Submitted: 07-18-2002 by gibsonra
This is an update of the alto review I provided a while back. Since my last review I have paddled more coastal areas, made a flip up skeg and paddled almost every boat made at demos. To me it is simply, the best all around boat made. I hesitated to paddle the higher end boats because I was afraid I would no longer like my alto. But it made me like my boat more and took away my longing for one of the beautiful kevlar boats. The difference just isn't worth the price.
I added a flip up skeg on the back using the suggestions and pictures of the other gentleman that reviewed this boat. It has three different mounting holes, which allows me to set it for different conditions. For long windy crossings I set it lower and this cures the weathercock problem. For areas with tight turns I set it high so when I lean it comes out of the water in the turn. What an idea. Thanks for the help!
In summary, if you are like most kayakers you don't take many week long trips, you occasionally paddle around rocky areas, you don't paddle over 15 miles a day, and you aren't rich. If this is the case you won't find a better boat than the alto, I have tried. If looking cool is you main concern it may be worth the extra $1,000. Oh yea, this boat is so under rated you can find them used also. I bought both of mine for $500. Keep your eyes open because if I find another one I will buy it first.
See you on the water. I will be the one with the biggest smile.