Submitted: 07-21-2009 by sharpster_uslf
I am a novice paddler, and my first trip into the water, I realized I had not set up the seat or foot pegs, but had paddled about 100 feet from shore in a fair bit of wind. I was able to figure out how to adjust the seat and pegs, without loosing my paddle in the wind, or getting wet, or feeling like I was about to fall out.
Now with everything set, I was able to make some decent speed, and found the boat very easy to paddle straight into the wind and small waves. Turning the corner and heading into the main lake, there were 3 foot whitecaps. The boat handled them easily and stayed where I wanted it to go, but I did get a lot of water over the hatch even with the Kayak Console attached. I turned around after about a 100 feet or so, I wanted to test the performance going with the wind and waves, as other boats have been a nightmare in that sort of situation. The Pungo 120 stayed very true to course and did not want to weathercock. I commented to my girlfriend that the wind was strong enough to use the paddles as a sail if I held it up. LOL
Paddling back into the bay, I got a wave and surfed it for about 40-50 feet! We spent the next hour paddling 100-200 feet into the big waves and then turning to ride them back into the bay. At no time were we concerned that the boat was in any danger of tipping, but I did take on about 20 lbs of water. No big deal on a warm day, but a spray skirt might help extend the season in Canada. Also this boat is not designed to turn, it took 5 or six strokes for me to turn the boat 180 degrees, using the wave swell helped some.
I give it a 9 because so much water comes in, but as a fair weather Kayaker....who cares