Submitted: 05-03-2004 by gasserra
I've owned my old Pintail for 8 years...and it was used when I bought it. It's had hard use in rough conditions and is still in great shape--testimony to the excellent construction of Valley boats. The performance characteristics of the Pintail have been well described by previous reviewers, so I'll only add two points. This boat is a joy in the hands of skilled paddlers, yet I've found that even novices feel comfortable in it, as long as they have the skeg down a bit. What really prompted my review, though, was the previous reviewer's perspective on the ocean cockpit. I disagree. The small cockpit provides enormous security in rough water--you won't get popped out of this boat unless you choose, and your spray skirt isn't going to implode on you under almost any imaginable conditions. Tough to enter? maybe at first--practice solves the problem. Tough to re-enter in deep water?--learn to roll reliably; if you don't come out, you don't need to get back in. And if you do come out--the small cockpit actually facilitates a re-enter and roll, and cuts the water load you'll take into the cockpit. It does take more work to take advantage of the little cockpit--but it's worth it if you want to venture out. This boat encourages you to challenge yourself!