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Submitted: 09-27-2011 by Darren
Well, I've paddled this boat about 20 times before posting this review. I feel a couple hours isn't sufficient to truly rate a boat. I've been paddling 12 years. I get out 1-2x/week. I'm 5'9", 190lbs, and I feel the boat fits me well. My size 9 feet fit fine, and it could handle more I'm sure.
It's a great looking boat. Fit and finish are nice. Impex does a nice job here. Comfy seat. It has an IR seat, with a low back. It's the nicest seat I've had in a kayak.
Surfs great. I've just started to surf in this, but so far so good. Not too corky either. I feel like I am in control of this boat. Cuts through waves efficiently. It has a nice combination of buoyancy and efficiency. I had a P&H Orion that made me feel like I was fighting the sea when in heavy waves; cut through them instead of over. Robbed a lot of energy.
It's not as fast as I was hoping. It holds it's own well, but you're not flying in it. It also turns great on edge.
Cons: Beam & aft quarter seas, it's all over the place. If your skeg isn't down, you're not going to track straight. Compensating strokes don't do it alone. I edged and compensated for several days (in similar sea conditions) before I gave up and used the skeg. Head on into wind, waves or tide, it's fine. I'm not sure why my review on this aspect differs so much from some of the other ones. Most reviews on here are positive about almost everything. I don't understand that. Just being honest.
Seems to be susceptible to weathercock as well. I'm not sure if I have figured it all out yet in this regard except to suggest that even at apex tide, flat water, aft wind really affects its tracking.
The hatches seem dry. I'm no lawyer, but I think I could store my legal documents in the day hatch, and they'd stay dry. I've seen a few drops come in around the skeg. I could fix it easily, but it's not much. A few drops (literally) in the front too.
It holds an edge fairly well, but not the best I've seen. I really need to work at it to hold it.
I've owned a Diamante (Impex), Orion, Sealutions II and a Kyook. The Diamante would still be my first choice if I hadn't "outgrown" it. I'd give my Diamante an 8.5 if I could.