Submitted: 07-19-2002 by SJ
My first kayak purchase, I am generally pleased with this boat. I bought it for its utility and stability - figuring both would be appreciated as a beginner. I've taken it down the last 7 miles of the Wenatchee River (class 2) and felt quite comfortable. It's also seen plenty of lake shore duty, for which it's been perfect. You won't win any speed races on flatwater with this boat, and the bowline rises high out of the water making it a bit difficult to keep straight when the wind picks up (this feature also keeps you dry in swells!). But it turns on a dime, is very stable, and the foam bracing gives the boat a very sturdy feel (much more than a rec kayak). Use a drybag when storing gear in the stern hatch due to some small leaks (I think from the bulkhead, not the hatch) and learn to roll the boat - I've practiced self-rescues on this boat, and while easy to get back into the boat climbing up the back, it takes forever to empty with a bilge pump even with a lot of flotation up front. I had trouble keeping it straight at first, but after a kayaking course learned it was me and not the boat - take a course and enjoy it sooo much more!