Submitted: 07-08-2011 by js
At the store, I noticed all the Equinox 10.4's had big bulges across the entire bottom caused by a too-large foam bulkhead, badly distorting the concave hull. I purchased anyway, this being my first kayak, because it was such a good deal and hoped the flaw wouldn't matter. My first trip out was 16 miles with a group of 30 paddlers, and I clearly was working harder than everyone to keep up. Afterwards, I removed the foam bulkhead and the boat resumed the concave shape as it was originally extruded, except with some minor deviation still where the seat was attached.
I added a set of kayak inflatable pillows for inside the bow and stern (a good idea anyway) and upgraded the paddle because the one you get with the boat has only a single rivet holding each end (didn't want to be up the creek without a paddle!). With the foam bulkhead removed, there is noticeably less resistance and is easier to paddle, and faster. The car carrying kit that was also included with the boat would have cost only about $35, so with buying another paddle, the original package deal on the boat wasn't quite as good as expected, and I'd invest in a better boat to start if could do over. But this is only because I'd like a faster boat to keep up on long rides. If not for that, this is an excellent boat to do about anything and everything else. In comparison, it does have good storage and good fitting lids, a comfortable, upgraded seat, upgraded leg pads, easily adjustable foot rests, and very good stability.