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Submitted: 05-09-2014 by Montereyman
I have owned the Necky Spike kayak for more than a decade and use it for scuba diving and underwater photography in Monterey and Carmel bays. I had used a friend's Ocean Kayaks dive kayaks for several years before buying the Spike so I knew very clearly what I wanted for diving.
The Spike is for me the perfect one person dive kayak. At 12 feet and 49 lbs. it is easy to manage and put on a car rack or walk it to the water. I paddle with a 7/9mm wetsuit and this makes paddling a lot more difficult and the relative ease of paddling the Spike means I get places in half the time and with half the effort.
It sits low enough that it is easy to get back onto the boat after a dive and easy to slide your tank and BC into the rear well. The well is shaped for a dive tank and not a crate as the boat was designed for divers. There are two web straps with buckles to secure the scuba tank and BC in place instead of the bungee cords found on fishing kayaks.
Lots of padeyes around the boat that I use with short leashes to tie off my gear before entering the water and upon my return. Usually these are absent on dive kayaks and need to be added.
The side handles along with the 28" width of the Spike kayak make it a lot easier to lift overhead and place on a car rack than any other dive kayak I have used.
I knew after paddling the Ocean Kayaks across Carmel Bay where there is usually a very strong crosswind that I wanted a rudder. With the rudder I can apply equal force on both sides of the boat with the paddle and this is a lot less tiring. With the Ocean Kayaks boats I would often have to do repeated tacks to get across the bay and back into Stillwater Cove. In calm protected waters I would not need the rudder but I seldom dive in those conditions.
Someone who is used to a Ocean Kayak Scrambler or one of the other kayaks made for diving will find the boat tippy at first. Anyone who has used a good touring kayak or even a canoe will be used to this and appreciate the great secondary stability of the hull shape.
Without a doubt this is an incredible kayak for divers, scuba or free diving. For fishing there are purpose built fishing kayaks that will be better for that specific use and be prepared to have a kayak that weighs 50% to 150% more and will require the use of two people or a trolley to move it around.
For divers or day trippers the Spike is a perfect combination of performance in a easily managed 12' 49 lb. package.
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