Submitted: 12-29-2006 by passedpawn
Wow. I absolutely love this kayak. I have logged several hundred miles with it, and it is a dream. I paddle the Gulf of Mexico, the intra-coastals, Tampa Bay, and some local rivers (a few hours in my pool, too!) Have slammed some boulders in minor rapids. The Carbonlite material responds beautifully... scratches aren't noticeable. The material is very forgiving to a beating -- I would like to see someone crack or otherwise damage one of these boats. Deck rigging is perfect.
The bow takes waves with gusto. It will dig into some of the bigger ones, but they wash over without too much spray coming at the cockpit. I've only rolled it once, and that was quite a surprise to me. Flipped it while messing around a little ways out from a crowded beach. I brought it back up instantly.
NOTE: I originally got a Seals-brand skirt. It was way too big. The size listed on the little chart that is attached to the skirt listed the wrong size for this boat. Check with Eddyline first.
PROS: Perfect workmanship; There is not a flaw in it, anywhere. Skeg mechanics are smooth, always, and make a huge difference in following winds. I ordered it in blue, which looks terrific (deck is blue, hull is white). Hatch covers fit tightly; I have seen no water entering them. Soft rounded chines make for easy, predictable edging. Width is perfect for my vertical stroke.
This boat seems very fast. I have been out with other paddlers, and I am always the fastest. My paddling buddy just bought a 19' glass boat... looking forward to matching up agains that. I just got a GPS for XMas, so I haven't been able to gauge absolute speeds yet. Initial stability: Moderate, Secondary: Excellent. Seat bottom is perfectly contoured for my arse. The one I got (in contrast to one I test paddled at my local store) had a thin neoprene (?) pad on it... comfortable.
CONS: Seat back hurt. I replaced it with a NSI backband. Took about an hour (and a little ingenuity) to put in, and no back trouble since. The vertical height of the kayak is small. It is a tight fit. I am OK in it (175 lbs, 5'10"), but I wouldn't recomment it for a bigger paddler.