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Submitted: 07-18-2013 by JD

Test paddled the Dagger Alchemy 14, Tsunami 140 and 145, Necky Manitou 14, Perception Expression 14 and Hurricane Tampico 140S. All but the latter weigh around 53-55 lbs. I needed a lightweight kayak, and 43 lbs for this size is a strong selling point!

I am 5'9", 155 lbs and size 9.5 shoes and I found plenty of room for my legs and feet (can keep them nearly vertical, unlike some of the other models). Of all the kayaks, the Tampico 140S fit me the best. Even though the seat appears spartan, it fit for me and was far superior to all of the others. The back band was comfortable for me as well. Primary stability is not its strong suit, but secondary stability is great.

For a boat that tracks well, turning (with some edging) is adequate but not as tight as the Alchemy Dagger. The light weight and narrow beam means less effort to move this boat through the water, and this boat will reward the paddler who uses a paddle with a carbon fiber shaft and fiberglass blades.

All things considered, the chief selling point was the lighter weight and good fit (for me), so I purchased one and will provide a more extensive review after I paddle it more extensively on New England bays, lakes and rivers this summer.

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