Submitted: 04-17-2009 by Sterling
I have owned my Kaos for about 2 years now and I have absolutely no complaints about it. I am 6 foot 180lbs and I have no problems with the boat.
The molded in foot braces are a godsend over the Islander Lipstickís slide paddles because the slide paddles are force all the way to the longest position if you are struck by any waves over about 2 foot. Also compared to the Prijion Twisters tiny foot braces they offer unsurpassed grip and control. Also the boat has three skeg boxes and there are two size fins available from Harmony, a small 3in fin and a large 9in fin. I use three large fins. The benefits of the triple large fins are extra holding of the tail end in the wave which allows for larger waves and longer runs. I have also used a configuration of two small fins on the outsides with a large in the center. This configuration definitely turns quicker and allows for easier carving but does not hold the tail into waves over about 3-4 ft. I used the 3 large fin configuration when I surfed the 10-12 ft swells of Hurricane Fay at Cocoa Beach, FL and had the time of my life. The only obstacle I faced with such large surf, if I relaxed at all while paddling out pass the break, I would completely cart-wheel bow over stern, but that would happen to any boat in those conditions, as it did with my Prijion Twister and my Islander Lipstik in those same conditions. Compared to the Islander Lipstik and the Prijon Twister in the surf, the Kaos is in a league of its own.
And as for its versatility, I have paddled the Kaos in flat water (lakes and rivers) and it performs decent. The water-line is noticeably higher in flat water than it is in the surf because you are not moving as fast. The boat is stable enough in the water for a first time kayaker to have no problems with it. I have also fished from the Kaos. It was not designed as a fishing boat by any means, and I donít encourage it, but it is possible. I placed the tackle box under my thighs and I took a 5ft 6in Ugly stick with a small reel and I had no problems.
If you want an awesome surf kayak that you plan to surf with a lot, but want a boat that can do a little of many things, the Kaos is for you. Just keep in mind the Kaos was designed TO SURF!! And it performs its function brilliantly. And just to let everyone know the Kaos is now a Dagger boat, not a Wilderness Systems boat, but the two boats are exactly the same boat.
Out of my 6 kayaks this is the most fun boat to throw up on the roof rack and spend a day with. It has never let me down!