Submitted: 12-04-2008 by adspof
I now own 2 of the Aquaterra Prisms. For one, I just paid $100 including seat and paddle and the other I paid $250 for including the seat and a nice Hobie paddle. These can still be rented at many kayak shops. They were only $600 new so used they are even a better deal!
Prisms are 14 feet long and are set up for a rudder but it is not needed. These sit low in the water, maybe a few inches from the edge of the boat to the water and turn easily. I like this because I also had a Cobra Tourer and my wrists would sometimes hit the sides of the boat when I paddled which stunk, although could've been my lame technique.
The Prism weights 62 pounds so it is about 10 pounds heavier than the Tourer. A dolly can be used to transport it as 60 pounds of dead weight is tough to carry by yourself, even overhead for any length of travel. I am 5'10", 200 pounds and the Prism is perfect. I bought the 2nd one from a guy who was 6'2" and he said it was great for him also. He actually took off the foot pegs because his legs were so long. The $100 Prism is older and only has 2 scupper holes, the other has 4. These can easily be plugged for use in bays or lakes because the draining feature they offer is not needed. When in the ocean the scupper holes allow a certain amount of water to enter the boat from the bottom creating a sort of equilibrium, about 2 inches of water or so. When/if water comes in over the side it just joins with the water already in the foot area and stays at the same equal level. Pretty neat huh.
This is a sit on top model so no hassle with the spray skirt and stuffing your body into the boat. Also if you fall out there is no tricky technique needed to right yourself. You can see examples of this on youtube if interested. With the sit on top Prism you just flop back on top of the kayak laying on your belly across the seating area. When stable just roll over onto your back, then twist around so you are back in. It is that easy. Practice this in some shallow water just to make sure you can do it, especially if you are not in shape. You will get wet for sure when in the ocean but if you fall out you want to be confident you can get back in, otherwise it might be a long swim next to your kayak back to shore.
There are 2 hatches in this kayak both of which press down onto weatherstrip molding and stay down using straps sort of like a book bag with the same type of plastic clasp. These hatches are not waterproof (no hatch is) but do keep 99% of the water out. If you are going for an overnight trip use a plastic bag for your sleeping bag, clothes, etc., and you will be fine. The Prism also has a molded cup holder right in front of the seat which is nice. The Tourer has a round hatch large enough for a wallet, keys, cell, but when I use the Prism I just place all this in a plastic bag and put it in the pack behind the seat.
The Prism is a great Kayak especially for the value. I sold my Tourer for $1000 and bought 2 Prisms for $350. You might not find them so cheap in your area but every now and then they pop up, especially during the winter.