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Submitted: 04-07-1999 by SWJ

The Edisto is a great Swiss Army knife sort of kayak, much like the previous review said. It does a LOT of different things. The problem with that, of course, is that it doesn't do any of them spectacularly. I use mine on area lakes (big Corps of Engineers impoundments and little lakes), big lazy rivers (White River in AR), and even some smaller rivers and creeks. It will handle up to Class II water, but nothing very tight, as it's too long for that. I've taken mine down the Buffalo National River and it did just fine, especially in the lower flat parts. It's plenty stable to photograph, bird, or fish out of. I use mine to flyfish local lakes, and it's a great fishing platform. Secondary stability is OK, but nothing like a dedicated sea kayak. Easier to roll than I thought it would be. Tracking is adequate (flat bottom doesn't help), especially at slower speeds. Turning is excellent for a touring boat. However, it doesn't lean turn very well. It still takes some big sweeps to get it turned or to correct when it wanders off course. Leaning helps turning, but not much. I would definitely recommend the rudder for tracking and turning, though it can be paddled without it. Speed is good for such a short, wide boat, and it can keep up with longer, narrower boats. A paddling friend has a new Perception Shadow, and I could keep up with her at a casual touring pace with no extra effort. Even though it sounds like I'm trashing the boat, I really like mine. It's very stable (great for a beginner, or for fishing, etc.), maneuverable, pretty fast, and it holds plenty of gear for a weekend trip if you pack well, longer if you use backpacking camp gear. I'll add a bigger touring boat next fall probably, but I'll keep the Edisto for fishing and for rivers.
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