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Submitted: 07-20-2014 by simonnhawke

Being new to kayaking, I did a lot of research -- read a lot of reviews on paddling.net, YouTube, etc. -- and went to several dealers and attended a number of in-the-water demo events that allowed me to try out a variety of kayaks. I was not interested in shooting rapids or ocean kayaking, just going out on lakes for some fitness and stress relief.

Early on, I realized that recreational kayaks were not for me. I needed something that handled better, tracked better, and in general, performed better. I needed a touring kayak. Among the boats I tried were Wilderness Systems Tsunamis in several lengths (which I liked), Pungos (which I didn't care for), Dagger Alchemy, Native Watercract Inuit 14 (which I thought I was going to buy, til they stopped making them) and Carolinas. I rented Carolina 14s quite a number of times to take out on lakes and liked them. The new ones, like the one I bought, are even better. I decided on the 12, partly for ease of transport in the back of my pickup and partly because it just felt better to me than a 14.

I've been extremely happy with my decision. The boat handles well, tracks well, is pretty quick, and is comfortable. I'm 5'9" and 165, and it's a good fit. I basically like everything about the boat and plan on using it a lot. Now if I could only find a PFD that's comfortable....

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