Submitted: 08-09-2004 by peace
I have only 8 hours in the kayak in rough lake water so this is a preliminary review. The Fjord is a deep kayak with excellent primary and good secondary stability. With the reverse hard chines, I find the kayak turns very easy with little lean. It is a kayak that is easy to hold on edge, but I didn't find a point that is firmed right up. If you take the kayak to the point of lean where the water line is above the hull/deck joint the kayak becomes unstable quickly.
The seat and back band were very comfortable for me. As I mentioned it is a deep kayak, too deep to lay back on the back deck. That doesn't bother me as I don't know how to roll but would be a factor for others.
I have the kevlar version, with skeg, and it weighs 45 lbs. Very easy to carry and load as it is nicely balanced. Very nice kayak with generally good construction though not as neat and smooth inside as some others that I looked at. It does not leak into the bulkheads after repeated immersion, the kajak sport covers work good. I am 5'9" and 175 lbs and find the cockpit large and comfortable. I am 60 yrs of age and not particularly flexible but can get into the kayak by sitting seat first and drawing my legs in.
I paddled in windy conditions with lots of boat and sea doo traffic creating confusing waves. The kayak is very stable, tracks well. The skeg works well, however I found no need to use it as a slight lean brought the kayak around. Very little weathercocking which surprized me a little as it is a fairly deep craft.
My overall view is that this is a good kayak for conditions where you want enough capacity to take on a load and want very good maneuverability. I found the speed alright, I would say about the same as a CD Gulfstream which I have paddled quite a bit. In fact, despite the difference in hull design I found these two kayaks had a lot of similarity in handling, for me anyway.
This kayak is about two inches deeper than the Ellesmere or Pakesso, which it is said to be designed as the intermediate size of these two kayaks. Overall, I really like it so far, It will give me many hours and miles of satisfaction.