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Submitted: 07-28-2013 by jamoaque
I like the performance of this boat. It does well both solo and tandem. It is stable and comfortable. It tracks well, but also turns well for its length.
Speed - when fully inflated, this yak cruises nicely (especially for an inflatable), even with the standard low-pressure floor and no back-bone. Tandem paddling achieved 3.9 to 4.7 mph w/ steady to firm paddling, and up to 5.5 or so at a sprint (subtract about a half a mph for solo). Adding either the drop-stitch floor or the backbone should increase that capability. Note that if it is under-inflated, it will under-perform. Really, Advanced Elements should include an accurate, low-pressure-range gauge with the necessary adapters with each boat they sell to ensure proper inflation. Note also that if it is properly inflated, their customer service said that when you lift it on one end, it should have minimal sag in the middle.
Portability - I recently was checking out what it would take to take this on an airplane, and it seemed pretty bulky, so we took a smaller one along instead (but you could make it fit within the dimensional limits).
I actually use inflatable Sea Eagle seats in this boat at times as they are more comfortable, especially for the front paddler. With our inflatable kayaks, at times we like to lay back and get really comfy if we are not in a hurry, or are enjoying the full moon, etc. With the standard AF seats, the rear paddler can adjust the seat back so he can lay against the back tubing - but the front paddler can't really lay back as there is not enough support unless vertical.
Their bright orange color is almost gaudy, but it does make it look pretty striking. Likewise, the boat does have a rather slick appearance. Boat seems very durable. One potential drawback is that it does take a while for it to fully dry out after use. Another could be that there is no drain valve.
Overall an excellent boat and certainly a keeper!
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