Submitted: 04-03-2009 by RJ
We have two AF Convertibles, and really like these kayaks. I have the optional backbone and spray decks on both of them. I have never used them without the backbone, so my review applies to the kayak with the backbone.
We really like these kayaks. I live a mile from the Caribbean Sea shoreline in the Dominican Republic. We have had our kayaks out in the swell, rough chop, strong winds and pleasant conditions. They have performed very well. Mine was swamped once and would not sink. I was driven upon some shallow rocks from a large wave once (when I was swamped), and the kayak was unharmed.
It is a very versatile kayak since it can be easily setup for one or two paddlers. It tracks very well, and I paddle it about 3.5mph generally.
I like the fact that I can easily transport it and pack it away when I finish. I do, of course, have to open it up and wash the salt water off of everything when I get home, then leave it out to dry.
This has been a very good kayak for us, and I am very pleased with it. It does not come with sufficient foot support for the front paddler (the rear paddler has this support) or for someone paddling in a one person configuration. This is something to consider. Also, the Convertible sold by West Marine comes with the optional deck, but has to be purchased separately everywhere else (something to consider). I would not take this out very far without the deck and spray skirts. I have also not been satisfied with the stock seat. I am a large man, and I just don't get the back support I need for long paddles from that seat.
Even with these drawbacks (minor fixes really), I have rated the kayak as a 9 since we are so happy with them.