Submitted: 10-08-2002 by On Point
By the way, I attended the Southwestern Kayak Symposium this weekend in San Diego. No, I did not take my Q700X, but I did have a chance to demo virtually every major kayak of consequence, at least some 40 notable kayaks. I thought therefore I would provided some subjective, comparative analysis. First, I found none I liked better than my Q700X.
Second, others had some better features here and there, but overall, none was better, either in terms of overall performance or of workmanship, to the Q700X.
Third, key models I demoed carefully were the Necky Looksha II (slower, bad seat, no gear room, and cannot track at all, without a rudder), the Necky Looksha IV series (not nearly as good as the new Necky Elaho; also, expensive), the Nigel Foster Legend and Shadow (great kayaks, especially the Legend, but a bit less secondary stability, slower, and less touring gear room), Current Designs' Extreme, Soliste series, and Gulfstream (great kayaks, but slower and less maneuverable; however, nicely finished), Seaward Chilco (great kayak, but a bit slower, less maneuverable and less room for gear, but tracks better at speed; many named here track very well), Necky Elaho (really great shorter kayak -- better than the Looksha IV series -- but much slower than Q700X; also very expensive), Eddyline Falcon 18 (slower, less initial and secondary stability, less room, but pretty good back support in seat), the KayakSport Vivian (great kayak, well made, stable, a bit slow, but tracks well and pretty maneuverable. Seat needs improvement), KayakSport Viking (great smaller kayak, super fast for its shorter length, but seat needs improvement) and many others.
It is surprising how many bad kayaks there are -- kayaks that have little speed, low efficiency, are unduly tipsy, bad seats, poor turning, etc.) Many had bad hatch cover arrangements and obvious hatch problems.
The Q700X was the best-crafted kayak of all I saw and a very good buy at the price, relative to all I saw and paddled. The real competition for the Q700X, in my mind, are the following: the Epic Touring Endurance 18' (was not there and I have not tried, but is made by a new company probably without much experience with composites), the KayakSport Vivian, the Seaward Chilco, the Nigel Foster Legend and the Current
Designs' Extreme. Also, I think you pay more and get less with many other brands than QCC and the Nigel Foster Legend.
My next efforts with the Q700X are to improve the back support and seat (which as kayak seats go, is already pretty good), and then to rig a detachable forward bow weight for the inside far forward end of the forward hatch), for better balance and tracking at speed, when I don't haul gear and carry only my own 190 pound weight.