Submitted: 06-03-2002 by Thunderhaven
Bought my Freedom a couple of months ago and have paddled it on the ocean, surf, and rivers. Hereís what Iíve observed to date:
1) It tracks great, even in the wind and Iíve been out in 15-20 mph winds with no rudder.
2) Turning with thigh brace straps is outstanding. Without the straps, turning is fine for open areas but can be a challenge in tight confines.
3) As noted by others, this is definitely a heavy boat. I go out solo a lot and have to load/unload/portage this boat Ė Iím looking at getting a dolly.
4) The plastic is thick (hence the high weight) and as far as I am concerned that is a good thing. I looked at some other manufacturers and the plastic was paper-thin. I operate in an environment that has oyster bars, hidden logs, pilings, and other potential puncture devices. Iíll pay the price in weight for the added thickness and structural security.
5) The 5" day hatch is great for storing a camera, wallet, and keys. I have yet to load it up for an overnight expedition but Iíve been preparing and I can say that the bow and stern hatches have large openings but their depth is rather shallow (7-9"). In addition, there is no deck rigging at all on this craft.
6) This is a wide boat and Iíve not had any problem with stability. I managed to get in and out of the boat standing up at a dock. I do a lot of leaning turns and have not tipped yet.
7) I own a WS Ride as well and thereís no doubt that the Freedom wins hands down in terms of speed. Beyond that, I donít have any fair comparisons.
When I initially started looking at and trying out various kayaks, I was not even considering a sit-on-top. But, I went to a local demo day and tried the WS Ride and decided a SOT was the way to go. Overall, I feel that the Freedom is an excellent boat and plan on covering many more miles in mine.