Submitted: 10-18-2012 by surfdgo425
Purchased this boat to replace a Dagger Alchemy 14 I was paddling, my creek boat. My wife "liked" it, and was moving up from a 12 rec boat. Like I really needed motivation to buy a new boat... I also have a P&H Cetus LV I love, but it's more for open water, this boat is for creeks, swamps, and rivers with Cypress knees, stumps, etc. Can't really bump around in a glass boat like a plastic one. I'm 5-9, 165-170, size 10.5 shoes.
The things I like about this boat:
It's pretty stable both initially and secondarily, but feels loose and flexible. It will feel loose at first to a paddler moving from a more stable platform, but is really very predictable and comfortable after paddling a while.
Fits nice and snug, like you're wearing it. I don't camp or make trips where it's necessary to carry lots of gear, but I thinks you could easily get a couple of days worth of stuff in it. Butt fits, and feet fit. Paddle with Merrill barefoot shoes. Feet are snug, but I like an upright foot position, and kind of wedge myself into the boat. I like it tight, but plenty of room for moving pedals for a looser fit. Though the further forward you go, the narrower it gets.
It turns really well on edge, and with bow and stern rudders, making it fun to paddle in tight turning situations. Long enough for some speed, but really paddles shorter.
Just started rolling this year, and this is the boat I learned in. First time rolls both on and off sides. My Cetus rolls no better. In fact the back deck on the Zephyr feels lower.
The Alchemy I replaced with this boat is a great kayak. Fun and quick enough, but really didn't track well. I don't really like using the skeg. My wife often uses it when paddling the Dagger. The Zephyr tracks much better, but turns on a dime with any edge or paddle input.
I paddled the larger Zephyr as well, but felt it was too roomy. Might be better for others, and probably paddles similarly. I am 54 years old, got kinda bad knees, a bit down in the back, but also have been very athletic my whole life. This boat just feels right. I can't really think of anything I don't like about it. Perhaps the seating could be more comfortable. I really like my Cetus LV, and it has no padding in the seat, but the plastic seat bed is very comfortable and fits.
All I can say is, this is my go to boat. It's comfortable, durable, holds enough stuff, and it's fun to paddle. Got other boats that fit more specific needs, but if I had to pick one to just go in who knows what conditions, this is it. I only give it an 8 in the hope that I can find that perfect 10. Like my wife. (Love you Honey!)