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Submitted: 01-26-2010 by Chris

I've paddled my Rapier 20 on Sydney Harbour for the past 6 months and had rather a vertical learning curve. I moved from an Epic Endurance 18 which literally fell apart after a year. 50% of my paddling time has been skill development - learning re-entry, roll, and edging skills. This boat needs good skills. The other 50% has been burning up and down the harbour trying to hang onto the back of V10's and Fenns. I do for a bit but not yet over distance. I will though.

Sadly I've had a few totally unnecessary breakages. The first was my hips, which did not even want to get in the boat - that seat is made for people without "child baring hips" and mine fought back. I modified the seat, sort of solved the problem but weakened it, and eventually went for a bumfortable still working on that one.

That Smart track pedal system - or as I call it Dumb Track - is the same one that Epic installed on the Endurance. It's broken, failed, busted and given up already. I'm now looking for a completely new system... any ideas? My heals wore deep gouges into the hull wearing crocks. Strange but true.

I weigh 90kg, pump out a bit of juice and have also managed to rip the seat combing off the hull. A shoddy repair when it first started might have prevented the eventual total separation from the deck. These are big surprises to me, I love the boat and everything it stands for, but I fear I might be back into the workshop more often than I was hoping. The new web site for Valley kayaks means at least i can give the makers some first hand feedback.

Speed, downwind maneuverability, great hull shape, really stable once you get used to it, not for beginners but a great boat for offshore in not-too-hairy conditions.

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