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Submitted: 07-03-2014 by lancelot1118
I bought the Dagger Specter about 4 months ago and have had it out in the Barnegat Bay and in the saltwater marshes about 20 - 25 times now. I have canoed for years but this is my first kayak. I am 6' and about 210# so I was looking for something to fit me and something very inexpensive to learn on.
I got the Specter 15.5 Airalite used for a great price and I really liked the classy non-plastic look of it - and the cockpit was a great, roomy fit. As a newbie to kayaking I prefer a little wiggle room. As I gain experience and confidence I will probably move up to a more snug fit for advanced maneuvering and rolling. Also as a newbie, I have found the rudder to be absolutely invaluable. I don't always use it because I am trying to develop some paddle control but in very windy conditions, confused chop, maneuverability, or when I get tired, I have been totally grateful to have it available. Additionally, it is awesome for maneuvering through the saltwater marshes. The primary stability still kind of freaks me out but I feel confident in the secondary stability. I have little to compare it to as far as speed, but it is quick to get moving with little effort and seems to move along pretty good with some effort. I thought it would coast better/longer when I stop paddling, but that's probably due to my weight. Now that I have some time in the cockpit, I will soon take it out on the open ocean water. I'm really looking forward to that.
The only drawbacks I would mention are the less than confident primary stability, the weight for a 15.5 ft 'Airalite', and (although the neoprene hatch covers have always remained watertight) the top covers over the hatches donít stay completely in place.
Overall, for the great price, I am very pleased with my purchase of the Dagger Specter. I really do love the look of the Airalite. I am very happy with this being my first kayak to learn on this season Ė although, since I have definitely caught the kayaking bug, next season I will be trading up to a sweet, lighter, more advanced ride for big water touring.
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