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Submitted: 09-05-2000 by SSW

I bought my Carolina late spring at REI for $800. At that price, this kayak is a real bargain for what it delivers. The plastic will tolerate some rough usage, and its weight is reasonable for solo loading. I would qualify that it's really more appropriate for someone, who like myself, is somewhere lower in the learning curve. It's not the fastest boat; I have to do twice the work of my paddling buddies in their considerably more expensive boats in order to keep up. But the boat is extremely stable and confidence inspiring, even in some surprisingly rough conditions. It's also a great tracker; I'll only use the rudder in windy conditions anymore. I haven't had any of the problems I've read about with the bungee system breaking, and I've jammed all kinds of junk under them. Also, the newer padded backrest is very comfortable, although the thin butt padding tends to put my feet to sleep on a long haul. The small bulkhead openings are probably the boat's biggest shortcoming; they've been a bit of a nuisance on some weekend trips where a little creative repacking was required. All in all, I have no regrets and can highly recommend the Carolina.
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