Submitted: 05-15-2009 by John Pauza
Since my wife has a new Kevlar/Carbon Q-600 on the way I'm inheriting her two year old Kevlar boat. My 5'11" 160 pound frame fits the boat almost perfectly but I would benefit from some hip pads which I will install. There isn't much foot room due to the low deck but the seat is more comfortable than it looks.
The boat feels very twitchy at first but becomes rock solid as you become acclimated to the narrow beam. Due to the 600's amazing secondary stability, I very quickly found myself leaning turns aggressively enough to take on water. Wow, what fun! For a hull with modest rocker, she turns really quickly when leaned. A six mile "speed run" around an island and back with glassy conditions and only an 8 to 10 mph breeze took 45 minutes flat.
The 600 is pretty much a rocket if you have the strength and stamina to match its potential. It covers distance well at an easy pace but virtually leaps forward when you really crank on the paddle! I'll have to wait and see how she handles in a heavy chop and windy conditions but so far I'm quite pleased to say the least. My paddle is adjustable so after trying various lengths I was surprised to prefer 205cm the shortest setting which is down in the whitewater range. Not only is the boat narrow but also very low to the water so a longer paddle just felt cumbersome.
Conclusion: the boat is comfortable for me and really quick, but not a boat for a novice or someone with feet much larger than my size nines. I couldn't recommend a better boat for a moderately experienced athletic paddler who fits. This is your boat if you want to go fast and are willing to expend a lot of energy to tap its potential.