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Submitted: 08-23-2013 by PJS
I bought a used Emotion Charger a few weekends ago for my step-daughter to use, so didn't get to paddle it before buying... and boy am I sorry. I took my wife and step-daughter out on a flat creek last weekend and my wife (5'3" 140ish) used it first and said it felt very tippy as soon as she got in it. But she soldiered on... after she flipped on it 3 times I made her switch and take mine (Ocean Kayak Scrambler XT). My wife is not super-coordinated or experienced with kayaks so I thought it was maybe the paddler.
I've been paddling SOTs for 8 years and consider myself intermediate. I got in the kayak and it was VERY tippy (low initial stability)... and I had flipped it within 30 seconds of paddling it. It wasn't my wife. I didn't even want my step-daughter to try it.
There seems to be a great disparity in the reviews of this kayak, some say it's very stable, some say it is extremely unstable. The old "Tastes Great, Less Filling" debate.. It makes me wonder if they have some quality variance of what Emotion is producing for this model. I did notice that when I moved and sat on the flat in front of the seat, the stability leveled out quite a bit.
My advice... paddle one before you buy it. I would like to take it to the ocean to see how it handles there and give it some more time, but this doesn't seem to be a beginner boat.
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