Submitted: 08-09-2011 by qagaye
First, about me: I am 5'4", 150lbs female, age wise I am somewhere between death and 50. The Samba is the first boat of a "sea kayak" type that I've had. Previously had rec kayaks, including a composite Kestral that I found too sloppy inside for my comfort and wanted to trade up.
About the boat. Top quality boat, lives up to expectations for agility, speed and tracking. Always felt a little tender when starting out, but two or three paddle strokes and all good. Looks beautiful on and off the water and truly a fun paddle. Wonderful glide and easy to get going and keep going. That is the good.
The bad is I could never get the seat/pegs adjusted where I could paddle longer than two hours without getting squirmy in spite of a wide range of adjustability in the boat. Bought a yakpad that helped, but didn't cure the problem. I would just plain be hurting before I got out if paddled too long. The other thing is, I have a mobility issue that makes exiting a kayak difficult. Although the cockpit is 31x16 (and feels fine when in) getting out was always difficult. For some reason the shape of the cockpit and heights of the sides were really challenging for me. Notice, I said "for me". Grandson has no such issues.
I have since traded this for another brand (will review after season ends) which has the same cockpit dimensions, but I can exit this one with ease and the first trip out in it paddled 4 1/2 hours and was ready to go on. I think the placement of the thigh braces is one of the factors.
I was very reluctant to part with the Samba as I could see this as my grandson's new boat. And I really did enjoy paddling her on short trips. In a perfect world I would have kept the Samba and just get a new boat, but I was offered such an incredible trade-in that it just wasn't feasible.
I gave this boat a nine because I think its a top notch little craft, and if I had a top notch body we would have been a better match. I do think Eddyline needs to work on the seats as my son had the Journey and disliked it as well. He now has the bigass Nighthawk and different seat, no problems.