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Submitted: 08-03-2007 by Saludable

I bought my 8 year old grandson a CD Raven after watching him struggle with a Carlina 12 for the last year or two. The difference was immediate and dramatic. We did a 2-1/2 mile paddle without difficulty or requests for a tow, and when we got back to the dock, he got out, hoisted the boat onto his shoulder (it weighs 25#), and carried it up the ramp by himself.

I could criticize a couple of things...the deck could be a little lower, and why is there a decal of a falcon on a boat that's called the Raven? but this boat is such a great leap forward for kids kayaks that I'd give it an 11 or 12 if I could. In short, it's a real kayak, made with excellent materials, well finished, with well arranged deck straps, a hatch for storage and handling to match it's good looks.

As a bonus, I happen to be just a little over the weight limit, and suspect it'll make a fine little rolling trainer, but I haven't had a chance to try in out. In any case, Current Designs deserves a round of applause for having the good sense to build this boat, and in a just world, they deserve to sell a lot of them. I just hope my grandson outgrows it before his brother notices how lame the Carolina is, otherwise I'll soon have 2 Ravens.

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