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Submitted: 07-30-2009 by emcmeaner17
This is the second summer I have paddled my Necky Eliza (plastic) with a rudder. I am a very short paddler (4'9 1/2") with very wide hips, and the Eliza fits me well. I can adjust the footpegs where I need them, and the profile is low enough that I don't hit the boat when I paddle. It turns well, even without the rudder. I did take the thigh braces out, as they couldn't be adjusted to a place where they fit me well, and it made getting in and out of the boat much easier.
Initially, I wasn't sure if I liked my purchase, as it does feel less stable getting in and out. (The longest boat I had paddled before this was a 12'4" rec boat), but when I got used to "being one with the boat" and paddled bigger waters, especially in windy or rough conditions, I fell in love. I recently returned from a 4-night kayak camping trip, and was surprised at how much gear I was able to stuff in the Eliza. The trick is to use small drybags so you can take advantage of the narrow spaces at both ends of the boat.
The thing that brings this boat from a 10 to an 8 for me is the backrest. It is very low, and my back does not feel supported at all. Even on short paddles, I miss being able to lean back and relax. Also, I am used to a very wide cockpit because of my experience with rec boats, and I miss being able to pull my legs out and sun them on the top of the boat.
Overall, I have been very happy with my Eliza. It is very maneuverable, and the length and weight are manageable to load and move around for a woman of my stature. I would recommend this boat to other women without hesitation.
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