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Submitted: 07-13-2011 by yippeekayaker
I bought this boat just about a month ago. I've used it on the Monongahela between Morgantown and Fairmont, WV, and I've also used it on the Savage River Reservoir in MD. While I didn't necessarily need the whitewater capabilities, I went for them as I wanted a more nimble boat if the need were to arise.
It is nearly impossible to express just how much I really love this boat. It is faster than I'd hoped, and I can almost keep up with my wife in her Tsunami 120, a sleeker speed demon of sorts. Plus, the skeg is amazing. As advertised, if you drop it, you're going to paddle in a straight line. As a point of comparison, I'd also tried out other beginner boats such as a Pungo 120, a Pamlico 120, and a Perception Zydeco. Why anyone would purchase one of those over this sweet Axis is beyond me, but then I suppose others have their own needs. But all of those above felt and maneuvered like tanks, often veering to wherever they wished, while this one just makes every stroke a joy.
I should also mention that it has some pretty nice storage solutions. The deck bungees are great, obviously, and I really like the mesh on the bow, but it's the rear storage compartment that won me over. It doesn't look like much, but last weekend I stuffed a soft cooler full of drinks, fruit, and sandwiches - and ice - in it, and there was plenty of room for at least one more, plus something else. I think I could camp for a week out of it - maybe only three or four days, but certainly it holds more than I'd expected.
Finally, though, I should mention that I am a really large person - width wise, that is. I am 6' tall, and I weigh in at 330. There is room to spare in the cockpit, which is great as I really hated the wide open cockpits in the other boats I'd tried. But this one fits me beautifully, and it's not too tight a squeeze to get into or out of. It's pretty simple, actually. And I also suspect that once I lose some more weight, I will actually be able to keep up with my wife in her boat, but in all, I could not possibly be happier with my purchase. I hope this boat lasts me forever; although, that may be tough as I intend to use it A LOT!
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