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Submitted: 10-20-2003 by Mark McCarthy
Larry, my friend who owns and operates Yakkity Yaks Kayaks in Lavallette, NJ, said that this is a VERY tippy boat for a big guy. His fleet consists of Islander kayaks, so he ought to know. Boy, was he right about the Big Stick! Islander says that the Big Stick has a 290# weight capacity, but that's overly optimistic. Larry said that anyone over 200# won't have fun in this boat, and I'm inclined to agree with him. Here's why...
In spite of his assertions, I tried renting one when the surf was small on the Jersey Shore earlier this summer. Even though I'm 6'2" @ 275#, I figured I could make it work-wrong! I'd no sooner get seated, then I'd fall off. If I managed to get in the seat, the slightest wave would tip the boat, promptly ejecting me. I never even had a chance to plant my feet on the foot pegs. A longboard would have handled better, even if I were sitting up! Therefore, I never got a chance to see how this boat handles.
The boat is well constructed. It has removable fins, or skegs. This will allow the paddler to configure the boat for ocean conditions, riding style, etc. This is a very nice touch. The footpegs are also adjustable, just like those found in a conventional kayak.
Unfortunately, this boat is only suited for someone who weighs in at <=200#. For big guys like me and Larry (we both weigh over 250#), forget it; the Big Stick is not at all suitable. If a boat won't allow you to stay afloat and paddle the thing, what good is it? Therefore, I gave it a low rating of 3.
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