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Submitted: 07-29-2013 by MMF
Since 2011 I have paddled this craft in small streams almost sloughs (Panhandle Florida), fast moving water over pebbles and minor rapids (Brule, WI), large rivers (Apalachicola, FL; Upper Missouri, MT; Rushing River, Ontario, CA); North Florida coastal waters and bays; technical rivers with sharp turns and tree and shrub falls (upper Econfina Creek & upper Sopchoppy, Florida) and in a relatively small lake where a sudden change in the weather resulted in high waves and fetch (Lake Ilo, ND). This boat has never failed me. It was not made for the likes of Brule River, and as it scraped over pebbles and larger rocks I wasn't sure it would survive the beating, but the hull was but little scarred.
I am 5 feet tall and the 38 pounds of weight is welcome. Without a skirt in choppy bays or lake waters it doesn't take in any water compared to my husband's 14 feet kayak and it skims over waves like a dream. It has great secondary stability. Granted it's more supple than other thermofoam kayaks and if a heavy person were to sit on it, it would give a bit, but it tracks well, maneuvers decently and gets up to speed faster than many similar craft longer than this. My husband says it skims along the water beautifully and it feels that way from the cockpit. The capacity of its hatches has allowed me to multi-day camp (with water) without scrimping on the basics
I am sorry that Hurricane discontinued this to build a stronger and heavier craft, but if I were to get a touring kayak for my granddaughters who are now learning to paddle whitewater, a second hand Hurricane 128 would be my choice. My oldest grand daughter, age 11 and 1 inch taller than me, loves this boat over the few non-whitewater boats she has tried in a North Carolina Lake; Alberta, CA lake in wind, and a quiet Panhandle bay.
The only criticism I would make is that I had to have a skirt made to order, but that was remedied with help from Seals and for my size, it would be nicer to have it a bit narrower at the cockpit, but that might compromise the benefits of this craft. I had to add to the footpads (with advice from paddling.net readers) because at its shortest option, it was still too long for me to get proper control of the craft.
I rate it as 8 and not 10 because although I tried several other makes before making my choice, it's the only thermofoamed touring kayak I have tried and there is one make I would like to try, which while heavier has great reviews. Weight is a major consideration for me and it would be hard to beat the 38 pounds of this kayak.
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