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Submitted: 08-14-2007 by jhboyd2
I went on a short guided tour at Ponca State Park in NE and paddled the 138. The 9 is based on evaluating it as a rec kayak, not something it isn't, such as a real touring kayak, though if it were 8 to 12 pounds lighter, I'd seriously consider one.
The tour leader had a Swifty, and the third craft was an OT 160T. The weight of the 138 affects its acceleration, but not the top speed. I was paddling very easily while the Swifty paddler was pushing to the limit of his hull speed. The few times I did a sprint, I easily left the others.
The seat was very comfortable. The tracking/turning continuum greatly favors tracking. If you took this in class 2 water, you will be ferry gliding all the time to maneuver. I'd give it the highest rating except for its weight, as long as you paddle within its intended purpose.
If you are big and don't mind lifting 60 pounds, this would be a good kayak for you. I'm old enough I set myself a sub 50 pound limit on any solo I purchase. I have a Victory Blast (old WS Critter mold), Dimension Solo, Hornbeck Lost Pond 10, Phoenix Vagabond, and an Innova Sunny, and have paddled and owned many other kayaks and canoes.
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