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Submitted: 03-11-2003 by Sandmarks
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Well I've only had my 500 for a little over a month, but I thought I'd put in an early review. I admit I'm a newbie and my last boat was a Loon 160T, 80lbs of plastic with a 29" beam and a 7 foot cocpit, so most of my paddling has been just getting used to a completely different boat. The boat is beautiful and I have no major complaints about its contruction. My boat has about a hard to notice 5 inch dimple or discoloration going down the side of the hull at the rear bulkhead that QCC said was just some of the adhesive bleeding through, so I took their word for it not being an issue. I am a big guy, 6' 265lbs so I realize I am not the average size paddler, but this is something I discussed with Phil before purchasing the boat. I was worried about the small size of their cockpits as far as entry and exit for someone my size. It was tough at first, but after building up several layer of skin from my shins on the front of the cockpit, I'm doing much better now. To me the biggest disappointment is the RapidPulse seat. It is totally inadequate for someone my size. I think the people at QCC should know this and have some other options for big paddlers. It is pretty hard to get a feeling for a boat in the 30 day trial period when your constantly in pain from the seat and you can't do a lot of modifying in case you want to send it back. I can't figure out how it is I can be so comfortable in the seat that came in my $500 rec boat, but have to be tortured in my state of the art $2000+ boat! In the water the boat seems fast, seeming to get up to speed in just a few strokes. The secondary stability seems good to me and I don't have much trouble turning even without using the rudder. After about an hour of wet exit practice and pathetic newbie rolling practice, the hatches had about a 1/4 cup of water in them. I do wonder if there is a better method of securing the hatches than the velcro straps provided. One thing I have not been too impressed with through my purchase has been the customer service that I read so many good things about in the reviews. Other than Phil who spent a good amount of time answering my question before the purchase, I think they failed to meet a lot of the promises they made on the website, which made the scary idea of purchasing an expensive kayak on the internet a little worse. Other than the seat which may be just great for someone of normal size, I think you probably can't buy a better boat especially for the price. I think this type of purchase is better for people with more experience in kayaks so your 30 days of paddling doesn't have to be spent trying to get used to a complete different way of paddling. I don't really want to give a number rating, as I really just wanted to give my view as a big guy stuck in a skinny boat for the few that may be in my situation.
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