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Submitted: 08-23-2011 by skangadang

After watching my twin 8 year olds paddle our sit-in kayaks and kicking butt, we decided it was time we all had a boat. I spent quite a lot of time researching and comparing, and decided we'd try some sit-on-top boats for various reasons.
  1. We already have 3 sit-in rec boats for myself, wife and oldest daughter (10).
  2. For the little ones, we wanted ultra steady, no potential for getting stuck in them if they capsize with mini-monkies in them.
  3. To try our hand at surfing some waves!
My wife and I took them out on the Assabet River for their maiden voyage two days ago. We were blown away by how much we liked the Frenzies! So much so, that we've decided the kids can have the Perceptions, because we're taking the Ocean Kayaks! We got them through REI after looking everywhere for them in a package with a seat and paddle.

The pros:
1. With the clip in seat, they are even more comfortable than our sit-ins.
2. I love the simple foot braces, allowing you to adjust your foot position as desired without having to fiddle with adjusting sliders, etc.
3. They float even higher in the water, and even though they are sit-on-top kayaks, they have a nice "pocket" to sit in.
4. Incredibly stable, almost impossible to capsize. I hear people dive off them!
5. They track just fine IMO, without too much left to right motion, unless you are cranking... and it happens with our Perceptions too.
6. We jokingly rammed each other to see what would happen, and they hardly moved, and definitely didn't tip. Good news if the kids or us hit something like a hidden rock, etc.
7. The keel line and short length helps keep it straight and allows for quick and easy turns.
8. Without the scupper plugs (at least on the river), barely any water got in the boat, and with the scupper plugs, almost no water, aside from water from our paddles and horsing around.

Cons:
1. They are pretty bulky, and harder for me to load and unload myself onto the roof of my Nitro and off again. They are only 4 pounds heavier than our Perceptions, but it feels like more.
2. The keel line makes it fit strangely on the Hull A Port racks on my car, and the 15' Thule straps weren't big enough to fit the boats! I had to thread them through the scupper holes to get them home from REI!
3. The handles on the sides seem like with any rough pulling would snap off, but only time will tell.....if we treat them well, I'm sure they will be fine.
4. Coming to shore with the keel line is awkward, because you end up tipping to one side as you beach it.
5. They are LOUD when there is any sort of current or waves. For the person on the kayak, it doesn't seem too loud, but when you are next to another Frenzy, you can hear it! The water slaps the hull when the water is anything less than glass.
6. They are not too fast.

Overall, even though there are cons, I was playing devil's advocate for the sake of the review. All of the cons are dealable.

  1. I can handle the extra weight, and it's totally easy with another person.
  2. I'm going to try a stacker with cradle stops for a better fit.
  3. Will take it easy on the handles.
  4. Will embrace the tipping when beaching.....good practice for balance.
  5. Really not that loud, especially if you stop paddling. My wife and I snuck up to 2 swans by paddling gently and coasting right up to them.
  6. Who cares about speed? I'm in it for the hang and fun, not the race. Humans tend to race through life instead of living in the now. Plus, if the kids use the Perceptions which are faster, we'll have a more even playing field!
Today, my friend Sean and I took the Frenzies out to Plum Island in Newburyport MA to try some ocean kayaking and surfing. It was amazing! This is where the Frenzies really soar, on the ocean with waves. We trekked out at the beach and hooked right to the wildlife sanctuary where beach goes were not allowed. We hit some great waves, and got thrashed by the surf! Some of the waves were so big, they totally spilled us on the beach, rolling the yaks over the top of us. We laughed the whole time, immediately going out for more.

The Frenzies turned quickly to catch waves that surfaced, and they were great trudging out through the surf. Very easy to get back on when you spill further out too.

Go get one, you'll be happy. For the money, it's a stable, awesome boat.

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