Submitted: 07-30-2007 by bluekat
Thought it was time to add my review to the list. My first kayak was a Necky Manitou 14. I wanted something in the 12-14 ft range that wasn't too tippy or tight fitting. I tried the Manitou and several sizes of Tsunamis and a few other kayaks. Things I like about the Manitou is it tracks nicely, and is reasonably quick given it's size. I like that it has hatches both front and back. It has a skeg that I don't use too often. It works well when it's windy, and sometimes for when I'm shooting photos. Mostly I leave it up.
The seat is very comfortable, but the seat back is too reclined and too tall for me personally. Maybe because I'm short, but it hits the back of my pfd. I like to paddle sitting upright and don't lean against the back too much, though as the day goes by and I get tired, the seat's reclined position is kind of nice then. There is a bit of fumbling for the seat adjustments when trying to find the right strap to adjust. There are little hooks on the end of the seat straps to hook them out of the way, but one hook nearly caught in my pfd straps one time. All that being said, once you're familiar with the system and everything is adjusted, it is a comfortable kayak.
The cockpit is rather wide and tall for me, a short paddler. I can barely get my knees up into the bracing (which are just little pads glued under the cockpit area). Someone taller or with longer legs might not have a problem with the cockpit area. I think real thigh braces would be a nice addition to this kayak. (Necky says they can be added.)