Submitted: 05-25-2004 by John
I kayak for exercise and eventually to explore the Channel Islands in California. The fit and finish is 10 out of 10 for the attention to details like brass eyelets and screws instead of rivets. Large proportioned hatches are a great convenience. I can slip in a two-piece 240 paddle or my odd shaped dolly thru the hatch. The plastic backrest is surprisingly comfortable. The tracking is great (I found I don't need the rudder, I purchased as an option). Good speed, twice I have been able to chase dolphins for a reasonable encounter. Excellent for my normal routine of 4-6 miles from Ventura Harbor, CA to the Ventura Pier from a quarter mile from shore. On the negative side, shallow contoured seat holds water easily fills from a choppy sea. At 6'3" 225lbs, I feel stable, but with very long legs, I max out the footrest. I may eventually remove them completely and forego the rudder. The kayak is heavy, but stiff (a tradeoff I prefer. For these reason this kayak is not a perfect 10.
I must say that my Tarpon 160 gets many admiring comments for its long and narrow sleek looks, which I know is a nice compliment to the beauty of paddling it.