Submitted: 04-11-2001 by JDG
I tried this boat as part of taking the Basic Kayaking Course from California Canoe and Kayak. It was a bit heavy to lift on top of the car rack, but I expected that for a 17' boat. It is very nicely outfitted with Peg pedals, flush fore and aft hatches, perimeter rigging and cargo nets which are substantial enough to hold a paddle for a paddle float entance. The plastic seems quite durable, and the rudder system was very well done. The seat was comfortable and the adjustable thigh braces were a nice touch.
When I entered the water I immediately noted that it tracked very well and was exceptionally swift. It seemed that I could almost relax between strokes because it cut through the water very rapidly. This is a fast boat. I felt that it was very good in the primary stability department, and acceptable in secondary stability. It did not turn on as short a radius as the shorter kayaks paddled by the other classmembers, but in the open water they could not keep up with the Kodiak. During a water entrance using the paddle float, the netting was strong enough to secure the paddle during the entry. I really like this boat, because it is reasonably stable, tracks well, and paddles effortlessly. The hatches are exceptionally roomy, and will hold tons of gear. It looks good, and has nice detail. The only draback is that it is a bit heavy at 58 lbs, but considering that it is 17'1" long, this is to be expected.
I purchased this boat and am just as happy as when I first demonstarted it. It is very durable, continues to track better than most, even without the rudder in the water. The hatches keep the interior contents dry. I found that a spray skirt with a zippered pouch makes most essentials accessible. This kayak does very well in rough water, and it was not substantially affected by winds. The 24.5" width did not seem to make this kayak any more tippy than others of the same width. I would give this kayak a rating of 9.5 out of 10.