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Submitted: 10-01-2010 by HeyMoe
This is an update to my previous review.
I've been paddling my Fusion 124 for over a year now and still like it a lot. My previous complaint was with the uncomfortable seat. This was rectified by adding the Easy Rider seat that was listed as an option in the brochure I got with the kayak. I made some calls when I was trying to track down the seat and found out that parts are available through the Equinox Kayak website. I also ordered the thigh pads that were listed as an option but they don't fit the cockpit design of the Fusion. They mount to the underside of the deck which positions them too low to be usable.
I paddle a lot. I go at least once every weekend, starting in March and going into November, and my average trip length is 10 -12 miles. I have no complaints about comfort now, nor speed. My average paddling speed is 3.5 mph with no problems maintaining 4-5 mph for extended periods (GPS confirmed). Stability is also not a problem. The Fusion is a great platform for photography.
I have found a couple of down sides though.
I ran into one other problem that was caused by my own carelessness but I'll pass it on anyway. The Easy Rider seat came with 1/4" plastic screws to mount the seat to the seat pan. The Fusion doesn't have threaded inserts however. I used the seat without mounting it for a while, but it moved around when I got into the kayak. I decided to drill holes in the seat pan for well nuts and this is where I ran into my problem. There's plenty of space between the pan and bottom at the front but not a lot at the rear. I was careless when drilling my rear holes and ended up drilling a 1/2" hole through the bottom of my kayak that I now have to repair. It's not that simple to repair thin polyethylene, so take great care when adding any holes.
- The cockpit length makes it impossible to keep water out of the cockpit when I paddle. Maybe it's just me.
- The bow height is too low for rougher water. It comes over the front and into the cockpit. Both of these could be recited by ordering a good sprayskirt. Seals has them available for the Fusion as a custom order. You can purchase them through any kayak shop that carries Seals products. I'm ordering one over the winter more for warmth in colder months than anything else.
- If you capsize a Fusion you're in big trouble. My son did this in a riffle section of river. He's not an experienced paddler and got sideways, hit a rock, and turned over. The kayak filled completely with water and was EXTREMELY heavy. Fortunately the river was shallow enough that we could walk it to shore but it was all we could do to lift it to drain the water. If you stick to flatwater only these are not a problem, however, there's some faster water that I've been dying to try so I'm buying a Dagger Axis. I'm keeping my Fusion though, but I'm accessorizing to make it a little more "all purpose". In addition to a Seal "Sneak" sprayskirt, I'll be adding flotation bags and knee pads from Harmony Gear.
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