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Submitted: 11-01-2002 by mikisu

Have just launched the first Tarpon in Australia and am a complete novice. So far my expectations have been exceeded and I was surprised how controllable and pleasant kayaking (in a Tarpon) can be.

Having reasonable balance from sailing and windsurfer days,I just hopped on and took off. The stability seemed excellent,no doubt because of the hard chine design,even more so with the rudder down.In fact it felt as if it had a centreboard or skeg. The tracking seems very steady,even without the rudder. My paddling technique is still raw, but it did seem to move quite fast with a bit of a push.

Excellent, sturdy finish to a handsome kayak and even the much dreaded standard seat and back are comfortable for me. The weight seems reasonable for such a large sturdy boat. My only doubt is the width,it does seem very wide even for a big person. I realise this is a stability factor,but the space is like an aircraft carrier!

Either because of the width, faulty paddling technique or wrong size paddle, I keep on hitting the gunwhales at about the side carrying handle position. Yes, I keep the paddle as close to the side and as vertical as possible!

A very pleasant paddle today down Pittwater near Sydney Northern Beaches. The tailwind carried me along without paddling,but surprisingly the following upwind paddle wasnt difficult! Good one,WS.

Can recommend for absolute beginners ,as long as you have some general water experience.

UPDATE: 11/07/02

Further to my previous post,the knocking problem of course was me!*+ Being a novice,I do not have a judging criteria,but am really impressed with the stability and smoothness.It does seem deceptively fast and a reasonable paddle style had me across the bay and upwind in no time.

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