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Submitted: 07-20-2011 by mtwaggin

Just bought this kayak last week after weeks of searching, reviewing and deciding what to get. Had an inflatable that just wasn't going to cut it floating with my friends and their hardside yaks on flatwater. I felt like I was paddling a bathtub so decided I needed to upgrade. Deciding factors were, tracking, room for the dog, mostly flatwater paddling, ability to load and unload it myself, stability, price. I'm a woman that is fairly strong but with one bad shoulder so the load/unload part was a must and any bigger boat was going to just be too heavy. Wanted a solo but needed a cockpit large enough for me and the dog (50 pounds) and would be stable enough with both of us in it.

Had it out this weekend on a mountain lake with light winds and just a little chop and it did fabulous. It was stable and easy to turn, tracked just as well with the dog as without. Of course the USA label was a bonus as well. I'd definitely recommend this for a beginner (as I am). I did get a Malone Seawing rack for the van so loading isn't as much of a problem (just couldn't afford the fancy Thule). I did add some velcro tabs inside to secure my bilge pump and extra paddles in the back.

The only reason it didn't get a 10 was I am going to need to put some foam protectors on the bars of the foot pegs so I don't get scraped up on them. Will also be adding a splash deck for when I am "dog-less".

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