Submitted: 12-31-2008 by sapien
Inexpensive entry-level kayak that's great to learn the basics in, or just have some fun in protected waters. I bought one for my teenage son and he was comfortable in it right away, lots of initial stability and easy to paddle. I took it out for a spin and was pleased with how easy it is to turn yet it's not hard to keep it going in a straight line, nor does it feel sluggish for being 30" wide (note: you may find a 230cm paddle is better suited for this boat than 220).
You can fit a surprising amount of gear in it if you want to, and a 20L drybag can be squeezed in forward of the footpegs. Austin Kayak sells a $39 bulkhead kit if you want to convert the stern to dry storage. The Phase3 seat and other features are the same as you will find on W.S.'s touring boats. I think the cockpit is a little too big especially for a slim teenager, but at the same time that makes it comfortable if you have long legs and easy to get in and out, and you can carry your lunch and fishing gear for a day out on the lake.
As a testament to how versatile this little boat is, we took it on a 26-mile day paddle, and although my boy had a little trouble keeping up with the sleeker kayaks, he and the Pamlico did just fine, both on choppy and flat water. Well-made, fun and cheap -- due to the good value of this model and ease of carrying/loading, I am considering getting another one just for pokeboating on easy rivers and bays.