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Submitted: 06-09-2011 by Surfkayakers

I've been kayaking for 20 years - I am an ACA L3 Coastal Kayaking Instructor. I've been through my share of kayaks over the years, being female when kayaks were only designed for men. I have found nirvana.

It was at Sea Kayak Carolina in Charleston, S.C. where I discovered the Maelstrom Vital 166. I already owned the NDK Pilgrim - but the Vital is everything the Pilgrim offers, and more... it surfs like a dream (even small following seas!), tracks, is incredibly maneuverable, easy to lift, and is approx. 18" longer than my Pilgrim, so I can travel faster and work less to cover the same distance. Rolling the Vital is amazing...the kayak almost rolls itself yet is extremely stable. The design is brilliant...in all my years of kayaking, it is the only kayak I've found that does everything well! And attention to detail is evident in the bungeed hatch covers, reflective deck line, and the choice of a backrest or foam block... the skeg works flawlessly as it should... if you can only have one kayak, this is the one!

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