Submitted: 05-19-2011 by Mykayak
Back to update my review on this kayak.
I have been paddling for just over a year now and have gained some experience and know how although still learning.
Lets start by comfort. The cockpit is big and the seating system is very decent but the foot pegs are a little small, which means that I’m constantly re-adjusting my feet or the foot braces to compensate at times. You need to get in and find the right seat adjustment and once done usually there is ample room in the back of the seat for safety gear, water bottle etc.
I give it an 8/10 for comfort.
Stability is good and secondary stability is excellent, this kayak wants to spring you back when edging. Perfect for learning and very maneuverable. I have only tipped on purpose and once when taking lessons as I was trying to stabilize my over-extended body with the paddle’s angle and did not quite get the blade of the paddle on the proper angle, my fault not the kayaks.
I give it a 9.5/10 for stability.
Speed is decent, although not a race boat I was able to average about 4 – 5 km cruising speed for a 12 KM excursion in Algonquin Park's Opeongo lake (sorry you will have to convert to miles yourselves) and this against a strong head wind and whitecaps. The boat will cut through the waves.
I give it a 7.5 for speed.
Tracking and maneuverability (ability to go straight and turn) is ok if no wind, but I found mine weather cocks in any significant wind, this is resolved by deploying the built-in skeg which I love because the lever is recessed on the left side of the boat and can be adjusted according to your needs. In hindsight, the kayak would probably not weather cock as much if weight were added to the bow as when fully loaded I noticed a significant improvement without having to deploy the skeg in windy conditions.
I give it a 9.5/10 for tracking and maneuverability
Volume is adequate enough that I can load this kayak for a 5 day trip (this includes a small cooler that collapses, a 3 man tent, sleeping bag, tarps, cooking gear, extra clothes, and a variety of comfort accessories) and I did not use most of the smaller items I brought along so I'm sure I could extend my outings by a few days by packing a little smarter. So for a 16.5' kayak this can hold quite a lot, in fact people are amazed when I show them pictures of my gear once unpacked from the kayak.
I give it a 9.5/10 for storage volume considering its size
In short I was happy when I bought this thing after trying it out and am still happy, My instructor is seriously looking at getting a few for his students after trying it out. I would recommend this boat if you're looking for a plastic kayak as it's very tough and I feel safe in any conditions my area can throw at me.
Wet exits are a snap and re-entry is very easy as this boat's stern sits very low in the water, which makes it a good rolling boat as well I’m told, although I still don't have the technique to do so I will be working on that soon enough ;)
I will lower my score slightly because of gained knowledge but I haven't tried a plastic kayak yet that would make me swap mine out.
Perception did a very good job on this. Only wish they would make the foot braces a little bigger.