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Submitted: 10-26-2010 by JRS
I've own my Pungo 120 for almost a year now. I kayak mainly on the upper Potomac and have run my Pungo on flat water, Class I & II rapids, over rock gardens, up creeks, and on inlet and surf conditions at North Myrtle Beach. This includes during high water conditions and during the winter when the ramp is snow-covered. Here's the skinny...
My being in this boat for 5-6+ hrs at a time is probably the best testimonial I can offer. It's not the river rocket like the 24" wide 14 footers, but I can cruise at over 3 mph without too much more exertion or effort.
- The width makes the boat extremely stable for entry and exit. I fish and do a lot of photography out of mine and there's very little if any tipping sensations when twisting to make a cast or take a photo.
- Pay attention to the other reviews on maneuvering swift water. Low class II's that I can run straight are about the max for this boat. You simply can't kick it around with your hips and paddle to zig or zag much, but if you set up your line, it does fine.
- The bow profile gives the boat lift, but with a low profile top, it does torpedo rather than ride to the top on higher waves or sliding down a wave in the surf.
- Practice and use your sweep stroke as that is the optimal way to rotate this boat, but if the boat's moving, even that stroke will not spin you.
- The seat is wonderful, with full adjustments, but be aware of the cam tab on the front of the seat (controlling the seat back height). It is a target for feet when entering and exiting the boat, and can easily be stepped on and damaged. Parts are available, but it's a 2+ hr job requiring the seat to be removed from the boat.
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