Submitted: 06-05-2011 by KF
I am a budget kayaker, so when I saw the Zest on sale for $100 plus than retail I jumped on it. I've used a couple of other brand yaks (Perception, Wilderness Systems, Future Beach) and my first kayak (Pelican Pursuit 100) was my favorite up until I got on the Zest, with the skeg in. I had been dying for a sit-top and this was in my budget.
The river we float regularly is a class 1. So the first trip out I hadn't even gotten the price tag off of it, or the skeg put in. I hated it, honestly. When we got back I put the skeg in, all you need is a rubber mallet. The next time we went out I fell in love. It was a different boat. It tracks well, is decently fast for the size and shape, and makes me happy. It's stable enough that I can sit with my feet in the water or I can completely lay back when I adjust the sear. Plus when I flip it (like I did today) I can easily get back in without dragging it to shore. I flipped it chasing down some trash in the river. Leaned too far, too fast, not the boat's fault.
All in all, I'm pretty sure I'll never buy another sit-in, I may just upgrade the ole Zest when I wear it out.