Submitted: 02-16-2008 by judylc
I've had my Guide (Freedom Solo) since 2000. I bought it to do lakes and Class II. It's been a great little boat. Pros: It takes a beatin' and keeps on tickin', beaver dams, rocks, drops - no problem. It hauls a mountain of gear (my barrels fit nice and snug) It's so stable I've never fallen out of it while paddling (clearing rivers doesn't count) It will slide, of it's own volition, down the portage from Mountain to Crooked Lake in Sylvania. It has enough rocker to do great on the small rivers and trout streams I love and with enough current it's like a motorcycle on a winding road. Cons: It cannot do Class II as claimed unless you've got lots of room.
No matter how many times I've tried to make the S-curve at Ziemer's on the Red she hits the sides, hard. I just use a ww canoe for that stuff now. Open water in wind is a nightmare. But then, she's so high she can tack in high winds. I've learned to cope by carrying a double bladed paddle, or just using my c kayak. She is pretty heavy for short little folk, but I'm planning on checking out Yakima's new Showboat loader.