Submitted: 06-06-2009 by Melissa
I absolutely love this boat. Granted, it's my first one, but I've had it for about six months and have no complaints. This boat handles beautifully. It is highly maneuverable and very steady. I've had it in some pretty heavy chop and taken some waves from power boats and have never felt like I was going to tip. I don't have a skirt or deck for it either and it took on minimal water. Also, even though the chop obviously slowed me down, this kayak still cuts through it and keeps a decent pace (and I'm not that strong of a paddler yet).
I chose this shorter length so my boyfriend (who has a Swifty 9.5) can strap them down in the bed of his Chevy S10 and go. It also has tons of storage space and leg room. It's quite comfortable to to sit in for an extended period. I'm hoping to add some extra flotation and get a full or half skirt so I can take it out on some more challenging trips (no open seas though but possibly the intercoastal on a calm day).
My biggest "complaint" would be that it is not easy for me to re-enter in deep water. I know that this a sacrifice that is made when you get a recreational instead of a sea kayak though. However, my boyfriend can pop right into his Swifty (which is similar to the Sundance) from deep water with no assistance, so I'm hoping that with some practice and a paddle float I'll have some better luck. We live in Florida and it would be nice to be able to get out, swim, and get back in without dragging it to shore. I also had a bad experience where I flipped (my fault) and the "shore" was hip-deep, soupy mud.
All in all though I feel this is a very versatile kayak that can handle everything but large waves. And you can't beat being able to take them along without having to use the roof (no wind drag=less money spent on gas). I would definitely recommend this kayak if you're like me and want to do more than just ponds and small rivers but don't want to lug around a big long boat.