Submitted: 09-09-2009 by ng
I'm brand new at kayaking, so take my thoughts for what they're worth...
I've been renting kayaks for much of the summer, trying to decide what to buy. I'm calling my kayak store tomorrow to buy the Tarpon 140, probably with rudder.
I'm writing largely to respond to reports that the 140 offers a wet ride. I don't understand what folks who write that are talking about. I'm 6'4, (unfortunately) I weigh around 260. This weekend I rented the Tarpon 140 for two days. The first day I kept the scupper plugs in all day; I'd read this forum and thought that if I pulled them out I'd be virtually swimming!
The second day I decided to see what I was really in for if I bought this yak, so about an hour into my 4-hour ride I pulled the plugs out. Sure enough, water squirted up through the holes. But just as quickly as it came up it ran back out again. I ended up having about 1/4 inch of water near my feet, none further up toward my seat. And it was often virtually dry.
For a guy my size in a boat with a 375 lb rating, I think 1/4 of water is nothing to complain about.
I liked this kayak. I'm an inexperienced paddler, and it wasn't hard for me to go pretty much straight most of the time. I think it is a nice combination of speed and stability. My GPS said I was able to cruise along at 3.5 - 4 mph without much trouble; even in a river with a moderate current I was able to go around 2.5 - 3 mph upstream. And after an hour or so I was dangling my feet over either side of the boat, and even turned around and put my legs over one side without much trouble.
I can't say that I have a lot of experience with any kayak. But so far I like the Tarpon 140 enough to buy it!