Submitted: 07-20-2011 by topshot
I wanted to update my review, and I have quite a mouthful to say. Let me start from the beginning. I bought my Emotion Glide kayak from REI, when they had their big sale at the beginning of the season. They only offered it in blue. I had seen it elsewhere for $50 more, and no one would match their price. Of the two kayaks I bought, one was warped and I returned it for another. The sales person at REI told me that the majority of the Emotion Glide kayaks he gets in are warped. He told me the quality of the plastic is poor and I would be better off spending $100 more on a different brand of kayak that uses a denser plastic (rotomolding) instead of the Emotion's blow-in plastic which he compared to a plastic milk bottle. I was not prepared to spend more on a different kayak. I contacted Emotion and they told me it wasn't a big deal - the plastic had a "memory" and it would return to its shape after awhile. This was only partly true...the warping was reduced but not 100% better. You cannot leave these kayaks out in the sun because of this problem.
Anyway... a couple of months passed. I passed a local store (not REI) that sells the Emotion Glide, and their sale was $30 more than what I paid on sale at REI. Nevertheless, I brought my kayak in to them because they were offering free installation of fishing rod holders, and those were being sold at a 20% discount.
The owner of the store gave me a funny look and asked me, "Where did you buy this kayak?" and I told him, "REI." He and other salesmen were whispering about my kayak and I couldn't figure it out...it all seemed somewhat mysterious. After about 15 minutes, he approached me and asked if I would be at all interested in swapping out my 2011 REI Emotion Glide for one of his 2011 Emotion Glide Kayaks, my choice of color, and fully warrantied. The reason, he told me, is that Emotion has been trying to convince his store to carry the "lesser" Emotion Glides with the cheaper plastic. Due to the lousy economy, Emotion is attempting to build all their newer kayaks this way and hope to phase out the stronger plastic ones, although currently they continue to be manufactured. His store is trying to convince Emotion not to go this route. Additionally, he wanted my REI kayak to show customers, so they could determine the difference in the quality of the plastic themselves because a lot of customers have questioned why their kayaks are more expensive than REI's for what ostensibly is the same model (I should also add that the foot pedals are a little longer and more comfortable in the "better" Emotion Glide, and the seat is also a "better" grade and much more comfortable, even though both Emotion Glides are 2011).
Anyway, I will tell you that the "better" Emotion Glide with the stronger plastic is much, much better quality than the "lesser" Emotion Glide sold at REI. It is better balanced, stronger, does not suffer from warping, the foot pedals and seat are infinitely more comfortable. I don't know why Emotion is being so cagey about this - REI insisted they had sold me the "only" Emotion Glides that are made. So, I would have to say BUYER BEWARE.
I would give my new Emotion Glide a "10" but due to what I feel is a questionable case of ethics in management and sales, I will have to relegate it to a "5". The cheaper version still a good product for the money, but for $30 - $50 more you get an upgraded version of this boat that is well worth the extra $$$. Don't be fooled!!! I hope this is helpful, and will promote discussion!