rear of front car door openings, plus one 1/4 inch dia nylon rope tied on each side of rear car bumper having a single overhand knot thru kayaks rear carrying handle. Initially bought for stability for fishing, but found its so much fun to paddle around and explore in that I haven't fished from it yet. When I am alone, its much easier and more fun to paddle and use vs my 18 ft alumacraft canoe, but I believe the canoe is more stable and more comfortable to camp and fish from in areas such as MN boundary water trips. Am wondering if new pungo 140 duralite might be a bit faster and better for use if fishing and camping on large 2000 acre plus lakes ? Then again, 140 might be more difficult to turn on narrow stream bends or when manuvering class I and II rapids ? Rating it a 10 for my current use, but after obtaining more experience I may want to upgrade to a true sea kayak.
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