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Submitted: 11-11-2009 by thomaslb
It's hard to believe I've been paddling this Slalom boat almost a year now (one of the many aspects of kayaking I was keen to explore). Been paddling a long time now. Sea Kayaks, racing kayaks, hybrids. Love all water states but rough water is my favorite.
I don't have any slalom courses where I live and essentially bought this boat as a light weight, every day trainer, doing endurance speed runs while trying to maintain as perfect a balance with the hull as possible. But my favorite thing to do with this boat is to take it out on the river in as windy conditions as possible (it REALLY opens up and thrives during 20 knot + wind swell conditions). Surfs very rad; cuts the waves like a Ginsu Knife--it is a GREAT surfer. It's highly maneuverable and snaps into top speed rapidly. I love shooting piers and pylons at high speed with it, cutting back as if on a slalom course--such great fun. It's very light weight (I actually don't know how much it weighs as the manufacturer's website doesn't say and I have no way to weigh it. But it is easily the lightest boat I own and is a one hand lift to your shoulder with no problem. I estimate 25lbs. Maybe a little more.
This boat made me fall in love with the slalom style. It is the boat I practice for my races in because it forces you to have near-perfect torso rotation during your paddle. It is definitely the boat I paddle the most. Slinging it over your should and onto the car is like carrying a light surfboard. The simplicity of the boat is something that can't be overstated and there is simply nothing like learning to steer a boat with the hull and leans and balance only--no skeg or rudder. It improves all aspects of your paddling no matter what kind of kayaker you are. I have a hard time rolling it but my rolls suck anyway. Fortunately it is very stable and my practice swims in a pool revealed that because it is so pancake flat as a boat it empties the water with you getting under water and pushing it up pretty rapidly. Plastic is quality and the boat looks good (it doesn't come with the cool DragoRossi Dragon--I bought 2 of these kayaks and neither one came with them--grrr.). Simple but comfortable seating with a decent backband.
Coolest thing about a slalom boat like this is that it hovers right at the water line. You really become one with the boat, the water, and the conditions.
Zippy little minx. I've never rated a boat 10 before.
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