Submitted: 11-26-2007 by deanodives
My search for the right kayak lasted 2 years and I went back and forth
on mainly two issues. The old most favorite debate..."to skeg or to
rudder" that is the question.
I did manage to narrow my choices down
to two different boats. With the wonderful help of Alder Creek kayaks in
Portland Oregon I got to paddle a Wilderness Systems FG Tempest 180 and
a Northwest Pursuit XL in FG. I settled on the Pursuit. It was a tough
call but 2.5 yrs later have no regrets.
The Pursuit is a dream to paddle regardless of the conditions. I started
out kayaking in the regular Pursuit and struggled with balance and
stability. I finally had to admit that at 6'2" and #250 I was a little
big for that particular boat. So the decision was made to purchase the
XL. The XL has a little more beam than the regular Pursuit, its about
the same length and has about 3/4" more deck height. The added deck
height is great for carrying additional gear for that longer weekend or
that long awaited 7 day fishing/camping trip.
The XL is 17'6" long and still turns well without the rudder down and
will spin on a dime with the rudder down. One of the first things I did
was reverse the rudder control cables. Everyone should try this. Think
about it, leaning to the left and pushing the left pedal seems to be the
natural way to turn the boat to the right. It took absolutely no getting
used to and we all found it pretty natural and intuitive. For 2 years I
lived in Vancouver, Washington and got to paddle in quite a few lakes in
Oregon as well as Washington. Even paddling in waves 2'-3' high the boat
handled well and was very predictable. Call Northwest kayaks in Seattle
they will be more than happy to talk about their boats and make
recommendations. They even were kind enough to give me a tour of the
facility. Great boats, great company. I can't say enough about the
service and advice. Regardless of the boat you choose try reversing the
cables, Right to left and left to right, you'll love it.