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Submitted: 08-11-2003 by P.D.

Let me preface my comments with the information that I am a 160 lb, middle-aged, single female. I was introduced to ocean kayaks by a friend who has a Frenzy, and was very impressed with the stability of the boat. I went to an Ocean Kayak dealer and sat in a Caper, Scrambler, and Scramber XT. My criteria were that 1) the boat was comfortable to sit in 2) I could lift it by myself onto the top of my car without hurting my back. The Scrambler was too tight on my hips, the ScramblerXT was comfortable but was over the borderline on weight and had no carry handles, so there was no way I could manage it easily by myself. The Caper won out on both counts, plus I liked it's capacity for carting stuff.

The Caper has a pretty flat bottom, with gently curved lines. It too is a wonderfully stable boat. On utterly still water, the hull is absolutely silent. As I hoped, it tracks much better than the Frenzy (I went out with my friend) and is slightly faster. The smaller scupper holes don't harvest pond scum the way the Frenzy does. The seat is pretty high; I know I'm sitting in a little bit of water, but I don't really notice it. The footrest area and cupholder collect paddle drip, and there is no place for that to drain. I've paddled it once in choppy, windy conditions, and noticed that the hull doesn't deflect spray much, and the paddling was a little tougher, but I had no doubts about getting home. I carry it upside down on top of my car, without special carrying rack, and the straps tend to whip in the wind and beat on the roof on my car, which can be fixed with foam. It fits easily through the doors in my house and down into my basement for storage - another very big plus for me.

I grew up with a family canoe, and I have to say, it's wonderful to have a boat back in my life again. I would recommend the Caper to anyone, except the surfers, and whitewater river runners. The front hatch is well designed to deflect water to scupper holes, but is in no way waterproof.

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