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Submitted: 08-03-2009 by maxturner
I settled on the small version after trying both, the cockpit is pretty snug, I've taken the thigh grips and footrests out to increase the room, I've ended up with a bulkhead type footrest and the cockpit has a nice coating of self adhesive foam on the underside, fit is now great. I have to use wet suit socks rather than boots as the footroom is limited for my 11.5 feet, it's well worth it as the kayak is a lot sleeker than the rather fat assed large version. For my weight of 75kg the handling is better, it sits lower in the water, is less affected by wind and the stability is still good but a bit "sportier", it handles like a small sea kayak rather than a stable large volume tourer.
I'm not sure but the hull V and chines seem more pronounced on the small model, the secondary stability is superb and the kayak is very agile on edge, ride is slightly wetter on the small but you'd expect that, more than made up for by the sharper handling.
I found the large needed skeg in the wind where as the small still needs a bit for crosswinds but nothing like as much, maybe a quarter. Hull speed isn't bad but this kayak really comes into its own in tight spots like sea caves and narrow passageways etc, a great rockhopper! I've gone from proper sea kayaks to a Dagger Charleston flat water tourer, which was ok but this kayak fits my needs better than either, still small and agile like the Charleston but with proper sea kayak features and handling, highly recommended!
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